In the leadup to tomorrow's final entry deadline for the 10th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women in the workplace, we've been catching up with Stevie Award winners from the past decade. They've told us about what it meant to them to win their Stevie Awards; how it's affected their lives and their businesses.
Today we catch up with 2005 Stevie winner Marla Letizia, then president of Mobile Billboards of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV. Marla and her company won their Stevie for Most Innovative Company of the Year – Up to 100 Employees.
Marla R. Letizia was one of the first women to earn a Stevie Award for Women in Business. In 2005, the second year of the awards program. At that time, Letizia was in the throes of getting her novel billboard business off the ground by bringing mobile advertisements to the exciting Las Vegas market.
At that time, her business was in its embryonic stages. Letizia was learning how to navigate her newfound entrepreneurial venture. She was busy enjoying both building and operating her new enterprise.
The Stevie Award win helped solidify her firm’s position in the marketplace, expanding awareness beyond the Las Vegas market the company was serving, and exposing its successes to others outside the area looking in to find a billboards vendor.
Sometime after winning her Stevie Award, Letizia hit a crisis and while her business survived (and was renamed), she claims to have found the silver lining by learning a great deal about being a successful entrepreneur and running an innovative company. According to Letizia, “I have the courage of a lion with regard to anything in business.” There is an a old quote, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger," and while Letizia grew stronger personally and professionally, the confidence of a winning a Stevie stayed alongside her.
The press coverage that resulted from her Stevie Award win continues to show up in Google searches and brings instant credibility to her business when potential customers -- both inside and outside of the Las Vegas marketplace – search for businesses boasting her service offering. The recognition she earned also continues to aid in recruitment as future employees discover the award win online when searching her firm and are very impressed with the remarkable achievement.
“When a solid organization finds you worthy of honoring, graciously smile and say thank you, then enjoy all it has to offer and then find ways to give back!”
It has been an honor to earn this award, and Letizia is constantly seeking ways to give back. The Stevie has helped propel her business to new levels.