Hear From This Year’s Enterprising Women of the Year

Feb 19, 2016 | Uncategorized

It takes determination, vision and leadership to run a successful business. It’s a magic combination of skills that can only be found in a select group of people. Some might call them “natural born leaders,” but we like to think of them as “enterprising.” That’s exactly how we would describe the NAWBO members and leaders who were honored with the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards from our media partner Enterprising Women magazine. As we gear up for the 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference, where all the winners will be honored, we asked these 2015 NAWBO member recipients to share their insights on this great achievement:

Beverly A. Bailey
NAWBO-Orange County Member
Stronghold Engineering, Inc.


Audrey Taylor
NAWBO-Indianapolis Member
netlogx, LLC


Ana Fernandez-Parmet
NAWBO-Philadelphia Member
Parmetech, Inc.


Eva Niewiadomski
NAWBO-Chicago Member
Catalyst Ranch


Marnie Ochs-Raleigh
NAWBO-Minnesota President
Evolve Systems


Sally Hughes
NAWBO-Columbus Member
Caster Connection


Teresa Lawrence
NAWBO-New Orleans Member
Delta Personnel


Jennifer Kearney
NAWBO-New York City Member
Gotham Energy 360, LLC


When you think about a woman who is “enterprising,” how would you describe her? 

“An ‘enterprising’ woman is one who likes to pioneer new ideas.” —Beverly Bailey

“She is a dynamic leader that exudes positive energy, focuses on strategic goals and rises to the challenge. She is a creative problem-solver, innovative in her approach and has the courage to stay true to her convictions, even if it goes against traditional wisdom. That’s coupled with the humility to recognize the need for change and course correct as necessary. She also has the ability to nurture her team to allow the business to grow. I recall an early example of an enterprising woman that has stayed with me since the age of 10. For the first time, there was a single woman who bought her own home and moved into my neighborhood¾without a husband and family. She was a policewoman and rose through the ranks. I truly believe she opened my eyes to what possibilities were out there for women. Because of that influence, I determined a career in the male-dominated world of IT seemed feasible.—Audrey Taylor

“An ‘enterprising woman’ is a woman who always strives to be the best version of herself in whatever she is doing in all phases and levels of her life. As women, we do so much more than just work our jobs. We are mothers, wives and community members, and we should always strive to bear fruit in all of our facets and endeavors. An enterprising woman to me should always be ready to help others and to serve as a connector in any way she can.” —Ana Fernandez-Parmet

“The word ‘enterprising’ brings to my mind a woman who is dynamic, agile, engaging, has foresight and is interested in helping others grow, develop skills/talents and succeed. She is confident, but also always willing to hear other perspectives and learn from mistakes. An enterprising woman is a good storyteller¾she knows how to capture someone’s imagination, ignite them with her passion and thus foster support and strong, loyal relationships. Being enterprising means having the ability to shift gears quickly, juggle many projects/endeavors at the same time and make timely decisions. It means running your business with integrity and compassion and persevering despite obstacles that arise. But it also means being grateful for the success that you’ve found and reinvesting that in your community, being generous with your time in helping future entrepreneurs get a few steps ahead. We all received a lot of help along the way, and we need to pay that forward to help the next generation succeed as well.—Eva Niewiadomski

“She is empowered to think beyond the daily tasks that surround her. She lives life on purpose and sees the opportunities to excel where others see roadblocks. She shares her successes with others and builds a strong team around her. She is resourceful, entrepreneurial, imaginative and creative.” —Marnie Ochs-Raleigh

“I would describe an enterprising woman as someone who is not afraid to take on major challenges that are important or difficult. Someone full of energy and initiative.” Sally Hughes

“I think of a woman who is creative and persistent in pursuing her goals.” —Jennifer Kearney

“A woman who is enterprising is someone who has faced adversity and risen above it¾someone who sees breakdowns as breakthroughs. She is a woman who makes sacrifices and makes dreams come true not only for herself, but also for others. Someone who feels like every day she is just scratching the surface!” —Teresa Lawrence


What did it mean for you personally and for your business to be awarded an Enterprising Women of the Year Award?

“It was an honor to win this award. My family, including my grandchildren, was able to be part of a special moment in my life.” —Beverly

“As a business owner, I am truly proud to be awarded this recognition. The Enterprising Women publication is a great resource for women entrepreneurs, providing a forum to connect, learn and share with others.” —Audrey

“I am very honored to have been nominated by one of my clients (who is a 2015 Enterprising Woman) and to have been selected as a winner. I am excited about the year to come! I am really looking forward to the awards conference because I have been told that it is a dynamic event! I am looking forward to meeting my fellow winners and making new connections! It is too soon to say what it means for our business, but I am hoping that it will give my company more recognition.” Ana

“It is gratifying to be recognized in such a special way and makes me so very proud. You tend to just work away, doing what you do, but not really expecting any sort of recognition. My employees are all thrilled that I received this award, and it has really boosted their pride in working for Catalyst Ranch. I am looking forward to meeting all the other winners at the conference in February and to learning more about their businesses. Hopefully, some new friendships and relationships will develop.—Eva

First of all, I am humbled by this honor. I am blessed to be surrounded by very talented employees and truly awesome clients, but work is still work and it is hard to see the forest from the trees sometimes. I hold myself to a very high standard, and this sometimes means that I don’t fully appreciate how far we have taken Evolve Systems over the past 15 years. In many ways, this award validates my team much more than it rewards me. As the CEO, it is my job to set the vision for the company, but it is my employees who actually get us to where we are going. For me personally, it was a deep honor when I read about the other awardees and all that they have accomplished. I am excited to celebrate with my new sisters and share in their success as well.” Marnie

“I’m honored to be named amongst such an accomplished group of business and community leaders. It means a lot to me to be recognized for causing change within our industry because of Caster Connection’s innovative products, marketing and focus on ergonomics and reducing workplace injuries.” —Sally

“To be recognized as an enterprising woman is both a great honor and extremely humbling. Like many women who try to do too much, I can often feel like nothing is being done as well as it could be and that goals are not being attained. Taking the time to step back and truly review the achievements made has been very satisfying.” Jennifer

“No matter how many accomplishments you have in your life, someone helped you along the way to get there. In my case, I have been blessed with many ‘someones’ in my amazing staff. I am being recognized through the work of many, and I am humbled and appreciative for this recognition and sincerely thankful to Enterprising Women for understanding the challenges that come with owning a small business. It also means that I continuously have the responsibility to make sure that I am setting the right foundation and taking the time out to mentor and help others. We all have a commitment to give back and help others live their dreams. Everyone comes into this world with ‘extraordinary’ coded in his or her DNA, and it is up to us to make sure it is released.—Teresa


How do you feel like NAWBO helps you be even more “enterprising” as a woman entrepreneur?

“NAWBO provides many opportunities for women to network and share best business practices.” —Beverly

“Since the formation of netlogx, we have strived to be inclusionary in our thinking and our actions. NAWBO’s richness of diversity was one factor that influenced my decision to become a member. Joining NAWBO has become one of the best business decisions I have made. Yes, I knew it was a well-established organization that provides support for women-owned businesses. What I have now come to know is it is so much more¾a group of women who truly understand the challenges faced every day as a woman business owner, a source of professional and emotional support and an advocate for our interests within the community¾all just a call away. Success fosters success!” Audrey

“My business turns 25 years old in January 2016, and I joined NAWBO early on in hopes of networking and finding business opportunities. It was through my capacity as Alliance Chair that NAWBO-Philadelphia afforded me the vehicle to spread my wings to meet other organizations. NAWBO-Philadelphia was instrumental in helping me come out of my comfort zone and really get out there to talk about NAWBO and my business. I have gained experience in facilitating programs and have really built my professional network. As far as I am concerned, that is what ‘enterprising’ is all about!” —Ana

“Being a member of NAWBO has given me access to some incredible women. Everyone I have met has been very supportive and willing to help in whatever way they could. They recommend resources, provide referrals and introductions and are willing to lend an ear when you just need the counsel of another business owner. Their expertise is second to none.” —Eva

“NAWBO brings me together with like-minded fellow business owners who are working hard every day to better their community, their companies and the lives of their employees. I am able to bring up issues with my sisters in NAWBO and know that I am not going to be judged because many of them have been in the same position that I am dealing with. NAWBO is my safe place to ask for help and bounce ideas off of women who have been in my shoes. NAWBO also offers me the opportunity to reach out to younger women in the organization and help to be their mentor as well. It is heartwarming to work with all of these amazing leaders, and I have found that together, we are stronger.” —Marnie

“NAWBO gives me the opportunity to meet and share ideas with other highly engaged women business owners. Being around such an inspiring group is an incredible motivator.” —Sally

“NAWBO is a fantastic organization for seeking support, networking and learning to push the boundaries of what is possible. Many of the fellow entrepreneurs I have met through NAWBO have inspired me to expand the scope of my consulting practice.”—Jennifer

“I feel that being part of NAWBO has helped build a bond and network of amazing women business leaders. With this network, I have a world-class support system, and the level of knowledge and experience that is part of NAWBO gives me an additional tool in my toolbox.” —Teresa

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