Ernst & Young LLP Announces 10 National Winners of 2011 Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM Program
New York, 24 October 2011 — Ernst & Young LLP today announced the 10 winners of its 2011 Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, a national competition and leadership initiative that identifies and connects a select group of women entrepreneurs with the advisors, resources, and insights they need to scale up and become market leaders. The winners, who were selected by a distinguished panel of independent judges from a competitive pool of U.S. applicants, come from many different industry sectors and geographies.
After four years, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program has proved to spur dramatic growth. In an upcoming case study on the program, administered by the Babson College Center for Women’s Leadership, the revenues of the companies with which the Entrepreneurial Winning Women are associated have grown almost 50% each year on average, with a corresponding annual job growth rate of more than 25%. The program itself is growing as well. Initially a U.S. initiative, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program has now launched in Indonesia and Australia, and programs are in development in Brazil, South Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, Ukraine and Hungary.
Women entrepreneurs are among the brightest spots in the American economy, starting businesses at a tremendous rate. Despite a volatile market and high unemployment, 46% of privately held companies in the country are now at least half-owned by women, representing almost 16 million jobs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.i
These statistics highlight the importance of initiatives like Entrepreneurial Winning Women. Launched in 2008, the program is intended to help women entrepreneurs break through the barriers that keep thriving second-stage businesses from scaling to their full potential. The entrepreneurs, who are welcome to remain engaged in Entrepreneurial Winning Women for as long as it benefits them, participate in a customized program designed by EY to catalyze their companies’ growth by building and fostering critical relationships, enhancing leadership skills, expanding business know-how and providing increased visibility. They are coached on the five crucial leaps they need to scale up their business:
- Setting higher goals
- Building a public profile
- Working on the business, rather than in it
- Establishing key advisory networks
- Evaluating financing for expansion
“In its fourth year, the highly competitive Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is stronger than ever. We are very pleased to welcome into our community this dynamic group of entrepreneurs who will no doubt increase the number of market-leading companies run by women,” said Herb Engert, Americas Strategic Growth Markets Leader for Ernst & Young LLP. “These pioneers are creating the jobs we so desperately need right now, and they will be an important group to watch as we look to get the economy back on track.”
This year's Winning Women award recipients own companies in a wide variety of industry sectors, including medical services, financial management, digital media, and international security services. Following are brief profiles of their companies:
- Dr. Patricia Adams | Zeitgeist Expressions, Inc. (San Antonio, TX) is an innovative one-stop network for individual, family, corporate and military clients seeking overall health and wellness services. Zeitgeist provides counseling, coaching, fitness, massage, acupuncture, crisis intervention and nutritional guidance to its clients through specialists in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
- Amy Buckner | AnswerLab (San Francisco, CA) delivers trusted user experience insights that help the world’s leading brands build outstanding and engaging digital products. Leading global companies, including Facebook, Amazon.com, Walmart, Honda, ESPN and Genentech, select AnswerLab as their user experience research partner to learn what people see, do, think, and feel when using Web sites, mobile applications, and other digital products.
- Dr. Mary Jo Gorman | Advanced ICU Care® (St. Louis, MO) provides innovative, high-quality, cost-effective telemedicine services to hospital intensive care units (ICU). Through Advanced ICU Care’s experienced teams and robust process improvement program, hospitals can meet the recommended around-the-clock standard of care for ICU patients, despite the serious shortage of professionals in the field.
- Lani Hay | Lanmark Technology Inc. (Vienna, VA) provides cutting-edge, mission-support technology and consulting solutions aligned with national security interests. Through a range of specialized services, including intelligence, asymmetric warfare, and cyber defense, Lanmark Technology develops, programs and delivers realistic and relevant technology-enabled training and tools to government and commercial clients worldwide.
- Patty Klein | A-Plus Meetings & Incentives (Coral Gables, FL) provides value-added meeting planning and incentive travel services to Fortune 500 clients, such as Staples, Ryder and DHL. Driven by its leadership team’s business and consulting experience, A-Plus delivers unique strategic agenda and content design, flawless personalized service and superior cost management to generate a high return on investment.
- Stephanie Point | Point 2 Point Global Security, Inc. (Phoenix, MD) provides a wide array of specialized security services to Fortune 500 companies, private businesses and government agencies. Point 2 Point strategically protects people and assets, including executives and diplomats, through its expert military specialists, armed/unarmed guards and off-duty police nationwide. Point 2 Point is positioned for exponential revenue and job growth.
- Lisa Stone | BlogHer (Belmont, CA) is the leading media company created by, for and with women in social media. Reaching more than 27 million women monthly and working with brands such as PepsiCo, P&G and HTC, BlogHer creates robust marketing and research opportunities to engage the female consumer and has been named one of Businessweek’s Most Promising American Start-Ups and one of AlwaysOn’s Global 250.
- Dr. Rebecca Thomley | Orion Associates (Golden Valley, MN) offers a full range of management infrastructure services to social service agencies in a growing number of states. Its innovative practices include providing financial services to elderly and disabled individuals receiving public assistance, enabling them to stay in their own homes, self-administer their funds and make informed choices about their care.
- Alexa von Tobel | LearnVest (New York, NY) is the leading personal finance and lifestyle website for women, providing trusted content, tools and support to help members tackle their finances at each stage of life. LearnVest tools include: financial Bootcamp Programs, the My Money Center and the Advice Center. LearnVest has raised $25 million in funding to date.
- Laura Zander | Jimmy Beans Wool (Reno, NV) is a market leader in the multibillion-dollar needle arts industry, selling yarn, fabric and knitting and crochet products. With its innovative and unequalled approach to marketing, Jimmy Beans has been named the Official Yarn Supplier to the U.S. Snowboard Team and created the Stitch Red campaign against heart disease in women.
The 10 members of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2011 will receive complimentary participation in this year’s EY Strategic Growth Forum. Dubbed by Forbes.com as one of the "Seven Get-Ahead Executive Retreats," the Strategic Growth Forum brings together more than 2,100 of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to share growth strategies. The Entrepreneurial Winning Women will be introduced at a special luncheon induction ceremony and will be provided with numerous opportunities to network throughout the conference with successful entrepreneurs, senior executives, and investors who can act as formal or informal advisors, provide access to capital, and extend their extensive business relationships to the women entrepreneurs.
Dawn Halfaker, founder and CEO of Halfaker & Associates and a 2010 winner, credits the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program for helping her look further into the future, and build what she refers to as a “brain trust” that can advise her as she fields the acquisition offers she’s received, considers outside investments, and moves into new markets outside of her government experience.
“The first year of the program is great, a jolt to the system that energizes you,” Dawn said. “Now, in my second year, I’m able to be more reflective and more fully utilize the program’s resources to get what I need.”
The 2011 panel of independent judges for the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program included:
- Lisa B. Bair, CEO, Hobart Group Holdings
- Howard Brodsky, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, CCA Global Partners
- Jeri Harman, Founder and Partner, Avante Mezzanine Partners
- Rob Scott, Vice President and Worldwide General Manager, Hewlett-Packard
- Mary Ellen Sheets, Founder, Two Men and a Truck
The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is conducted in collaboration with several organizations that encourage the development of women-owned businesses, including the Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, National Association of Women Business Owners, The Committee of 200, the Kauffman Foundation and Babson College’s Center for Women’s Leadership. For more information on the program, visit www.ey.com/us/entrepreneurialwinningwomen.
About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets Practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multi-disciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate the path to market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at www.ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter at EYSGM.
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i U.S. Census Bureau, “Census Bureau Reports Women-Owned Firms Numbered 7.8 Million in 2007, Generated Receipts of $1.2 Trillion,” December 7, 2010.