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Sherry Turner Receives Missouri Women's Council Award of Distinction

ST. LOUIS - Gov. Jay Nixon today recognized outstanding leaders in business, community engagement and economic development at the 2015 Governor's Conference on Economic Development in St. Louis. 

Sherry Turner was presented with the Missouri Women’s Council Award of Distinction for her dedication to assisting women on their quest for professional, financial, and personal self-sufficiency. Turner is the founder of OneKC for Women, an umbrella alliance that brings together three area nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing resources, opportunities, and connections for women. Through a long career working on behalf of small businesses in the Kansas City area, Turner has remained committed to making the region a stronger entrepreneurial community with a talented workforce.

The Governor’s Career Service in Economic Development Award was presented to Denny Coleman, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Coleman has been one of the most influential figures in economic development locally, statewide, and even nationally for years, negotiating several mammoth business development deals and strategic community developments throughout his career. He was instrumental in forming the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, a union of the St. Louis County Economic Council and St. Louis Development Corporation. Since the Partnership’s inception in 2013, the St. Louis area has seen more than 11,800 jobs announced and over $1.25 billion in private investment.

Rug Doctor, Inc., in Fenton, received the Governor’s Innovative Industry Training Award, which recognizes a company that demonstrates outstanding success in workforce training and education. Rug Doctor has served the professional and do-it-yourself carpet cleaning market through manufacturing, sales, and service of carpet cleaning products and machines for over 40 years. In 2009, the company’s Fenton plant partnered with St. Louis Community College to transition to lean manufacturing, a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste and inefficiencies within a manufacturing company. Now in its fifth year of lean implementation, the company has seen savings of more than $500,000 through inventory reduction and the elimination of waste, and has increased order fulfillment capacity by 40 percent.

The Governor’s Rural Community/Redevelopment Project of the Year Award was presented to Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, a family-owned quilting fabric and supplies business. Since its founding in 2008, the company has purchased and fully redeveloped 15 vacant buildings in downtown Hamilton, and now owns a total of 21 buildings in the town. In just the past few years, Missouri Star Quilt Company has created 140 new jobs in the community, and employs more than 180 overall, making it the largest employer in Caldwell County. Additionally, the company attracts as many as 10,000 visitors to Hamilton each month. Earlier this year, company owners Sarah Galbraith and Alan Doan were named the 2015 National Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company in St. Louis was awarded the Governor’s Metropolitan Community/Redevelopment Project of the Year Award. Together with Green Street St. Louis, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC) recently converted the former Renard Paper Co. warehouse and distribution building in St. Louis’ Forest Park Southeast (the “Grove”) into a new, LEED Silver brewery and bierhall for UCBC. The new location is one of only a few LEED-certified breweries nationwide, meaning it has embraced the principles of environmental stewardship and social responsibility from the U.S. Green Building Council, and also gives UCBC the largest footprint of any craft brewer in the St. Louis area. The UCBC Brewery and Bierhall created 20 new full-time jobs and 30 part-time jobs.

TK Architects International, Inc., in Kansas City, was the recipient of the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award for its outstanding export performance and growth. Over the past few years, the company has been working to increase its global exports, an effort that has led to exponential growth in sales and resulted in the hiring of nearly 10 new employees. From 2012 to 2014, TK Architects International’s export sales total increased more than 700 percent, and the company is currently aiming to increase its export sales to 10 percent of total company sales by 2016. The company has exported to 42 countries.

The recipient of the Governor’s Minority or Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award was Clearview Window Cleaning, Springfield. The company, which recently celebrated 40 years in business, has grown its workforce from three employees to 15 window cleaning technicians and three support staff in the 20 years since current owner Teresa Emerson assumed the helm. Additionally, the company has been able to secure many large contracts and expand its geographical footprint. Clearview is a past recipient of the Show-Me Heroes Flag of Freedom Award, and currently participates in an on-the-job training program for military employees. Seven of its current technicians are Missouri Veterans, active military personnel, or members of the National Guard and Reserve.

John Engelmann was presented with the Hawthorn Foundation Volunteer Economic Development Award, which honors a person that has made a significant contribution to enhancing the economy of their community through volunteerism. Engelmann has been employed in the field of economic development in the Kansas City metropolitan area since 1988, and currently serves as manager of economic development for KCP&L. He has served on the board of the Missouri Economic Development Council (MEDC) for over 10 years, and in 2015, was elected by his peers as president of the organization. He is also the current president of the board of directors for the Utility Economic Development Association, a board member of SupportKC, and a board member to numerous local, regional, and state economic development organizations within the KCP&L service territory.

The Governor’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Jim Eberlin, CEO of St. Louis-based startup TopOPPS, Inc. TopOPPS, a software-as-a-service company that is revolutionizing sales process management and forecasting, is Mr. Eberlin’s third St. Louis startup company. He also founded Host Analytics in 2001 and Gainsight in 2011, both of which have raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital and maintain a presence in the city. Since its founding in 2014, Eberlin has already raised more than $4 million in capital and grown TopOPPS to over 25 employees, earning him a spot among the highest-grossing single entrepreneurs for venture capital currently active in the state of Missouri.

Owens Corning was presented with the Governor’s Business Project of the Year Award for its commitment to investing and creating jobs in Missouri. Headquartered in Ohio, Owens Corning is a global manufacturer of residential and commercial building materials. In July, the company announced plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Joplin, a nearly $90 million project that is expected to create more than 100 local jobs. The company expects the new location to be fully operational in 2016.


 

WBC and CAPS host InnovateHER Challenge - blooom selected as winner

The Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) and the Women’s Business Center served as local co-hosts for InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge. Sponsored and supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), InnovateHER addresses the needs of women and the role they play in America’s economy.

The local InnovateHER competition drew more than 20 applicants. Each entrepreneur had created a product or service that would have a measurable impact on women and their families, fills a need in the marketplace, and has the potential for commercialization.

The winner for the Kansas City 2015 InnovateHER competition is blooom.  Blooom will advance to the semi-final round of competition in Washington, DC. Blooom is a low-cost, online 401k management tool.  Unlike other online 401k management tools, blooom quickly analyzes the health of a current 401k plan at no cost and provides the option to outsource the management of that account to blooom.  The company developed a proprietary app that will review and rebalance their client's 401k plans to continuously maximize the growth of their plan.  They are the first 401k management company to manage the client's 401k as opposed to simply providing advice. 

While this type of a product benefits anyone with a 401k plan, blooom has identified a unique opportunity to better serve women.  Blooom knows that 401k plans will be the main source of retirement funds for most Americans.  In fact, there are 88 million people who currently have a 401k account.  On average, women have 40% less in their 401k account than their male counterparts.  Blooom's goal is to help women to better manage those accounts to help them more quickly grow the balance in their account.  Women typically outlive men and, therefore, need a larger fund balance to support them throughout their entirety of their retirement. 

A selection committee narrowed the field of applicants to seven finalists who were invited to pitch their concepts at CAPS on Thursday, March 26, 2015.  Panelists for the pitch competition included CAPS students Gabi Cabell, Chloe Davis, Jenna Felson, Hannah Holland, Courtney Long, and Stephanie Yowell, along with Kelly Pruneau from the Women’s Capital Connection and Melissa Roberts from the Enterprise Center of Johnson County.

“Hosting the 2015 InnovateHER competition provided our own student innovators an opportunity to network with and critique their adult counterparts,” states Corey Mohn, Executive Director of the Blue Valley CAPS program.  “It was an honor to open our building to the event and partner with a tremendous resource partner in the Women’s Business Center.”

“The InnovateHer competition has allowed the Women's Business Center to highlight the economic impact of women in the United States, not just as consumers but as entrepreneurs and innovators,” asserts Brande Stitt, Program Director for the Women’s Business Center.  “The opportunity to partner with Blue Valley CAPS has enhances our mission to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs.”

Blooom is now entered into the InnovateHER national semi-final round.  If selected as a national finalist, blooom will be invited to Washington, DC to pitch for a cash prize.


 

Sherry Turner, Founder of OneKC for Women Alliance, to Receive Legacy Award

Sherry Turner, founder of OneKC for Women, has been selected as the 2015 Legacy Award recipient by Thinking Bigger Business Media.  Each year, Thinking Bigger Business Media presents the Entrepreneurial Legacy Award to a leader in Kansas City's small business sector. The recipient is a leader who has made outstanding contributions to impact the entrepreneurial 

community.

This year, Sherry Turner, founder of OneKC for Women is deserving of this prestigious recognition for her dedication to helping women achieve their career goals. She is known for providing a voice for women seeking to reach their full personal and professional potential.

OneKC for Women is an alliance of organizations-the Women's Employment Network, the Women's Business Center and the Women's Capital Connection-that help women pursue their professional and financial goals. By working together as OneKC for Women, these partner organizations are able to better accomplish a common goal: empowering women to achieve financial independence.

As founder, Sherry’s vision was to establish OneKC for Women with the resources, opportunities and connections needed to advance employment opportunities, start a business, grow a business or receive guidance and support in overcoming barriers to success. Whatever resources a woman needs, the alliance is helping support each individual on her journey.

This initiative of collective organizations working together is advancing women in Kansas City by leveraging and elevating each other. Sherry believed this could be accomplished while reducing the overlap of women services. Many organizations aspire to develop collective impact, OneKC for Women has achieved it.

Turner has a long history of working on behalf of Kansas City small businesses through previous service with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City Area Development Council.

Past winners of the Legacy Award include Bert Berkley, William H. Dunn Sr., Donald J. Hall, Patricia Brown-Dixon, Danny O'Neill, Barnett Helzberg, the late Ewing Marion Kauffman and many more.

Turner and the winners of this year's 25 Under 25® Awards will be featured during a gala event on Feb. 28 at the Downtown Marriott's Muehlebach Tower.

We hope that you will join us in congratulating Sherry Turner on this prestigious and well-deserved honor!  

 


 

 

Hello Fearless partners with Kauffman Foundation to launch 'Boss School'

Hello Fearless founder Sara Davidson is partnering with the Kauffman Foundation to launch 'Boss School', a 10-week online course beginning on September 15.  The online training will follow Kauffman's FastTrac curriculum and will include guidance from world-class experts and organizations.   Check out this article for more information about the announcement.


 

Kansas City microloan nears $2.5 million mark

The Kansas City Regional Microloan Fund continues to push the mark in small business lending and nears $2.5 million in lending activity since 2012 according to an article in the Kansas City Business Journal.  The microloan offers funding to small businesses in amounts ranging from $500-$50,000 with the average loan in Kansas City around $8,000. 

The WBC continues to provide assistance to clients seeking more information about the microloan and/or those who are interested in applying for funding.  Contact Brande Stitt for more information.


 

FastTrac grad to launch Mojo Cycling Studio in the fall

Amanda Rismiller, graduate of FastTrac New Venture in the spring of 2013, will launch Mojo Cycling Studio on the Plaza in the fall.  Check out the news:

"Plaza welcomes first fitness studio in seven years"  Kansas City Business Journal

 

 

 

 


 

Kansas City Business Journal celebrates 2014 Women Who Mean Business

The Kansas City Business Journal celebrated the 2014 Women Who Mean Business at a luncheon on August 1.


 

Technology Group Solutions, led by WPO member Lenora Payne, makes list of fast-growing women-owned firms

Lenexa-based Technology Group Solutions LLC ranks high on the Women Presidents' Organization list of the fastest-growing companies owned or led by women. Led by CEO Lenora Payne, Technology Group Solutions ranked No. 12 on the list of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies. WPO ranked companies according to a formula that combines percentage and absolute growth in revenue. Read more about Technology Group Solutions in the Kansas City Business Journal.


 

Study is step in getting more women on Kansas City boards, commissions

The Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City planned to release results of a study on Monday evening that looked at barriers to women serving on public boards. The study, conducted by the University of Kansas, found that many women don't believe they have the expertise needed, believe they won't be asked to serve, and want support and training in order to effectively serve on public bodies. Brian Kaberline covers this story more in the Kansas City Business Journal.

 

 

The OneKC for Women Campaign

OneKC for Women is celebrating the power and influence of women throughout the Kansas City metro area.  The campaign is designed to build awareness of the importance of wome in business and to bring attention to the resources OneKC for Women offers to women at all stages of their professional life.  Billboards launching the campaign will be seen at various locations throughout the Kansas City metro.


 

Wall Street Exec Named as Chair of National Woman's Business Council

President Obama plans to appoint a Wall Street executive as the chairperson of the National Woman's Business Council, the federal government's independent voice for women business owners.  Carla Harris, vice chairman of global wealth management, managing director and senior client advisor for Morgan Stanley, is slated to take the role according to the Kansas City Business Journal report.


 

Women's Business Center in First Startups:  Made in Kansas City Show

The Women's Business Center was featured in the first episode of a new KCPT series on startups in Kansas City. The series, Startups:  Made in Kansas City, airs every Tuesday evening on KCPT.  Check out the first episode now!


 

Moms are breadwinners in record 4 out of 10 households

The Pew Research Center analyzed U.S. Census data and determined that moms are the sole or primary breadwinner in four out of 10 households with children.  They also surveyed about 1,000 Americans to gather opinions about the impact of working moms.  Read more to see additional details on the differences between single and married working mothers.


 

Limits Lifted on Federal Contracts to Women-Owned Small Businesses

A new rule will do away with caps on federal contracts to businesses participating in the SBA's Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.  The public can vew the new rule and submit comments by June 6 at www.regulations.gov (Search for RIN 3245-AG55)


 

2013 State of Women-Owned Business Report

Womenable.com and American Express OPEN recently published the 2013 State of Women-Owned Business Report.  The report chronicles the continued growth of women-owned businesses and offers a new analysis of firms owned by women of color.


 

McCaskill, KC Business Women Talk About Small Business Financing

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill met with a small roundtable of women entrepreneurs in Kansas City to discuss their concerns about financing and government contracts.  Click to read more about what these entrepreneurs had to say about doing business in Kansas City.


 

Kansas City Gets 'A-' for Small Business Friendliness

According to a new survey by the Kauffman Foundation and thumbtack.com, small businesses gave Kansas City an "A-" grade for business friendliness.  The metro received its highest rankings in the categories of ease of starting a business, licensing and zoning.