The NAWBO Columbus Business Champion of the Year Award recognizes one outstanding person who advocates for the growth and success of women in business. Honorees must support legislative/regulatory efforts, work to increase business and financial opportunities, improve the business climate and be an advocate for women business owners. Overall, honorees help enable women business owners to achieve their potential.
Nominations for this award open in early Spring and announcements will be sent when the application opens.
2021 Business Champion Award
Eric Seabrook, Ohio Department of Development, Deputy Director, Minority Business Development Division
2020 Business Champion Award
Rachel Winder, NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Advisor, Government Relations Manager with Benesch
2019 Business Champion Award
Frank LaRose, Secretary of State
2018 Business Champion Award
Mary McCarthy, Owner and President of YMT Consultants
Mary was instrumental in the Chapter’s efforts to get approval of the Women’s Microbusiness Legislation, HB5. She has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and consultant, she is actively involved in NAWBO’s public policy committee and is an advocate for women business owners. In addition to YMT, Mary is Co-Founder of the Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA), helping many women to start and grow their businesses across Columbus.
2017: The Honorable Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio House of Representatives – 86th District
2016: Sheila A Mixon, Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council (ORV-WBC)
2015: Sharon DeLay, GO-HR
2014: Barb Smoot, Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD)
The Visionary Award honors Central Ohio women business owners who have achieved success with their business while making notable contributions to their communities, their industries and to initiatives for other women in business. NAWBO Columbus hosts this coveted award as a prestigious way to recognize and showcase the amazing women who not only own and operate businesses that are vital to Ohio’s economy but also find time and resources to identify needs and drive social change. These Visionary women make Central Ohio better and stronger for all of us.
2020 Visionary Award Honorees
Theresa Harris, TMH Solutions
Theresa Harris, President and Founder of TMH Solutions, has more than 30 years of progressively responsible experience in Management and Information Technology. TMH Solutions, LLC is a certified women and minority owned and managed company working to collaborate with her customers and strategic partners to deliver high quality, cost effective solutions.
Prior to establishing TMH Solutions, Theresa was Application Sales Manager for Public Sector for Oracle in the States of Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. During her years in the IT field, she’s proven to be a top performer in sales, sales management and professional services with companies such as: Blackwell Consulting Services of Ohio, LLC, Compuware, Computer Associates, Digital Equipment Corporation, Unisys and Xerox. Theresa has led these companies either through start-up, survival, turnaround and growth modes. To read more about Theresa click HERE
Crystal Hughey, Corporate Cleaning Inc.
Crystal Hughey is the Founder and CEO of Corporate Cleaning Inc. Originally created in 1997 as a way to stay home with her son, Corporate Cleaning has grown to a multi-dimensional commercial and construction cleaning company providing services within Central Ohio.
Crystal Hughey has more than 30 years of project management experience and the heart of an entrepreneur. Earning a bachelor’s degree in 1990 from The Ohio State University in Fashion Merchandising, a bachelor’s degree in 2007 from DeVry University in IT Technology, and a master’s degree from Ohio Christian University in Theology. She understands how to motivate people, improve processes, connect resources, and accomplish project-based goals. To read more about Crystal click HERE
Lori Kaiser, Kaiser Consulting
Lori Kaiser is a chief executive, corporate leader, and business strategist with a proven track record in assessing risk and creating solutions for Fortune 500 Company C-Level Executives and Boards. As CEO of Kaiser Consulting an international professional services firm specializing in accounting, finance and IT consulting with 80 finance and accounting professionals, Ms. Kaiser provides clients’ value-based services that allow firms to navigate transitions and successfully execute critical projects. She is considered a trusted advisor to executive management on issues of risk identification and mitigation, mergers, acquisitions and integrations. She combines strong business judgment, financial acumen, global perspective and a team approach to implement innovative solutions to complex business challenges. She meets all the criteria and currently functions as an SEC Audit Committee Financial Expert.
She has founded and led the firm to 20 years of successive revenue growth achieving multi-million-dollar revenues. With the foresight to capitalized upon a niche market the firm partners finance and accounting professionals with Fortune 500 companies, through a unique, flexible staffing business model, that provides high level consulting and business solutions. Ms. Kaiser established and continues to grow long-term client relationships by providing accomplished financial, technical and project management with staffing consistency on client engagements. To read more about Ms. Kaiser click HERE.
Lacey Picazo, ZoCo Design
As the founder of ZoCo Design, Lacey guides her team to design products and experiences people love. Since 2013, ZoCo has been delivering brands and digital products that improve lives and connect people, all by prioritizing an understanding of the human experience. They help their clients identify with the people they serve and the problems they face to uncover opportunities, inform design decisions, and launch products that solve complex problems.
Furthermore, Lacey and ZoCo have built a reputation preparing companies for what’s next—inciting transformation and growth for innovation teams at global companies, to highly impactful nonprofits in their own backyard. Though their clients are diverse, what ties ZoCo’s work together is a bold vision for the future and a passion for improving customer experience through human-centered design. To read more about Lacey click HERE
Kimmi Wernli, Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter Company
Kimmi Wernli is the first female owner of one of the oldest natural food companies in America. When Kimmi assumed the reigns as the second generation owner of her family’s historic peanut butter business, she took Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter Company into the 21st century by disruptive product innovation, brand exposure and elevation and positioning.
With Kimmi’s leadership and vision, Crazy Richard’s revenue has increased by 20%. Kimmi recently received a Nexty Award for Product Innovation and has led Crazy Richard’s to be environmentally aware and incorporate sustainable practices achieving the highly esteemed Benefit Corporation Certification (B-corp) status. She credits this success to her amazing team, company culture and values and tapping into a savvy young socia media audience of Crazy Richard’s fanatics. To read more about Kimmi click HERE.
2019 Visionary Award Honorees
NAWBO Visionary Video
Denise Doczy- DeLong, President & Owner, Singleton Construction, LLC
Denise Doczy-DeLong is the President and majority owner of Singleton Construction LLC, which was founded in 1995 and has grown into a leading Commercial Construction General Contractor focusing on transforming retail spaces. The company was founded by Ms. Doczy-DeLong’s mother, Nancy Doczy and partner Chris Singleton. In 2006, Ms. Doczy-DeLong joined Singleton Construction LLC as the Managing Director of the business and has significantly expanded Singleton’s customer base and geographic footprint. Today the company is headquartered in Canal Winchester Ohio and operates in 39 states. Singleton is excited about the opportunities in the construction industry to help retailers physically transform their brands.
Ms. Doczy-DeLong is an active member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Retail Contractor’s Association, the Builder’s Exchange of Central Ohio and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. This past year Ms. Doczy-DeLong was selected for a year long mentorship by the Maria Sharapova Women’s Entrepreneur Program and the National Association of Women Business Owners. She was also elected to the Columbus Chamber’s Small Business Council.
Eleanor N. Alvarez, BA, MAT, MAgS is Founder & President of The Ganzhorn Suites and LeaderStat, LLC. She has more than 30 years of management experience in the post-acute and senior living fields as a provider and a consultant. Her areas of expertise include skilled nursing, assisted living operations, facility analysis and acquisitions, start-ups and turn-arounds. During her years working for national corporations, Eleanor was responsible for the operational management of more than 25 facilities. She opened skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, developed numerous high acuity specialty units and stabilized troubled centers. She gained entrepreneurial experience when she opened LeaderStat, an interim management, recruiting and consulting firm which grew from a small start-up into one of the top healthcare recruiting and consulting firms in the country.
Beyond LeaderStat, Eleanor is very proud of her most recent accomplishment, the launch of The Ganzhorn Suites, a specialized memory care center in Powell, Ohio (2016). The Ganzhorn Suites promotes a resident-centered, evidence-based approach for caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
2018 Visionary Award Honorees
Abigail S. David and Erin K. Nealy, Co-Executive Directors, Bridgeway Academy
Abby and Erin founded Bridgeway Academy in 2005, while searching for meaningful and effective ways to serve children with autism and developmental disabilities. Today, Bridgeway Academy inspires the potential and celebrates the ability of every child, while serving 180 children, preK-12th grade from 9 counties in central Ohio through outstanding school day, summer camp, and psychological services; plus speech, music, physical, and occupational therapies.
Bhakti Bania, CEO, BBCO Design
Bhakti is an architect and CEO of BBCO DESIGN, which she founded with her husband in 2009. Originally from Mumbai, India, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Mumbai. After moving to Columbus for graduate school, she received a Masters of Architecture from The Ohio State University (OSU). Bhakti is very involved in the community and is passionate about sharing her experience as an immigrant and a woman business owner. Being in a male dominated industry, she thinks it is important to encourage women to fulfill their career potentials and raise important issues such as pay equity and work life balance.
Dr. Carol Clinton, Founder, CEO and Medical Director, Timeless Skin Solutions
Dr. Clinton built Timeless after spending 15 years practicing medicine in a complex, high-pressure environment where medical changes occur unexpectedly. Her compassion, attention to detail and high standards for patient care has translated into all aspects of Timeless Skin Solutions. Today, Timeless is recognized as a groundbreaking, physician-directed skin care practice helping men, women, and teens achieve healthy and vibrant skin.
Nominated by their peers, the nominees and the selection process remain confidential until the finalists are announced in early May. The award is presented at the annual Visionary Leadership Conference in June.
2017: Heather Whaling, Geben Communications
2016: Elizabeth Blount McCormick, UNIGLOBE Travel Designers
2015: Kristen Harris, Portfolio Creative
2014: Sally Hughes, Caster Connection
2013: Darla King, King Business Interiors
2012: Michelle Kerr, Lightwell
2011: Zoe Guirlinger, Ultimate U Total Health
2010: Merry Korn, Pearl Interactive Network
2009: Shaune Skinner, ASC Group Inc.
2008: Lynn Elliott, Columbus Window Cleaning
2007: Sharon Tackett, Delta Energy, LLC
Jennifer Kuntz, Greenleaf Job Training Services, Inc.
Kara Trott, Quantum Health FNC
Kelly Borth, GREENCREST
Janis Mitchell, Precise Resource Inc.
Thuy Bowyer, M T Wellness Clinic
Tammy Troilo-Krings, Travel Solutions
Cookie McIntyre, The McIntyre Company
Mindy Hedges, Media Solutions
Tricia Smith, Wheeler Secure Check
Lisa Griffin, Griffin Communications
Sue Reninger, RMD Advertising
Lisa Cini, Mosaic Design Studio
Jamie Parman, Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc.
Sandy Fekete, Fekete + Co.
Sue Doody, Lindey’s
Wendy Goldstein, Costume Specialists,
Lynda Bryant, LG Trucking Company
Tara Abraham, Accel Inc.
Elizabeth Rossetti, AmeriCheer, Inc.
JoAnn Martin/Vicki Hutchins, Gooseberry Patch
Betty Jane Nyrop/Erin Nyrop Glasgow, Sterling Electric
Farah Majidzadeh, Resource International, Inc.
Renee’ Claxton, Sort & Pack, Inc.
Lois Fisher, Lois J Fisher & Associates
Paula Inniss, Full Court Press II
Rhonda DeMuth, TDCI, INC
Cheryl Krueger, Cheryl’s Cookies
Mary Held, Old Trail Printing
Roberta Ruch, Acloche
Nancy Kramer, Resource Interactive
The Member of the Year is awarded to a member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for NAWBO Columbus. She is someone who has given of her time and talent to better the organization, and who influences the growth and professional development of our organization and guides individual members in their own growth and development. She models effective leadership and commitment to the group over time.
Nominations for the Member of the Year award will open in Summer, and announcements will be sent when the application opens. The winner will be announced at the August Annual Meeting.
2017 Member of the Year
Babiya Polk, Independent Agent
AFLAC, NAWBO Board Secretary
A member since 2014, Babiya currently serves as Secretary of the NAWBO Columbus Board of Directors. In addition, she serves as a tireless volunteer on both the Corporate Partner and Programming Committees. She is a fierce and positive advocate for our Chapter and was nominated for her embodiment of NAWBO values and beliefs in the NAWBO purpose. Babiya is known to mentor and guide new members, is an active volunteer and shows great dedication to our organization.
2016: Michelle Casper, SmithAmundsen LLC
2015: Barb Girson, My Sales Tactics
2014: Helen M. Colon, Ameriprise Financial
2013: Amanda L. Sage, Gong Gong Communications
2012: Gail Froelicher, Kinetic Insights, LLC
2011: Karen Sullivan, Sullivan Solutions
2010: Jeanne Gokcen, FutureCom Technologies, Inc.
2009: Kathy Warnick, Warnick Consultants
2008: Andrea Nameche, Columbus Financial Group
2007: Kristen Harris, Portfolio Creative
2006: Shelley Menduni, Professional Imagery