The Stevie Awards Blog

In Male-Dominated Tech Sector, Firm Offers a Platform Where Women Take the Lead

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 @ 10:54 AM

From Google and Amazon to PayPal and Uber, companies in the U.S. technology sector are some of the most dynamic, fastest-growing businesses in recent memory. However, not everyone shares equally in the industry’s success.

According to a recent survey by Silicon Valley Bank, only 56 percent of tech start-ups have one or more women in an executive position, and a mere 40 percent of those organizations have at least one woman on their boards of directors.

Some professionals aren’t waiting for the industry to catch up, though, opting instead for a more proactive approach. One example is A23 Advisors, a boutique consulting firm based in San Francisco, California, United States. The company consists of an all-female team of experts focused on travel technology, hospitality, e-commerce, ad tech, and fintech.

a23

Founded by former Travelocity and Switchfly executive Cady Wolf, the firm helps companies streamline their operations, refine their strategic marketing plans, and develop their thought leadership positions—all without adding permanent staff members.

At A23 Advisors, the goal is to help consultants provide that expertise without sacrificing work-life balance, which many professionals must give up when working for a tech start-up.

“Members bill at their own selected rates, determine their own work schedules, and actively cull their networks for prospective new clients,” says Serenity Thompson, managing director at A23 Advisors.

Thompson says the firm caters to a talent base that often can’t find such equilibrium elsewhere in the tech sector.

“Families with children at home need to be there on sick days and game days,” says Thompson. “Moms who do it all need flexibility in work and in life so they can stay healthy and happy.”

Creating a “Family-First” Culture

Work-life balance isn’t something the tech industry has historically thrived on. In a 2015 survey of senior-level women working in Silicon Valley, 40 percent said they felt pressured to talk less about their families in order to be taken more seriously, and 52 percent of respondents cut short maternity leave so it wouldn’t adversely affect their jobs.

Women don’t have to face those pressures at A23 Advisors, where a family-first ethos permeates the culture, according to Thompson, the recipient of a Bronze Stevie® Award for Female Executive of the Year in 2018. The company functions as a virtual home office and an umbrella for core business functions—including marketing, PR, and legal—and it provides access to firm-branded templates for contacts, presentations, and signature services. A small percentage of each member’s billable revenue helps cover the expenses A23 incurs.

At the same time, the firm strives to create a shared sense of ownership in its success.

“Every advisor is involved in a minimum of one advisory board or board of directors that drives our brand recognition and is tied to the company’s vision and goals,” she says. “All contribute to industry and vertical thought leadership with white papers, speaking engagements, guest blog posts, and media interviews.”

With its recent venture, Women in Travel Tech, or WiTT, the consultancy built a space where female professionals can help each other thrive in a sector where the cards often seem stacked against them.

“The organization brings together the leaders and executive women of the travel industry to create a social, professional, and creative network,” adds Thompson.

For technology companies, working with A23 means they can avoid adding long-term staffing costs as they try to innovate and to build market share. The firm, which markets itself as “an outsourced extension of your executive team,” sees its agile personnel solution as a key selling point. To date, the firm has already attracted an array of promising start-ups, including FLYR, Points.com, Bonwi.com, TripTuner, and myDigitalOffice.

“Start-ups seek flexibility in marketing, sales, and operational investments as they build products and scale infrastructure,” notes Thompson. “Established companies seek flexible investment in innovation and market expansion resources, and publicly held global enterprises seek flexible consultative expertise when researching acquisition targets.”

Tags: women awards

A Whole-Child Approach to Success

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 12:10 PM

While many think of academics as the core of education, there have been recent shifts in the fundamental way learning is viewed and approached. One of these more significant shifts came with the rise of the whole-child approach—policies and practices that move the focus from a narrowly defined set of academic standards to a concept of success that encompasses long-term developmental health.

The whole-child approach is particularly championed when it comes to early childhood education. The goal of this approach is to equip students with the skills necessary to be fully prepared not just for elementary, middle and high school but also eventually for college, fulfilling careers, healthy relationships, and successful citizenship. This is done through a more holistic and comprehensive look at all of a child’s needs, including the emotional component. It also emphasizes a collaborative approach between the child’s school, fellow students, family, and community.

The Malvern school

Schools Embrace the Whole-Child Approach

The Malvern School, which is headquartered in Glen Mills, PA in the United States, is a private year-round preschool that serves children ages six weeks to eight years, and it serves as a prime example of the kind of learning institution that wholeheartedly embraces the underlying concept of whole-child education.

The Malvern School always seeks to raise the bar in early childhood education,” says Kristen Waterfield, the school’s cofounder and president. “We encourage children to meet their highest potential, but that potential isn’t one-dimensional. As a teacher and a mother, I have always felt strongly about the importance of developing the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social growth of the ‘whole’ child, and this is key to our educational philosophy.”

While some detractors of the whole-child approach fear the loss of academic rigor, schools like The Malvern School demonstrate that the enhancement of emotional intelligence need not come at the expense of more traditional intellectual development.

“When my business partner, Joe Scandone, and I founded the Malvern School 20 years ago, our goal, first and foremost, was to provide exceptional programming,” says Waterfield. “And we wanted that exceptional programming delivered by forward-thinking, college-degreed educators. By starting to build this dual foundation of emotional health and academic intelligence early, we truly believe we’re setting up children for success throughout their lives.”

Parents and Caregivers Recognize Success

Parents and caregivers of the young children who attend programs like The Malvern School are pleased with the concrete, positive results. With the continuing success of its curriculum, The Malvern School, which began in 1998 with only 20 employees, now employs 580 educators and operations and business professionals over 26 locations throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, United States, and central and southern New Jersey, United States.

“Departing from the traditional model of day care or childcare programs, our schools focus on diverse programming that enables children both to learn and to feel loved,” says Waterfield. “This has fueled the school’s ability to become the largest privately owned preschool in Greater Philadelphia [Pennsylvania, United States].”

While some educational shifts may be more fad than lasting ideology, the whole-child approach only seems to grow in popularity every year as parents seek to provide their children with the best pathways to success.

“Since 1998, The Malvern School has educated more than 30,000 children—a number that continues to grow significantly,” says Waterfield. “With our steadfast focus on providing value to the community, we continue our journey to bring new educational opportunities to children and families, and we have plans to open additional schools in 2019.”

Parents, however, aren’t the only ones recognizing the significant work done by educational institutions in this sector. For her innovative work with young children, for example, Waterfield recently earned a Gold Stevie® Award in the Entrepreneur of the Year category in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Request the entry kit

To learn more about Waterfield and The Malvern School, visit MalvernSchool.com.

Tags: women awards, women entrepreneur awards

U.S. Startup Helps Working Moms “Stay in the Game”

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Apr 05, 2019 @ 02:58 PM

Mona Andrews is many things: a California, USA, resident; an entrepreneur; and the operator of a business process outsourcing firm since the early 1990s. She notes she had the flexibility to balance the demands of raising young children, but when her kids reached preschool, she noticed other moms didn’t have that same luxury.

“Either they stayed employed and missed many of the important moments of being a mother, or they dropped out of the workforce altogether,” recalls Andrews.

Many of her female friends continued working after their first child was born, she says, but when the second son or daughter came along, the financial and emotional toll became too much.

stay in the game“It’s an impossible situation,” says Andrews.

With her latest venture, Stay In The Game, she attempts to eliminate the dichotomy between being a mother and having a career. The company, launched in 2017 in Los Angeles, California, United States, offers “downshifting” opportunities, where women can work part time or remotely. This allows mothers to be home with their children either all day or at least more each day. The company also works with individual employers to reintegrate a mom into the workforce after a prolonged absence.

“As the children of these women grew, I noticed a surprising phenomenon,” says Andrews. “Over and over again, I met highly educated women who previously had important careers, and now they were telling me they wanted to get back into the workforce but didn’t know how.

The most jarring realization was their lack of confidence. They had not been in the workforce for a while and felt insecure regarding their relevance, their ability to compete, and their skill levels.”

At the same time, she noticed employers were reluctant to interview any woman who had taken an extended leave. To Andrews, this seemed a regrettable waste of talent and energy.

A Changing Workforce

While society has progressively abandoned the idea of strict gender roles, women continue to sacrifice their careers for family to a much greater degree than men. A 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, for instance, found 42 percent of women reduced their work hours after the birth of a child, which compared to 28 percent of men.

Even more telling was the fact that 27 percent of women left their jobs to handle child-rearing duties, according to the Pew study. Only 10 percent of men did so.

Stay In The Game provides its services as a way for businesses to leverage the talent of experienced, skilled workers, who are often less expensive than lower-level temporary employees. Candidates work in a range of fields, from data entry and customer service to IT and accounting.

At the same time, employers can demonstrate their social responsibility by providing continuity for caregiving parents. For Andrews, the service is also a means to retain talented employees who might otherwise drop out of the workforce completely after having children.

“There will be an exponential increase in the demand employees have for remote and flexible work, and companies will be forced to change in order to successfully retain great employees,” says Andrews.

As her firm grows, she sees it as a way for more employers to manage that challenge.

“We can offer employers a solution that includes a talented, dispersed workforce,” the entrepreneur says.

Though the company is still in its infancy, Andrews says it’s not having any trouble finding female job candidates. In the case of one advertisement she placed for a remote position, she received 240 applications in just three hours.

“The demand for our service is huge,” she says.

For its innovative approach to helping skilled, professional mothers achieve greater work-life balance, Stay In The Game won two Bronze Stevie Awards at the 15th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business in November. It earned one for Best New Product or Service of the Year in the Business Services category and another for Start-Up of the Year.

“This has really reinforced the value of what we offer, and it shows our business concept resonates with many other people,” says Andrews.

Tags: women awards, women entrepreneur awards

Workplace Equality Benefits Your Business

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Mar 25, 2019 @ 04:07 PM

Worldwide research shows that gender bias in the workplace is improving, but there’s still a long way to go. Although perceptions of gender roles naturally change over time, many organizations and individuals want to do their part to make current conditions as fair as possible for everyone at work.

 2A Consulting is just one example of a company doing what it can to promote equality in the workplace. The marketing agency focuses on storytelling for business, striving to blend strategic and creative efforts to create assets that captivate customers. From the top down, the leadership team at 2A Consulting puts best practices in place that help improve gender equality across the company.

2a consulting

Using All the Talent Available to You

Having diverse sources of talent and ideas can help a company take full advantage of significant changes happening in your market. Understanding this, Abby Breckenridge, partner at 2A Consulting, has made a point to recognize and advance women who do great work.

Two actions in particular have helped 2A Consulting nurture women as consultants and managers. The first: speaking up. Breckenridge realized that getting men and women alike to squelch gender inequality had to start with acknowledging unfair practices or mistreatment. Even a lack of information about women returning to work after pregnancy can lead to unintended bias.  

The second: being open to doing things differently. The flip side of speaking up, this best practice is all about listening and observing. Breckenridge leads by example at 2A Consulting. She shows her team how to acknowledge and accept when something isn’t working, and models a mature, collaborative path to a solution.

With advances in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, IT infrastructure, and more, companies across the globe are constantly seeking to modernize their ways of doing business. One of the best ways to ensure your company thrives during change, however, is to consider and nurture the talent at your disposal without bias. To maximize resources, a company must avoid preferential treatment and advance employees regardless of gender.

Sending the Right Message

Valuing team members has been one source of 2A Consulting’s success, while another has been the company’s approach to marketing. Many times, marketing agencies immediately jump to crafting campaigns with impactful words, but these efforts often lack broader context and, ultimately, fall flat for customers. A cohesive story, after all, is a strong framework for effective marketing.

Figuring out the best way to broadcast your core value to customers is no minor task. In competitive markets, something as simple as sending the right message can be the deciding factor in whether a customer chooses your business or someone else’s.

“We help businesses lock onto the stories they're trying to tell—whether it's for a product launch or a keynote presentation,” said Abby Breckenridge, partner at 2A Consulting. “Our consultants work with clients to formulate the message, distill it down, and then build it into assets in a way that resonates. This way, companies can make lasting connections with customers.”

As good marketers know, there’s often a large difference between what a company sells (the product) and what customers are really buying (the solution to their problem). That’s why it’s important to be as clear as possible with your messaging and to think about your audience when crafting that story.

Consider what you can do within your organization to encourage an environment that’s more inclusive, makes use of all its untapped talent, and, ultimately, brings in more successful prospects.

2A Consulting recently earned a Bronze Stevie® Award for being one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States.

Tags: women awards, top business awards, startup awards

Stevie-Winner Offers a Place of Hope and Healing for Trafficking Victims

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 @ 02:53 PM

 By all outward appearances, Jeanne Allert had everything going for her in the mid-2000s: a successful career as an internet consultant, an elegant home, and a sizable income. Inside, however, she remembers feeling an emptiness.

“I reached a point in my life where I said, ‘Is this all there is?’” Allert recalls in an online video.

Little did the American businesswomen know her life would forever change when she met a group of volunteers who were performing outreach to women caught up in prostitution. It was there, on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, United States, that Allert saw the magnitude of the sexual exploitation crisis—and the power of a helping hand.

samaratinOne particular victim moved Allert so deeply that, in 2007, Allert decided to launch the Samaritan Women, the mid-Atlantic region’s first residential care program for females ensnared in the domestic sex trafficking industry. It meant selling her lucrative business, putting her home on the market, and dipping into her savings to buy an abandoned 23-acre estate in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

The organization started providing around-the-clock shelter, counseling, and medical care to women and girls who had been coerced into prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation. As a Christian-based entity, it also began fostering spiritual healing in its residents, many of whom were suffering emotional trauma as a result of their experiences on the street.

Allert says the people who work at the homes often serve as the positive role models who have been lacking in the residents’ lives.

“When we show forgiveness, grace, and compassion, the women are observing our behavior,” says Allert.

According to Shared Hope International, girls as young as 14 to 16 are among the most commonly exploited. Traffickers prey on the most vulnerable, including those who have suffered child abuse or grew up in broken homes. They often find their victims through social media platforms and internet sites, as well as at schools and local hangouts.

Traffickers then offer the girls false promises of shelter and protection; instead, these girls face a cycle of physical and emotional abuse. By one estimate, roughly 100,000 American children are exploited in this manner every year. While getting accurate data is always difficult, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime makes it clear that sex trafficking is very much a global problem.

People in all walks of life know that freedom is a basic human right, and human trafficking is modern-day slavery,” says Linda Thomas, a spokeswoman for the Samaritan Women.

Addressing a Shortage in Care

Despite the enormity of the problem in the United States, Thomas says 17 states don’t have a single shelter program to serve this population. Another 11 states have only one residence. Allert, who earned the 2018 Silver Stevie® Award for Most Innovative Woman of the Year in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, is trying to fill that vacuum.

She and her team opened up two more homes for trafficking victims, enabling the group to create a full continuum of care for young women. Though limits exist to how many people the organization can impact directly, it’s trying to help other nonprofits meet this need across the country.

Toward that end, the group created the National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance, which serves as a trade association for shelter programs across the country. Its goal is to improve the effectiveness of shelter care nationally through advocacy, networking, agency accreditation, and an annual conference.

Another new initiative, the Institute for Shelter Care, serves as a research, training, and equipping entity to help establish new shelter programs, to stabilize and to improve current programs, and to facilitate qualified research in order to advance national standards of care and best practices.

“Human trafficking is a problem both internationally and domestically,” says Thomas. “We have only scratched the surface of providing care and healing for victims across the world.”

Tags: women awards

Winners in 15th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business Announced

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 @ 09:05 AM

Shining a spotlight on women executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations run by women, winners in the 2018 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business were announced on Friday, November 16.

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.

With more than 500 businesswomen and their guests in attendance, the awards were announced at a gala dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Nations represented at the event included Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, U.S.A., United Kingdom, and Vietnam, among others.

women in biz 2018The presentations were broadcast live worldwide.

More than 1,500 nominations from organizations and individuals in 33 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. Winners were chosen by more than 200 business professionals working in six specialized judging committees to determine 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:

  • Award Winning Accelerator, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia (#1)
  • Plan International Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada (#2)
  • DP DHL, worldwide (#3)
  • The Female Social Network, Sydney, NSW, Australia (#4)
  • Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (#5)

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

  • Aflac, Columbus, GA USA — Communications or PR Campaign of the Year — Reputation/Brand Management
  • Bon Choix Couture, Glendale, CA USA — Company of the Year – Business Services – 10 or Less Employees
  • Dee Hutchinson, Founder of Dee Hutchinson Talent Development Ltd, Waterford, Ireland — Mentor or Coach of the Year — Business
  • Laurie LaPat-Polasko, Vice President/National Director of Remediation, Matrix New World Engineering, Florham Park, NJ — Woman of the Year — Technology
  • PotomacWave, Alexandria, VA USA — Fastest Growing Company of the Year
  • Caroline Riseboro, President & CEO, Plan International Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada — Women Helping Women — Government or Non-Profit
  • HK Strategies, Mexico City, Mexico — Communications or PR Campaign of the Year — Public Service
  • Ashley Harris, CEO, LoveBug Probiotics, New York, NY — Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Consumer Products – 10 or Less Employees
  • Anne-Lise Dorry, Senior Director of Corporate Finance Products, Thomson Reuters, New York, NY — Employee of the Year — Business
  • Esther Rovira, CEO, CasaAPP, Barcelona, Spain — Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Europe, the Middle East & Africa
  • Sykes Enterprises, Tampa, FL USA — Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women
  • PharmaLogics Recruiting, Quincy, MA USA — Achievement in Equal Pay

The 2018 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 Dignity Health, iTalent Digital, Jeunesse Global, LoveBug Probiotics, Plan International Canada, Simpson Healthcare Executives, The Cura Foundation, Thomson Reuters, and Tick Tock Boom Digital Agency.

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

Entries for the 2019 edition of the awards will open in May.

Tags: women awards, Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Women in Business

Stevie Awards for Women in Business Announce Finalists in 15th Annual Competition

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Oct 04, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

World’s Top Honors for Women Professionals to Be Presented in New York on November 16, with First Edition of Women|Future Conference

Finalists were announced today in the 15th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, the world’s top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run.

The 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.

SAWIB pic 2This year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists will be announced at an awards dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City on Friday, November 16. More than 600 women and their guests from around the world are expected to attend the presentations, which will be broadcast live on Livestream.

Visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/Women for a complete list of Finalists by category.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business event will be complemented by a new one-day educational and networking event called the Women|Future Conference, also at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on November 16.  Tickets for both the conference and the awards dinner are now on sale.

More than 1,500 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, Startup of the Year, Women Helping Women and Women-Run Workplace of the Year.  New categories for 2018 included Achievement in Equal Pay, Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women, and Achievement in Promoting Work-Life Balance.

Among the many extraordinary organizations and women who have been recognized as Finalists, the following organizations stand out as those with five or more Finalist nominations: Award Winning Accelerator, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; Bob Woodruff Foundation, New York, NY, USA; DHL Express, worldwide; The Female Social Network, Sydney, NSW, Australia;  iTalent Digital, San Jose, CA, USA; Jeunesse Global, Lake Mary, FL, USA; Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Englewood, CO, USA; Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers, Kenmore East, QLD, Australia; Plan International Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada, Simpson Healthcare Executives, LLC, Old Lyme, CT, USA; Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India; Tavuun Welfare Association, Karachi, Pakistan; The Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust, Llanelli, Wales, United Kingdom; and Zingbox, Inc. Mountain View, CA, USA.

Nominations were submitted by organizations in 33 nations including Angola, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 200 professionals around the world, organized in five juries.

Tags: women awards

New Owner Helps Event Marketing Firm Stay on the Cutting Edge

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 02:26 PM

Trade shows and conferences can be great opportunities for businesses to meet prospects—but they can also be crowded places where exhibitors find themselves in competition with hundreds or even thousands of other companies to catch the eye of attendees.

That’s why many exhibitors hire experts like Live Marketing, a U.S. firm that specializes in creating memorable experiences. For example, a food ingredient developer enlisted them when it sought to create a buzz around its newest solutions at an important industry event. Live Marketing’s answer: RFID sensors to trigger an interactive, multi-screen display when guests “pick and place” various food items, a novel approach that helped the client exceed its lead-generation goal.

Live Marketing pic.jpgFor a medical device maker, the team created a unique conference display featuring a glass-encased laboratory dotted with scannable hotspots that let the visitor experience its products firsthand. Each interaction prompted a brief video or augmented reality sequence, resulting in an immersive tour through the lab.

Underpinning those examples, and many other projects, is a reliance on technology to push the boundaries of what a live corporate event can be. It’s an approach that Anne Trompeter, then a 10-year veteran of the Chicago-area firm, brought to the forefront when she bought Live Marketing in 2014.

The organization has long had a prominent position within the world of corporate events. Launched in the 1970s, the agency was a pioneer in the experiential marketing industry. It was the brain trust that helped introduce the Intel Pentium processor and the world’s first flip phone to the marketplace.

When she took the reins four years ago, Trompeter’s goal was to make sure the firm didn’t grow stale. “I bought Live Marketing from its original founder with a clear vision to reinvigorate and refresh the company to be relevant for today’s sophisticated experiential marketing and technology-activated approaches,” she says.

In a short period of time, she’s helped make that vision a reality. The company has won numerous industry awards for its innovative, tech-based exhibits, and Trompeter recently garnered the Silver Stevie® award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in The 2017 American Business Awards.

A Team Effort

Breathing new life into the agency hasn’t been a solo task, something Trompeter readily acknowledges.

One of the changes she made early on was to get the most out of what she saw as untapped potential within the staff. “I’ve shifted our creative process so we are all challenged to bring in new engagement ideas on a regular basis,” she explains.

She’s also put a premium on helping employees grow, either within their role or in new positions. In one instance, a member of the marketing team expressed an interest in being a producer, a job with which she had little experience. Not wanting to lose one of her valued employees, Trompeter helped ease her into the new role over a period of 18 months. “By mid-2017, she was full-time producer and is very happy and productive,” the executive says.

In another instance, the executive leveraged an employee’s degree in theater management by moving him up into a production role. Once an assistant to Trompeter, he’s now a full-time creative director with a roster of his own clients for which he writes and develops concepts.

“I consider it an achievement to cultivate the very best team who feels appreciated and able to do their finest work at all times,” she says. “The way I do that is listening to my team members and making adjustments based on what I’m hearing.”

As if running a top-tier events marketing firm isn’t challenging enough, Trompeter does it while juggling a litany of other roles. Among them: parent, church choir member, and triathlete.

Rather than detracting from her business responsibilities, she says those outside endeavors help keep her energized. “Training for races and triathlons plus my overall commitment to fitness keeps me physically and mentally healthy,” she says. “I apply that same focus and drive to my business. But I recognize the importance of a healthy work-life balance, not just for me, but for everyone on my team.”

A breast cancer survivor, Trompeter uses her professional success to support cancer research and other philanthropic causes and encourages her employees to perform charitable work as well. “Several employees suggested giving back more specifically to the communities where our offices are located,” she says. “So beginning last year, each office identifies and does two hands-on charitable give-backs, like serving in local soup kitchens and doing food distribution.”

“In 2018, our theme is ‘Get Engaged’,” says Trompeter. “I feel strongly that now more than ever we have a responsibility to be civic-minded. Getting more involved in our communities’ neediest populations is an immediate and personalized way to get engaged.”

Tags: marketing awards, women awards, best marketing team, business developement, event marketing

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

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