The Stevie Awards Blog

Stevie Awards for Women in Business Announce 2014 Finalists

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

World's Top Honors for Working Women to Be Presented in New York on November 14

Finalists were announced today in the 11th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, the world’s top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run.

Stevies 2014 logoThe Stevie Awards for Women in Business are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards and International Business Awards. The Stevies are widely considered to be the world’s premier business awards.

This year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be announced at an awards dinner at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on Friday, November 14. More than 300 women and their guests from around the world are expected to attend the presentations, which will be broadcast live by Biz Talk Radio and taped for a later television broadcast.

More than 1,200 entries were submitted this year by organizations and individuals around the world for consideration in more than 90 categories including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Women Helping Women, and Communications Campaign of the Year.

Among the leading contenders with multiple Finalists are Accenture, Chicago, IL; AT&T, Dallas, TX; Australian Innovative Systems, Brisbane, Australia; Craig Safety Technologies, Kansas City, MO; Creative Lodging Solutions, Lexington, KY; Dubai Police General Headquarters, United Arab Emirates; Ellison Educational Equipment, Lake Forest, CA; Gabriel Marketing Group, Reston, VA; Hewlett-Packard Company, Sunnyvale, CA; Home Rental Services, Overland Park, KS; iFinance Canada Inc., Toronto; Jeunesse Global, Orlando, FL; KC Projects, Birmingham, AL; LLORENTE Y CUENCA, Madrid, Spain; Marketing Maven, Camarillo, CA; MWW, East Rutherford, NJ; National Merchants Association, Temecula, CA; NEI Global Relocation, Omaha, NE; Nerium International, Addison, TX; Newberry Executive Solutions, LLC, Dallas, TX; Pink Elephant, Burlington, ON Canada; PPC Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa; RezBiz, LLC, Estero, FL; Smartling, New York, NY; Wisdom Natural Brands, Gilbert, AZ; and Xceed Financial Credit Union, El Segundo, CA.

For a complete list of Finalists by category, visit

Finalists were chosen by more than 100 business professionals worldwide during preliminary judging. Members of five specialized judging committees will determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging that begins on October 20.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in six programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, and a new program, the German Stevie Awards. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, women awards, Women in Business, entrepreneur awards, executive awards

Aiming for the Top: A Grand Stevie Awards Winner’s Path to Success

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

Melissa Sones Consulting in New York, New York, won a Grand Stevie Award in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier business awards program for women.  The 2014 Stevie Awards for Women in Business is now accepting entries, with a July 23 early-bird deadline.  Review the entry kit here.

Melissa SonnesNewThis past November, Grand Stevie Award trophies were presented for the first time in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business to the five organizations that submitted the best body of entries to the competition.  Also a first, the name at the top of that list was not for an individual or company that had been a winner: it went to Melissa Sones Consulting, which had successfully entered several of its clients in the competition.  

We asked Melissa for some insight on this success.  What, for example, did she tell her clients were the most important reasons for entering a professional awards competition such as the Stevie Awards for Women in Business? 

“First, I tell clients or potential clients that awards marketing is the number one form of marketing in the world,” explained Melissa. “Just look around you: car companies run TV commercials noting that they are number one on J.D. Power and Associates; others on TV say they are topping Angie’s List. There are many examples.

The Power of Awards

“Second, I tell them I have had personal experience with the power of awards. I won a major award years ago and it changed my life and brought opportunities my way that might not otherwise have come. In my experience winning awards has worked, so I encourage my clients to win awards themselves so that they can do the same for their businesses, ultimately attracting lots more business.

The Thrill of Winning

“Reason number three is the awards ceremony itself.  While I focus on the applications and the actual winning—so far, 99% of those we have entered for major business awards have won something—getting up in front of a large audience comprising a wide range of business owners is a thrill. That’s why I took a table at the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women In Business Awards and encouraged my clients to come. Four of them won Gold Stevies, and it was very exciting!

“A fourth reason is that I want my clients to have a marketing tool that they can use over and over again. Win once and you can put it out there forever. I love that, and it’s effective.

Value for Money

“Finally, there is the cost. As a major marketing tool for a company of any size from sole proprietor to corporation, awards marketing is extremely affordable—a big bang for your buck, as they say. Pay a very affordable fee and we work to help you win. We are also “winner spotters,” so if we believe you can win, you usually do.”

Winning a Grand Award

We asked Melissa what winning a Grand Award at the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business had meant to her.

“I was surprised when I won!” she told us. “It meant that the focus of my company–the only awards consulting company of its kind in the U.S.—is working.”

Additionally, Melissa told us that her awards consulting company does more work with the Stevie Awards than with any other awards competitions.  As she puts it: “Everything about it makes sense for the many businesses I work with. The applications themselves allow for creativity without being too time-consuming; the team at the Stevies is available whenever I need help, such as when filing an application or following up on a trophy order; and the awards have names or titles that I happen to like from a marketing standpoint.  Winning a Women in Business Award or an American Business Award or an International Business Award appeals to my clients, most of whom have come back for more awards, with the Stevie Awards for Women In Business at the top of the list so far!

Living in Integrity

Melissa has been a professional writer her entire adult life, and running a marketing awards company incorporates that.  As she told us: “I have always done exactly what I want to do ONLY if what I want is in my Integrity, no matter what, and I continue to do that. The latter is part of Living In Integrity.”

Continued Melissa: “I also do business differently and it works! I use a tool that I share with clients and with others. Tools For Living Free is a special two-sided educational publication based on talks given by Roger B. Lane, Ph.D., the Founder/Director of Cosmos Tree, Inc., a nonprofit Educational Foundation based in New York City. The Tools For Living Free pamphlet that I most often use–and which gives me and my clients a roadmap for doing business–is titled How To Run A Business (Your Life) Spiritually.  It shows the importance of clear communication; of ‘seeing all things anew’; of letting go of any attachments to results (huge for me when it comes to new business); and the importance of handling the tasks ‘that will make a difference.’ In business, that could be tasks that move the company forward, i.e. newer, more creative options (instead of the same old same old) or something that is a service to others.”

Melissa is certainly providing a service to others, as her achievements testify.

About Melissa Sones

Melissa Sones is a seasoned, results-focused communications and media relations consultant and writer in the lifestyle arena. Her clients include companies in fashion, beauty, food and restaurants, consumer products, public relations, health, international investment banking, retail, and family publishing.

Known for her corporate seminars on "The Art of Pitching" as it relates to lifestyle, Melissa is a former columnist for Food & Wine; the former beauty editor at Self magazine; fashion features editor (and member of the founding team) of Mirabella; fashion critic for the New York Post; and fashion editor for United Press International. She has been a regular contributor to Glamour and her pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, and Redbook, among others. She was also a contributor to the Zagat Guide on Shopping. She is the author of Getting into Fashion, A Career Guide (Ballantine) and Full Frontal Fashion: Never Worry Again About What To Wear (Plume/Penguin Group), which was featured in People Stylewatch, on The View, and in other national publications. She has been quoted on lifestyle in O, The Oprah Magazine and Real Simple. Her company specializes in creative thinking and knowing what's coming down the pike before others do. The New York Times featured the company’s creative approach in a 2009 article. In 2013, Melissa Sones chose to make awards and awards marketing the main focus of her company.

About Melissa Sones Consulting

Melissa Sones Consulting (MSC) is an awards consulting company that helps individuals and businesses win the top national and international awards—with a special emphasis on business awards. 99% of the companies MSC has entered for a top business award have won something. If you want to win, you want to work with MSC. For more information, go to

Learn all about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, and organizations they run at

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, women awards, Women in Business, entrepreneur awards, executive awards

5 Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List, by a Stevie Awards Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Jun 02, 2014 @ 08:46 PM

Janine Popick is CEO & Founder of VerticalResponse in San Francisco, California, USA, and the winner of a Gold Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year-Business Services (up to 2,500 Employees) in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

The 1405VRPopick2014 Stevie Awards for Women in Business competition is now open.  The early-bird entry deadline is July 23.  GET THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

“How do I build or get an email marketing list?” As the leader of an email marketing software company for the last 13 years that’s been the most common question I’ve heard whenever I’ve talked to small businesses.

I’m also often asked if it’s okay to use a purchased, rented, or scraped email list.

My answer? Nope. Nada. Not so much. There are no shortcuts to growing an engaged and loyal base of subscribers, fans, and followers.

In reality, rather than get you the results you want, that purchased list could tarnish your relationship with your recipients—not a great way to start out.

So, how do you grow a list with engaged subscribers who want to hear from your business? I have five sure-fire ways, so read on!

1. Offer Value

In exchange for giving you their email address, subscribers expect to get something of value. Whether it’s a discount, exclusive deal, advance access, tips, how-tos, advice, or something else, make sure the value is stated on your email sign-up form.

2. Give ’Em a Sneak Peek

You can give folks a sneak peek of what they’ll get by joining your email list. How? By providing tangible examples of your emails, newsletters, and invitations right on your website. This gives them a chance to “try before they subscribe.”

At VerticalResponse, we archive our weekly VR Buzz e-newsletter so folks can preview what they’ll see before they hand over their email addresses. Also, once they’re a subscriber, if they happen to miss a newsletter, they always have easy access to it.

3. Subscribe (Opt-in) Everywhere

Sending emails to your subscribers is all based on getting their permission first. Here’s where your “join my list” form—also called an opt-in form—comes into play. An opt-in form is priceless because, when people willingly give you their email addresses, they’re saying they want to hear from you. And by getting opt-in permission, you build a relationship and gain trust. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Tip: Make sure you keep your forms short, and easy.  Also, give folks the opportunity to sign up whenever they contact or interact with your business, including from multiple pages on your website (homepage, contact page, pricing page, etc.), your blog, your Facebook profile, transactional emails such as receipts and invoices, and at events or tradeshows.

4. Get Them to Pass It On

The ability to forward an email to a friend seems to have been around since the dawn of email marketing (trust me, I was there), but it’s amazing how many people still don’t include the forwarding ability in their emails.  This is a missed opportunity, especially now that people are totally accustomed to sharing any messages that they think friends or co-workers might get value from or enjoy.

Encourage the forward by saying something like: “Share this email with friends you think might enjoy it!” All email service providers should allow you to insert a forward to a friend link very easily when you create your email. The bonus is that an email service will usually include an option to sign up for a mailing list in these forwarded emails, and that will add to list growth!

5. (Social) Sharing is Caring

Make sure that every email you send can be shared by your current subscribers on their social media networks. Most email service providers let you include social media buttons in your emails that allow recipients to share your message on Facebook and Twitter.  Reporting and tracking will allow you to see how many people are sharing your messages.

There you have it:  Five sure-fire (and easy) ways to grow your email list. Have any to add to my list? Share them in the comments!

Did you enjoy this post? If so, sign up for the free VR Buzz weekly newsletter and check out the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog.

About Janine Popick
Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a provider of online marketing tools for small businesses that include email marketing and social media marketing. Janine brings over 20 years of experience leading direct and Internet marketing programs for some of the biggest brands in technology and entertainment.

About VerticalResponse
VerticalResponse Inc., a subsidiary of Deluxe Corporation, provides a full suite of online marketing tools to help small businesses connect with their customers on email, social media, mobile, and more. More than 1 million users worldwide have relied on the VerticalResponse platform to easily create, manage, and analyze their own marketing campaigns, all from a single account. For more information visit, or connect on Twitter and Facebook.

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, women awards, Women in Business, entrepreneur awards, executive awards

The Final Judges of the 10th Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

The awards dinner of the 2013 (10th annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business, in New York on Friday, November 8, is sold out. Winners of the Grand, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Awards will be announced that night in the world's top honors for women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the organizations they run.

SAWIB13 Program CoverThe Stevie Award placements were determined from among the finalists by 90 members of five final judging committees during online judging from October 14-23.  Their average scores determined the Stevie-winner placements.  (Finalists were determined by the average scores of 150 preliminary judges over six weeks starting in early September.)

We can't thank these great professionals enough for their help in determining this year's women in business awards winners.  Here are the members of the five final judging committees.

(One quick aside first.  If you'd like to apply to participate in the judging process for the 2014 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, apply here.)

Communications & Marketing Awards Categories Final Judging Committee       

Committee Chair
Ruwena Healy, CEO and President
Marketing 24/7, Inc.
Trussville, AL, United States

Beth Blake, Director of Operations, Enterprising Women, Cary, NC, United States
Carol Blanton, APR, Director of Communications, Mississippi Public Universities, Jackson, MS, United States
Kathleen Bouldin, Vice President, Digital Marketing, PrimsWorks, Inc., Landenberg, PA, United States
Deborah V. Bowie, CCE, IOM, Vice President, Chamber Development, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Gainesville, FL, United States
Annie Castellano, Chief Creative Officer, Switch: Liberate Your Brand, St Louis, MO, United States
Dale E Gerstenslager, Communications Manager, Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam Co., Ltd, Quang Ngai, Vietnam
Alice M.Gordon, CEO & Executive Problem Solver, Skye Connect, Inc., Birmingham, AL, United States
Kristina Hendrix, APR, Internal Communications Strategist, Analytical Services, Inc. for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Madison, AL, United States
Karin Hopkins, Vice President of Communications, k2 MediaMax, Tuskagee, AL, United States
Rebecca Jones, Owner, bScene Marketing Solutions, Miami, FL, United States
Joanne Meredith, Senior Associate Director, Direct Response Marketing, Johns Hopkins University/Office of Annual Giving, Baltimore, MD, United States
Davie Rickey, APR, Senior Vice President-Communications, birminghambusinessalliance, The Chamber for Regional Prosperity, Birmingham, AL, United States
Monica Smiley, Publisher/CEO, Enterprising Women, Cary, NC, United States
Carla Spain, Communications Specialist, Patelco Credit Union, Pleasanton, CA, United States
Kim Stiglitz, Content Marketing Director, VerticalResponse, San Francisco, CA, United States
Dawn Walker, Executive Director of Internal Communications & Public Relations, Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY, United States
Julia Zamorska, Communications Specialist, New York, NY, United States

Company/Organization & New Product Awards Categories Final Judging Committee

Committee Chair
Jessica Eaves Mathews, CEO
Leverage a Lawyer LLC
Albuquerque, NM, United States

Lisa Abeyta, Founder/CEO, APPCityLife, Inc., Albuquerque, NM, United States
Eline Altenburg-van den Broek, Director, Quid Novi Foundation, The Hague,  Netherlands
Susie Andrade, Managing Director, Channel Islands Skills Academy, St Peter Port, Guernsey, United Kingdom
Niamh Barker, Managing Director, The Travelwrap Company, New Milton, United Kingdom
Maureen Borzacchiello , CEO, Creative Display Solutions, Bensalem, PA, United States
Larry Broughton, CEO, broughtonHOTELS / BROUGHTONadvisory, Newport Beach, CA, United States
Phil Dyer, CEO, Dyer Financial Advisory, Baldwin, MD, United States
Kiyla Fenell, CEO, Fenell International LLC, Tulsa, OK, United States
Tina Forsyth, CEO, Automate Your Growth, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Linda Ginac, CEO, TalentGuard, Austin, TX, United States
Jennifer Longmore, CEO, Soul Journeys Corporation, Burlington, ON, Canada
Sizile Mabaso, Managing Director, SM Business, Sandton, South Africa
Scott Maloney, Chief Business Officer, Seed Worthy LLC, Albuquerque, NM, United States
Leith Mitchell, IBM Growth Markets Diversity Recruitment Lead, IBM, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Ray Quinana, General Partner, Cottonwood Technology Fund, Albuquerque, NM, United States
Doreen Rainey, CEO, Radical Success institute, Bowie, MD, United States
Katie Sczcepaniak Rice, Senior Associate, Epic Ventures, Albuquerque, NM, United States
Tim Weil, Managing Partner, Providence Capital, Dallas, TX, United States
Becky Wilson, President, WDS Marketing and Public Relations, Overland Park, KS, United States
Kris Wittenberg, CEO, Be Good to People, Eagle, CO, United States

Entrepreneur Awards Categories Final Judging Committee

Committee Chair
Kristen White, CEO
Creative Catapult, LLC/Instant Celebrity Academy
St. Louis, MO, United States

Gloria Buono-Daly, Founder,, Yonkers, NY, United States
Saskia Chiesa, CEO, International Checkout, Santa Monica, CA, United States
Denise Clancey, President, Teledirect Partners, Boston, MA, United States
Ben Clark, President, Big Ben Media, Inc., Lima, OH, United States
Nikki Clark, Project Manager, Big Ben Media, Inc., Lima, OH, United States
Dr. Sayalee Gankar, Director & Professor, MIT Group of Institutions, Pune, India
Barb Girson, President, My Sales Tactics, LLC, New Albany, OH, United States
Kate Darcy Hohenthal, Founder, The Birthday Club, Manchester, CT, United States
Craig Jacobson, Founder, Open Spaces Marketing, Vista, CA, United States
Ann Macindoo,CEO/Founder, So, You Want To Write!, Palm Desert, CA, United States
Margaret Manning, CEO, Reading Room, Singapore, Singapore
Deborah Mitchell, Founder, Heaven Health & Beauty Ltd, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Julie Pond, CEO, Sage Environmental Services, Inc., Seattle, WA, United States
John Schwab, Executive Producer, Let's Start a Ripple TV, Clayton, MO, United States
Letty Swank, CEO, Giftwrapperz, Los Gatos, CA, United States

Executive Awards Categories Final Judging Committee

Committee Chair
Marcie Allen, President
MAC Presents
New York, NY, United States

Husam Mahmoud Abdallah, Senior Advisor, Organization Development, Dubai Airport Freezone, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dr. Selµuk Alimdar, HR Strategic Projects Manager, Avea Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S, Istanbul, Turkey
Chanel Auguste, Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing, Warner Brothers Records, New York, NY, United States
Kerri Bergman, Director of Marketing, Billboard, New York, NY, United States
Michele Bernstein, Tour Marketing Agent, William Morris Endeavor, Beverly Hills, CA, United States
Elizabeth Daniel, Luxury Advertising Sales Director, The Editorialist, New York, NY, United States
Andrea Dinunzio, CMO, Blingguard, New York, NY, United States
Rebecca Fagan, Managing Director, Portside Ventures, Brooklyn, NY, United States
Lori Feldman, SVP, Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing, Warner Brothers Records, New York, NY, United States
Kimberly Ford, Senior Marketing Manager, Samsung, Brooklyn, NY, United States
Heather Greenfeig, Artist Manager, Red Light Management, New York, NY, United States
Marjorie Hall, SVP Director of Marketing & Sales, ZenithOptimedia, New York, NY, United States
Natasha Hritzuk, Global Senior Insights Director, Microsoft, Redmond, WA, United States
Julie Jakopic, President/CEO, iLead Strategies, Alexandria, VA, United States
Nirva Milord, Director of Communications, NHL, New York, NY, United States
Stephen Moore, CEO/Managing Member, PetroChase, Scottsdale, AZ, United States
Wendy Morris, VP Team Marketing and Business Operations, NBA Entertainment, New York, NY, United States
Amber Williams, Public Relations Executive, Beck Media & Marketing, New York, New York, United States
Judee Anne Williams, Agent/Co-director, CAA/CAA Foundation, New York, NY, United States

Media Awards Categories Final Judging Committee

Committee Chair
Cynthia Good, Founder and CEO
Little PINK Book
Atlanta, GA, United States

Marta Aebischer,Global Marketing Director, Newell Rubbermaid, Huntersville, NC, United States
Suraya Bliss, Senior Director, Digital Communications, Walmart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR, United States
Patricia David, Head of Diversity, JPMorgan Chase, New York, NY, United States
Elana Drell Szyfer, CEO, Ahava, New York, NY, United States
Janna Ducich, Vice President, Consumer Insights & Targeted Marketing, AT&T Mobility, Atlanta, GA, United States
Kate Gutmann, President, Worldwide Sales, UPS, Atlanta, GA, United States
Meryl Macune, VP, Global Digital Marketing, Estee Lauder, West New York, NJ, United States
Ali Marano, Technology for Social Good, JPMorgan Chase, New York, NY, United States
Nicole Middendorf, CEO, Prosperwell Financial, Plymouth, MN, United States
Maya Mikhailov, EVP, Clear Strategy/CoFounder, GPShopper, New York, NY, United States
Caitlin Storhaug, Director, Corporate Marketing, Accenture, San Francisco, CA, United States
Chloé Taylor Brown, President & CEO, Chloé Taylor Brown Enterprises, LLC, Sandy Springs, GA, United States
Melanie Tinto, Vice President, Executive Leadership & Organization Development, Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA, United States
Erin Varano, Director, Brand Marketing, Rubbermaid Consumer Products, Newell Rubbermaid, Atlanta, GA, United States

Tags: business awards, stevie awards, women awards, women in business awards, women executive awards, entrepreneur awards, executive awards

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