President & CEO
Joanne Randolph is one of the founders of the WBCNA. She has served as the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the WBCNA, now The Catalyst, since 2006. She brings a diverse range of experience in entrepreneurship, business management, mentoring, business incubation, international marketing, and telecommunications. Under Ms. Randolph’s leadership, the Women’s Business Center was selected as the Alabama 2010 “Women’s Business Center of Excellence” by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), received the 2010 Better Business Bureau of North Alabama Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and was awarded the 2007 “Non-Profit of the Year” by the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce. The SBA selected Ms. Randolph as the 2007 “Women in Business Champion” for the State of Alabama and the 6-state region. She was also chosen as the 2006 Small Business Advocate of the Year by the National Small Business Association (NSBA) for the Lower South Region and is the Entrepreneur Champion of the Year for 2020.
Sandy Edwards serves as the Operations Manager of the Catalyst. She served many years as a Catalyst Business coach and as the Owner of SDE Accounting Solutions, providing accounting solutions to small business and non-profits. She is a Quickbooks ProAdvisor and has a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama. She spent 27 years in the financial industry, 20 years as the CFO and Senior Vice President of First Commercial Bank (now Synovus Bank) in Huntsville, Alabama. Sandy has a strong commitment to the community and has served on several local civic and non-profit Boards and is a graduate of Class 13 of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County.
Laura Lopez is the Accountant for The Catalyst. With more than 25 years of experience in commercial and government accounting for small business, Ms. Lopez brings with her solid organizational skills and a strong sense of responsibility and dedication.
Tech Rich 7 (j) Project Manager
Leigh Christian is one of the founders of the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama (WBCNA), now known as The Catalyst Center for Business and Entrepreneurship. She has been involved for 20+ years with The Catalyst and has served as a President, Board Member, Board of Advisor, Coach, Mentor, Workshop Leader, and Conference Chair. Leigh also owns Plans to Prosper Consulting and serves as a small business consultant primarily for government contractors. She has an extensive background in government contracting and banking. Leigh specializes in Government Contracting, Innovation and Technology, Business Development, Proposal Management, Strategy, Startup, Teaming and other areas of small business. Leigh has a bachelor’s in business administration from Faulkner University and an Associate’s in Retail Merchandising from Calhoun College and Professional Designations in Advanced Contract Management and Contract Management. She has attended numerous trainings and has received many certifications and awards.
Women’s Business Center Project Manager
Jennifer Stewart serves as the Women's Business Center Project Manager of The Catalyst. Years in the finance industry and owning several successful businesses with her husband for over a decade have provided her with the knowledge and expertise to serve Catalyst clients. As the Women's Business Center Program Manager, she coordinates entrepreneurial and small business development programs, oversees business training and coaching, and supports economic growth activities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Jennifer earned a B.S. in Business Management Communications and an MBA in Project Management. Her devotion to community development is a priority for her.
Project Implementation Manager
Tracy Junkins is the Project Implementation Manager at The Catalyst serving both the Women’s Business Center and TechRich Projects. She has a passion for serving the community which began as a member of the Army National Guard then she went on to serve in the AmeriCorps VISTA Program. In her position at The Catalyst, Ms. Junkins helps coordinate programs and coaching for entrepreneurs and small business owners.