WBO OF THE YEAR: Meet 2024’s Excellent Top 10 Class of Women Business Owners

Mar 17, 2024 | Uncategorized

Women business owners are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy, and yet, we continue to face unique challenges in starting, scaling and growing our businesses—from accessing capital to winning contracts with government and large corporations to juggling caregiving responsibilities. Those who rise above these challenges to shine brightly are truly inspirational.

NAWBO’s Woman Business Owner of the Year Award—sponsored by Bank of America—recognizes a NAWBO entrepreneur who excels at strategy, operations, finances, problem solving, innovating, overcoming adversity and giving back to her community. This honor is not based on the size of her business, but rather on her overall business and community excellence.

We recently announced the Award’s Top 10 Class for 2024. Meet this year’s inspirational women business owners below. They will be narrowed down to three in April and the top winner will be announced at the NAWBO Days Awards Gala on June 4th in Washington, DC.


Julie Bogart
Founder of Brave Writer – NAWBO Virtual

Julie is known for her work in the fields of writing and critical thinking. She’s the founder and creator of the award-winning program Brave Writer. In 2000, Julie brought innovation to the education market by providing the first online writing classes in the homeschooling space. Today, Brave Writer boasts a staff of 40-plus employees from around the world and customers in 191 countries. Julie is also the author of the books The Brave Learner and Raising Critical Thinkers, which have sold over 110,000 copies. Julie’s a popular international speaker and hosts the much-loved Brave Writer podcast.

Brittany Fugate
CEO of Cenetric Network Services – NAWBO Kansas City

Brittany is a business IT and networking specialist who leads Cenetric Network Services, which is celebrated for its innovative IT solutions. With a foundation in advanced IT team leadership, infrastructure development and network efficiency, her expertise has secured multiple patents and shaped IT systems for a variety of businesses in Kansas City. Brittany’s commitment to excellence propelled Cenetric into Ingram’s Corporate Report 100 as one of 2023’s fastest-growing companies. A 2023 Enterprising Women of the Year awardee and participant in the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program, she actively contributes to NAWBO Kansas City, demonstrating her commitment to women-owned businesses.

Anabel Lopez
Founder of Cumberland Irving, Inc. – NAWBO Chicago

Anabel is a Certified Public Accountant whose goal is to take clients from Excel Hell to Information Nirvana. She is an analytical thinker with a track record in delivering projects in software development, data analytics, data integration, project management and financial system implementations. Anabel always landed in situations that required a hybrid individual who understood both technology and business, so in 2014, she decided to fill that gap by starting Cumberland Irving, a performance management and business analytics firm. Her expertise focuses on the implementation and development of modeling tools centered on removing error-prone spreadsheets and manual processes.

Amalia Moreno-Damgaard
Founder of Amalia Latin Gourmet – NAWBO Minnesota

Amalia is a pioneering Latina entrepreneur from Guatemala City who propels nationwide cultural transformation through corporate initiatives at Amalia Latin Gourmet, accredited by WBENC. As a Latin culinary authority, her compelling voice intertwines genuine storytelling with her roots. She empowers businesses strategically, fostering cultural understanding, appreciation, workplace goodwill, equity and inclusion. A champion for women in business, co-founder of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota, the first Latina president of NAWBO Minnesota, mentor to scores of women and with a history of serving on 12 nonprofit boards, Amalia’s work reflects a deep sense of responsibility, making a positive difference in the community.

Inez Romaguera
Founder of Strategic Benefits – NAWBO South Florida

Inez is the founder of Strategic Benefits, an employee benefits brokerage firm headquartered in South Florida, serving clients nationwide. Inez’s specialties include insurance negotiations, plan design, healthcare data analysis and corporate wellness. She has been interviewed on Univision and advocated in Washington, DC on behalf of small businesses. Inez is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and the Jim Moran Small Business Executive Program. Her business is also certified as Woman and Minority Owned. Inez is a past president of NAWBO South Florida and has served on the Board in numerous positions for many years.

Jacqueline Ruiz
CEO of JJR Marketing and Fig Factor Media – NAWBO Chicago

Jacqueline is a visionary social entrepreneur who has created an enterprise of inspiration. She has created two award-winning companies, established two nonprofit organizations, published 33 books—the largest collection of Latina stories in the world—and held events in four continents. She has received over 40 awards for her contributions and business acumen. Jacqueline represents the 1.6% of women entrepreneurs with over seven figures in the United States. Being a two-time cancer survivor activated her sense of urgency to serve others and live life to the fullest. She is also one of the few Latina sports airplane pilots in the United States.

Chaz Sandifer
Founder of theNEWmpls, Let Go Let Flow and Stories Behind the Menu – NAWBO Minnesota

Chaz is the founder and CEO of theNEWmpls, Let Go Let Flow and Stories Behind the Menu. Her work focuses on serving a diverse population and promoting racial health and equity through the lens of fitness, wellness and nutrition. Chaz has a background in marketing and international business and is a certified group fitness instructor and certified life and wellness coach in diabetes, arthritis prevention and trauma healing. She is the only Black woman who owns a farmers’ market in Minnesota. Chaz was also an executive producer on her first documentary “Stories Behind the Menu”, which opened the 2023 Twin Cities Film Festival.

Donya Sanford
CEO of Precious Metals – NAWBO Virtual

Donya brings a wealth of professional experience and dedication to her roles as a mother, business owner and community advocate. She has a background in the insurance industry, spanning roles from sales to claims, as well as commercial construction. Her commitment to family led her to pursue real estate, strategically balancing career aspirations with familial responsibilities. In 2020, she took ownership of a Precious Metals store, elevating its profile nationally. Donya’s passion for service extends beyond business, evidenced by her extensive volunteer work and board memberships, reflecting her unwavering dedication to both professional excellence and community betterment.

Kimberly Tucker
Founder of All Reasons Moving & Storage – NAWBO Silicon Valley

Kimberly is founder and president of All Reasons Moving & Storage. She built her reputation as a leader in the moving industry through hard work and dedication, offering more personalized service to customers. All Reasons started as a local moving company and is now global, offering moving and storage services across the United States and around the world. Kim has served on several boards over the years and is currently vice president for the Peninsula Executives Association and Board member for the Better Business Bureau Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. She also works with several nonprofits throughout Silicon Valley.

Precious Williams
CEO of Pitch Perfect Group – NAWBO New York City

Precious is a 13-time national elevator pitch champion, five-time #1 bestselling author and international professional speaker. Besides training entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals, she is also a top Fortune 100 corporate sales trainer, teaching how to take sales, media and elevator pitches from trash to straight cash! Precious is a world-class speaker/trainer for global brands, including BMW, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, SiriusXM, HubSpot, Conde Nast, Harvard University, Columbia University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, George Washington University, QuickBooks, Yelp and more. As a sought-after global speaker, she is often hired to keynote international conferences, summits and events.

These Are the “Days…”

Join us at #NAWBO Days on June 3-5 in Washington, DC to celebrate! Members and non-members are welcome at this event that includes Leader Onboarding and Annual Membership Meeting (June 3), Awards Gala (June 4) and Advocacy Days (June 4-5). Register here before Early Bird savings ends! Then, book your room here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are two Royal Sonestas in DC. If you opt not to book through the NAWBO group rate link, be sure you are booking at the location on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

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