Trailblazing Women Entrepreneurs Achieve Rapid Growth With Support from Make Mine...
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Trailblazing Women Entrepreneurs Achieve Rapid Growth With Support from Make Mine a Million $ Business(TM) Program More Than 48,000 Women Across the Country Have Declared Their Intent to Build Million-Dollar Firms NEW YORK--(Business Wire)-- The Make Mine a Million $ Business program, a national grassroots movement empowering women to grow their entrepreneurial ventures, today announced the names of its most prosperous members, those who grossed more than $1 million in annual revenue in 2007. The Million $ Business Club is currently made up of 29 women business owners who have benefited from mentoring, marketing assistance, a peer network, financing and technology tools provided by the program. Launched in 2005 by Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources and business education for women entrepreneurs, and founding partner American Express OPEN(R), Make Mine a Million $ Business is the only program dedicated to helping post start-up women entrepreneurs grow million-dollar firms. More than 48,000 women entrepreneurs from across the country have already joined the Make Mine a Million $ Business community and have made a pledge to build million-dollar enterprises. From the steel and concrete of the construction industry in rural Maryland to the relaxing aroma and tranquility of airport spas, the Million $ Business Club represents flourishing businesses from a broad array of business sectors and every region of the country. One example is South African-born Claire Evans. Never one to shy away from an adventure, Claire left her homeland and comfortable office job when she moved to Florida and founded amaZulu, Inc., a supplier of natural and synthetic tropical-themed materials. Today, Claire's million-dollar business services big name clients such as Disney, Sea World, and Outback Steak House. "Women entrepreneurs are the real economic stimulus package," said Nell Merlino, founder and president of Count Me In. "Women are starting businesses at almost twice the rate of men, and they are building bigger businesses than ever before. In celebrating the success of the Million $ Business Club we are recognizing the contributions women entrepreneurs are increasingly making to their regional and national economy." Today, less than 3% of women-owned businesses generate more than $1 million in revenues. If the program can reach its goal of inspiring one million women to the million-dollar revenue mark, that will translate to $700 million in revenue for the economy and create 4 million new jobs. Another shining member of the Million $ Business Club is fashion-forward minded Bonnie Marcus of Westport, CT. While pregnant at home anxiously waiting the "big day", Bonnie decided to start her own contemporary stationery company. Today, Bonnie Marcus & Co is available in more than 1,000 retail stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. "As a mompreneuer it was always extremely difficult when I saw other moms bringing their children to the beach on sunny days. I thought that I was missing out on something, until all the other moms started asking me for jobs," Bonnie said. "If you truly want to grow your business, let go of the day-to-day tasks. Learn to delegate and trust your employees. You'll be amazed to find out you don't have to do it all," said Garnett Newcombe, president of Human Potential Consultants, LLC, a job training and placement agency in California that crossed the million-dollar level in 2007. Garnett's employment solutions company is the highest-grossing business in the Million $ Business Club with $5.7 million in 2007 revenue and $20 million more in contracts. "A community of growth-focused women has limitless potential and these 29 women exemplify those possibilities," said Susan Sobbott, president, American Express OPEN. "We believed in these women and provided them with the right combination of resources to enable growth. Now they can set their sight on $2 million, $5 million, and beyond." "As a woman entrepreneur, you have to surround yourself with people who believe in you. The Make Mine a Million $ Business community not only provides the support, but also the inspiration to reach our goals," said Leah Brown, president and CEO of Aten Solutions, Inc., a million-dollar clinical trials staffing company. At competitions held throughout the year in cities across the country, women business owners compete for the Make Mine a Million $ Business awards package of resources and access to business brilliance. Weekly phone conversations with a team of business coaches offer insights on how not to work harder, rather, how to work smarter - namely, to delegate responsibility to key employees and to trust them to do their jobs. Twenty new businesses have already won in 2008 at events held in Los Angeles and Phoenix. More than 5,000 applications are expected for the remaining 2008 events in New Jersey, Washington, New Mexico, Ohio, Connecticut, North Carolina and Florida. Interested parties should refer to www.makemineamillion.org for more information. With a growing number of Make Mine a Million $ Business awardees - now at 122 - the Million $ Business Club will inevitably have more company in the coming year. Major corporations including AIG, Dell, Cisco, FedEx, JetBlue and Marriott, have also joined the Make Mine a Million $ Business movement. They contribute to the awards package with products, services and discounts in the areas of financing, technology, shipping, travel/lodging, and insurance to help propel women over the $million mark. The Million $ Business Club: Awardees: -- Tammy Adler of QWANtify, Inc. - Madison, WI-based IT consulting company (www.qwantify.com) -- Maureen Borzacchiello of Creative Display Solutions, Inc. - Long Island, NY-based company specializing in trade show displays, graphics and event exhibits (www.creativedisplaysolutions.com) -- Leah Brown of Aten Solutions, Inc. (A10) - Cary, NC-based national clinical trials staffing company (www.atensolutions.com) -- Amelia Case of Universal Health Institute - Chicago, IL-based medical center that provides a unique combination of drug free, non-surgical traditional and alternative therapies (www.uhichicago.com) -- Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards - Napa, CA-based ultra-premium Latino family-owned winery (www.cejavineyards.com) -- Sandy Corso of A Peaceful Company - Madison, CT-based on-line retailer of unique, high quality products for people who are conscious of living gently upon the earth (www.peacefulcompany.com) -- Theresa Daytner of Daytner Construction Group - Mount Airy, MD-based commercial construction consulting group (www.daytnercorp.com) -- Melinda Earl of StoneImpressions - San Diego, CA-based manufacturing company that makes decorative natural stone tile products (www.stoneimpressions.com) -- Claire Evans of amaZulu, Inc. - Winter Garden, FL-based supplier of natural and synthetic tropical theming materials (www.amazuluinc.com) -- Molly Fuller of Hands On Gourmet, LLC - San Francisco, CA-based cooking party company (www.handsongourmet.com) -- Theresa Hinton of Comprehensive Consulting - Louisville, KY-based company that provides medical utilization review and medical case management (www.compreconsult.com) -- Shaparak Kamarei and Marjaneh Hedayat of Solaris Laser Institute - Mission Viejo, CA-based laser-hair-removal business (www.solarislaserinstitute.com) -- Lynne Lambert of Prak Productions, Inc. - Chappaqua, NY-based designer and distributor of NYC-themed products (www.nycsubwayline.com) -- Fiona Macaulay of Making Cents International, Inc. - Washington, D.C.-based training and consulting firm (www.makingcents.com) -- Bonnie Marcus of Bonnie Marcus & Co., a Westport, CT-based invitation and greeting card company specializing in chic, stylish greeting cards and invitations (www.bonniesstylepress.com) -- Kimberly Martinez and Lisa Harrington of Bonitas International LLC - Englewood, FL-based manufacturer of beaded ID Lanyards, retractable badge reel jewelry and eyeglass holders (www.bonitasinternational.com) -- Robin Moorad of Imago Associates - Berkeley, CA-based company that buys and resells used and refurbished commercial furnishings (www.imagoassociates.com) -- Garnett Newcombe of Human Potential Consultants, L.L.C. - Carson, CA-based employment solutions company (www.hpcemployment.org) -- Elizabeth Perelstein of School Choice International Inc. - Mamaroneck, NY-based global educational consulting firm working with families being relocated (www.schoolchoiceintl.com) -- Bonnie Plotkin of 1st Class Bail Bonds, Inc. - Huntington Beach, CA-based business that provides bail bonds services throughout the United States (www.1stclassbailbonds.com) -- Cynthia Rubio of Radiant RFID - Austin, TX-based provider of RFID solutions for tracking assets and people in emergencies (www.radiantrfid.com) -- Gina Stern of d_parture spa - Newark, NJ-based business that runs three full service spas located in airport terminals (www.departurespa.com) -- Dawn Stokes of Texas Driving Experience - Fort Worth, TX-based high performance driving school held at the Texas Motor Speedway (www.texasdrivingexperience.com) -- Maribeth Vander Weele of Vander Weele Group, LLC - Chicago, IL-based professional services firm that provides investigative and security planning services (www.vanderweelegroup.com) -- Sandi Webster and Peggy McHale of Consultants 2 Go, LLC - Newark, NJ-based consulting firm that provides marketing and analytic solutions to Fortune 500 companies (www.consultants2go.com) -- Kris Wittenberg of SayNoMore! Promotions - Eagle, CO-based promotional products agency (www.saynomorepromotions.com) -- Doreen Zayer of Relax On Cloud 9 - Staten Island, NY-based full service day spa (www.relaxoncloud9.com) Finalists: -- Maribel Araujo of Caracas Restaurant - New York City-based restaurant specializing in Venezuelan cuisine (www.caracasarepabar.com) -- Monique Dearth of ISHR Group - Suanee, GA-based leadership development and placement services (www.ishrgroup.com) About Count Me In Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of business education and resources for women to grow their micro businesses to $million enterprises. Find us at www.countmein.org or call 212-245-1245. About American Express OPEN American Express OPEN is dedicated exclusively to the success of small business owners and their companies. OPEN supports business owners with exceptional service. With tailored products and services, the team delivers purchasing power, flexibility, control and rewards to help customers run their business. Specifically, business owner customers can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings, including charge and credit cards, convenient access to working capital, robust online account management capabilities and savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners. To obtain more information about OPEN(SM), visit OPEN.com, or call 1-800-NOW-OPEN to apply for a card or loan. Terms and conditions apply. American Express Company www.americanexpress.com is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850. M Booth & Associates for Count Me In and American Express OPEN Alex Della Rocca, 212-481-7000 firstname.lastname@example.org or American Express OPEN Rosa M. Alfonso, 212-640-1712 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2008
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