The NAWBO® Annual Awards Program honors the accomplishments and contributions of exemplary women who have led the way in the women's business community and are building a legacy for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
2021 Woman Business Owner of the Year Award
Sponsored by Bank of America
Nominations for the 2021 NAWBO National Women Business Owner of the Year Award will be open April 13 - June 1. The award will be presented during the virtual National Women’s Business Conference (WBC) 2021, October 19, 2021.
The Woman Business Owner of the Year Award recognizes and rewards an entrepreneur who excels at strategy, operations, finances, problem solving, overcoming adversity and giving back to her community. It’s not based on business size, but rather overall business excellence.
The Nomination Period is April 13 - June 01 @5pm ET
The top three finalists receive these exciting prizes:
Complimentary full WBC conference registration
Inclusion as a panelist in a virtual WBC session sponsored by Bank of America
National exposure on NAWBO social media and communication channels
Recognition as a finalist during the Awards Gala and a 4-color headshot and bio in the WBC program book
Profile in NAWBO ONE e-publication article leading up to the conference
Honored at the NAWBO Awards Gala
Announced as WBO of the Year in NAWBO communications
National press release announcing Gala honorees through PR Newswire
To qualify, all nominees must:
Be an active Premier or Virtual NAWBO member in good-standing
Participate in the day-to-day operations of the company
Own a minimum of 25% of the company
Be able to attend the virtual National Women’s Business Conference—September 23, 2020
Not be a member of the NAWBO National Board of Directors
Members can self-nominate or be nominated by another party. The nomination period is open from April 13 until June 01. Please submit supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 01@5pm ET.
Awards Selection, Judging & Announcement Process
The Awards Selection Committee is comprised of the current NAWBO National Chair, Immediate Past National Chair, Chair of the Presidents Assembly Steering Committee and other members of the National Board.
The Committee will have exclusive, confidential access to all nomination applications and supporting documents. They judge each nominee using a scoring matrix that outlines the criteria and point system. Once the matrixes are complete, they are submitted to a NAWBO staff member, who then calculates the scores. The top ten nominees are passed to Bank of America for final scoring. If there is a tie, the Awards Selection Committee will submit a confidential vote for the winner.
- Briefly describe the nominee's business and its history
- Please describe the company's growth and how nominee affected/participated in that growth. (Please indicate growth by % or $)
- Please describe how the nominee participates in the day-to-day operations of the business.
- What community organizations has the nominee supported and/or participated in?
- Why did the nominee become an entrepreneur?
2020 Winner: Rebecca Fyffe, Landmark Pest Management – NAWBO Chicago
The Susan Hager Legacy Award
The NAWBO award named in honor of NAWBO’s founding president, Susan Hager (1974-75). The women’s community lost a great visionary when she passed away in 2008 as Susan was a stalwart champion of women’s economic empowerment and someone who built a legacy for others to follow. The Susan Hager Legacy Award gives honor to a person or group of persons who, through their advocacy and actions, have helped to establish the legacy of women’s entrepreneurship for future generations. Recipient is a current or past NAWBO member.
2020 Winner: Virginia Littlejohn, Quantum Leaps
The Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award
The NAWBO Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award recognizes a women business owner who has made a significant contribution to the status and visibility of women-owned firms and to the empowerment of women entrepreneurs both nationally and internationally. This award was named after Gillian Rudd, who served as NAWBO’s national president (1987-88) and contributed both strategy and personal charm to NAWBO’s early political advocacy activities. Gillian was also instrumental in helping NAWBO establish the National Foundation for Women Business Owners—now known as the Center for Women’s Business Research. Recipient is a current or past NAWBO member.
2020 Winner: Edie Fraser, Women Business Colaborative
Dr. Trent Award
Dr. Trent’s life has been an incredible story of pushing beyond the reality of her circumstances and making dreams come true through hard work, perseverance and grit. Her achievements and initiatives bring the highest level of measure when we look at what women can overcome and bring forth. Those honored with the Dr. Tererai Trent Award should have similar triumphs and traits as Dr. Trent and exemplify “Tinogona – It is achievable!”
2020 Winner: Tammy Renee Butler, Engaging Solutions, LLC
NAWBO Advocacy Award honors a woman business owner that advocates for the advancement of the women business owner community in a bipartisan spirit. She is a voice of collaboration and effectively presents or moves legislation, regulation reform, or new initiatives forward. Her efforts as a public servant are not limited to the issues that directly affect her business or community. Instead, she uses her platform to bring to light the needs of those who may not have a similar opportunity to raise their voices. The vision and goals of her advocacy set the stage for further advancements for women business owners now and in the future.
2020 Winner: Linda Forman, Linda Forman CPA P.C. – NAWBO Chicago
NAWBO Hall of Fame Awards
Every year, during the National Women’s Business Conference hosted by NAWBO, our organization is proud to present Hall of Fame Awards to some of the most dynamic and significant women business owners and advocates in the U.S. Every honoree is a trailblazer in her own right and reflects the legacy of power and success of the women’s business community at large.
Congratulations to the following Hall of Fame Awards recipients:
- Glennon Doyle - Hall of Fame
- Tiffany Dufu - Hall of Fame
- Sophia Amoruso- Hall of Fame
- Elizabeth Gilbert - Hall of Fame
- Shabnam Mogharabi- Hall of Fame
- Gayle Lemmon - Hall of Fame
- Blair Milo- Hall of Fame
- Kristin Haffert- Hall of Fame
- Erin Brockovich- Hall of Fame
- Carolyn Rodz- Hall of Fame
- Jenn Lim - Hall of Fame
- Kim Reynolds- Hall of Fame
- Charleta B. Taveras- Hall of Fame
- Jennette Bradley- Hall of Fame
- Dr. Tererai Trent- Hall of Fame
- Bonnie St John - Hall of Fame
- Leigh Anne Tuohy - Hall of Fame
- Suzanne Pease - Unsung Hero Award
- Erin Andrew, assistant administrator for Women’s Business Ownership U.S. Small Business Administration
- Muffy Davis, Paralympic gold medalist and motivational speaker
- Susan Duffy, executive director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College
- Katherine Kallinis Berman, co-founder of Georgetown Cupcake and star of TLC’s DC Cupcakes
- Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, co-founder of Georgetown Cupcake and star of TLC’s DC Cupcakes
- JJ Ramberg, host of MSNBC’s Your Business and co-founder of Goodsearch.com
- Susan Solovic, THE Small Business Expert
- Charlotee Beers, first-ever woman CEO of top advertising agency and author of I’d Rather Be In Charge
- Alexis Maybank, co-founder of the Gilt Groupe
- Gina Rudan, president and CEO of Genuine Insights, Inc.
- Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder of the Gilt Groupe
- Kathy Ireland, chief designer and CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide
- Katrina Markoff, owner, founder and chocolatier of Vosges Haut-Chocolat
- Karen Mills, administrator of the Small Business Administration
- Azure Antoinette, poet, spoken word artist and millennial and arts education advocate
- Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and CEO, ACT-1 Group
- Koni Kim, president and CEO, Koni Corporation
- Maria de Lourdes Sobrino, founder and CEO, Lulu’s Dessert Corporation
- Lynda Weinman, co-founder, lynda.com
- Honorable Mary Landrieu, chair, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
- Virginia Littlejohn, president, CEO and co-founder of Quantum Leaps and past NAWBO National president
- Honorable Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives
- Honorable Olympia Snowe, ranking member, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
The Susan Hager Legacy Award
- 2020: Virginia Littlejohn, Quantum Leaps
- 2019: Teresa Meares, DGG Uniform and Apparel
- 2018: Laura Yamanaka, teamCFO
- 2017: Darla Beggs, Abba Staffing and Consulting LLC
- 2016: Dottie Gandy, The Up To Something Group
- 2015: Patty DeDominic, DeDominic & Associates
- 2010: Virginia Littlejohn, Quantum Leaps, Inc.
The Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award
- 2020: Edie Fraser, Women Business Colaborative
- 2019: Jill Calabrese Bain, Bank of America
- 2018: Griselda Quezada-Chavez
- 2017: Monica Smiley, Enterprising Women
- 2016: Laura Yamanaka, teamCFO
- 2010: Dr. Terry Neese, Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW)
Woman Business Owner of the Year
- 2020: Rebecca Fyffe, Landmark Pest Management – NAWBO Chicago
- 2019: Gail Becker, Caulipower - NAWBO Los Angeles
- 2018: Francine Friedman Griesling, Esq., Griesling Law – NAWBO Philadelphia
- 2017: Kim Heathcott, Clarion Security LLC - NAWBO Memphis
- 2016: Didi Discar, Carling Communications – NAWBO San Diego
Dr. Trent Award
- 2020: Tammy Renee Butler, Engaging Solutions, LLC
- 2019: Tinesha Cherry, She Strong International
- 2018: Dana Marlowe, I Support the Girls
- 2017: Heather McCarthy, Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books
- 2020: Linda Forman, Linda Forman CPA P.C. – NAWBO Chicago