About Us

Doris Symonds is the owner of T.A.L.K. – Teaching and Learning for Knowledge, a company recognized for empowering and consulting with women on starting a small business. Doris brings women together to create small start-up businesses, network, make referrals and grow existing businesses. She is known by her peers as a strong business woman and the queen of business networking!

Doris consults with individuals on how to create a small business and directs their path to the best local professionals for assistance. She provides appropriate business owners to help them with creating a website, pertinent business resources, marketing tips for a shoe-string budget, building relationships with several bankers, shadowing her to business after hours, creating future clients relationships, attending free start-up workshops/seminars for information and procuring financial packages that fit their business model. She is a featured speaker at many women programs, institutions of higher education, women conferences, and local community profit and non-profit agencies. Doris holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Business Education from Illinois State University. She received an Associate in Applied Science degree from Danville Area Community College, in Danville, Illinois. Currently, Doris is the founder and executive producer of the largest small business women’s empowerment conferences, held in Peoria, Illinois since 2004. In 2007, she began the Ladies Who Lunch Their Business to Success networking group. The monthly networking group provides an opportunity for women to share information about their small business problems while obtaining resources and answers to address common business issues.


T.A.L.K. is a woman owned small business located in central Illinois that was created in 2004 by Doris Symonds to empower, engage and educate women to create their own company.

What we do:

T.A.L.K. produces an annual women’s conference in central Illinois. An annual conference is held in Peoria, Illinois in June with highly skilled speakers focusing on topics acutely relevant to women businesses. Each year a theme is selected to address a major concern on women issues in business such as: technology, marketing, funding resources, software, hiring practices, government certifications, health and wellness, and more. In the recent past, this conference became a community star event. Past speakers have included: Mary Ardapple, Diana Hall, Cindy Byrd, Fran McKay, Chris Shay, Liz Pollack, Denise Moore, Dawn Jeffries, Cindy Hermann, Amanda Beadles, Katie Kim, Shirley McQuirter, Dr. Timir Baman and many others.

Honors and Awards:

  • National Association of Women Business Owners of Central Illinois Bridge Builder Awards
  • Sojourner Truth Temple Award – Leadership, Courage, Fortitude and Standard of Excellence
  • Martin Luther King Drum Major Award
  • Small Business Administration’s Women in Business Champion of the Year – SBA Region Five
  • Women in Leadership of Central Illinois Outstanding New Leader Award
  • State of Illinois Women Small Business Expo by the State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka
  • 25 Women in Leadership Award by the Peoria Area Chamber, the Marketeer and WEEK TV 25
  • Inducted Into the African American Hall of Fame Museum-Education Excellence – Peoria, Illinois


  • Eleven Women Who Made a Difference: IBI Peoria Magazines
  • Traveler Weekly Newspaper



  • How I Saved $10,500 With Only Five Quarters a Day!


  • National Association of Women Business Owners of Central IL: Board Member
  • SCORE Peoria
  • Women in Leadership of Central Illinois