The Stevie Awards Blog

Stevie Winner, Chicken Dinner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 05:54 PM

International restaurant franchise Church’s Chicken® celebrated 65 years in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. this year. Founded in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken serves signature small-batch, hand-breaded chicken, honey-butter biscuits and All-American sides. Church’s Chicken, and its international sister company, Texas Chicken, have 1,650 locations in 23 global markets with sales exceeding $1.2 billion annually.

Church’s Partners Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which provides assistance and scholarships to the employees and franchisees of Church’s Chicken, Texas Chicken, their families and their communities.

Churchs chicken laura.jpgLaura Reese, Church’s Senior Director of Media, Digital and Public Relations, won The Gold Stevie® Award for Most Innovative Woman of the Year in Franchising in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Reese used her specialized expertise from career experience at Nielsen and with private advertising firms to creatively advance the Church’s brand, furthering reach in their communities.

churchs chicken jen.jpgJennifer Chasteen, Church’s Vice President of Brand Strategy and Activation, won The Stevie Silver Award for Female Executive of the Year for Consumer Products in a business with over 2,500.

When Laura was promoted in 2017, she went through a deep dive of the Church’s brand. She asked herself – who are we? What do we do? What does it mean? And most importantly, why does it matter? Together with her digital agency partners, she examined the archetypes most linked with the brand: Nurturers and Everyman. This lead to a “principles of authentic participation” for the brand’s digital presence, and ultimately resulted in her biggest find – It’s in Church’s DNA to help build communities and people through its food. With the data on her side, she launched a daring new digital campaign, “Church’s Loves Community,” a video/short film campaign which would require the utmost collaborative effort from everyone on her team. Laura brought partners and team members together to strategize a launching plan, designate the platforms to be used, spend, timing, targeting, communication plans, success objectives and measurement.

Fast forward to the present, the Church’s Loves Community series has created four amazingly well-received films – Church’s Loves San Antonio, Church’s Loves Compton, Church’s Loves St. Louis, and the most recent film which debuted in August, Church’s Loves Atlanta. The latest film gained a highly-coveted launch on Nowness.com, a site with five million viewers that serves as the go-to global video channel for screening the best in culture based films. The film boasts a 4.8/5 rating on Nowness, and has gone on to be showcased at the 2017 BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta. Millions of views have been garnered, recognition earned on industry trades, and it has reached success on social media channels through short teaser content on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Under Laura’s direction, the Church’s Loves Community series has been connecting consumers everywhere with the essence of the Church’s brand – through their values of progress, unity, hard work and resilience, Church’s continues to bring communities together. Pioneering an innovative new role for a 65-year old brand can be seen as a daunting task, but if the Church’s Loves Community series is any indication of the brand’s future, we can be excited for the changes which are still to come.

“Both women are bringing a level of commitment and dedication to the Church's brand and its values of Stepping Up, Doing the Right Thing, Celebrating Differences, Working Together and Showing We Care,” says Hector Munoz, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Church's Chicken.

Church’s Chicken has made a commitment to honoring female professional business leaders who have impacted the international market for this legacy American restaurant.

Tags: women awards, Women in Business, employee of the year

Female-Powered Technology Optimizing the Construction Industry

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 @ 11:43 AM

The male dominated construction sector isn’t usually known as a place where women enjoy a level playing field with their peers—but when it comes to shaping the industry’s future, females are taking on a key role.

One of these leaders is Jessica Pollack, a head consultant and trainer with the U.S. technology firm PlanGrid. Her mission: getting everyone on the jobsite, from laborers to project managers, to build more efficiently and cost-effectively.

The San Francisco-area-based company she works for has become a force in the industry in recent years, offering a mobile app that’s been used on more than 500,000 projects around the world.

Plangrid1.jpgThe construction productivity software allows employees to manage blueprints, specs, photos, RFIs and field reports right from their phone or tablet, enabling increased collaboration on the jobsite. To date, it’s been used in more than 70 countries by prominent corporations like DPR, Granite, NVIDIA, Target Corporation and Tutor Perini.

Pollack’s job is to help users discover a new way of managing projects—one that saves valuable time and effort on the ground. Through webinars and on-site learning sessions, she helps make sure her predominantly male audience gets the most of the software.

“I love my job,” Pollack writes on the company’s blog. “I get to meet other construction professionals around the world and introduce them to the magic of PlanGrid.”

PlanGrid is part of an all-too-rare breed in Silicon Valley: a tech company where women are empowered to take on leading roles. The outreach is led by CEO Tracy Young, a female entrepreneur who co-founded the organization in 2011.

Throughout its short history, PlanGrid has put women in a number of key roles, priding itself on a varied workforce in an industry not especially known for its diversity.

Pollack, who’s been part of the team since 2015, has made the most of her opportunities. In recognition of her important teaching role in the construction industry, she recently won the Gold Stevie Award in the 2017Stevie Awards for Women in Business for “Female Employee of the Year” in the Computer Software category.

“It will definitely show women that they can succeed in construction and technology,” Pollack said at the event, held November 17, 2017, in New York City.

Finding her passion

Plangrid 2.jpgPollack didn’t see herself landing in either of these industries when she enrolled in Smith College, an all-female liberal arts school in Massachusetts. At the time, she wanted to become an event planner, a career that she thought would make good use of her interpersonal and organizational skills.

That all changed after she took her first architecture course and switched her major to architecture then took an internship with Turner Construction after her junior year. She was offered the chance to work on the new Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport. “It was then that I realized I wanted to work in construction,” she says.

At Turner, she was fortunate enough to find a number of female role models, including some in key management spots.

“It has been truly empowering to work as a woman in the construction industry,” she says. “Going from an all-women’s college to a male-dominated construction industry allowed me to become the independent, vocal and determined woman I am today.”

Pollack would later take a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to help build a premier hotel and casino in Macau, China. She insisted, though, that the company use PlanGrid, a software solution she first used at Turner.

“When my time in China ended, I wanted to stop by the PlanGrid office to thank all the wonderful people who helped me succeed,” she recalls. “By the time I visited, I was already interviewing with construction companies around the Bay Area, and PlanGrid asked me if I would be interested in working on their team instead.”

“At first, I was hesitant to switch careers and leave the general contracting world, but it was clear that PlanGrid was a supportive company. It felt like the whole team was family.”

In her role with PlanGrid, Pollack is teaching a new crop of project engineers and tradespeople how to achieve the same efficiencies she realized as a user of the app.

“My knowledge and expertise saves people (and projects) time, money and paper,” she says. “It’s a good feeling.”

Tags: employee awards, women awards, women in busines, employee of the year

Stevie Awards for Women in Business Winners Announced in 14th Annual Competition

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 @ 09:33 AM

Shining a spotlight on women executives, entrepreneurs and organizations run by women, winners in the 2017 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business  were announced on Friday, November 17.

See the full list of winners here.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business is an international competition produced by the creators of the prestigious International Business Awards and American Business Awards. The Stevie is widely considered to be the world’s premier business award.

Stevie Awards for Women in Business ceremony 2017.jpgWith more than 500 businesswomen and their guests in attendance, the awards were announced at a gala dinner at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Nations represented at the event include Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Iceland, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, U.S.A., and the United Kingdom.

The presentations were broadcast live worldwide.

More than 1,500 nominations from organizations and individuals in 25 nations were submitted to the awards this year for consideration in categories including Entrepreneur of the Year, Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year, and Startup of the Year, among others. More than 170 professionals around the world participated in the judging process to determine the Finalists and then the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements.

Grand Stevie Award trophies were presented to the five organizations that submitted the best body of entries to the competition, in their own names or in the names of one or more clients. Winners were determined by the number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards won in the competition. The Grand Stevie Award winners are:

  •         FIS, Jacksonville, FL USA (#1)
  •         Pink Elephant, Burlington, ON Canada (#2)
  •         Jeunesse Global, Lake Mary, FL USA (#3)
  •         Clariti Group, Brisbane, QLD Australia (#4 tie)
  •         Accenture, Chicago, IL and New York, NY USA (#4 tie)

Notable Gold Stevie Award winners from this year’s competition include:

  • Therese Tucker, Founder & CEO of BlackLine, Woodland Hills, CA USA - Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services
  • Martha Herrera, Corporate Director of Social Responsibility of CEMEX, Mexico City, Mexico - Most Innovative Woman of the Year – Industry
  • Chargeback Gurus, McKinney, TX USA - Company of the Year – Business Products – More Than 10 Employees
  • Good Food Enterprise Co., Ltd, Taipei, Taiwan - Startup of the Year - Consumer Services Industries 
  • Huda Ali Al-Husaini, Head of Training and Studies for Jordan Engineers Association, Amman, Jordan - Employee of the Year - Government or Non-Profit
  • Little Medical School, St. Louis, MO, USA – Best New Product or Service of the Year - Consumer Services
  • Nissan North America, Franklin, TN USA - Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Marketing - Consumer Products
  • Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director of Creative Industries for Promote Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland - Female Innovator of the Year – Government or Non-Profit –11 to 2,500 Employees
  • Allison Grafton, President and Partner of Rockwood Custom Homes, Calgary, AB Canada - Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Canada
  • Sarah Lance, Founder of Sari Bari Private Limited, Kolkata, India - Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand
  • Katlin Smith, CEO of Simple Mills, Chicago, IL USA - Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Consumer Products –11 to 2,500 Employees
  • Michelle Visco Bauyon, CEO of The Alpha Enterprise, Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines - Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Products –10 or Less Employees
  • Jess Tomlin, President and CEO of The MATCH International Women's Fund, Ottawa, ON Canada - Most Innovative Woman of the Year - Government or Non-Profit

The 2017 Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners reflect a diverse group of large and small organizations from around the globe. Organizations that won more than one Gold Stevie Award include Accenture, BioSafe Technologies, Inc., Clariti Group, Envolve, Inc., FIS, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, GingerMay PR, Jeunesse Global, Pink Elephant, Sari Bari Private Limited, Science Exchange, and The Author Incubator.

For a complete list of Stevie Award winners and more information, visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/Women.

Entries for the 2018 edition of the awards will open in May.

Tags: women awards, women in business awards, executive of the year, Woman of the Year, employee of the year

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