Meet The Influencer Issue’s BELLA BOSSES

Running a thriving business takes drive, determination, and a whole lot of hustle! We’re spotlighting seven fierce, fabulous, and fearless BELLA BOSSES who have founded their own companies and proven how a little belief and a big a leap of faith can land you a leading role in your own life.

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Kelly Lynn Adams

New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles

Kelly Lynn Adams International 

Executive and Professional Life and Success Coach, Speaker

My Business: Through coaching and speaking, I am a trusted source of transformation. I am committed to helping people tap into their untapped potential, starting from the inside out, in all areas of life—from creating more success, leadership, joy, and fulfillment. Whether through coaching or speaking, I support people in letting go of old beliefs, judgments, and fears that block many from what they want most in life and business, so that they can start to create and live a life and business beyond their wildest dreams. When we shift our mindsets and perceptions, we can see what is truly possible, which sometimes can extend beyond our wildest expectations. I coach men and women, including executives, entrepreneurs, celebrities, coaches, speakers, high achievers, and anyone in between.

Why It Was Launched:  I fell into coaching and speaking while building another business a few years ago; however, I have always been investing in my own personal development, transformation, and growth for years—I am a product of coaching. Throughout the years, I saw the tremendous impact and influence that coaching had in every area of my life. After experiencing so much success and growth of my own, I wanted to co-create and help others tap into their own potential. There are too many people in this world who are stuck, settling, struggling, and stopping their own successes. And it doesn’t have to be that way; we are powerful beyond measure. Coaching comes from both the worlds of athletics and entertainment, and it’s no secret that the best athletes and actors in the world have coaches.

My Influencers: There have been so many who have influenced and mentored me throughout the years. However, I would have to say today my biggest influencer when it comes to running my business would be Kris Jenner. As a businesswoman, she has unshakeable confidence, relentless tenacity managing her children’s careers, has an extremely strong work ethic, and she maximizes innovation by constantly creating new ventures or collaborations wherever she sees opportunity. Year after year, she keeps on creating and achieving success.

Most Rewarding: Witnessing my clients’ successes and transformations and watching them create the life and business of their dreams, and being a part of their journey. What has also been rewarding to me is seeing people have breakthroughs and/or a-ha moments when I speak to different groups, organizations, and companies.

Secrets to My Success: Regardless of how I feel and what is going on in my life, the secrets to my success have been being persistent, failing forward (meaning getting better than I was yesterday), investing and believing in myself, taking consistent action (even if it’s one thing a day), and always connecting, meeting, and networking with others—you never know who you can serve, impact, and influence.

Josephine Wilson

Jackson, NJ

Keller Williams Realty Monmouth/Ocean

CEO of The Home Connector Group

My Business: I help people achieve their real estate dreams of purchasing, selling, and investing in real estate.

Why It Was Launched: I acquired my real estate license 12 years ago and have been with Keller Williams for 10 years. I started my business because of my passion for real estate and helping people with their biggest asset.

My Influencers: I wouldn’t say one particular person has influenced me in my career. Many people have inspired me along my journey, teaching me dedication, respect, and instilling important values in me. 

Most Rewarding: There are many rewarding aspects to running my own business, one of which is the ability to fund a great life. Being a single mom, supporting my two girls, and being able to “be there” for them has been my biggest reward. In addition to helping my parents along the way and paying it forward to others.

Secret to My Success: The secret to my success is my mindset and personality and believing you can achieve anything you put your mind to. [It’s also] loving life, always smiling, and loving what you do. I’m grateful for it all!

Joanne Gubitosi

Freehold, NJ

Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski


My Business: I am an independent Touchstone Crystal consultant offering in-home parties where friends gather and shop for gorgeous jewelry that is both high quality and affordable. 

Why It Was Launched: I joined forces with Touchstone in September 2014.  I have always loved the Swarovski brand and saw the incredible income potential with Touchstone Crystal. I wanted to make some extra income and add a little sparkle into my life.

My Influencers: I never thought I would be on this journey because of the many fears I have had about how I would grow the business and my shyness with public speaking. The amazing leaders in my industry along with many other women entrepreneurs have been my biggest influencers to help me learn and support my personal growth and development. From hearing their stories and coaching, they have influenced me, and I am forever grateful for it. 

Most Rewarding: Empowering women to do the same. I never realized I was missing something in my life until I started with this company. My family is important to me so the flexibility that comes with running my own business allows me to be present for my family and my son.

Secret to My Success: [It’s] my passion to help women feel and look beautiful along with my positive mindset. It all starts with the belief that you can do it, and as long as you are consistent, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Laura L. Rokosz, Ph.D.

Union, NJ

EGGLRock Nutrition, LLC

Owner/Healthcare Practitioner

My Business: We provide dietary and lifestyle guidance for disease prevention and health maintenance.

Why I Launched It: After 28 years of developing pharmaceutical products, I decided it was time to bring health and wellness to the masses more effectively and economically.

My Influencer: As a nutritionist, I would definitely say my biggest influencer is Dr. Sara Gottfried because she is so generous with her knowledge. She is humble and honest, and puts so much effort into everything she does.

Most Rewarding: When my patients tell me that coming to their appointments at EGGLRock Nutrition is the best part of their day, I know I am doing a good job.

Secret to My Success: Fake it ‘til you make it. I did not wait to achieve some special metric.  I just dove right in.

Theodora Sergiou

Toms River, NJ

Nicholas Pools Inc.


My Business: Nicholas Pools Inc. sells and constructs vinyl liner in-ground pools. We also have a full service and maintenance department. Our 13,000-square-foot store sells hot tubs, chemicals, toys, parts, and supplies. We also renovate vinyl liner pools and replace liners.

When It Was Launched: My parents, brothers, and I began Nicholas Pools Inc. in 1987. My parents sold the business to my husband and me in 2004.

My Influencer: My husband is my biggest influencer. He works in corporate and grew up working for his parents. He has helped me understand how important it is to be an expert in your field and to let people know what you do best. He is always there to bounce ideas off of he has also helped me set and achieve my goals and dreams for Nicholas Pools.

Most Rewarding: The most rewarding aspect of running a business is seeing our customers happy. When a project is completed and we get a photo once landscaping is done with a letter of appreciation, it makes me very proud that we have such good employees that band together to produce such beautiful work. Our pools bring families together and help them create lifetime memories in their own backyards. We build people’s dreams…how many people can say that?

Secret to My Success: The secret to my success is never giving up. No matter what challenges I have had in my life, I face them. It has been difficult at times, but I have faith, and the love and support of my family is what keeps me going. Every day we are faced with something that can break us or help us grow. The choice is yours—if you believe in yourself, you can get through anything and grow stronger from the experience.

Dara Kaplan

New York, NY

Wunderlich Kaplan Communications

Partner and Co-Founder

My Business: We are a public relations firm. We represent a variety of lifestyle, wellness brands, and restaurants with offices in New York, Boston, and Miami. Brands hire us to get them places in magazines, on television, in blogs, and with influencers and celebrities.

Why It Was Launched:  I actually merged my previous agency with my now business partner’s and we formed Wunderlich Kaplan Communications in 2011. We are yin and yang and definitely stronger as a team than on our own. As a bonus, we became best friends along the way.  

My Influencers: My first and foremost, as cheesy as this is, is my business partner. I met Gwen Wunderlich when I was very young. I had my own social media agency and she had her PR company. She taught me everything I know about this business. In addition, I know a lot of brilliant people, however, I can say with certainty that I have never met anyone who is more creative, has bigger or better ideas, is more charismatic, or is more positive than her. She radiates good energy and that’s exactly what she attracts. I strive to be more like her every day. Without her, I would not be where I am today. Second is my husband—his work ethic and tenacity inspire me every day. Lastly, my dad, the very first entrepreneur I ever knew. He always taught me to march to the beat of my own drum at all costs.   

Most Rewarding: I thrive on being able to move the needle for brands, creating a culture, inspiring a movement, and cultivating a lifestyle.

Dynamic Duo: Business partners Dara Kaplan and Gwen Wunderlich

Secret to My Success: Being a lifelong learner, I have a total thirst for knowledge about anything and everything. I will win any trivia night there is due to my copious consumption of random documentaries and books. Also, just keep going and never ever accept no as an answer.

Dithra Sands (Dee) 

Piscataway, NJ

Primerica Life & PFS Investments Inc.

Licensed Representative

My Business: I am an independent contractor with Primerica, and I help families get the protection they need at a price they can afford, invest for the future, and get out of debt. I teach families fundamental financial principles that aren’t taught in school and give them an opportunity to build a business and transform their life. I travel throughout New Jersey sharing my expertise on “How Money Works” through Financial Literacy Workshops; they are completely free. My belief is that knowledge is power, but only if it is used to help someone else.

Why It Was Launched: In 2001, I was facing major financial challenges after being downsized and I had to do something about it. I went to a financial presentation and saw there was a need to share the financial education I had learned to help myself. That is when I became a representative for Primerica.  I realized that if I needed help but didn’t know where to go for it, there had to be other people out there in the same predicament.  

My Influencer: I know that everyone would expect me to say a famous actress, writer, or even an entertainer. But the person who influenced me was someone that I met about six years ago. I saw how she was a go-getter, a hard worker, and always kept her eye on the prize. No matter what people thought of her, she never let it affect her—well, not in the open. There was a friendship connection when I first met her. She always wanted to help other women reach success. She has had a wonderful journey since then and I am glad I was there to witness it. If I had to choose a friend to be in business with, it would be her. I want to thank Vanessa Coppes, my influencer, for showing me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard to get it. I have become such a better businessperson being around Vanessa—everything that comes her way is well deserved.

Most Rewarding: The freedom of time that it gives me to spend more quality time with my family and the wonderful people I get to meet. I get fired up when I am teaching financial literacy, which enables people to take control of their financial futures. I am very passionate about helping people, especially women. I will continue to make a difference in other’s lives. 

Secret to My Success: Having goals and a vision of what you want life to look like. You must be honest, sincere, and trustworthy.  Stay focused while being persistent and passionate, and work hard. You especially need to enjoy what you are doing.

Photo Credit: K. Fox-White, Founder of The 50.On.Fire! Project,
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