For media inquiries contact:

Email Press@wbenc.org
Phone: 202-872-5515

Press Releases

+ Bringing Women Business Owners and the Fortune 500 Together: WBENC Converges In Orlando This Month

June 1, 2016

Orange County Convention Center – Orlando, FL -–
More than 3,500 executives from the nation's leading corporations, government entities, and women business owners will converge in Orlando, FL to generate business opportunities and stimulate economic growth at the 2016 Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference & Business Fair from June 21 to 23.

Under the banner of "Creating Magic Together,” the 17th Annual NCBF will take place in the state cited with the fastest growth rate for women-owned business in the nation, according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. The conference is the largest and most prestigious gathering of corporate and government buyers and Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) in the nation. Attendees enjoy three days of nationally acclaimed speakers, executive workshops, and vital MatchMaking and networking opportunities, including the WBENC Business Fair, the largest of its kind with more than 300 exhibitors.

"Women-owned business now comprise 38% of the business population, and WBENC is proud to bring together our powerful women's business enterprises with major corporations and government entities to continue to grow their companies and fuel the economy,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO. “As the nation’s leader in women's business development, our annual NCBF is the best place for attendees to forge new connections, learn about industry trends, and meet key decision makers.”

Attendees will also hear from C-suite decision makers who represent the 2016 Conference Co-Chairs: Shell; The Walt Disney Company; Wells Fargo; The Pinnacle Group; Accel, inc., and Imagen, LLC.

This year, three Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) make up the 2016 Host Councils, including the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) of Florida; Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC); and Women’s Business Enterprise Council - South (WBEC South).

“Our local organizations are proud to host WBENC’s NCBF, one of the largest women’s business conferences in the world, in our region,” said the 2016 Host Council leaders in a joint statement. “As one of the top travel destinations in the world, the city of Orlando represents a nexus of possibilities for expanding growth for women business owners not only here in the U.S., but also around the globe.”

Each year, the WBENC NCBF Host Committee, made up of representatives from the Host Councils act as the ambassadors for the event, ensuring attendees are engaged and inspired by all the programming. The 2016 Host Committee is chaired by Brenda Loube, President and Co-Founder, Corporate Fitness Works; and includes

• Michele Adam, President and CEO, Levy Marketing + Awards Powered by Proforma
• Charlotte Baker, CEO, Digital Hands
• Sheila Benson, CEO, Employment Screening Services
• Susan Davis, President, Priority Project Resources
• Courtney Davis-Herbert, CEO, Barts Office
• Susie Galyardt, Founder & CEO, XIOSS
• Jane Kennedy Greene, Chairwoman & CEO, Kenco
• Lynn Griffith, President & CEO, Welcome Events
• Terri Hall, President, Doubletake Studios
• Kathleen Hunt, President, Personalize Payroll Services
• Marlene Kelly, President & CEO, Exhibits South Corporation
• Kimberly Lawton Koon, President & CEO, Lawton Connect
• Teresa Lawrence, Owner & President, Delta Personnel, Inc.
• Jennifer Maier, CEO, WDS, Inc.
• Janice Migliore, Chairman & CEO, Palco Telecom
• Kittie Watson, President & Founder, Innolect, Inc.
• Livia Whisenhunt, Founder & CEO, PS Energy Group

To register today or see full list of sponsors, exhibitors, and resources, visit http://conf.wbenc.org!

About WBENC
Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with over 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC-Certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America's most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.

+ Top Corporations Committed To Women-Owned Businesses Honored By WBENC

February 29, 2016

Washington, D.C. -- The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s leader in women’s business development, today announced the 16th Annual America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs), the only national award honoring corporations and their leadership for choosing to integrate policies and programs to enable growth and reduce barriers for women-owned businesses.

"We are so proud not only of the increasing number of WBENC's Top Corporations, but also for the leadership of these corporations who are consistently choosing to set the standard for access and increase opportunities for women suppliers in new markets—both domestically and internationally," said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC. "WBENC-Certified WBEs in turn are able to fuel innovation and empower communities through economic growth and job creation."

The award announcement recognizes 62 corporations, the largest list in the history of the program, which started in 1999 when only 17 corporations made the list. WBENC's Top Corporations will be honored in front of an audience of more than 1,500 attendees, including top-level senior executives from the awarded corporations, at the WBENC Summit & Salute taking place March 22 to 24 in Phoenix, AZ.

WBENC's 2015 America's Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises are (in alphabetical order):

Accenture
Alcatel-Lucent
Allstate Insurance Company
Altria Group, Inc.
AT&T
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Bank of America
Best Buy
BP America, Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Capital One Financial Corporation
Cargill
Chevron
The Coca-Cola Company
CVS Health
Dell, Inc.
DTE Energy Company
DuPont
Energy Future Holdings
Entergy Services, Inc.
Ericsson, Inc.
Exxon Mobil Corporation
EY
FedEx
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Ford Motor Company
General Motors
IBM
Johnson & Johnson
Kaiser Permanente
Kellogg Company
Kelly Services, Inc.
The Kroger Co.
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Macy's, Inc.
ManpowerGroup, Inc.
Marriott International
Merck & Co., Inc.
MetLife
MGM Resorts International
Microsoft
Monsanto Company
Nationwide
New York Life Insurance Company
Office Depot
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.
Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Procter & Gamble
Raytheon Company
Robert Half
Shell
Target Corporation
TIAA-CREF
TOYOTA
United Airlines
UPS
Verizon
Walmart Stores, Inc.
The Walt Disney Company
Wells Fargo & Company

Sponsored by Accenture, EY, and Ampcus, WBENC’s Summit & Salute will showcase senior executives discussing the trends, challenges, and opportunities across multiple industries, which impact the supply chain landscape.

To learn more about the event or WBENC’s Top Corporations, visit http://summit.wbenc.org.

About WBENC Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with over 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC-Certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America's most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.

+ National Awards in Excellence For Women-Owned Businesses Announced

WBENC Names 14 Women Leaders From Regions Across U.S. as Women’s Business Enterprise Stars

December 14. 2015

Washington, D.C. -- Each year the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the leader in women’s business development, honors 14 exemplary women business leaders with the nation's premier award for excellence in small business leadership—the WBE Star Award.

The 2016 WBENC WBE Stars are selected by WBENC's 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), which process WBENC's world-class certification, in addition to providing skills- and business-building programs in their respective regions.

“WBENC’s 14 WBE Stars are exceptional leaders who are forging new ways to deliver value to their customers and their communities,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC. “They illustrate the powerful contributions that women’s businesses make to the economic growth of this nation.”

The WBE Stars listed below will be honored at an award ceremony and gala during WBENC’s annual Summit & Salute on March 22 to 24, 2016 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona. WBENC’s Summit & Salute is sponsored by Accenture, EY, and Ampcus, and in addition to honoring these successful women business owners, the event is a two-day event providing vital access to the thought leaders, elevating senior-level networking opportunities, and providing business intelligence that enables sustainable growth for WBENC-Certified WBEs.

The following women business leaders are the 2016 WBENC WBE Stars:

{in alphabetical order}

Camille Austin

President

Elite Roofing Services, Inc.

RPO: Women's Business Development Council of Florida

Michelle Bell

CEO 1st Choice, LLC

RPO: Women Presidents' Educational Organization- DC

Doreen Blades

President

US Eco Products Corporation

RPO: Center for Women & Enterprise

Linda Boasmond

President

Cedar Concepts Corporation

RPO: Women's Business Development Center- Chicago

Rose Ann DaRe

President

Hydro Dyne Inc

RPO: Ohio River Valley Women's Business Council

Debbie Drury

President

Market Doctors Direct

RPO: Women's Business Enterprise Alliance

Joan LaGrasse

CEO

Imagen, LLC

RPO: Women's Business Enterprise Council South

Jennifer Maier

CEO

Women's Distribution Services

RPO: Greater Women's Business Council

Margaret Marcucci

CEO

Coranet Corp

RPO: Women Presidents' Educational Organization- NY

Carrie Martinez

President

CM Productions, Inc.

RPO: Women's Business Council- Southwest

Susan Munro

President

Hybrid Collective

RPO: Women's Business Enterprise Council- West

Carol Philp

President

CPI Creative

RPO: Women's Business Enterprise Council PA, DE, sNJ

Serafina Schorer

CEO

RIM Custom Racks

RPO: Great Lakes Women's Business Council

Kelly Sparks

CEO VMG/ studio520

RPO: Astra Women's Business Alliance

__CONTACT:

For more information, including interviews, videos, and images with the WBE Stars, please contact the WBENC Press Office at press@wbenc.org.

About WBENC

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs.

For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.

+ WBENC and Shell Invest in Next Generation of Women Entrepreneurs

WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program Advances Diversity in Upcoming Cohort

June 16, 2015

WASHINGTON -- The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is proud to announce the 2015 student entrepreneur cohort selected from 14 universities for the prestigious WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program (SEP).

The program fosters growth for the next generation of women-owned businesses through tailored curriculum, mentoring from certified WBEs and Fortune 500 Corporate Members, a pitch competition set at WBENC's National Conference & Business Fair in Austin, Texas from June 23 to 25, and off-site visits to corporations and accelerators supported by the program's title sponsor, Shell.

WBENC and Shell are committed to enriching the future for all women-owned businesses. In 2015, WBENC broadened the application from the former focus on STEM to include the Arts, including creativity and design. By centering on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math [STEAM], the program underscores the importance of bringing diverse women from various academic interests together at the developmental stages of their career to build a support network for future women business owners and leaders.

"Let's collaborate to connect tomorrow's WBE innovators with today's leading corporations, better positioning suppliers to develop solutions for future industry challenges," said Debra C. Stewart, Director, Supplier Diversity & Diversity Outreach, Shell Oil Company.

In addition to industry and geographical diversity, this year's cohort includes students who identify as Black or African American; Asian or Pacific Islander; Hispanic or Latina; or Caucasian.

  1. Arizona State UniversityCourtney Van Bussum, Sophomore, Major: Biomedical Engineering
  2. Cornell UniversityFon Powell, PhD Student at Weill Cornell Medical College, Jasmine Curtis, Senior, Major: Biology and Society, and Jerica Huang, Freshman, Major: Computer Science
  3. Grambling State UniversityAlexa Robinson, Junior, Major: Chemistry, Helen Ayim, Sophomore, Major: Computer Information Systems, and Monique Hill, Sophomore, Major: Computer Information Systems
  4. Louisiana State UniversityDevon Keese, Sophomore, Major: Petroleum Engineering
  5. Loyola University New OrleansAshley Garcia, Junior, Major: International Business
  6. Nicholls State UniversityRachel Howie, Junior, Major: Pre-Med Biology
  7. Prairie View A&M UniversityJontia Brown, Senior, Major: Mechanical Engineering, and Mariah James, Junior, Major: Computer Engineering
  8. Rice UniversityMijin Han, Senior, Major: English Literature
  9. SUNY Binghamton UniversityAastha Kataky, Sophomore, Major: Economics
  10. Syracuse UniversityMaryann Akinboyewa, Senior, Major: Marketing & Writing and Rhetoric
  11. University of HoustonArsheen Memon, Junior, Major: Finance, Chloe Stagner, Senior, Major: Entrepreneurship, and Kendra Atkins, Junior, Major: Marketing
  12. University of North Carolina at GreensboroNaomi Thomas, Sophomore, Major: Computer Science, Business Administration Double Major
  13. University of Texas at El PasoBrenda Simental, Sophomore, Major: Financial Analyst
  14. University of Texas-Pan AmericanGabriela Hernandez, Junior, Major: Management, and Rebecca Reyes, Junior, Major: Management

"We must be proactive about encouraging future WBEs of all backgrounds see the possibilities in opening their own businesses. The SEP program does this by bringing students from across the country, in different fields and with diverse backgrounds. It is important throughout the WBENC community that we are intentional in the development of young women," said Prince-Eason.

Since its inception in 2008, more than 120 students have graduated from the program. WBENC is proud to support women-owned businesses at all levels of success. According to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express, there were more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses operating in 2014. Almost 3 million of those businesses are owned by a woman of color. This surging-growth pace in women-owned businesses, which has doubled in three years, has helped to generate nearly $1.5 trillion in revenues for women-owned businesses. www.wbenc.org/student-entrepreneur-program/

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council Presents 2015 National Conference & Business Fair In Austin, Texas -- June 23-25

May 5, 2015

WASHINGTON -- The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) will convene over 3,500 executives from the nation's leading corporations, government entities and Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) to generate business opportunities and stimulate economic growth at the 2015 WBENC National Conference & Business Fair in Austin, TX, June 23-25.

Under the banner of "Join Forces. Succeed Together.", WBENC's 16th NC&BF is the largest and most prestigious gathering of corporate and government buyers and women's business suppliers in the nation. The event offers three days of nationally-acclaimed speakers, executive workshops and vital MatchMaking and networking opportunities, including the Business Fair, the largest of its kind with over 350 exhibitors. This year's Business Fair will highlight many of the WBENC-Certified WBEs who are displaying the "women owned logo" on their products. The logo debuted at the 2014 National Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

"Austin is a vibrant center for business leaders and innovators. WBENC is proud to be bringing together our powerful women's business enterprises with major corporations and government entities towards growing their companies and fueling the economy," said Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO. WBENC is a leader in women's business development and the nation's premier third-party certifier of WBEs as suppliers to corporations and government entities.

The event takes place in the 20th Anniversary Year of the Women's Business Council – Southwest (WBCS), the Host Council for the event and one of the founding Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) conducting WBENC certification following the national organization's founding in Dallas in 1997.

"We welcome women's business enterprises from across the country and around the world to enrich their companies and grow relationships with corporate and government customers, and other women's businesses," said Debbie Hurst, WBCS President. Hurst is also Chair of the Leadership Council at WBENC, representing the 14 RPOs, which conduct WBENC certification and provide business-building events in their regions, on the WBENC Board of Directors.

WBENC NC&BF attendees will have the opportunity to forge connections leading to new streams of revenue, innovative products and services, and distinctive value propositions. The event's robust workshops focus on relevant industry trends and challenges and feature decision makers who have driven measurable results in corporate-WBE partnerships.

Attendees will also hear from C-Suite decision makers who represent the 2015 Conference Co-Chairs Chevron, Dell Inc., PepsiCo, Inc.; The Pinnacle Group; Techway Services, Inc., and Trans-Expedite Inc.

The WBENC National Conference & Business Fair's Host Committee is chaired by Patti Winstaney, President, Aztec Promotional Group, LP; and includes Betty Manetta, President & CEO, Argent Associates, Inc.; Billie Bryant Schultz, CEO of CESCO, Inc.; Sharon Evans, President & CEO, CFj Manufacturing; Carrie Martinez, President, CM Productions, Inc.; Royalyn Reid, CEO, Consumer & Market Insights; Pamela O'Rourke, President & CEO, ICON Information Consultants, LP; Rosa Santana, CEO, Integrated Human Capital; Lindsay Stroh, Regional Vice President, KellyMitchell Group; Michelle Boggs, President & CEO, McKinley Marketing Partners; Stephanie Point, CEO, Point 2 Point Global Security, Inc.; Rachel Sanchez, CEO, Prestige Maintenance USA (PMUSA).

To register or gather more information, and see a full list of sponsors, go to conf.wbenc.org

About WBENC Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with over 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. www.wbenc.org.

About WBCS Headquartered in Arlington, Texas, the Women's Business Council – Southwest (WBCS) is dedicated to increasing mutually beneficial procurement opportunities between certified woman-owned businesses, corporations, businesses, government entities, institutions and other organizations. www.wbcsouthwest.org.

+ The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Applauds Walmart as First Corporate Leader to Feature Women Owned Logo Products

Women Owned Logo

March 12, 2015

WASHINGTON -- The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is proud to celebrate Walmart as the first retailer to feature Women Owned Business (WOB) products, making them nationally available in-store, online and identified by a unique, universally recognized Women Owned logo. Developed by WBENC and WEConnect International with support by Walmart, the Women Owned logo signifies to shoppers that a product is made or supplied by a woman-owned business.

"Walmart is bringing Women Owned business products to homes and stores across America – and giving consumers the chance to experience the quality, value and innovation that women's businesses can deliver," said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation's leader in women's business growth. "We applaud Walmart's significant leadership role in supporting women-owned businesses by making Women Owned logo products more visible and readily available."

Walmart sells thousands of products from women-owned businesses both in-store and online and this month will place six products on feature with the "Women Owned" logo in store, including Milo's Tea®, Jelmar CLR Remover™, HMS Mfg. Co Hefty® Wastebaskets, Goldbug Inc. Carter's Newborn Shoes, Ariela and Associates Smart & Sexy® Bra, and Ziegenfelder's Budget Saver Pops®. The products will be sold in all Walmart stores nationwide and will have a prominent presence on Walmart.com/WomenOwned, a new page that also launched to showcase products made by women-owned businesses. The online categories range from beauty and clothing, to electronics, health, and home improvement.

"By buying products with the Women Owned label, consumers are choosing to enable Women Owned businesses to grow and the economy to thrive," said Patricia Birmingham, VP Marketing at WBENC. Women's businesses nationwide generate $1.4 trillion in revenue, employ nearly 7.9 million employees and have been a source of 274,000 jobs since the recession in 2007, according to the American Express OPEN State of Women Owned Businesses 2014.

"Walmart is throwing open the doors of opportunity for our national and international community of Women's Business Enterprises," added Candace Waterman, Chief of Staff, Certification & Program Operations at WBENC. "WBEs can be inspired to take their product to the next level of exposure and volume."

Any product with the Women Owned logo is produced or supplied by a company that is owned and operated by a woman or women, as certified as a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) by WBENC in the United States, and by WEConnect International globally. There are over 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs in the U.S.

The Women Owned logo also taps into the buying potential of women. "Women make over 80 percent of all consumer buying decisions globally. WBENC believes that creating awareness of these products can result in sales growth, increased consumer knowledge and loyalty," said Laura Rehbehn, Senior Manager, Marketing, Communications & Brand Management, WBENC.

Walmart Stores, Inc. is being honored this year as one of WBENC's America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises, at the March 18-19 WBENC Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises in Baltimore, Md. There WBENC is convening over 1,500 WBEs, corporations and government agencies to generate business together, acquire business building skills, and learn more about the Women Owned logo opportunities. womenownedlogo.org

About WBENC

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with over 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC-Certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America's most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. www.wbenc.org.

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Announces Annual List Of America's Top Corporations For Women's Business Enterprises

March 6, 2015

WASHINGTON -- In concert with Women's History Month, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today announced the 15th annual list of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs), the only national award honoring corporations for world-class Supplier Diversity programs that reduce barriers and drive growth for Women's Business Enterprises.

"WBENC's Top Corporations set the standard for enabling women suppliers to access increased opportunities in new markets – both domestically and internationally," said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation's leader in women's business development. "WBENC-Certified WBEs in turn are able to fuel innovation, and empower communities through economic growth and job creation."

The award announcement aligns with both Women's History Month and International Women's Day on March 8th, recognizing the accomplishments of both the WBENC Top Corporations and the WBEs they hire who compete successfully across industries and the global marketplace. WBENC's Top Corporations will be honored in front of an audience of 1,500 attendees at the WBENC Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises taking place March 18-19, 2015 in Baltimore, MD. The event will showcase senior executives discussing the trends, challenges, and opportunities across multiple industries which impact the supply chain landscape. To join C-suite and senior executives of WBENC Corporate and Government Members, WBEs, WBENC's Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), and other stakeholders in the women's and diverse business community at the WBENC Summit & Salute visit http://summit.wbenc.org. The Top Corporations all have exemplary leading supplier diversity programs. WBENC's 2014 Top Corporations for Women Business Enterprises are:

Accenture

AECOM

Alcatel-Lucent

Allstate Insurance Co.

Altria Group, Inc.

AT&T

Avis Budget Group, Inc.

Bank of America

BP America Inc.

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Capital One

Chevron

CVS Health

Dell Inc.

DuPont

Energy Future Holdings

Entergy Corporation

Exxon Mobil Corporation

EY

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Ford Motor Company

General Mills

General Motors Company

IBM

Johnson & Johnson

Kellogg Company

Kelly Services, Inc.

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Macy's, Inc.

ManpowerGroup

Marriott International, Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc.

MGM Resorts International

Office Depot, Inc.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

PepsiCo, Inc.

Pfizer Inc

Pitney Bowes Inc.

Raytheon Company

Shell

Target Corporation

The Coca-Cola Company

The Kroger Co.

The Procter & Gamble Company

The Walt Disney Company

TOYOTA

United Airlines

UPS

Verizon

Walmart Stores, Inc.

Wells Fargo

Under the banner of "Join Forces. Succeed Together.", WBENC's Summit & Salute is a major national event designed to drive business development and collaborative success among WBENC's Corporate and Government Members and WBEs. Sponsored by Accenture, EY and Ampcus, the Summit & Salute provides access to the business intelligence and senior-level networking opportunities that enable sustainable growth. The Summit & Salute also honors 14 Women's Business Enterprise Stars, each one representing a WBENC Regional Partner Organization.

About WBENC

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with over 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC-Certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America's most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.

+ 14 Women's Business Leaders Named 2015 "Stars" By Women's Business Enterprise National Council

Washington, DC, December 18 - Fourteen exemplary women business leaders will receive the nation's premier award for excellence among Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) bestowed by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) at its Salute to Women's Business Enterprises gala on March 19, 2015. The event concludes WBENC’s annual Summit & Salute convening more than 1,500 corporate and government executives, WBEs and members of WBENC’s Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

“WBENC’s 14 WBE Stars are exceptional leaders who are forging new ways to deliver value to their customers and their communities,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation’s leader in women’s business development. “They illustrate the powerful contributions that women’s businesses make to the economic growth of this nation.”

The 2015 WBENC WBE Stars are selected by WBENC's 14 RPOs, which process WBENC's world-class certification of WBEs, in addition to providing skills- and business-building programs in their respective regions.

Inspired by WBENC’s theme “Join Forces. Succeed Together.” the Summit & Salute is designed to drive business development and collaborative success among WBENC’s Corporate and Government Members and WBEs. Sponsored by Accenture and EY, the two-day event provides vital access to the thought leaders, business intelligence and senior-level networking opportunities that enable sustainable growth for WBEs.

WBENC is presenting a robust suite of workshops on key industry specific topics for WBE business growth featuring executives from WBENC’s America’s Top Corporations for 2014. Additionally 1:1 MatchMaker Meeting opportunities and roundtable Meet & Greet are available during the Procurement Opportunity Connection for WBENC-Certified WBEs.

The following are the 2015 WBENC Women's Business Enterprise Stars, along with the RPOs they each represent:

Imelda Alejandrino

CEO
AP42, Inc.
Astra Women’s Business Alliance

Alison Chung

President
ALC TeamWerks, Inc.
Women’s Business Development Center-Chicago

Julie Garcia, Ph.D.

President
Action Service Corporation
Women’s Business Development Council of Florida

Angelica Garcia-Dunn

President
AIM Over-The-Road, LLC
Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance

Janie Goldberg

President
OmniSource Marketing Group, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council- Great Lakes

Vivian Isaak

President
Magnum Group, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council PA-DE-sNJ

Kelly Kolar

Principal
Kolar Design Inc.
Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council

Teresa Lawrence

President
Delta Personnel, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council South

Lily Otieno

CEO
Infinity Business Solutions
Women’s Business Enterprise Council- West

Rachel Sanchez

CEO
Prestige Maintenance USA, LTD
Women’s Business Council- Southwest

Hallie Satz

CEO
HighRoad Press, LLC
Women Presidents’ Educational Organization – NY

Jacqueline Smith

President
New Kent Coatings, Inc.
Women Presidents’ Educational Organization – DC

Elizabeth Tucker

Founder
KNF&T Staffing Resources Inc.
Center for Women & Enterprise

Kittie Watson, Ph.D.

President
Innolect Inc.
Greater Women’s Business Council

About WBENC

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


For photos contact Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom LLC • romneycom@gmail.com • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140

+ NAFE Announces 2014 "Women Of Excellence" Awards, Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO Of WBENC, Wins For Outstanding Business Achievement and Service

November 4, 2014

New York, NY -- The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) announced the 2014 Women of Excellence Award recipients, and Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), was bestowed recognition as a “Woman of Achievement” for her proven success in business and in serving others in her workplace and around the globe.

The announcement was made by Dr. Betty Spence, president of NAFE, who describes the winners as “women who have overcome obstacles in achieving heights in their own careers. But not satisfied with that, they then have turned adversity to advantage, working with vision and generosity to ensure that the women who follow are successful.”

“We at WBENC are so proud to collaborate with the most passionate corporate executives and the most talented women’s business enterprises across the country in fueling women’s business growth. We thank NAFE for its leadership in preparing and supporting women’s excellence in both the corporate and entrepreneurial realms,” said Prince-Eason. WBENC is a leading third party certifier of Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) providing executive education, robust business development and MatchMaking opportunities for its WBEs and Corporate and Government Members.

Here is a list of the 2014 NAFE Women of Excellence winners. A full list with biographies can be found here: http://workingmother.com/WOMEX .

  • Woman of Achievement: Pamela Prince-Eason, President & CEO, Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Activist: Susan Alexander, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Biogen Idec
  • Community Service -- Corporate: Doris Gonzalez, Director, Americas, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM
  • Community Service -- Education: Jo Kirchner, President & CEO, Primrose Schools Corporate Women's Champion: Kerrie MacPherson, Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Digital Trailblazer: Susan Penfield, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Entrepreneur--Americas: Patricia Maldonado, Owner/Manager, NANAY SRL, Bolivia
  • Entrepreneur—Europe and Asia: Barbara Schonhofer, Senior Vice President & CEO, Executive Search, Jacobson Group, UK
  • Global Women's Champion: Sharon D'Agostino, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Johnson & Johnson
  • Healthcare Champion for Women:** Dr. Robina Smith, Breast Cancer Surgeon, St. Jude Heritage Medical Group
  • Mentorship: *Tammy Weinbaum, Senior Vice President, General Manager, American Express, Americas North
  • Rising Star: Tanneasha Gordon, Manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • NAFE Ace: Vivian Haire, Rancho Cucamonga, CA NAFE

About Working Mother Media

Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corporation (bonnier.com), is the publisher of Working Mother magazine and its companion website, workingmother.com, and the Working Mother Research Institute. The National Association for Female Executives (nafe.com) and Diversity Best Practices (diversitybestpractices.com) are also units within WMM. Working Mother Media’s mission is to serve as a champion of culture change. Working Mother magazine is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

About WBENC

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


WBENC Contact: Lynthia Romney, romneycom@gmail.com 914-238-2145

NAFE Contact: Andrea Kaplan, andreakaplanpr@gmail.com, 917-836-2741

+ WBENC President & CEO Pamela Prince-Eason Named to National Women's Business Council

October 17, 2014

Washington, DC -- Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) has been named to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a Congressionally-appointed role. The NWBC is a non-partisan Federal advisory organization that provides independent council to the White House, Congress and the Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners.

“We are proud to welcome Pamela Prince-Eason to the Council,” said sitting NWBC Chair Carla Harris, “She is an exemplary leader who is driving both women’s business growth and the advancement of women in business.”

“It is my honor to bring to the Council the expertise of WBENC’s corporate leaders and the perspectives of our certified Women’s Business Enterprises,” Prince-Eason said. “WBENC’s Corporate Members have established many best practices of inclusion of WBEs in their supply chains. I hope to share that wisdom from the private sector to assist the Federal government in achieving women’s business goals.”

The NWBC is the government’s only independent voice for women entrepreneurs. Members are prominent women business owners and leaders of women’s business organizations. NWBC is composed of 15 members who are appointed to three-year terms.

WBENC is among the six representatives of national women’s business organizations on the Council, including Association of Women’s Business Centers; Astia; National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO); Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO).

WBENC is a national leader driving women’s business growth. It brings together over 300 Corporate and Government Members with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs to generate business together and fuel the economy. In conjunction with its 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) spanning the country, it delivers thought leadership forums, business development workshops, MatchMaker meetings, executive education and robust business networking.

Prince-Eason’s dedication to women’s business leadership is illustrated in her many professional and personal roles advancing women’s excellence and opportunity. She assumed the position of WBENC President and CEO in 2011 after holding the position of Vice President of Worldwide Procurement for Pfizer Inc., during which time she also served as Chair of the WBENC Board of Directors.

She serves on the advisory committees of several corporations, including the Ernst & Young Winning Women program, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Walmart’s Women Owned Business Advisory Council, Shell Diversity & Inclusion Collaboration Partners, MGM Resorts International Diversity Advisory Board, as well as the Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative.

Additionally, she has been a strong supporter of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), the premier supply management association in the world, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). She serves as a member of the U.S. Department of State’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership (ICWBL) Subcommittee on Access to Markets; is an active collaborator on Small Business and Women & Girl’s initiatives through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

In addition to Prince-Eason, NWBC named Anne D. Shybunko-Moore, President and Owner of GSE Dynamics Inc. and Rosana Privitera Biondo, a founding employee of Mark One Electric Co., Inc., to the Council.

About WBENC

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


Contact: Lynthia Romney • romneycom@gmail.com • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Bestows Applause Award to Two Corporate Leaders Advancing Women's Business

July 8, 2014

Washington, DC –- The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) bestowed two Applause Awards on leaders who have made exceptional accomplishments that expand opportunities for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) on a national or international level. The honorees were Eyvon C. Austin, Global Supplier Diversity Director, The Coca-Cola Company, and Larry W. Caldwell, Vice President, IT & Corporate Services Procurement, PepsiCo. The awards were presented at the WBENC 2014 National Conference and Business Fair in Philadelphia, PA. The event brought together over 3,000 corporations and WBEs to generate business together and fuel the economy.

“WBENC is proud to recognize Eyvon Austin and Larry Caldwell for their outstanding dedication and leadership in changing the landscape for women’s businesses and helping to drive their success,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC.

WBENC’s Applause Award recipients are selected based on their impact on the growth of WBEs; creation of policies, procedures or initiatives that increase opportunities for WBEs, and innovative and inspirational leadership on behalf of women business owners and their companies.

Eyvon Austin:

As Global Supplier Diversity Director, The Coca-Cola Company, Austin is responsible for promoting and increasing the inclusion of diverse suppliers through the company’s global supply chain. A professional with over 17 years of experience in minority and women’s business project management, and who has been with The Coca-Cola Company since 2003, Austin has a successful track record of adding value through innovative business relations and enhancing the company’s brand through partnerships with key leaders and diverse business organizations. An advocate internally and externally, Austin’s commitment to developing relationships with diverse suppliers and key stakeholders has contributed to Coca-Cola’s success in supplier diversity. Through diverse supplier identification and development and collaboration with the procurement community teams and business partners, she creates advocacy among Coca-Cola associates, including category leaders, business leaders and stakeholders.

Austin is actively engaged in the Company’s 5by20 Global initiative to empower five million women entrepreneurs by 2020 and is a past participant in Coca-Cola’s Women in Leadership Program, which is designed to provide key female talent an opportunity for accelerated development. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Austin was Supplier Diversity Administrator with United Space Alliance (USA), the former primary space operations contractor for The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA).

Austin serves on the WBENC Board of Directors and is Vice Chair of the Global Programs Committee. She is also very active in other community and service organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; Girl Scouts of America, and The United Way. Austin has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Tougaloo College and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration & Policy Analysis from The University of South Florida. She resides in Atlanta with her husband and daughter.

Larry Caldwell:

As Vice President, IT & Corporate Services Procurement, PepsiCo, he is responsible for sourcing of IT goods and services for the global BIS function and sourcing business transportation services, global travel and corporate services for PepsiCo globally. He and his team are responsible for the support of several systems and tools specifically utilized by the global procurement team.

Caldwell began his career at PepsiCo in 1983. Prior to his current role, he was Vice President of Procurement for PepsiCo’s Eastern European operations, responsible for direct materials and other goods and services sourcing. His service to PepsiCo has also included Director - Service and Distribution of Frito-Lay Canada, Director of Other Goods and Services Purchasing for Frito-Lay, Inc., as well as management of positions in Finance and Operations. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Caldwell served as Finance Manager with The Gillette Company.

Caldwell is a certified public accountant and holds a Master’s degree in business and a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M University Commerce. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for both WBENC and Women's Business Council Southwest (WBCS). He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Share Plus Federal Bank where he chaired the Audit Committee. Caldwell and his wife live in Fairview, Texas, and are the proud parents of three children.

About WBENC

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


For photos contact Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom LLC • romneycom@gmail.com • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Honors Kathy Homeyer With William J. Alcorn Award

Highest WBENC Accolade for an Individual Bestowed at 2014 National Conference & Business Fair

July 3, 2014

Washington, DC –- The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) honored Kathy Homeyer, Director of Supplier Diversity at UPS, with the William J. Alcorn Award. This award recognizes outstanding leadership contributions made by an individual in support of the WBENC mission to fuel economic growth through access to opportunities, by identifying, certifying and facilitating development of women-owned businesses. The award ceremony took place at WBENC’s 2014 National Conference and Business Fair, convening over 3,000 corporations and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) in Philadelphia, PA.

The William J. Alcorn Award was named in honor of WBENC’s first Chair of the Board of Directors, William J. Alcorn, retired Senior Vice President and Chief Purchasing Officer of the J.C. Penney Company, for his years of dedication and outstanding leadership.

In presenting the award to Homeyer, William J. Alcorn said, “Kathy Homeyer is an extraordinary leader whose positive spirit has resulted in tremendous opportunities for women’s businesses at UPS and nationally.”

As director of the UPS Supplier Diversity Process, Homeyer manages internal and external programs designed to increase representation of small, minority- and women-owned businesses in UPS's supplier network.

Homeyer was appointed to the Corporate Supplier Diversity team in August 2002. As Director, she works with UPS managers nationwide to implement initiatives that identify potential suppliers and provide them with critical information and access to UPS's purchasing process. She also is responsible for the establishment of new, and the development of existing, UPS relationships with small, women, and minority business organizations.

Homeyer began her UPS career in accounting in 1980 in Missouri. During her nearly 35-year career, she has held a number of increasingly responsible positions, including district controller in Colorado, California and Texas. In that capacity, she managed purchasing, supplier relations and technical support, as well as other aspects of finance.

As a member of UPS’s Supplier Diversity team, Homeyer has collected numerous accolades for her outstanding leadership. Most recently, she received both the President’s and Advocate of the Year awards from the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC). She has been honored by several magazines including MBN USA, WE (Women's Enterprise) USA, and DiversityBusiness.com for making a difference in supplier diversity. Additional awards received include Best of the Decade, Hall of Fame, Top 30 Supplier Diversity, and Champions of Diversity, as well as being listed in the Continental Who’s Who registry for her involvement, leadership and passion. In the first quarter of 2014, WE USA listed her among the Top 100 Leaders in Corporate Supplier Diversity, and DiversityPlus magazine named her one of the Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity.

In addition to her corporate responsibilities, Homeyer currently serves as Treasurer and Board Member of WBENC and Women’s Business Council Southwest (WBCS). She is also an advisory board member for Enterprising Women magazine, and has served as a Board Member for the Greater Women's Business Council (GWBC).

Prior to working for UPS, Homeyer was a manager and buyer in the retail clothing industry. She is a native of Washington, Missouri, and received her degree in business administration from Regis University, Denver, Colorado.

She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, twin sons and a daughter.

About WBENC: Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation’s leader in women’s business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with over 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


For photos contact Lynthia Romney • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140 • romneycom@gmail.com

June 25, 2014

Washington, DC -- The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), WEConnect International and Walmart have joined forces to establish a unique logo for retail packaging of products from women-owned businesses. This new logo will bring consumer recognition of products provided by women-owned businesses on store shelves both in the US and international markets. Women-owned businesses that are WBENC and/or WEConnect International certified will be eligible to display the logo on their product packaging. Walmart’s collaboration with WBENC and WEConnect International on the new logo is aligned with their overall strategy and focus on women-owned businesses.

In September 2011, Walmart launched its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative, using its unique size and scale to lift women around the world. As a part of this initiative, Walmart has committed to source $20 billion from women for the U.S. business and to double sourcing from women internationally by the end of 2016. In further support, Walmart has collaborated with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International to establish a logo to help consumers easily recognize products from women-owned businesses in stores.

Women-owned businesses contribute over $1.3 trillion dollars to the US economy and women are responsible for over 80 percent of the consumer decisions globally. Creating awareness of these products can result in sales growth, increased consumer knowledge and loyalty. Both WBENC and WEConnect International focus on women’s business growth, which will be a natural outcome of the visibility and promotion of this logo.

“At Walmart we are committed to empowering women and impacting women-owned businesses from around the world—and so are our customers. In fact, we recently conducted a survey that found 90 percent of female customers in the US would go out of their way to purchase products from women, believing they would offer higher quality,” stated MiKaela Wardlaw Lemmon, senior director of Women’s Economic Empowerment at Walmart “We hope our collaboration with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International will make customers around the world more aware of great products from women-owned businesses, and help these women continue to grow their businesses.”

Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of WBENC and Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, recognize the leadership and innovation that Walmart has brought by helping to develop the symbol as well as providing the research to support the launch and selection of the logo. Walmart will have products on their store shelves with the new women-owned business logo by September 2014. They look forward to seeing many retail companies stocking their shelves with these branded products in the near future. http://womenownedlogo.com


Contact: Lynthia Romney • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140 • romneycom@gmail.com

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council Presents 2014 National Conference & Business Fair in Philadelphia June 23-25

Over 3,000 will gather to generate business that creates jobs

Washington, DC –_ The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) will convene more than 3,000 decision makers from the nation’s leading corporations, government entities and women’s business enterprises (WBEs) to generate business together and stimulate economic growth at the 2014 WBENC National Conference & Business Fair (NC&BF) in Philadelphia, PA, June 23-25.

Under the banner of “Join Forces. Succeed Together.” WBENC’s 15th NC&BF is the largest and most prestigious gathering of corporate and government buyers and women’s business suppliers in the nation. The event offers three days of nationally acclaimed speakers, executive workshops and vital networking opportunities, notably at the Business Fair, the largest of its kind with over 300 exhibitors.

“WBENC empowers women’s businesses to grow and succeed. Our National Conference and Business Fair delivers on that goal with unparalleled access to key decision makers and business-building skills,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO.

Set in a city that is both rooted in U.S. history and a hub of modern business development, the event will be hosted by the Philadelphia-based Women’s Business Enterprise Council of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey (WBEC PA-DE-sNJ). It will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott.

“As a first-time host council for the conference, we’re excited to highlight our beautiful city to the thousands of women business owners attending,” said Geri Swift, president of WBEC PA-DE-sNJ.

Attendees can forge connections leading to new streams of revenue, innovative products and services, and sharper value propositions. For example, the event’s robust workshops focus on what WBEs need to know to enhance their positions as suppliers: how to hone skills that are sought-after by their clients, leverage existing expertise for greater growth, and build their capacity to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of major corporations and government entities.

Attendees will also hear from C-suite decision makers who have driven measurable results in corporate-WBE partnerships, and represent the 2014 Corporate Co-chairs: Ernst & Young and Bristol-Myers Squibb; and WBE Co-chairs, Philadelphia-based Arbill and New Jersey-based IPAK.

The conference is open to everyone. For information, and see a full list of sponsors, go to http://conf.wbenc.org.


www.wbenc.org
www.wbecouncil.org
Contact: Lynthia Romney (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140 • romneycom@gmail.com

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Announces 14th Annual List of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises

March 3, 2014

Washington, DC/PRNewswire/ -- The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today announced the 14th annual list of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs), the only national award honoring corporations for leading Supplier Diversity programs that are breaking down barriers and proactively integrating Women's Business Enterprises into their supply chains.

"Our Top Corporations know that stronger WBEs will drive new sources of revenue, deepen customer satisfaction and generate a stronger economy," said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation's leader in women's business development.

The Top Corporations will be honored at the WBENC Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises taking place March 18-20, 2014 in New Orleans, LA. The event will showcase their top executives discussing the inclusion of WBEs in the supply chain before 1,500 attendees including C-suite and senior executives of WBENC Corporate and Government Members, WBEs, WBENC's Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), and other stakeholders in the women's and diverse business community.

The Top Corporations all have exemplary leading supplier diversity programs. WBENC's 2013 Top Corporations for Women Business Enterprises are:

Accenture
Adecco
Alcatel-Lucent
Allstate Insurance Co.
Altria Group, Inc.
AT&T
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Bank of America
BP America Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Capital One
Chevron
Chrysler Group LLC
Dell Inc.
Energy Future Holdings
Ernst & Young LLP
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Ford Motor Company
General Mills
General Motors Company
IBM Corporation
Johnson & Johnson
Kelly Services, Inc.
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Macy's Inc.
ManpowerGroup
Marriott International, Inc.
MGM Resorts International
Office Depot, Inc.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pfizer Inc
Pitney Bowes Inc.
Raytheon Company
Sandia National Laboratories
Shell
Target Corporation
The Coca-Cola Company
Toyota
United Airlines
United Technologies Corporation
UPS
URS Corporation
Verizon
Walmart Stores, Inc.

Under the banner of "Join Forces. Succeed Together.", WBENC's Summit & Salute is a major national event designed to drive business development and collaborative success among WBENC's Corporate and Government Members and WBEs. Sponsored by Accenture and Ernst & Young LLP, the Summit & Salute provides vital access to the business intelligence and senior-level networking opportunities that enable sustainable growth. The Summit & Salute also honors 14 Women's Business Enterprise Stars, each one representing a WBENC Regional Partner Organization and this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Women's Business Enterprise Council South, whose headquarters is in Louisiana.

"We look forward to additional companies joining the list of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises and to charting the successes of our current honorees to continue to Join Forces and ensure that Leading Companies are recognized for their commitments. This 'Success Together' will allow WBEs to thrive," Prince-Eason said.

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation's leader in women's business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations.


Contact: Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom L.L.C. • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140 • romneycom@gmail.com

+ 14 Women's Business Leaders Named 2014 “Stars” By Women's Business Enterprise National Council

Washington, DC-- Fourteen exemplary women business leaders will receive the nation's premier award for excellence among Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) bestowed by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) at its Salute to Women's Business Enterprises. The gala evening of March 20, 2014, is the concluding event to WBENC’s annual Summit & Salute convening some 1,500 corporate and government executives, WBEs and members of WBENC’s Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) at the New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA.

“WBENC’s 14 WBE Stars are exceptional leaders whose accomplishments make a powerful and positive impact on their industries and their communities,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the nation’s leader in women’s business development.

Inspired by WBENC’s theme “Join Forces. Succeed Together.”, the Summit & Salute is designed to drive business development and collaborative success among WBENC’s Corporate and Government Members and WBEs. Sponsored by Accenture and Ernst & Young, the three-day event provides vital access to the thought leaders, business intelligence and senior-level networking opportunities that enable sustainable growth.

WBENC is presenting a rich line-up of workshops on key topics for WBE business growth featuring executives from WBENC’s Americas Top Corporations for 2013. Additionally MatchMaker meeting opportunities in both roundtable and one-on-one settings are available for WBENC-Certified WBEs.

The 2014 WBENC WBE Stars are selected by WBENC's 14 RPOs, which process WBENC's world-class certification of WBEs, in addition to providing skills- and business-building programs in their respective regions.

The following are the 2014 WBENC Women's Business Enterprise Stars, along with the RPOs they each represent:

Judith Anderson, CEO
Identity Systems, Inc.
Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council

Nancy Balkcom, President
MySupplies
Greater Women’s Business Council

Lisa Michele Chretien, President
EventMover, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council—West

Jacqueline Cleary, CEO
Atlas Data Systems, LLC
Women Presidents’ Educational Organization – NY

Peggy Del Fabbro, CEO
M. Davis & Sons, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council PA-DE-sNJ

Lili Hall, President/CEO
KNOCK, Inc.
Women’s Business Development Center-Chicago

Jane Henry, President
Xcution, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance

Jennifer Jeansonne, CEO
Eagle Consulting, LLC
Women’s Business Enterprise Council-South

Barbara Levine, CEO
Exam Coordinators Network
Women’s Business Development Center-Florida

Royalyn Reid, President
Consumer & Market Insights, LLC
Women’s Business Council-Southwest

Kim Sherrie Sawyer, President & General Counsel
The Locator Services Group Ltd.
Center for Women & Enterprise

Elizabeth Schmidt, CEO
Atlas Tool, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council-Great Lakes

Karen Sutter, President
Sutter Design, Inc.
Women Presidents’ Educational Organization – DC

Barbara I. Wichmann, CEO
ARTEMIA Communications, Inc.
Astra Women’s Business Alliance

About WBENC: Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation’s leader in women’s business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 12,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


Contact: Lynthia Romney • romneycom@gmail.com • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140

+ WBENC Names Benita Fortner As Chair of Board of Directors

11/19/2013

Washington, DC, November 19 -– The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) has named Benita Fortner, Director of Supplier Diversity for Raytheon Company, as Chair of the WBENC Board of Directors. Fortner previously served as First Vice Chair to Laura Taylor, Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Operations at Pitney Bowes Inc. Taylor has served as WBENC Board Chair since 2011 and will continue to sit on the Board as Immediate Past Chair.

“Benita Fortner has been a tremendous partner to me over the last three years. We at WBENC are proud and honored that she will bring her talent and deep experience to leading the Board,” Taylor said.

“Benita is an outstanding professional,” added Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO and former Board Chair. “I have enjoyed working with her in her many roles contributing greatly to the WBENC Board; and I am very excited that she will be our organization’s Board Chair.”

Prior to her role as First Vice Chair, Fortner served as Chair, Member Services and Programs of the WBENC Board. She has been involved in minority and women business outreach and development for more than 20 years, and has served in numerous leadership roles for business, government and educational organizations.

Additionally, WBENC announced a new slate of officers for new terms ending December 2015. They are:

  • Theresa Harrison, First Vice Chair of the WBENC Board. Harrison is Director of Supplier Diversity at Ernst & Young LLP. She previously served as Chair of Corporate Membership and Revenue Generation, and has served as Board Liaison with the WBENC Women's Enterprise Forum.
  • Kim Brown, Second Vice Chair. Brown is Vice President, General Procurement and Supplier Diversity, Dell Inc., and previously served as Secretary to the WBENC Board.
  • Debra Jennings-Johnson, Secretary. Jennings-Johnson is Director, Supplier Diversity at BP America. She was previously Second Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, is the Chair of the Ambassadors initiative, and has served as Chair of the Marketing Committee.
  • Kathy Homeyer, Treasurer, continuing her prior role on the Board. Homeyer is Director, Supplier Diversity, UPS.

“WBENC is pleased to have such accomplished and passionate professionals leading our organization as we continue to grow and thrive,” Taylor added.

For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


Contact Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom LLC • romneycom@gmail.com • (914) 238-2145

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council Presents 2013 National Conference & Business Fair in Minneapolis June 25-27

3,500 will gather to generate business that creates jobs

3/26/2013

Washington, DC -– The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) will convene 3,500 decision makers from the nation’s leading corporations, government entities and women’s business enterprises (WBEs) to generate business together and stimulate economic growth at the 2013 WBENC National Conference & Business Fair in Minneapolis, MN, June 25-27, 2013.

Under the banner of “Join Forces. Succeed Together.” the event is the largest and most prestigious gathering of corporate and government buyers and women’s business suppliers where these stakeholders will forge connections leading to new streams of revenue, innovative products and services, and employment.

“Our vision is to fuel economic growth, job creation and sustainability. To achieve that, our National Conference and Business Fair offers access to world-class intelligence, business-building skills and vital networking contacts,” said WBENC President and CEO Pamela Prince-Eason. WBENC is a leader in women’s business development and the nation’s premier third-party certifier of WBEs as suppliers to corporations and government entities.

Set in vibrant downtown Minneapolis, home to an impressive concentration of Fortune 500 companies, the event offers three days of nationally-acclaimed speakers, interactive workshops and business-building opportunities including the Business Fair, the largest of its kind with over 350 exhibitors. WBENC’s robust workshops focus on what WBEs need to know to enhance their positions as suppliers: how to hone skills that are sought-after by their clients, leverage existing expertise for greater growth, and build their capacity to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of major corporations and government entities.

Attendees will also hear from C-Suite decision makers who have driven measurable results in corporate-WBE partnerships, and represent the 2013 Conference Co-Chairs:

  • Kathryn A. Tesija, Executive Vice President, Merchandising and Supply Chain, Target Corporation
  • Ronald J. Lewis, Vice President, Procurement, Chief Procurement Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Ranjini Poddar, President, Artech Information Systems LLC
  • Cassandra Sanford, CEO and Co-Founder, KellyMitchell Group

The Women’s Business Development Center of Chicago (WBDC-Chicago), including its local Minnesota office (WBDC-MN), led by Co-Founders and Co-Presidents Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner, is hosting the event. The National Conference Host Committee, is chaired by Sharon Avent, President and CEO of SMEAD Manufacturing Company, and includes 11 other exemplary women’s business leaders from the region: ARCTURIS; Creative Resources; Enterforce, Inc.; Global Capital, Ltd.; Innovative Office Solutions; INTREN; KNOCK, inc.; National Van Lines; Rose International, Inc.; Tembua: The Precise Language Solution, and The Bureau. In addition, it includes WBDC-MN Founding Partners Beth Kieffer Leonard, CPA, Managing Partner, Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP; Lisa Holter, Shareholder & Co-Chair, Private Equity and Counsel for Women, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., and Lindsay J. Sokolowski, Attorney and Shareholder, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

The WBDC-Chicago is one of WBENC’s 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPO) providing WBENC certification and a rich calendar of business-building events for WBENC-certified WBEs.

Early Bird discount is available through April 12, 2013. The conference is open to everyone. To register or gather more information, go to http://www.wbenc.org/wbencconf/.

2013 sponsors include Dell Inc.; UPS; PepsiCo, Inc.; Shell; Avis Budget Group, Inc.; Chevron; Pitney Bowes Inc.; General Mills; Raytheon Company; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Pfizer Inc; Wells Fargo; DTE Energy; Energy Future Holdings; Walmart/Sam's Club; Altria Group, Inc.; BP America Inc.; Accenture; Bank of America; IBM Corporation; ManpowerGroup; Microsoft Corporation; ALOM; ASAP Solutions Group, LLC, and Superior Workforce Solutions, Inc.

A full list is available at www.wbenc.org/wbencconf

About WBENC:

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council’s mission is to fuel economic growth through access to opportunities, by identifying, certifying and facilitating development of women-owned businesses. Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation’s leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with nearly 11,000 WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs). WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 550 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


Contact: Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom L.L.C. • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140 • romneycom@gmail.com

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Announces New List of 2012 America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises

3/1/2013

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today announced its 13th annual listing of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises, the only national award honoring corporations for world class programs that level the playing field for women’s business enterprises (WBEs) to compete for corporate business. This year WBENC recognizes 32 corporations for developing and driving best practices across their organizations that result in productive business partnerships with women entrepreneurs and valuable products and services for their customers.

“Thanks to the extraordinary leadership of our Top Corporations, women’s businesses are generating strategies and solutions for meeting the fast-changing needs of today’s marketplace. Together they are driving the innovation that fuels a stronger economy and creates jobs,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the leading authority on and advocate for WBEs as suppliers to the nation’s leading corporations and government entities.

The Top Corporations will be honored at the WBENC Summit & Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises taking place March 13-14 in Baltimore, MD. The event will showcase their top executives on mission-critical issues before an audience of over 1,000 C-suite and senior executives of WBENC Corporate and Government Members, WBEs, WBENC’s Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), and other stakeholders in the women’s and diverse business community.

Under the banner of the organization’s 2013 theme “Join Forces. Succeed Together,” WBENC's Summit & Salute is a major national event designed to drive business development and collaborative success among WBENC’s Corporate and Government Members and WBEs. Sponsored by Accenture and Ernst & Young LLP, the Summit & Salute provides vital access to the business intelligence and senior-level networking opportunities that enable sustainable growth.

“Our Top Corporations are deeply committed to strategic business development programs that cultivate competition and achieve measurable results,” Prince-Eason added. “This event will share their thought leadership with our entire community of partners and constituents.”

WBENC is honored to recognize the companies that make up the list of its 2012 Top Corporations for Women Business Enterprises:

Accenture
Alcatel-Lucent
AT&T
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Bank of America
BP America Inc.
Chevron Chrysler Group LLC
Dell Inc Energy
Future Holdings
Ernst & Young LLP
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Ford Motor Company
General Motors Company
IBM
Johnson & Johnson
Kelly Services, Inc.
Macy’s, Inc.
ManpowerGroup
Marriott International, Inc.
Office Depot
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.
Pitney Bowes Inc.
Shell Target Corporation
The Coca-Cola Company
United Airlines
UPS
Verizon Communications Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

AT&T1 , Energy Future Holdings2, and UPS, and including all predecessor companies, have been recognized by WBENC every year since the award was created 14 years ago. Avis Budget Group, Inc. and Chevron, including all predecessor companies, have each won the award 13 times. PepsiCo, Inc. has won 12 times. Bank of America, Office Depot and Shell have won 11 times. IBM has won 10 times. Pfizer and Verizon Communications Inc. have won nine times. Exxon Mobil Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Company have been on the list seven times. Alcatel-Lucent has won six times. Accenture, Dell Inc, and ManpowerGroup have been on the list five times. Ernst & Young LLP celebrates its fourth year on the list. Kelly Services, Inc. and Marriott International, Inc. have won three times. BP America Inc.; Ford Motor Company; Pitney Bowes Inc.; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Target Corporation, and United Airlines have won two times.

WBENC welcomes Chrysler Group LLC; General Motors Company; Macy’s, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to the list of WBENC’s Top Corporations for WBEs.

About WBENC:

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the leading advocate for, and authority on, Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) as suppliers and vendors to the nation's corporations. Founded in 1997, WBENC is also the nation’s leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with nearly 11,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 550 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


1AT&T Inc., formerly SBC Communications Inc., has won this award every year since its inception. AT&T Corp, which was acquired by SBC in late 2005, also was a multiyear winner. BellSouth Corporation, acquired by AT&T Inc. in late 2006, has also won the award in past years.
2 Formerly TXU Corp.


Contact: Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom L.L.C. • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140 • romneycom@gmail.com

+ WBENC Announces New List of 2011 America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises

2/15/2012

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today announced its 13th annual listing of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises, the only national award honoring corporations for world class programs that level the playing field for women's business enterprises (WBEs) to compete for corporate business. This year WBENC recognizes 29 corporations for developing and driving innovative best practices across their organizations that result in productive business partnerships with women entrepreneurs and valuable products and services for their customers.

The 2011 list is reflective of the progress honorees, working together with WBENC, have achieved in advancing the success of WBEs in doing business with corporations and government entities.

"Thanks to the extraordinary leadership of our Top Corporations, and the commitment of all our member companies, we have created tremendous opportunities for WBEs in the public and the private sectors. This work, in turn, fuels a stronger economy as WBEs add jobs and contribute to their communities," said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, the leading authority on and advocate for WBEs as suppliers to the nation's leading corporations and government entities.

"Our Top Corporations know that women's businesses drive innovation and competitiveness in today's marketplace. That's why they are deeply committed to strategic business development programs that span their organizations and achieve measurable results," Prince-Eason added.

Founded in 1997 and celebrating its 15th anniversary, WBENC is honored to recognize the companies that make up the list of its 2011 Top Corporations for Women Business Enterprises:

Accenture
Alcatel-Lucent
Avis Budget Group
AT&T
BP America
Bank of America
Chevron
The Coca-Cola Company
Dell, Inc.
Energy Future Holdings
Ernst & Young LLP
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Ford Motor Company
IBM Corporation
Johnson & Johnson
Kelly Services, Inc.
ManpowerGroup
Marriott International, Inc.
Office Depot
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pfizer Inc
Pitney Bowes Inc.
Shell Oil Company
Staples, Inc.
Target Corporation
United Airlines, Inc.
UPS
Verizon

The America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises Award presentation will take place at the Landmark Theatre in Baltimore, MD on Thursday, March 22, 2012. The event will occur during WBENC's 2012 Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises. The Summit program features thought leadership and business development opportunities, and the black tie Salute celebrates 14 Women's Business Enterprise Stars, exemplary WBEs from across the country.

Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU Corp.), UPS, and AT&T , including all predecessor companies, have been recognized by WBENC every year since the award was created 13 years ago. Avis Budget Group and Chevron, including all predecessor companies, have each won the award 12 times. PepsiCo, Inc. has won 11 times. Bank of America, Office Depot and Shell Oil Company have won 10 times. IBM Corporation has won nine times. Pfizer and Verizon have won eight times. Exxon Mobil Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Company have been on the list six times. Alcatel-Lucent has won five times. Accenture; Dell, Inc., and ManpowerGroup have been on the list four times. Ernst & Young LLP celebrates its third year on the list. Kelly Services, Inc. and Marriott International, Inc. have won two times.

WBENC also welcomes BP America; Ford Motor Company; Pitney Bowes Inc.; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Staples, Inc.; Target Corporation, and United Airlines, Inc. to the list of WBENC's Top Corporations for WBEs.

About WBENC: The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the leading advocate for, and authority on, Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) as suppliers and vendors to the nation's corporations. Founded in 1997, WBENC is also the nation's leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with nearly 11,000 WBENC-Certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America's most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to www.wbenc.org.


1 AT&T Inc., formerly SBC Communications Inc., has won this award every year since its inception. AT&T Corp, which was acquired by SBC in late 2005, also was a multiyear winner. BellSouth Corporation, acquired by AT&T Inc. in late 2006, has also won the award in past years.


Contact: Lynthia Romney, RomneyCom L.L.C. • (914) 238-2145 • (914) 589-2140 • romneycom@gmail.com

+ Women's Business Enterprise National Council Names Laura Taylor Board Chair, and Names Pamela Prince-Eason New President and CEO

4/1/2011

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) named Pamela Prince-Eason as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. Prince-Eason previously was Chair of the WBENC Board of Directors, and most recently held the position of Vice President of Worldwide Procurement for Pfizer Inc. WBENC is the leading advocate for and authority on women's business enterprises as suppliers to the nation's corporations.

"We are proud to have Pamela Prince-Eason bring her distinctive knowledge and experience spanning procurement, women's business leadership and non-profit organizations," said Laura Taylor, newly elected Chair of WBENC's Board of Directors. "She is superbly equipped to lead us in our next phase of growth as we approach our 15th anniversary in 2012." Prince-Eason assumes the position of President and CEO on April 1, 2011.

Prince-Eason has served in many leadership roles at WBENC, representing Pfizer on the WBENC Board as Treasurer, Chair and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, and Chair of the Technology and Audit Committees.

Her professional career as both corporate executive and woman business owner has honed her expertise in strategic leadership, management best practices and cost ownership processes. While at Pfizer, Prince-Eason advanced innovative strategies to deepen its commitment to women's business enterprises as premier suppliers. She also drove leadership opportunities for both women's business enterprises and internal Pfizer women to contribute valuably to the company.

Linda Denny, who has been President and CEO of WBENC since 2007, will become President Emeritus.

Under the direction of WBENC Board Chair Taylor, a transition team has been put in place to work with Prince-Eason as the new President and CEO to create a transition plan for WBENC's next phase of growth. The transition team will include two members of the Board of Directors and will call upon Denny's experience as President Emeritus. Work on that plan will begin immediately and the plan is expected to be presented in early May.

"We are extremely grateful to Linda Denny for her invaluable work in the strategic growth of our Corporate Membership, WBENC-certified WBEs, and many programs and services. Under her leadership, WBENC has continued to expand its influence in the U.S. and abroad. We look forward to availing ourselves of her expertise and counsel," said Taylor.

As WBENC Chair, Taylor brings a track record of creating innovative, business enhancing programs in her leadership roles at WBENC and at Pitney Bowes, where she is Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Operations. She previously served as First Vice Chair of the WBENC Board, Executive Champion of the WBENC Ambassador Program and Vice Chair of Development Committee, among many significant roles at WBENC.

Benita Fortner, Director of Supplier Diversity at Raytheon Company, was named First Vice Chair of the WBENC Board. Previously serving as Second Vice Chair, Fortner has extensive experience in the supplier diversity space and has served in numerous board positions at WBENC and other organizations. A Second Vice Chair will be appointed at a later time.

About Pamela Prince-Eason:
Pamela Prince-Eason is incoming President and CEO of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council Board of Directors. She is former Chair of the WBENC Board and most recently held the position of Vice President of Worldwide Procurement for Pfizer Inc, headquartered in New York City.

Prince-Eason brings to her new role at WBENC a distinctive suite of knowledge and experience from the procurement, women's business leadership and nonprofit realms.

She has served in many leadership roles at WBENC, representing Pfizer on the WBENC Board as Treasurer, Chair and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, and Chair of the Technology and Audit Committees.

A committed advocate of the WBENC mission, Prince-Eason advanced innovative strategies to deepen its commitment to women's business enterprises as premier suppliers while at Pfizer. She also drove leadership opportunities for both women's business enterprises and internal Pfizer women to contribute valuably to the company.

Prince-Eason's professional career as both corporate executive and woman business owner has honed her expertise in supplier diversity, strategic leadership, management best practices and cost ownership processes. While at Pfizer, she led Procurement Operations in Europe, Australia and New Zealand supporting Pfizer's multiple business units. Additionally, she led a variety of Global Procurement initiatives with focus on policies, procedures, technology and certification. Prior to her roles at Pfizer, she held various leadership positions at Texas Instruments, GSE Systems, Warner Lambert and as a co-owner of women-run RMR Associates, a consulting company where she advised major organizations such as Warner Lambert and Illinois Power.

Prince-Eason's dedication to women's business leadership is illustrated in her many professional and personal roles advancing women's excellence and opportunity. In addition to WBENC, she has been a strong supporter of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), the premier supply management association in the world, and the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council. In June 2006 she was recognized by Women's Enterprise USA as a leading woman impacting Supplier Diversity and in 2008 she was spotlighted for her support of women-owned businesses.

Prince-Eason holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from East Tennessee State University where she was a member of Phi Mu Sorority and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland with a Master of Administrative Science in International Business and Finance. In May 2008 she was among the first to receive ISM's Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) designation. She is an avid tennis player and will reside in Washington, DC.

About Laura Taylor:
Laura Taylor is the newly-elected Chair of the Board of WBENC. She is Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Operations, at Pitney Bowes Inc. She previously served as Vice Chair of WBENC, and in that role championed a key initiative of 2010, the re-launch of the WBENC Ambassador Program deepening WBENC's quality corporate membership.

Building strength from within the WBENC organization has been a theme of her contribution to WBENC over the years. As a member and then Vice Chair of the Development Committee, she worked with a team to develop an innovative dashboard for measuring goals and tracking progress for membership and sponsorship growth. She has also been instrumental in expanding membership, providing planning and guidance on membership recruiting events.

Taylor's reliable and strategic leadership is also reflected in her 25-year career at Pitney Bowes, where she has held management positions of increasing responsibility with multiple business units and at the corporate level. In her current position Taylor has accountability for indirect strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management, procurement solutions, supplier diversity, the supplier contract management process and business controls and compliance.

She was twice awarded the company's One Standard Excellence Award for results in business process improvement. As Vice President of Global Procurement Strategy and Operations, Taylor led and directed the creation of a Procurement competency model used to develop core capabilities, and she led the development and implementation of global procurement processes and solutions. Recently, she led the procurement work stream for a critical company-wide strategic transformation program. These and other contributions have helped to enable Pitney Bowes' strategic sourcing savings initiatives, which have realized over $300 million in benefits over the last six years.

Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Business Administration from Western Connecticut State University. She is an active volunteer in her local school system, has served on the Board of Directors of the Southwestern Connecticut Girl Scout Council, and in 2010 was the recipient of the William J. Alcorn Leadership Award.

About Benita Fortner:
Benita Fortner is the First Vice Chair of the WBENC Board. She was formerly Second Vice Chair and prior to that Chair, Member Services and Programs. She is Director of Supplier Diversity for Raytheon Company. She assumed the position in September of 2000 after serving as the socioeconomic program manager for Raytheon Systems Company.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Fortner served as the Corporate Liaison Officer and manager of Socioeconomic Programs for Hughes Electronics Corporation wherein she held numerous management positions over a twenty eight year career.

Fortner currently serves as one of three co-chairs of TRIAD (an aerospace and defense industry group focused on government small business issues.) She serves as chair of the Advisory Board for the Tuck Minority Business Executive Programs and on the Board of Overseers for the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She serves on the boards of Diversity Information Resources, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the New England Minority Supplier Development Council, the Business Consortium Fund and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

Fortner has been involved in minority and women business outreach and development for more than twenty years. Her leadership roles in government and industry include the National Chair for MED Week 2002–2004 and was named Chair Emeritus in 2005; and the U.S. Small Business Administration's Small Business Week Planning Committee. She was the recipient of the NMSDC's Advocate of the Year Award and the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Diversity Leadership Award.

Fortner served on the Youth Motivation Task Force as a volunteer for more than twenty years. She has also served as an Advisory Board Member to Yo-San University (School of Traditional Chinese Medicine). Fortner holds a B.S.L. and Juris Doctors Degree from Golden West University and completed Raytheon's Business Leadership Program.

+ WBENC Announces New List of 20 America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises

2/23/2011

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today announced its annual listing of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises, the only national award honoring corporations for world-class programs that create level playing fields for women's business enterprises (WBEs) to compete for corporate contracts.

"We are proud to honor 20 Top Corporations for their world-class leadership in partnering with women's business enterprises to sustain innovation in this country and fuel our economic growth," said Linda Denny, president and CEO of WBENC, the leading authority on and advocate for women's business enterprises (WBEs) as vendors and suppliers to the nation's leading corporations. "These Top Corporations are deeply committed to supplier diversity programs that span their organizations and achieve measurable results."

Top Corporations programs offer equal access and result in a high volume of business with women's business enterprises. The 2010 Top Corporations for WBEs are:

Accenture
Alcatel-Lucent
AT&T
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Bank of America
Chevron
The Coca-Cola Company
Dell
Energy Future Holdings
Ernst & Young LLP
Exxon Mobil Corporation
IBM
Johnson & Johnson
Kelly Services, Inc.
Manpower
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.
Shell Oil Company
UPS
Verizon

The America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises Award presentation will take place on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial in Arlington, VA.

The event will occur during WBENC's 2011 Summit & Salute to Women's Business Enterprises: The Opportunity Connection, attracting over 1,000 attendees and providing thought leadership and business development opportunities including the black tie celebration of 14 Women's Business Enterprise Stars, exemplary WBEs from across the country.

Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU Corp), UPS, and AT&T , including its predecessor companies, have been recognized by WBENC every year since the award was created 12 years ago. Avis Budget Group, Inc. and Chevron, including their predecessor companies, have each won the award 11 times. PepsiCo, Inc. has won 10 times; and Shell Oil Company has won nine times. IBM Corporation has won eight times. Bank of America, Pfizer and Verizon have won seven times. Exxon Mobil Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Company have been on the list five times. Alcatel-Lucent has won four times. Accenture, Dell and Manpower have been on the list three times. Ernst & Young celebrates its second year on the list.

WBENC also welcomes Kelly Services. Inc. in its first year as a Top Corporation.

"This expanding list demonstrates that best practices prevail in even the most challenging environments. Our Top Corporations are the pillars of our economy by driving and standing behind their vital business partnerships with women's business enterprises," Denny said.

About WBENC: The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the leading advocate for, and authority on, Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) as suppliers and vendors to the nation's corporations. Founded in 1997, WBENC is also the nation's leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with over 10,500 WBENC-certified WBEs. WBENC certification is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America's most prestigious brands, in addition to many states, cities and other entities. Throughout the year, WBENC and its 14 Regional Partner Organizations provide opportunities for interactions between more than 650 member corporations, government agencies and thousands of certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs.


Contact: Lynthia Romney (914) 238-2145

+ SBA Announces Contracting Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses

2/3/2011
FIRST CONTRACTS EXPECTED TO BE AWARDED THROUGH WOSB PROGRAM BY CRITICAL FOURTH QUARTER OF FISCAL YEAR 2011.

This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that women-owned small businesses can begin taking steps to participate in a new federal contracting program on Friday, February 4, 2011. The new Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program will be fully implemented over the next several months, with the first contracts expected to be awarded by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011.

"Implementing the Women-Owned Small Business contracting rule has been a top priority for the Obama Administration and SBA," said Administrator Karen Mills. "Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. As we continue to look to small businesses to grow, create jobs and lead America into the future, women-owned businesses will play a key role. That's why providing them with all the tools necessary to compete for and win federal contracts is so important. Federal contracts can provide women-owned small businesses with the oxygen they need to take their business to the next level."

The WOSB Federal Contract Program will provide greater access to federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). The Program allows contracting officers, for the first time, to set aside specific contracts for certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs and will help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory goal of five percent of federal contracting dollars being awarded to WOSBs.

On February 4, the SBA will release instructions on how to participate in the program, as well as launch the secure, online data repository for WOSBs to upload required documents, on its website: www.sba.gov/wosb. SBA will also release an application to become an SBA-approved third party certifier for this program on that date. This will be the first version of the application. SBA welcomes comments and suggestions on this first version of the application.

During the ramp up period over the next several months, SBA is encouraging small business owners to review program requirements and ensure their required documents are uploaded to the repository. WOSBs also will need to update their status in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and the Online Representation and Certification Application (ORCA) to indicate to contracting officers that they are eligible to participate. The General Services Administration is currently updating these systems and they are expected to be completed in April 2011.

Similarly, the WOSB rule in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is the companion to the SBA rule, is now going through final review, and is also expected to be issued by April. With these pieces in place, SBA expects to see the first contracts awarded through the program by the all-important fourth quarter, when the largest percent of federal contracts are awarded.

Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third party certification. At this time, SBA has not approved any third party certifiers. Regardless of their certification method, WOSBs must also upload required documents proving their eligibility to a secure online data repository developed and maintained by SBA.

To qualify as a WOSB, a firm must be at least fifty-one percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens and the firm must be considered small according to SBA size standards. To be deemed "economically disadvantaged," a firm's owners must meet specific financial requirements set forth in the program regulations.

The WOSB Program identifies eighty-three four-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes where WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented. Contracting officers may set aside contracts in these industries if the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price, the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract and the anticipated contract price is not greater than $5 million for manufacturing contracts and $3 million for other contracts.

Each stage of implementation is part of SBA's mission to make the program efficient and user-friendly, and to ensure its benefits go only to qualifying WOSBs. SBA is excited to launch this new program to provide WOSBs with increased opportunities to compete for and win federal contracts, ultimately helping WOSBs create and retain more jobs.

For more information on the Women-Owned Small Business Program or to access the instructions, applications or database, please visit http://www.sba.gov/wosb.


+ Roadmap to 2020: How Women's Businesses Will Drive Economic Growth and Create Jobs in Next Decade

6/30/2010

Quantum Leaps, Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and National Association of Women's Business Owners (NAWBO) present future vision at WBENC Women in Business National Conference and Business Fair.

The Roadmap to 2020, an unprecedented collaboration of the nation's major women's business organizations and entrepreneurial thought leaders, was released today, launching a comprehensive action plan to achieve exponential revenue growth and job creation among women's businesses over the next decade.

"Roadmap 2020" recommends nothing less than a paradigm shift in women's business development – from early entrepreneurial education to policy support to capital availability – designed to enable the creation of at least 6 million new jobs over the next ten years.

Quantum Leaps, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Association of Women's Business Owners (NAWBO) jointly released the Roadmap 2020 report at WBENC's 11th Annual Women in Business National Conference and Business Fair before some 2,500 corporations and women business owners in attendance. It was presented on behalf of the 10 women's business organizations and 20 companies that were supporters and collaborators in the creation of Roadmap 2020.

"Roadmap 2020 not only tells us how to create more jobs – but also how to improve the quality of those jobs, with higher salaries and better benefits, in growing, innovative companies," said Virginia Littlejohn, CEO and co-founder of Quantum Leaps, the nonprofit that mobilized Roadmap 2020 participants. By galvanizing the leadership of the women's business community, Roadmap 2020 will drive change on the national and grassroots level, and dramatically sharpen the nation's competitiveness.

"The Roadmap to 2020 is leading a transformation and connecting women in business around the world," said Marilyn Johnson, vice president of Market Development for IBM. "IBM is proud to be the lead corporate sponsor of such a high-impact global initiative."

Roadmap 2020 prescribes agents of growth all along the business continuum:

  • Start-up companies should focus on goal-setting for growth, and access training to enable that growth, instead of training for income substitution,
  • "The Missing Middle" – those companies past the start up stage, but with some potential for growth – need vision, strategy, benchmarking, coaching and mentoring
  • Multi-million dollar businesses can expand through peer mentoring, globalizing, and increased access to corporate and government markets
  • Businesses of all sizes, of course, need access to capital

"The ultimate objective is to lay the groundwork for a global women's enterprise ecosystem, so that economies around the world can benefit from a strategic and systemic approach to women's enterprise development," Littlejohn said.

To catalyze this action, Quantum Leaps will organize a strategic think tank in the fall to specify the next steps in implementing Roadmap 2020 recommendations.

"Access to major corporate and government markets is key to landing the contracts that fuel revenue growth and job creation. Roadmap 2020 lays out crucial strategies for all businesses to accomplish this," said Linda Denny, President and CEO of WBENC, who contributed a chapter on Accessing Government and Corporate Markets. WBENC-certified women's business enterprises average $10 million in revenue.

"There are an unprecedented number of women-owned businesses with the creativity and drive to make a major impact in job creation and growth in today's economy. However, to reach the $1 million sales mark, they need the extra advantage that coaching and mentoring by those who have already blazed the trail can provide," said Helen Han, NAWBO's President & CEO, who with Wendy Lopez, Immediate Past Chair, contributed "Focusing on 'The Missing Middle' – A Centerpiece of the Women Business Owner Growth Agenda."

Through 32 core recommendations, Roadmap 2020 challenges policymakers, corporations, financial institutions, educators and the women's business community itself to enable women's business to access more capital, more corporate and government contracts, more expansion and responsible risk so as to fuel a higher level of enterprise growth.

Roadmap 2020 recommendations focus on six key areas: Measuring Economic Impact and Job Creation; Entrepreneurial Training and Support for Growth – including by entrepreneurial women of color; Innovation, Technology and Sustainability; Accessing Capital; Accessing Markets; and Building the Movement.

Among the boldest Roadmap 2020 recommendations are:

  • Expand the role of the Small Business Administration's Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) beyond oversight of the Women's Business Center (WBC) program to other growth-focused initiatives, including access to capital and access to markets
  • Increase communication and collaboration among women's business groups, by holding regular summits
  • Encourage federal, state and local governments to accept third party certifications for women's business enterprises (WBEs), which will broaden access to government markets
  • Expand entrepreneurship education into ever younger populations, and rethink educational programming - especially in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) - to increase our global competitiveness

"We're calling upon women entrepreneurs to get actively involved with educational transformation, because the quality of graduates of our educational system will translate directly into the caliber of America's workforce, and the quality of the employees that our companies can hire," Littlejohn said.

Summaries of key contributors and supporters are attached. They include the Association of Women's Business Centers, Center for Women's Business Research, Count Me In, Direct Selling Education Foundation, Enterprising Women, WEConnect International, Women Presidents' Organization, and Women Impacting Public Policy.

Just 2 percent of majority women-owned, and 3 percent of majority- or equally women-owned, firms generate $1 million or more in revenues, compared to 6 percent of male-owned businesses. Access to capital appears to be a contributing factor. Women on average have started their ventures with 8 times less funding than have men, according to Dr. Candida G. Brush, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College.

Roadmap 2020 also focuses on the potential for businesses owned by women of color, which constitute one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. economy, starting businesses at 3 to 5 times the rate of all businesses in the U.S. However, their revenues are under half that of men of color.

"It is imperative for all of the major stakeholders in women's enterprise development – in policymaking, program development, capital, research, and organizational capacity-building – to move forward in the same direction, to not only increase our national competitiveness but to level the economic playing field. This Roadmap will help align all of our efforts," said Julie R. Weeks, President of Womenable and a member of the Roadmap Editorial Board.

The full Roadmap to 2020 report is available online at www.quantumleapsinc.org in PDF form.

Quantum Leaps helps fuel the global growth of women's enterprise development through bold strategic initiatives, and identification and sharing of best practices. Facilitating women's access to markets is a major focus. www.quantumleapsinc.org

About WBENC: The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the leading advocate for, and authority on, Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) as suppliers and vendors to the nation's corporations. Founded in 1997, WBENC is also the nation's leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women with 250 member corporations and nearly 10,000 certified WBEs at business building events and other forums. www.wbenc.org.

ABOUT NAWBO
Founded in 1975, NAWBO propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. The organization's mission is to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of its members and promote economic development; to create innovative and effective change in the business culture; to build strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and to transform public policy and influence opinion makers. www.nawbo.org.