WOMEN PRESIDENTS’ ORGANIZATION NAMES THREE ANNUAL AWARD WINNERS AT 2020 DIGITAL CONFERENCE

New York, NY (July 22, 2020) -- The Women Presidents’ Organization, a peer advisory group to help million dollar plus women-led companies take their businesses to the next level, announced three 2020 award recipients recently at its 2020 digital conference Reimagining Business (#wporeimaginingbusiness).

  • MARY LEHMAN MACLACHLAN ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD - LAURA KELLY – CEO, KEYOT LLC; OAKWOOD, MN
  • ADRIENNE HALL AWARD FOR BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS - BETTY HINES – WPO CHAPTER CHAIR; GREENBELT, MD; FOUNDER & CEO BETTY HINES DBA WOMEN ELEVATING WOMEN
  • PRESIDENT’S AWARD - LYNDA M. APPLEGATE – HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL BAKER FOUNDATION PROFESSOR, SAROFIM-ROCK PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, EMERITA

Mary Lehman MacLachlan Economic Empowerment Award
This Award is named for the esteemed WPO advisory board member who provided the seed capital to fund the start of the organization. Mary Lehman MacLachlan cared deeply about women in positions of leadership and business ownership, and strongly believed women need to support other women in their communities. The award is given in her memory each year, to one WPO member who embodies economic independence, running a financially-sound business, providing financial benefits for staff, and supporting other businesswomen in the community.

The judges for this year’s award were:

  • Katherine Lehman, daughter of Mary Lehman MacLachlan
  • Beth Marcello, Director, Women’s Business Development PNC, Certified Women's Business Advocate
  • Sherri Griffiths, Regional President, Business Banking, Greater Ontario Region, BMO Bank of Montreal

This year’s award winner Laura Kelly, CEO, Keyot LLC in Oakwood MN, runs a profitable company, with a gross profit of 30% and a net income of 11% in 2019. Members of her back-office team earn competitive salaries and may participate in bonus or commission plans. The company offers full health and dental benefits, profit sharing and a 401K plan with a company match.

A WPO member for the past eight years, she has joined the Platinum VI chapter, in which members have average annual revenues of $47 million. In her spare time, she mentors young women through nonprofit organizations -- such as Dress for Success Twin Cities and YWCA Twin Cities. She encourages them to pursue careers they may have not thought possible -- in information technology, operations and project management -- challenging them to package themselves and their ideas in the most professional way possible, so prospective employers will take them seriously.

Adrienne Hall Award for Breaking Down Barriers
This award goes to a member, Chapter Chair, organization, or sponsor – any stakeholder who has gone out of the way to collaborate with the WPO, and to forge alliances that have proven helpful to the organization. Esteemed WPO Board Chair Adrienne Hall started the first women-owned advertising company in the United States. A strong advocate for women’s rights, Adrienne contributed to the success and growth of the WPO by making connections that still enable the organization to provide superior programming and continued expansion.

This year’s award winner Betty Hines, Founder and CEO, Betty Hines dba Women Ellevating Women, has been a WPO Chapter Chair for 12 years and has proven herself an invaluable resource for innovative programming and making connections on behalf of the organization. Betty introduced a program, in partnership with 100 Black Men, honoring outstanding women of color in different industries for their professional achievements and community service, into WPO. Starting in Baltimore chapter ten years ago, the collaboration has continued in 23 cities.

“Adrienne Hall was a powerful inspiration and influence on me personally. A leader in every sense, she was masterful in building relationships and leveraging connections. Betty works tirelessly to forge partnerships and referrals for potential members and tirelessly promotes WPO wherever she goes. She fills her chapter easily, because of her fervent support of and belief in WPO. She takes her tole of a Chapter Chair to heart and truly wants local business owners to succeed. She is a true champion, elevating multicultural women and helping to advance and grow the organization,” said Camille Burns, WPO Chief Executive Officer.

President’s Award
This year’s President’s Award winner Lynda M. Applegate is the Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) and serves as the Chair of the Advisory Committee for Harvard University’s Masters’ of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies degrees in finance and management. Lynda also continues to play a leading role in developing the HBS Executive Education Programs for entrepreneurs and business owners. She has provided a gateway for WPO to the Harvard Business School’s robust wealth of content and eminent professors who bring the school’s inspiring case studies alive.

“Lynda Applegate has been the inspiration and driving force behind a unique program for WPO members with annual revenues of $3 million to $10 million, who do not yet qualify for WPO Platinum membership, or the Harvard Owner President Management Program. She has spoken at several WPO conferences, chapters, and Chapter Chair training sessions, and participated in the first Summit held for WPO Platinum members. WPO owes her its deep gratitude for all she has done,” said Dr. Marsha Firestone, WPO President & Founder.

About the Women Presidents’ Organization
The WPO is the premier peer advisory organization connecting successful women who own multimillion-dollar companies. Members in chapters across six continents participate in confidential monthly meetings to share business expertise and experience, based on a peer learning methodology designed to accelerate the growth of their businesses to the next level of prosperity. Local WPO chapters are coordinated by a professional facilitator. Prospective WPO members must have annual gross revenue of at least $2 million, if product-based, or $1 million if service-based.

For more information please visit our website www.womenpresidentsorg.com. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @WomenPresidents. Like us on Facebook @TheWPO.
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