The Stevie Awards Blog

How Food Fads Become a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jun 03, 2020 @ 03:14 PM

Bubble tea, also called pearl tea, or boba tea, is a flavored milk tea with chewy tapioca beads. Sounds modest enough, right? The demand for this beverage, however, is anything but modest. Valued at $1.89 billion (USD) in 2018, the global bubble tea market is projected to reach $3.49 billion (USD) by 2026. So, how did a mere variation on classic tea capture this much of the global market share?

Food Fashion 

Social media is an easy way to gauge this fad’s popularity. Instagram is full of pictures of delicious food, and beverages often have dedicated hashtags. Plus, it’s now customary to share nearly every meal on social media before consuming it. In a culture that looks at what you eat the way it looks at what you wear, food has become just as fashionable as clothing.

“What’s in your pantry or on your plate has become a form of self-expression, much like a fabulous pair of Christian Louboutins. Just as the label ‘fashionista’ evokes an entire lifestyle, so, too, does the term ‘foodie,’” writes famous television host and entrepreneur Martha Stewart in a blog for HuffPost.

empire eagle

This phenomenon is not new, of course. In an article written for the New York Times almost four decades ago (“De Gustibus; Fashions in Food, Like Those in Clothes, Follow the Trends”), food critic Mimi Sheraton talks quite candidly about food fashion.

“It is probable that many people, anxious to be seen eating the right thing in the right restaurant, are swallowing hard-to-down rare fish, almost raw vegetables, white chocolate mousse that tastes like sweet fat and exotically aromatic seasonings they secretly consider to be as appealing as moth balls,” writes Sheraton.

While that sentiment might be true, there is no denying that food fashion is a huge economic driver. It has helped build numerous billion-dollar industries, including the bubble tea market.

The Rise of Bubble Tea

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan, in the 1980s. The most popular version is said to have originated in Chun Shui Tang tea shop in Taichung, Taiwan where the owner, Liu Han-Chieh, experimented with milk tea by adding it in a cocktail shaker with ice. At that time, no one served chilled tea, and the concoction went on to become extremely popular with the younger crowd. They called it “bubble tea” because of the thick foam layer that formed on top. In 1987 Han-Chieh held a competition for his staff members and asked them to come up with creative beverage variations. Lin Hsiu Hui, the store manager, added tapioca balls to milk tea and created the version now popular across the globe.

From its nation of origin, bubble tea quickly spread to several other Asian countries and communities. It burst onto North America’s food scene in waves but hit the mainstream around 2014 and is now considered a mainstay. It’s phenomenal growth is partly tied to the simultaneous rise of foodies on social media, who are notoriously partial to food’s visual appeal.

Researchers who study food cultures attribute another factor to bubble tea’s success. By introducing and marketing the product toward working professionals, it gave the drink a kind of stature. Krishnendu Ray, assistant professor of food studies at New York University, explains in an article published in the South China Morning Post: “One of the attractive things about bubble tea is the fact that it is spreading to the middle class, professional classes, so it has a lot more prestige at the very beginning compared to food associated with poor working-class Chinese, which is what I call a hierarchy of taste. The higher the class your food is, the easier it is to circulate in global circuits and acquire prestige.”

Riding on Boba’s Success

Many organizations grew out of bubble tea’s success. This includes franchises that serve boba to customers, as well as manufacturers that make the material and equipment for the tea.

Strong competition in the bubble tea market drives these manufacturers to experiment with flavors and to improve the quality of the boba they produce. Jasmine milk tea, avocado milk tea, and mango green tea are just a few of many great variations.

empire eagle 2

A Stevie-winning boba manufacturer is Empire Eagle Food Co., Ltd., which is based in Taichung City, Taiwan, China. They help businesses serve bubble tea by guiding them from the initial concept stage to sampling to making the final tapioca drinks. Conceding there are several other players in the market to compete against, Mindy Jen, co-founder and chief marketing officer (CMO) at Empire Eagle Food Co., Ltd., says they outstrip competition by treating bubble tea like the food fashion culture that it is.

“Even though bubble milk tea is a traditional drink, our team believes bubble milk tea is not only a Taiwanese local drink but a fashion culture, just like all the different fashion industries,” she says. “Therefore, we change our marketing strategy and products all the time to fit the quick changes in the industry.”

It’s anyone’s guess whether bubble tea is here to stay or will fade like so many fads before it. For now, though, many people count it as their favorite beverage, and that is all that matters.

Jen won a Silver Stevie® Award in the Female Executive of the Year - Business Products - 11 to 2,500 Employees category at The 2019 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in entering the 2020 Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

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Topics: stevie awards for women in business, womens awards, bubble tea, boba tea

Close the Wage Gap; Change the World

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, May 19, 2020 @ 09:19 PM

When discussing gender equality, the wage gap between men and women nearly always becomes a part of the conversation. While most people know this gap exists, not as many realize the far-reaching and detrimental impacts of that inequality.

Why Does This Gap Exist?

Before diving into the consequences of wage inequality, it’s important to look at some of the reasons the gap exists. It’s a complicated issue involving many interconnected factors, but some of the most prominent reasons include:

  • Occupational segregation, wherein more men work in higher-paid industries
  • Vertical segregation, with more men in senior (and, therefore, higher-paid) positions
  • Nonexistent, poorly enforced, or ineffective legislation related to equal pay
  • Barriers to entering the labor market, including outright discrimination, access to education, and work-hindering issues related to child-rearing

lauren hasson 2

Real-World Consequences of the Gender Wage Gap

Closing the wage gap would, of course, be positive because it would be a step toward overall gender equality. However, there would be myriad other positive effects that should motivate people and businesses to make this issue a priority.

For example, gender wage inequality reduces overall economic output. While it’s certainly not the case for every woman, the wage disparity does make it more likely for females to be dependent on welfare or other social aid programs—a problem that becomes even more pronounced in old age. With less savings and fewer pensions, women are generally at a disadvantage in regard to retirement and more likely to face poverty after the age of 65. One study by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs in Australia found that eliminating the 17 percent wage gap there would translate to approximately $93 billion in increased gross domestic product (GDP), or 8.5 percent of overall GDP.

Aptitude Research Partners also found that organizations that specifically prioritize gender equity perform better. They are 54 percent more likely to exceed industry average turnover numbers and 46 percent more likely to have higher year-over-year ratings on Glassdoor. With better retention rates and more engaged and motivated employees, companies are more likely to attract top talent, which then generally leads to improved customer satisfaction and higher-than-average financial returns.

In short, closing the wage gap would improve individual employee satisfaction and quality of life, improve a company’s bottom line, and positively impact an entire nation’s GDP and economic standing.

The March Toward Equality

According to the World Economic Forum, if progress continues at its current pace, it will take 108 years to close the global pay gap in the 106 countries covered in that report. This pace is a result of the slowness of global action on the topic and the sheer vastness of the gap itself.

While these numbers can seem disheartening, many individuals and companies are using them as motivation. Lauren Hasson founded DevelopHer, which is based in Dallas, Texas, United States. DevelopHer is an award-winning platform that bridges the gender wage gap, inspires, and empowers women to advocate for themselves to break glass ceilings.

The scalability and affordability offered through DevelopHer programs has allowed and empowered thousands of women to earn 26%, 43%, and 67% salary increases in just a single negotiation. Through DevelopHer, Lauren has created real change at a grassroots level. Women have also gained the confidence to secure better positions and move beyond glass ceilings, bridging the challenging opportunity gap.

Hasson just won the Gold Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year - Consumer Services in The 2020 American Business Awards® as well as a Silver Stevie® Award in the category of Female Solo Entrepreneur of the Year, and Startup of the Year - Consumer Services Industries in the 2019 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in entering the Stevie Award for Women in Business?

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Hasson acknowledges not only the complexity of this global issue but the need to focus on local solutions.

“Pay disparity is an intractable issue that will not be solved overnight,” says Hasson, “but the DevelopHer mission is to foster engagement by businesses and individuals at a grassroots level to affect true change.”

Topics: American business awards, stevie awards for women in business, women awards, women in busines, womens awards, 2019 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Women Future Conference 2020, pay gap, gender equality

Gamifying Employee Engagement

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jun 06, 2019 @ 10:29 AM

Over the last 10 years, gaming culture has grown exponentially across all age groups and genders. From enjoying record-breaking retail numbers to hosting events that attract tens of thousands of fans, gaming has officially left the basements of the world and become one of the main attractions on the world stage.

Gaming and its underlying principles aren’t just restricted to consoles and PCs, though. Gamification is a motivational method that’s increasingly making its way into many organizations. By applying game design elements into non-gaming situations, the practice actively engages teams and individual members. For example, say a real-world business goal is to reach a certain monthly benchmark. Teams can “gamify” the rules and milestones of that practical target to motivate each “player” to do his or her best and, ultimately, to decide a winner.

PentaQuest is an Australian-based company that helps organizations perform better by gamifying individual preferences. These preferences then optimize organizational strategy, culture, and capability.

Pentaquest

The company provides custom and off-the-shelf gamified platforms, as well as consulting services, giving them the flexibility to apply their tools to solve a range of challenges related to everything from organizational performance to cultural issues.

New Game, New Players

PentaQuest was founded in 2016 in Canberra, Australia. Their founder, Kerstin Oberprieler, discovered gamification in 2014 and implemented a gamified experience for her colleagues in order to add fun to business- and team-based activities.

“The original design was simply a ‘pen and paper’ experience. It involved a team leaderboard in the office and physical tokens and artifacts,” says James Sellers, a gamification designer at PentaQuest. “Kerstin’s colleagues loved it. Before long, there was enough demand from clients for gamification design, and PentaQuest was born.”

With a proven methodology and track record, the company earns clients through both word of mouth and extensive existing networks.
 
Yes, Gaming Is Good for You

Whether applied to employees, citizens, customers, or students, gamification promotes positive workplace culture, health, and well-being, and the practice is proving to be effective for governmental departments, schools, multinational companies, and many more entities.

Although gamifying tasks can be a fun motivational tool, PentaQuest makes it clear their core values drive success. Review these six core values to see if your team can benefit from the methodology:

1. Purpose driven 
2. Playful 
3. Player-centric 
4. Ethical 
5. Experimental
6. Open to evolution and change

If improved employee engagement is a goal for your company in 2019, look further into how PentaQuest implemented the practice to see if gamification aligns with your career and personal goals.

“PentaQuest is growing quickly, and we are now serving customers from five countries,” says Sellers. “In the coming years, we hope this number will grow significantly as we continue to provide value to thousands of organizations and teams around the world, helping them supercharge performance through a human-centered, playful approach to employee engagement.”

Many established companies are already gamifying programs for their employees. Here are just a handful of businesses enjoying practical success with gamification:

Even human resources are successfully using gamification to drive higher employee engagement and to raise productivity. It’s also resulted in improvement in unexpected areas, such as the promotion of better diet and exercise practices among employees.

Gamification has proven to have a positive impact on employee engagement. By harnessing humans’ natural interest in playing games, participants feel more motivated to solve work-related issues, which, in turn, benefits the company.

PentaQuest won the 2018 Bronze Stevie® Award for Startup of the Year in the 2018 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in entering the Stevie Awards for Women in Business this year?

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Topics: stevie awards for women in business, womens awards, game awards

Despite Long Odds, Young Entrepreneur Makes Allergy-Friendly Food a Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jan 03, 2019 @ 11:07 AM

As recently as 2014, just about everyone (other than Julianne Ponan) doubted her fledgling health food brand would survive—let alone find widespread distribution throughout Europe.

As the owner of Creative Nature, a UK-based company specializing in allergy-friendly vegan snacks and baking mixes, Ponan staked her fortunes on a crowdsourcing effort aimed at raising £150,000 of capital. However, the attempt to capture investors fell well short of the mark.

The failed fundraising campaign was the latest in a series of setbacks for the company, which was losing money at a fast clip. Three years earlier, a 22-year-old Ponan, then working as a financial analyst, was brought in to diagnose why Creative Nature was operating in the red.

creative natureAt the time, the company marketed a wide range of products, from home goods to natural food products. The latter gave Ponan hope. After all, she knew firsthand the importance of a carefully selected diet. The entrepreneur suffers from multiple food allergies to this day and survived two acute cases of pancreatitis as a young girl.

Ponan says doctors gave her four hours to live after diagnosing the first case of pancreatitis when she was nine. She lived, but it resurfaced at 17, when physicians gave her just a few short years to live.

“After beating it a second time, it still wasn’t smooth sailing,” she recalls. “I contracted pneumonia in my first year at Creative Nature.”

She ended up executing a management buyout of the London, England–area business in 2012, with the goal of growing the superfood segment. It wasn’t just her personal experience she banked on, though. She also saw the continent’s rising obesity levels and the increased prevalence of food allergies as proof this niche market was poised for growth.

The number of Europeans who suffer from chronic allergies tops 150 million, according to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The group estimates half of the entire EU populace will be impacted by 2025.

“I took over Creative Nature to cater to people like me—people who want healthier snacks without the nasty additives,” she says.

Company Gets Its Big Break

With her business partner, Matthew Ford, the company started focusing on snack bars and baking mixes that were free from 14 of the most common food allergens.

“Most ‘healthy’ snack companies insist on filling their products with tree nuts, peanuts, and seeds, which completely ignores a whole consumer base of allergy sufferers,” Ponan says.

When the crowdsourcing plan turned south and it looked as if the whole enterprise might be a flop, the breakthrough finally came. Creative Nature captured the interest of a buyer at Tesco, a major UK supermarket chain. Virtually overnight, it seemed as if the company’s fortunes were turning around. Still, one major hurdle remained.

“Tesco wanted all our new packaging for launch in just four weeks. This normally would have taken eight weeks to produce,” she says. “Instead of telling them we couldn't launch, we bought self-adhesive labels and spent three weeks hand-labeling around 10,000 tubs—all while continuing to run the rest of the business.”

As it turned out, the two-person team made the launch and used the deal as a platform to propel themselves into more supermarkets. Today, the company, which now has six full-time employees, is stocked in more than 15 countries, including Switzerland and Denmark.

Because of the organization’s compelling turnaround, Ponan earned the Silver Stevie® Award for Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year.

“I’ve known about these awards since starting the business, always dreaming one day I would be able to win one,” she says. “I managed to walk away with a Silver Stevie, so I’m incredibly proud.”

Topics: stevie awards for women in business, female entrepreneurs, womens awards

Who's Coming to the Stevie Awards for Women in Business This Friday?

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Nov 12, 2018 @ 02:09 PM

38463795476_ff5f4f4cf1_zThe 2018 (15th annual) Stevie® Awards for Women in Business - the world's top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run - will be presented this Friday, November 16 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City.  More than 540 nominees and their guests from more than 20 nations will attend for the announcement of the Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners.

Download the official program book of the awards presentations.

The presentations will be broadcast live, beginning at 7:30 pm ET.

Here are the organizations that as of this writing will be represented at the event on Friday.

2020 Mom
9th Gear Technologies
ACV Auctions
AdvancedMD
Allscripts
American Global Logistics
Ampla Education
Apple Growth Partners
ArcPoint Strategy
Aspire
AT&T
Avasant Foundation
Award Winning Accelerator
Belatrix Software
BiggerPockets
Braven
Brighton Health Plan Solutions
BrightSpring Health Services
Camp Broadway LLC
Care2
Caring Safely
Carolin Soldo Coaching & Events, LLC
Century 21 Real Estate
Chargebacks911
Choice Delights Inc.
Cisco
Coast Professional, Inc.
Compeat
Convergys
Copart
Covance
Creative Nature
D3 NYC
Dana's Bakery
DarcMatter
DDB Worldwide
DeFacto
DentalX
Deutsche Bank
DHL Express Mexico
Dignity Health
Editor World LLC
ELE Internacional
engage2learn
Eventerprise AG
Events DC
Extreme Reach, Inc.
FG Holding Group
Financial Voyages LLC
First Advantage
First Tennessee Bank
FIS
Fogo de Chão
FPI Fair Pay Innovation Lab
FULL Creative
Garden Light LED
Gendel Girls
Global Upside
GloveStix LLC
Goodwin Group PR
Gracyfy.com
Greenworks Lending
GroundLink
Hawke Media
HCL Technologies
Health4theworld
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
Home Heart Beats, LLC
Humanity For The World
Hundred Stories
IBM
IGEL
Improving
Income Access (a Paysafe Company)
InfoMart
Instructional Design and Educational Consulting LLC
Intellis
Interior Marketing Group
ISG
iTalent Digital
JP Morgan Chase
KATT Communications
LBR Insight
LoveBug Probiotics
Matrix New World Engineering
Mattress Firm
Maximum Games
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
Mekky Media Relations Inc.
Meli Studio
Merck
Meritor Inc.
Montana State Fund
Mortgage Bankers Association
My City Gives
National Association of Women Business Owners
NCR Corporation
New Orleans Business Alliance
Newday Media JSC
Nic + Zoe
Nonda
Olin Corporation
Orange
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.
Papa John’s International
Pearson
Phaidon International
PharmaLogics Recruiting
Pipeline Entrepreneurs
Plan International Canada
Pocket Learning Spanish
PotomacWave
Procter & Gamble
Proforma Inspired Promotions
Purpose DRVN
Rachel Engler Andalaft
Red Hat
Revamp Interior Design
ReviveMed
RewardJet
Rimini Street, Inc.
Ritchie Bros.
Rocket Software
Savvy Marketers, LLC
Securing Water for Food Technical Assistance Facility
SEEN Connects
Sempra energy
ShieldX
SHIFT HR Compliance Training, LLC
Smarty Social Media
Snelleman Tom
Social Media Link
Southern California Edison
Southwest Michigan First
SPLICE Software
Squelch
Stay In The Game
Stericycle Environmental Solutions
Strategati LLC
Stripe Communications
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
Susan Davis International
Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated
T and T Consulting Services, Inc.
Tata Consultancy Services
T.D. Jakes Ministries
Tangible Words
Tata Consultancy Services
TBWA Istanbul
Tempaper
TetraVX
Tezgahçilar
The Ace Class
The Alpha Enterprise
The Ambit Group
The Female Social Network
The Financial Literacy Youth Initiative
The GREEN Program
The Inclusive Foundation
The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)
The Malvern School
The Mane Choice
The Roundtable
The Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust
The White Company
ThermoBrush
Third Team Media
Thomson Reuters
Thought Bubble
TIAA
UBM Americas
UCSF
UK Power Reserve
Unique Wedding Cars
United Franchise Group
UnitedHealthcare
UpWell Health
USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore
Vested
WalkMe
WeUsThem Inc.
WorkForce Software
WorkWave
Xandr
YouEarnedIt
Ziegler
Zingbox, Inc.

The 2019 edition of the Stevie Awards for Women in Business will open for entries in May.  Join the mailing list and the 2019 entry kit will be emailed to you as soon as it is available.

Request the Entry Kit

Topics: stevie awards for women in business, women in busines, womens awards

Stevie Awards Extends International Business Awards Final Deadline Through July 11

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 @ 10:51 AM

The Stevie® Awards, organizer of The International Business Awards®, announced today that the final entry deadline for the 15th annual IBAs has been extended to Wednesday, July 11. Recognized as the world’s premier business awards program, The IBAs attract nominations from organizations in more than 50 nations and territories each year.

 “We’ve received so many requests for individual deadline extensions that we’ve decided to extend the deadline for everyone,” said Stevie Awards president Michael Gallagher. The original final deadline was June 13. Gallagher emphasizes that no additional late fees will be charged for entries submitted through July 11, and late entries will not be penalized in any way in the judging process. All organizations now have an additional four weeks to prepare and submit their entries.

IBA18_eMailHeader4_600x250

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE

All individuals and organizations worldwide -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small -- may submit nominations to The International Business Awards. The 2018 awards will honor achievements since the beginning of 2017.  Entry details are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

Juries featuring more than 150 executives will determine the Stevie Award winners. Results will be announced August 9. Stevie Award winners will be presented their awards at a gala banquet in London, United Kingdom on October 20.

The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Categories including , Management Awards , Company of the Year Awards, Customer Service Awards, Entrepreneur Awards, PR Awards, Web Awards, and much more.

A variety of new categories are introduced for the 2018 competition, including a new group of categories to recognize the Entrepreneur of the Year and Founding Teams in many industries. In addition to seven new Software Solution categories in the New Product & Services section, there’s a new selection of categories to recognize Content Solutions. There is one new category, Best White Paper or Research Report, in the Publication categories and one new category, Engaged Community of the Year, in the Marketing categories. There are two new PR Campaign categories in the Public Relations section. Finally, there are four new Lifetime Achievement Awards categories in the Management section.

Topics: International business awards, international business, top business awards, womens awards

Stevie® Winners Announced in 2018 American Business Awards®

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, May 02, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The Stevie® Awards, organizers of the world’s premier business awards programs, today announced the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners in The 16th Annual American Business Awards®.

All organizations operating in the U.S.A. – large and small, public and private, for-profit and non-profit - are eligible to submit nominations to the ABAs in a wide range of categories, honoring achievement in every aspect of work life, from customer service and management to public relations and product development. More than 3,700 nominations were reviewed in the judging process this year by more than 200 professionals, whose average scores determined the winners.

For a complete list of the Stevie Award winners announced today, visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.

ABA group 2017 10-12018 Stevie winners will be celebrated and presented their awards during a gala event on Monday, June 11 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York. Tickets are now on sale. The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream.

Top winners of Gold Stevies, with three or more each, include Aeye (Pleasonton, CA), Aflac (Columbus, GA), Age of Learning (Glendale, CA), Anthem Foundation (Indianapolis, IN), Blue Wheel Media (Birmingham, MI), FIS (Jacksonville, FL), George P Johnson Experiential Marketing (Auburn Hills, MI), GN Hearing, (Bloomington, MN), GOLD PR (Irvine, CA), Gorilla Safety (Houston, TX), GTT Communications (McLean, VA), I Am Enough (Marina Del Ray, CA), Jeunesse Global (Orlando, FL), John Hancock Financial Services (Boston, MA), Marriott Vacations Worldwide (Orlando, FL), Petplan (Newtown Square, PA), Reltio (Redwood Shores, CA), Rentec Direct (Grants Pass, OR), Rimini Street (Las Vegas, NV), TopSpot (Houston, TX), Vectra (San Jose, CA) and Zenni Optical (Novato, CA).

Among all other Stevie winners, those winning five or more awards include 3D Exhibits (Schaumburg, IL), Accenture (Chicago, IL), ADP (Roseland, NJ), BMO Capital Markets (Chicago, IL), Brighton Health Plan Solutions (New York, NY), Cisco Systems Inc. (San Jose, CA), DCR Workforce (Boca Raton, FL), EMI Strategic Marketing (Boston, MA), Entercom (New York, NY), Franklin Covey (Salt Lake City, UT), HomeServe USA (Norwalk, CT), LABOV Marketing Communications and Training (Fort Wayne, IN), Makers Nutrition (Hauppauge, NY), Marketing Mojo (Charlottesville, VA), Merkle (Columbia, MD), MWWPR (New York, NY), New American Funding (Tustin, CA), Pacific Life Insurance Co. (Newport Beach, CA), Quest Software (Aliso Viejo, CA), SoftPro (Raleigh, NC), Spark Growth (New York, NY), STYLE Advertising (Birmingham, AL), Tata Consultancy Services (New York, NY), TekLeaders (Plano, TX), Thomson Reuters (Stamford, CT), WebPT (Phoenix, AZ) and Wolters Kluwer (New York, NY).

HCL America, part of HCL Technologies, a $7.4 billion global company that helps global enterprises reimagine their businesses for the digital age, sponsored the HCL Reimagining Business for the Digital Age awards, in 13 bespoke categories.  Stevie winners in these categories include Allscripts (Chicago, IL), BD (Franklin Lakes, NJ), Citi (New York, NY), Cummins Inc. (Columbus, IN), Deloitte (New York, NY), Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, NJ), Oncor (Dallas, TX), Symantec (Mountain View, CA), The Vanguard Group (Valley Forge, PA) and Verizon (New York, NY), among others.

Every new product or service nominated in The 2018 American Business Awards is included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products, a worldwide public vote. Voting is now open at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com and will conclude on June 1. People’s Choice Stevie winners will be announced the week of June 4, and will be honored during the June 11 presentations.

“The nominations submitted for The 2018 American Business Awards were outstanding.  The competition was intense, and those recognized as Stevie Award winners should be immensely proud of this accomplishment,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

Topics: American business awards, best solution providers, top customer service, Manager of the Year, employee of the year, womens awards, business developement, maverick awards

Pakistani Executive Connects Social Good with Business Goals

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 @ 02:24 PM

Syeda Amna Nasir Jamal knows things could have ended up very differently. Faced with the untimely death of her father, a young Jamal suddenly held the reins of the family textile business in Pakistan. Though she had started to work for him at age 13, it wasn’t exactly a role for which she was prepared.

“After the death of my father, there were difficult challenges in our lives,” Jamal says. “We had plenty of setbacks and disappointments.”

Instead of losing hope, she pushed forward. Jamal would have a hand in virtually every aspect of the business, from marketing to human resources, providing the steadying force it needed.

SAN enterprises.jpg“I overcame obstacles by being shrewd,” she concedes. In time, she would create her own agricultural and textile trading firm, the Karachi-based SAN Enterprises.

Despite her successes, Jamal wanted to do more. She found herself wanting to help the next generation of Pakistanis in overcoming their own obstacles ‒ be it poverty, a lack of education or gender biases ‒ to achieve success in life.

With that goal in mind, she set up a free school for underprivileged children on the SAN premises. Rather than being a distraction, she says the project had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the business. Jamal contends that it’s been a way to attract the sort of employees she values ‒ those wanting to make a positive change in the world.

“Initiatives for social good are one of the ways that you can show a job candidate what it is like to work at your company,” says Jamal. “Candidates want to know they work for a company whose values are aligned with their own.”

Eventually, Jamal created an NGO called the Tavuun Welfare Association so that she could make an even bigger impact within the city and nationwide. Through Tavuun, she’s helped set up a second school in the high-crime Lyari district of Karachi, which promotes academic achievement and civic engagement among women.

“Pakistani society has traditionally been patriarchal, where a female child is often regarded as an ‘unwanted’ being,” Jamal says. “Due to cultural and religious practices, gender discrimination and socioeconomic disparities are very visible.”

As the organization has developed, it’s taken on numerous other projects as well. Among them: a free clinic where low-income residents can receive medical care and a program that provides blankets and other necessities to disaster victims.

Changing hearts and minds

Alongside her work on the ground, Jamal is hoping to bring broader awareness to these issues in Pakistan. She’s created a policy and research organization that shines a light on the downtrodden in Pakistan and often writes for local news outlets on education, health and gender-related topics.

“Unfortunately, human rights is a concept that is still trivialized in the sub-continent,” she explains. “That’s why the current generation of young people has grown up without developing a sense of collective responsibility for social change.”

Changing those ingrained attitudes is a significant task, to be sure. For inspiration, Jamal says she turns to the ancient proverb: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

What she has done so far is nothing short of extraordinary. For her tireless efforts, Jamal won Silver for “Female Innovator of the Year” at the Stevie® Awards for Women in Business in November, 2017. Her NGO, Tavuun Welfare Association, earned the Bronze Stevie for “Organization of the Year.”

Jamal says the recognitions will only help bring more attention to the organization and the causes that she’s trying to remedy. She’s also confident it will boost the morale of her staff and help make it easier to recruit and retain workers.

“Confidence begins with faith, self-determination and dedication to success,” she says. “Winning is an amazing feeling because it says that I am capable of bringing something special to the table.”

Topics: stevie awards for women in business, Organization of the Year, womens awards, innovator of the year