How to Take Your Business to the Next Level During Crisis | Camille Burns

Camille Burns

Purse Power

Ep. 188 - Camille Burns is the CEO of the Women Presidents'​ Organization, an organization with the mission to help second-stage women entrepreneurs around the world take their companies to the next level of success. She helped grow the WPO from a small U.S.-based nonprofit to a global organization with chapters around the world. She is skilled at building and maintaining strong relationships with board members, business owners, corporate sponsors, partner organizations, speakers, and consultants. She speaks and represents the women’s business community around the world.  In this episode, Camille talks about how women business owners are handling the pandemic situation to continue thriving their businesses. Listen in to learn the importance of vulnerability and authenticity as a business owner to help your team navigate a crisis. You will also learn the importance of creating connections and relationships in and out of your business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learning how to adapt and innovate in business during a major crisis
  • The importance of staying connected to the internal and external world of your business
  • How to balance between staying positive and authentic as a business owner during a crisis
  • How to accept and acknowledge the pandemic situation to find flexibility
  • Pay attention to the cyber security of your business to prevent any further challenges

"What is important now is to watch our consumption of negativity, and work on staying out of that negativity. Embrace gratitude and look at what's good in the world." - Camille Burns

In this episode you’ll discover:

Camille explains how she got interested in women leadership and business [2:40]

The challenges women business owners are facing today and the steps those thriving are taking [5:59]

How communicating with other business owners will help with innovating and pivoting [12:59]

The qualities that make the top 50 most successful women business owners [14:38]

The annual business conference they hold to educate and connect women business owners [17:45]

The importance of connecting, having a positive environment, and staying busy during a crisis [22:35]

Why you should invest in technology that’s going to help secure your business [27:49]

How to get innovative by getting involved in conversations and listening to others [29:22]

How to find emotional and mental stability by accepting the pandemic situation [30:48]

Camille shares the books she reading and her recommended topics [33:51]

The main takeaways from the conversation you should pay attention to [37:41]

How to join the Women Presidents'​ Organization as a member [41:05]


As Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer for the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization and Chief Executive Officer for the Women Presidents’ Organization, Camille Burns oversees day-day management, fiscal oversight, and negotiations for the organization, with responsibility for WPO programming, human resources, and chapter expansion. She plays an active role in planning annual meetings and conferences and represents both organizations at events around the world.

Since joining in 2000 and working under the direction of Dr. Marsha Firestone, President and Founder, as well as with the Board of Directors, Camille has helped steer the significant growth trajectory of both organizations over the years. Prior to her tenure, she worked in human resources at the law firm of Sidley & Austin.

Camille is an ardent supporter of women’s economic development and is inspired to help foster women business owners through the WPO.

"Women are willing to work together and share with each other in a way that men aren’t,” she said. "Being vulnerable with other business owners has been so valuable for our members.

They rally around each other and come together as a community. I’ve been so impressed with them; these women have worked hard to keep people employed during the pandemic. I’ve seen incredible resilience, and we want WPO to continue to be a part of that support system as our members weather everything 2020 is throwing at them."


She is a member of the advisory council of Enterprising Women magazine, sits on the steering committee of International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), and is on the planning committee for Go for the Greens, a business development conference for women entrepreneurs.


Camille is a graduate of New York University with a BA in sociology and a MBA from Baruch College (CUNY), Zicklin School of Business.


Women Presidents' Educational Organization

Women Presidents' Organization


We USA Article


AP News Article

Forbes Article


Monica Smiley

Wendee Wechsberg

Francine Farkas Sears


Donna Miller is the founder and CEO of Purse Power, Let's Share the Journey. Purse Power promotes women-led, women-owned businesses by providing a Google extension that allows everyone who visits your website to locate nearby businesses.

Let's Share the Journey holds calls at 10 AM Central every Friday to learn from national leaders to share expertise, ideas, and support. One week a month features Zoom Room networking. We support Donna's endeavor and have provided the speaker calls in a podcast format. Please join her on Friday mornings! You can register for the calls here.

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