WBENC is proud to introduce you to the 2024 WBE Stars! The WBE Star Award is the nation’s top recognition for excellence among women-owned businesses, honoring 14 women from across the country within each of our 14 Regional Partner Organizations who are leaders in their local business communities and respective fields, and an inspiration to women business owners across the country.
The WBE Stars are especially recognized for their remarkable achievements, contributing invaluable leadership and influence to the dynamic business landscape. Beyond their professional accomplishments, these women serve as a wellspring of inspiration for others within their communities. The recognition they receive through the WBE Star Award is a powerful testament to the profound impact they’ve made in their respective business environments.
Get to know our 2024 WBE Stars and get inspired by their impact and insights! Our 2024 WBE Stars will be recognized at the 2024 WBENC National Conference in Denver, CO, March 19-22, 2024. Stay tuned throughout 2024 as we feature each of our WBE Stars in our WBENC News and Resources section where they will be sharing even more knowledge and insights!
Louise Leduc Kennedy | West Hill Technology Counsel, Inc.
Center for Women & Enterprise
“AMPLIFY means to increase the impact of your business — live your firm values, deliver on your mission, achieve your vision.”
West Hill is a boutique business and technology law firm that helps IP-focused businesses grow, assess risk, and plan for and execute a successful exit. West Hill doesn’t limit its IP practice to obtaining patents, trademarks, or copyright registrations. We understand that the value of our clients’ IP comes from their day-to-day agreements with customers, vendors, and partners. West Hill helps clients achieve their goals by serving as a trusted partner to navigate these issues.
Gwen Hale | Reagan Mechanical LLC
Great Lakes Women’s Business Council
“The AMPLIFY theme serves as a rallying cry and call to action for women entrepreneurs to create, connect and collaborate.
AMPLIFY articulates the rising of women in all industry sectors to raise their voices and increase the awareness and opportunity for women entrepreneurs to step into the professional purpose and raise to their next level to industry impact.”
Reagan Mechanical was established in 2015 as a women-owned, minority-owned Michigan based business. Reagan Mechanical evolved out of Hale Contracting Inc, established in 1997. In my role as co-owner of Hale Contracting, I saw a need to further my impact in this industry by launching Reagan Mechanical.
Paula Edwards | Lexair Electronics Sales Corporation
Greater Women’s Business Council
“To me, AMPLIFY is about expanding, growing, increasing and strengthening all areas of ourselves and our lives, both professionally and personally.”
Lexair is a global supplier of voice and video communication/collaboration technology, device endpoints and managed services. For 26 years, Lexair has enabled Fortune 500 companies and federal, state, and local governments to strategically plan, purchase, deploy, implement, and manage their voice and video communication/collaboration infrastructure across their organizations. By listening, learning, and investing in our customers, we build supplier-partner relationships that deliver exceptional customer-centric experiences to ensure long-term success for every customer.
Kathleen Hunt | Personalized Payroll Services
Women’s Business Council Southwest
“AMPLIFY, in the context of the 2024 Women’s Business Owners Conference theme, signifies a dynamic and collective effort to magnify the impact of WBE voices to promote the benefits of women in business. It embodies the idea of raising one another through collaboration and support. AMPLIFY speaks to the power of women leveraging their strengths, experiences, and diverse perspectives to create a resounding resonance in the business landscape.”
Personalized Payroll provides payroll processing, payroll tax filings, and related services such as issuing of 1099’s to subcontractors, new hire reporting, wage garnishments, preparing, issuing, and filing end of the year W-2’s and 1099’s i.e., anything related to payroll processing and payroll taxes. Depending on a client’s needs, we can provide timekeeping tools to interface with the payroll system, such as timeclocks and a cell phone app. In addition, our system comes equipped with a Human Capital Management System (HCM) which allows employees to request PTO and track PTO, Onboarding tools as well as other HR-related tools. Our team offers exceptional, U.S.-based, customer service and assists in the technology migration as well as support and training for our clients.
Sue Bhatia | Rose International, Inc.
Women’s Business Development Council – Midwest
“To me, AMPLIFY means to elevate what you do. Whether it’s business offerings for clients or making a positive impact to workforces and communities. As economic conditions shift, clients’ needs also evolve.
By embodying AMPLIFY, Rose International strives to provide tailored solutions for our clients. Through this theme, we strive to continue Making It Happen.”
Rose International is a leading Staffing and Total Talent Solutions provider to Fortune 500 and government agencies nationwide. With thousands of associates and offices across the U.S., Rose International is consistently recognized as one of the country’s most successful minority-and woman-owned providers of top talent. Services include: Staffing (IT, admin/clerical, engineering, finance/accounting, HR/legal, light industrial, marketing/creative and procurement/supply chain), Named Resource Program, Direct Source, Delivery-Centric MSP, IC Compliance, Contact Center Services and Recruitment Process Outsourcing.
Brenda Boral | Boral Agency
Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance
“AMPLIFY means to share my gifts, voice, skills, expertise and connections to foster growth, create community, collaboration and empowerment of other women owned business.
It’s not just about making things bigger but also about making them better and more accessible to all. When efforts are made to AMPLIFY voices, opportunities, resources, and partnerships it leads to a more vibrant, resilient, and prosperous ecosystem for women entrepreneurs, and the economy as a whole.”
Brenda Boral is an entrepreneur, marketer, and online expert. Co-Founder of Boral Agency. Brenda gained her entrepreneurial skills from her mother as she had a successful tutoring business. Her love for Marketing started in the Private University of Santa Cruz, Bolivia (UPSA) where she won a scholarship that allowed her to work in the Marketing Department since the beginning of her career culminating as the Assistant Director of Marketing in charge of a team of 15 people. That’s when, while she was working on obtaining her Master’s degree in Marketing Strategies, she had the opportunity to launch the Global MBA program in Bolivia partnering up with Thunderbird School of Global Management and The Technologic of Monterrey. Before coming to Houston; she was recognized as the top producer for the Global MBA in Bolivia by Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Cate Heaman | Prelude Solutions
Women’s Business Enterprise Center East
“The theme AMPLIFY for the 2024 Conference resonates perfectly with our vision! Building on the MOMENTUM of the past year, all women-owned businesses now have the opportunity to AMPLIFY our targets and achieve our goals. At Prelude, we are thoroughly AMPED up for this year’s conference, and the anticipation is building as six of us prepare to attend Nationals for the fourth time, with the additional excitement of our second exhibition.”
Prelude Solutions, a leading technology consulting firm and proud women-owned enterprise, excels in offering expert guidance to organizations to elevate their communication platforms. Using a thorough analysis of communication services and systems, our mission is to drive technology cost reduction, with clients benefiting from an average savings of 33% through our success-based model. What distinguishes Prelude is our distinctive perspective, seamlessly integrating as an extension of our clients’ teams. To propel clients toward their technology objectives, we furnish a comprehensive inventory and execute market analyses, tapping into a network of over 400 partners for agnostic services and solutions. With Prelude, organizations can confidently make informed decisions, optimizing communication efficiency with finesse.
Michele Adams | Levy Recognition
Women’s Business Enterprise Council Florida
“To me AMPLIFY means taking full advantage of my life, breaking through obstacles, and pushing forward with passion and purpose to attain goals.”
Levy Recognition is in the award and recognition industry. Our company designs, manufactures, and distributes various types of awards and recognition products. These products are typically used to honor and acknowledge individuals or organizations for their achievements, contributions, or milestones. The awards and recognition industry serves a wide range of sectors, including corporate, academic, sports, entertainment, and more. Many businesses and organizations utilize awards and recognition programs to motivate and acknowledge their employees. These programs may include employee of the month awards, service recognition, or special achievement awards.
Mary Fehlig | The Fehlig Group
Women’s Business Enterprise Council Greater DMV
“To me, AMPLIFY means having a greater impact. We do this by focusing on our values and building our partnerships. We are each strong in our own ways and, as a collective, we have the capacity to combine those strengths to truly make a difference for our businesses, the economy and our communities.”
Mary Fehlig is the founder and President of The Fehlig Group. She believes that the ways to enact sustainability are as individual as the values that define each business. She supports the efforts of business owners and leaders to identify and implement the strategies and practices which best support their core values as well as their economic goals. While the field might be pushing for standardization and creating lists of “shoulds,” Mary emphasizes customization to meet each client’s distinct needs. The core of this approach is asking the questions, “What are the most important relationships for your business? And how do you put your values into action
to influence these relationships?”
Over the years Mary has served on a variety of boards and committees that benefit the business community and her local community. Currently she serves as the Chair of the Gaithersburg Parks, Arts and Recreation Corporation and is on the city’s Economic Development Committee
Linda A Hamilton | Grow Profit Scale LLC
Women’s Business Enterprise Council Metro New York
“To me, ‘AMPLIFY’ means increasing the volume and impact of female entrepreneurs and their businesses. It means providing them with the resources, support, and platform they need to be heard, recognized, and successful. At Grow Profit Scale, we are committed to AMPLIFYING the opportunities for women to build a profitable and resilient business. Our programs empower WBEs with knowledge, tools, and strategies to grow, profit, and scale by identifying and closing gaps in revenue, profitability, tax compliance, and operations. We AMPLIFY resilience and success by saying no to growth without profit.”
Linda A. Hamilton is an award-winning CPA and the founder of Grow, Profit, Scale (GPS), a strategic business advisory firm for female CEOs. She is a certified exit planning advisor and SYSTEMologist who helps her clients create growth plans that focus on hiring, scaling, and exiting their businesses successfully. She uses her signature Grow, Profit, Scale framework to identify and close gaps in revenue, profit, operations, finances, and planning. She also reviews her clients’ tax structures and helps them optimize their profits, increase their business value, and pay themselves what they deserve.
Barb Smith | Journey Steel, Inc.
Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley
“AMPLIFY to me means to INCREASE, to get Intense, to explode into something bigger and better than what it was.”
Journey provides Structural and Miscellaneous Steel (Beams, Columns, Joist, Deck, Stairs, Railings, Ladders, Bollards that fulfills the construction needs for new buildings, renovations, additions, industrial facilities. We provide Drone Technology used for construction projects, maintenance and inventory needs, aerial photography, marketing and special projects.
Ashwini Vasudeva | ASTUTE, a CFO and Business Advisory Firm
Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Pacific
“To me, AMPLIFY means elevating the impact and growth of my business and its positive influence on the community and fellow Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). It means appreciating the strength that comes from diversity, both within my team and beyond. Through coaching, collaboration and shared support, my goal is to thrive together and overcoming challenges. In essence, AMPLIFY embodies a philosophy of empowering, collaborating and fostering growth, in both personal and professional aspects of life.”
Astute is a value-add Certified Accounting and Business Advisory firm, delivering personalized attention to companies and helping them unlock their potential; we ensure compliance, identify and recover lost revenues, and drive profitability.
Astute brings in the knowledge and expertise to solutions like Fractional CFO services, R&D Tax Credit, Technical Accounting, Internal Audit (SOX Compliance), Forensic Audits (Royalty/Licensing Audits, Accounts Payable, Time & Expense, Vendor/Supplier Audits) and Business Process Automation through Gen AI and predictive analytics.
Patricia Thomasson | Thomasson Company
Women’s Business Enterprise Council South
“AMPLIFY means enhanced Action in areas you deem important.”
Thomasson Company supplies utility companies with utility poles which are used to support overhead power lines and various other public utilities, such as electrical cable, fiber optic cable, and related equipment such as transformers and streetlights. We also provide utility and energy companies with crane mats. These mats provide surfaces which protect wetlands and fields during various utility operations such as building pipelines and transmission lines.
Heather Cox | Certify My Company
Women’s Business Enterprise Council – West
“To me, the word AMPLIFY means to get bigger and better. But it isn’t done alone. To me AMPLIFY is using your strengths, what you do best, and bringing them together with the strengths of others…those two skill sets AMPLIFY each other and the overall outcome.”
A born business matchmaker who’s as comfortable on a stage as she is in a boardroom, Heather Cox helps diverse business owners get diversity certified and leverage the power of their diversity certification to secure more corporate contracts, increase their revenue, and make a more lasting impact – so they can create the time and freedom to do more of what brings them joy and meaning. In addition, Heather helps corporations understand how to leverage their diverse supply chain to maximize their revenues.
As the Co-Founder and President of Certify My Company, Heather Cox’s deep knowledge, personable and fun speaking style, paired with her business acumen and vast network of key players in the corporate and entrepreneurial space make her an ideal choice to speak to a variety of business audiences.