The 2016 South Coast Women’s Forum will be held at Rosebrook Event Center, located at 50 Rosebrook Place, Wareham, MA 02571 on Thursday, May 5th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The South Coast Women’s Forum is the ideal setting for leading business professionals, and aspiring women in business to connect, learn, and be inspired by other women! A dynamic panel discussion will be moderated by Jody Seivet, a successful Critical Care Coach, Designer, Artist and Interior Designer.

The four inspiring women panelists are Valerie Bassett, Jane Gonsalves, Rita Riberio, and Jadine Loo-Dixon. These driven women will elaborate on their professional and personal journeys, hurdles they’ve overcome, as well as their future career goals and everything in between. Get ready to connect with some of the most inspirational women of the South Coast!

Ms. Valerie Bassett began her career as a day care teacher and as a development associate for a battered women’s sheltering organization. She went on to work as a speechwriter for Boston Mayor Menino and then led Intergovernmental Relations for the Boston Public Health Commission, serving the City of Boston for ten years. Valerie brought her passion for health equity and access to her subsequent role as Director of Policy and Research at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, and then executive director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, an education and advocacy organization. She now combines her drive for economic justice with feminism to lead the Women’s Fund of Southeastern MA towards its goal of increasing the percentage of women in the region who earn a living wage.

Ms. Jane Gonsalves is a former New Bedford City Councillor who served longer than any of her predecessors. Before retiring in January of 2014, she became the first woman of Portuguese descent to be elected as City Council President in New Bedford in 1999 and later in 2008 became the first woman to serve a second term as City Council President. Ms. Gonsalves is passionate about empowering women and girls, and speaks to young girls in schools and other venues whenever she is given the opportunity about her career in politics, and the importance of being involved in the community. Currently she is employed as a Claims Examiner for Sedgwick and sits on the Board of Directors for the YWCA, where she served as Vice-President for several years. She is an active volunteer and is the Chair of the YWCA’s Red Dress Fashion Show.

Ms. Rita Riberio became a Police Officer in November 1978 and helped institute the department's domestic violence unit in 1993 and acted as supervisor until 2000. In 2001, she assumed leadership of the school resource officer program, which has become a model for other police departments throughout the region. Ms. Ribeiro serves as a supporter for diversity initiatives and has an extensive record of community service over the last three decades.

Ms. Jadine Loo-Dixon is a well-known Chef, entrepreneur and proprietor of WOK MAGIC Chinese Caters in Mattapoisett. Ms. Loo-Dixon is from a long line of restaurateurs who immigrated to the United States from, Canton China. Ms. Loo-Dixon has worked hard to overcome challenges and has been able to support her family on her expert cooking skills and the recipes of her Cantonese heritage. Ms. Loo-Dixon has taught over 800 student nutritious and economical Chinese recipes and hand delivers Chinese groceries to South Coast resident’s door steps.
All of these inspiring and accomplished women have strong ties to the South Coast region and overcome challenges with perseverance and resilience which allowed them to pave the way for all women professionally!
Admission for the event is $45.00 to New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce members and $55.00 for non-members. Tables of ten are also available. For more information, please contact Deven Tillman, Events Manager, at the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, 508-999-5231, ext. 26 or visit

The 2016 South Coast Women’s Forum is sponsored by the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, Advance Air & Heat Company, Sylvia Group, Precix, Taunton Federal Credit Union, Eden Landscapes, Our Sisters’ School, St. Anne’s Credit Union, YWCA, Doctors Express, Thrivent Financial, Diversified Marketing Group, BayCoast Bank, and Fisher College.