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Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is editor and publisher of Enterprising Women. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). To learn more about how you can become a mentor in the Peace Through Business program or donate to the organization, visit www.ieew.org. Contact her at msmiley@enterprisingwomen.com.

The Greater Women’s Business Council’s LACE Awards Honor Women in Business and Corporate Members Dedicated to the Advancement of Women-Owned Businesses

ATLANTA – November 12, 2018– The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC), the largest provider of certification and development resources for women business enterprises (WBEs) in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, hosted its annual LACE (Ladies Achieving Continuous Excellence) Awards Gala on Nov. 9 at the St. Regis hotel in Atlanta.


This annual event celebrates, honors and recognizes GWBC corporate members and certified WBEs for their commitment and contributions toward furthering the success of women-owned businesses.
More than 200 business leaders gathered at the black-tie masquerade gala to honor and celebrate the nominees and winners in a variety of categories.


LACE Award Winners

Award winners are GWBC corporate members and GWBC certified WBEs who demonstrate outstanding contributions in supporting women-owned business through mentoring, coaching, offering world-class supplier diversity initiatives and access to procurement opportunities.

Winning individuals and companies are:

  • Corporation of the YearGeorgia Power The corporation that has created significant advancement in breaking down barriers that impede WBEs from gaining fair access to procurement opportunities, including supplier development activities, financial assistance, and strategic alliance counseling.
  • Advocate of the Year, CorporationSesley Brown, Accenture Supplier diversity practitioner, procurement professional or buyer who is a current employee of a corporate GWBC member, selected for extraordinary efforts in inspiring, engaging and empowering GWBC certified WBEs.
  • Buyer of the Year – Maranda Artis Ellison, Georgia Power Buyer, procurement professional or a supplier diversity practitioner who is a current employee of a corporate GWBC member, selected for instituting programs that offer equal access for GWBC certified WBEs and attained world-class quality in its supplier diversity process.
  • The Voice AwardGeorgia Power Selected by GWBC WBEs, this award is presented to a corporation who has exhibited the most significant progress in creating a voice and platform for GWBC certified WBEs to gain fair access to procurement opportunities.
  • Advocate of the Year, WBE – Kittie Watson, Innolect Inc. GWBC certified WBE business owner (CEO/President) or an employee of a GWBC certified WBE, recognized and honored for their proven methods in mentoring, coaching and supporting women-owned businesses
  • Trailblazer Award GWBC Certified WBE owners (CEO/President), selected based upon being a pillar in their community, contributing their time and talent with a proven track record of mentoring, partnerships, volunteerism and supporting other WBEs.
  • Trailblazer, Category I (Annual sales under $1 Million) – Natalie Keng, Chinese Southern Belle LLC
  • Trailblazer, Category II (Annual sales $1 Million - $5 Million) – Sara Webb, InTandem Promotions Inc.
  • Trailblazer, Category III (Annual sales $5 Million - $10 Million) – Kimberly A. Ajy, River To Tap Inc.
  • Trailblazer, Category IV (Annual sales $10 Million - $20 Million) – Rebekah Barr, AllStaff Technical Solutions Inc.
  • Trailblazer, Category V (Annual sales $20 Million - $50 Million) – Sushumna Roy, SoftPath System LLC
  • Trailblazer, Category VII (Annual sales more than $100 Million) – Livia Whisenhunt, PS Energy Group Inc.

“We’re honored to celebrate our region’s outstanding women in business and corporate partners who support the growth and development of women business enterprises,” said Roz Lewis, president & CEO of GWBC. “With more than 1,000 WBE members in our region, it’s a historic moment in time for us all, and we couldn’t do it without the commitment and contributions of our entire membership.”


The LACE Awards gala featured a mix of activities including the pre-awards reception, LACE silent auction, dinner, live entertainment and dancing.


ABOUT THE GREATER WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL, INC.
The Greater Women’s Business Council Inc. (GWBC) is a not-for-profit organization that provides nationally-recognized certification through its Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) network, innovative programming and value-driven events customized to the unique needs of women business owners (WBEs) in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. GWBC’s constituency is comprised of more than 1,000 certified WBEs, dozens of corporate member partners, government entities and business alliances united to inspire, engage and empower women-owned businesses. A Regional Partner Organization of WBENC, GWBC is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with a satellite office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Learn more at www.gwbc.biz.

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