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SBA Recognizes 17 Women Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration last week recognized 17 of the nation###s best and brightest women entrepreneurs at a breakfast event at the Washington Hilton & Towers.

Vice President Richard B. Cheney joined SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto to honor women who have launched ventures and achieved remarkable success. Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorna also spoke via satellite.

The number of women-owned businesses is growing at twice the rate of all U.S. businesses. Women are owners in more than 10 million businesses in the U.S., account for 35 percent of all businesses, employ 27.5 million workers and generate $3.6 trillion in revenues.

"I###m delighted to recognize the contributions that women business owners have made and continue to make to our economy and our way of life," said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. "Women-owned businesses are growing so quickly, and are creating so many jobs; they are the future of our workplace and our economy."

SBA Deputy Administrator Melanie R. Sabelhaus hosted the event, at which representatives of more than 100 women###s business organizations attended. Sabelhaus made the presentation to the winners of the Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Award.

"These 17 women have achieved the American Dream," said Sabelhaus. "With their dedication, passion and vision they have become successful entrepreneurs, and the SBA is proud to have helped them along the way. Truly, these women represent the entrepreneurial spirit of America."

The 17 honorees came from all over the country and were selected by a cross-section of SBA programs and SBA partner organizations. All started their business with help from the SBA.

Following are the winners:

  • Barbara Baekgaard and Patricia Miller (co-founders), Vera Bradley Designs, Ft. Wayne, IN
  • Pamela Barefoot, Blue Crab Bay, Onancock, VA
  • Donna Asmann, Clark Manufacturing, Wellinton, KS
  • Tina Cordova, Queston Construction, Albuquerque, NM
  • Patty DeDominic, The PDQ Careers Group, Los Angeles, CA
  • Lurita Doan, New Technology Management, Winchester, VA
  • Kathryn Freeland, RGII Technologies, Annapolis, MD
  • Judy George, Domain Homes, Norwood, MA
  • Heather Howitt (co-founders: Tedde McMillen, Carla Powell, and Lori Woolfrey), Oregon Chai, Portland, OR
  • Rebecca Matthais, Mothers Work, Philadelphia, PA
  • Marilyn Melkonian, Telesis Corporation, Washington, DC
  • Carolyn Minerich, Carmin Industries, Jacksonville, AL
  • Julie Morgenstern, Julie Morgenstern Professional Organizers, New York, NY
  • Nikki Olyai, Innovision Technologies Novi, MI
  • Dr. Taryn Rose, Taryn Rose International, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
  • Maria Welch, Respira Medical (In-Home Service & Assistance LS) Baltimore, MD
  • Jeannette Lee White, Sytel, Bethesda, MD