Finalists in 19th Stevie® Awards for Women in Business Announced

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Sep 22, 2022 @ 09:00 AM

Finalists were announced today in the 19th 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®, among other business awards programs. The Stevies are widely considered to be the world’s premier honors for achievement in the workplace.

See the Full List of Finalists

SAWIB22 Finalists Announced Social

This year’s Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists will be revealed during an awards banquet at Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, November 11. More than 500 women and their guests from around the world are expected to attend the presentations, which will be broadcast via Livestream.

More than 1,500 nominations were submitted this year by organizations and individuals for consideration in more than 100 categories including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Startup of the Year, Women Helping Women, and Women-Run Workplace of the Year. Nominations were submitted by organizations in 27 nations including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Kuwait, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Among the many extraordinary organizations and women who have been recognized as Finalists, the following stand out as those with four or more Finalist nominations:

Advancing Women in Tech (Seattle, WA USA); Autism Mates (Sydney, Australia); Brandless (Lindon, UT USA); Caroline Kennedy Group (Melbourne, Australia); Consolidated Edison Company of NY, Inc. (New York, NY USA); C-Strategies (Chicago, IL USA); Everise (Plantation, FL USA); Hatch Inc. (Palo Alto, CA USA); Global Press Institute (Washington DC, USA); Harman International (Stamford, CT USA); Inspiring Vacations (Melbourne, Australia); IBM (Armonk, NY USA); Megaphone (Melbourne, Australia); Tavuun Welfare Association (Lahore, Pakistan); Sweet Peanuts (Queensland, Australia); The Tambellini Group, LLC (Irvington, VA USA); and Vanguard (Malvern, PA USA).

Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 200 professionals around the world, organized in seven juries. Their scores will also determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie placements from among the Finalists, to be announced on November 11.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business event will be complemented by the fifth edition of the Women|Future Conference, to be held virtually on November 8-10. The conference is for women professionals looking to gain unique perspectives from industry leaders, build resilience, network, and prepare for change. The conference addresses the most pressing business issues of tomorrow, from trends in social media marketing and workplace DEI to the next generation of technology, overcoming adversity, and the future of work. Conference registration is just $99 ($39 for students) and is available at

Topics: small business, stevie awards for women in business, women awards, women in business awards, women executive awards, female entrepreneurs, women entrepreneur awards, womens awards, women leadership

Rona Jobe Grows Small Businesses with the Help of a Unique Workforce

Posted by Grace Payne on Tue, Aug 23, 2022 @ 12:39 PM

In 2020, Stevie Award-winner Rona Jobe founded LVL-Up Strategies, a minority- and woman-owned small business based in Arlington, Virginia. She now serves as the CEO, working to propel small businesses to grow their potential by offering clients strategic advisement, operations design and implementation, marketing plans and execution, and business development guidance.

Jobe’s vision for LVL-Up Strategies is to help small businesses break the generic mold of how to grow their business. Instead of following a pattern from another business or figuring it out as the business grows, Jobe works to analyze each of her client's goals and current structure to define long-term strategies and customized next steps for success.

In addition, Jobe has a passion for supporting the careers of military and Department of State spouses. LVL-Up only employs military and Department of State spouses, so that they have the opportunity to grow their careers in an often unpredictable and stagnant work environment. This symbiotic connection of talented and driven individuals is critical to the company’s success.

lvlup logoLVL-Up Strategies already embraced a fully remote workforce prior to the pandemic. They have continued this success by creating and implementing a remote onboarding and training program for incoming staff, which has led to growth in staff, revenue, and client base in just one year.

Since earning the Bronze Stevie Award for Most Innovative Woman of the Year - Business Services, LVL-Up Strategies has developed the LVL-Up Five Step Process for working with small businesses; the LVL-Up CEO Entrepreneur Roadmap, which guides individuals from “solopreneurs” to full-time CEOs; and the LVL-Up Remote Staff Onboarding Process. These tools have been the foundation to developing customized client tools and programs, and have ultimately led to further growth for the young company.

Rona Jobe won Bronze Stevie Award for Most Innovative Woman of the Year - Business Services.

Interested in submitting a nomination for the 2022 (19th Annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

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Stevie Winner is Dedicated to Water Conservation in the Utility Industry

Posted by Grace Payne on Wed, Aug 03, 2022 @ 04:10 PM


Stevie Award-winner Jenni Steele is the Vice President of Marketing at Niagara Corp., a manufacturer of water conservation products and the leader in high-performance, water-saving toilets. Niagara has revolutionized the utility industry with a reputation as the premier resource for conservation. In three years, Jenni has restructured her team efficiently in order to launch several product lines and automate marketing activities while strengthening client services and events. Jenni is dedicated to Niagara’s conservation mission and is valued by her team for her guidance. As climate change and record droughts present a strain on the water supply, it is more essential than ever to bring solutions and messaging to the marketplace.

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In order to carry out Niagara’s goals, the team launched a new suite of products with the intention of making powerful water-efficient technology and products that are available to residential and commercial facilities to save the world’s water and the owner’s money through utility bills. These new products were also designed specifically with features and benefits for builders, remodelers, and plumbing professionals. Jenni listened closely to these building professionals who install, repair and specify toilets to learn what details are important to them when installing. 

Additionally, Jenni spent more than a year teamed up with executive leadership to help build a new wholesale program. Their goal was to launch the product lineup filled with the features that pros want and to sell them exclusively to the wholesale channel. Through Niagara’s new program, the company is committed to providing attractive products and services to wholesale distributors, plumbers, and trade partners in the industry.

Since earning her Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year – Consumer Products, Jenni has been able to restructure the marketing department, successfully launched several new product lines, enhanced overall client services, modernized digital integration, and automated marketing activities, all while also strengthening Niagara’s event marketing and online retailing. She also helped Niagara earn a national water conservation award from the EPA.


In addition, Jenni played a lead role in spearheading the launch of over 100 new toilet SKUs across four product suites. The line of new products was designed to help wholesalers serve the needs of their plumbing professional clients by offering fixtures with advanced technology and high performance for those looking for a wide variety of water-efficient products. She also created a campaign strategy that included virtual media meetings with Niagara’s executive team. Over the twelve meetings that were held, Steele and Niagara’s leadership demonstrated and shared critical aspects of Niagara’s four new full product lines, designed specifically with features for building, remodeling, and plumbing professionals. The campaign resulted in more than 53 million impressions to an audience of builders, contractors, plumbers, and facility managers. Jenni continues to be an invaluable resource to her team and Niagara as a whole through her dedication to sustainability.

Jenni Steele won the Bronze Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year – Consumer Products –11 to 2,500 Employees.

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Lisa Utzschneider Demonstrates Powerful Leadership in Digital Advertisement

Posted by Grace Payne on Fri, Jul 29, 2022 @ 09:00 AM


Lisa Utzschneider is the CEO of Integral Ad Science (IAS), a digital media company that works to ensure that ads are viewable by real people in safe and suitable environments. Lisa focuses her team to bring greater media quality and transparency to digital advertising and has been able to differentiate IAS as an independent, trusted partner for both buyers and sellers of digital advertising. IAS practices contextual targeting and supply path optimization in order to bring high quality products to their customers. 


Lisa helped set the company’s core values of “We Are One Team” and “We Are Customer Obsessed.” Under Lisa’s leadership, IAS has expanded its product innovation and data-driven insights, closed two key acquisitions, become a public company, and continued to foster a strong company culture. Since 2019, Lisa also guided the IAS team through two acquisitions on Admantx, expanding the company’s contextual offerings and making the Total Visibility product an IAS brand that brings greater transparency to programmatic buying and supply path optimization.  

Additionally, Lisa successfully led IAS through the pandemic, transitioning to a remote work environment while continuing to focus on overall business growth. To ensure transparency and collaboration, Lisa instituted regular live global Town Halls to provide important updates on wins and progress across IAS, while creating a forum to answer tough questions from employees. She also launched a Fitbit Challenge for IAS employees to step their way toward healthy habits while working from home. Lisa also addressed the Black Lives Matter protests head-on by mandating unconscious bias training, establishing an employee match program for social justice organization donations, and recognizing Juneteenth as a company holiday. She has also been a mentor and supporter of elevating more women to leadership positions across industries.

Since winning a gold Stevie® Award in the 2021 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business for Female Executive of the Year, Lisa has honed the company’s mission to be the global benchmark for trust and transparency in digital media quality for leading brands. The digital ad market is expected to reach $526 billion in global spending by 2024, and under Lisa’s leadership, IAS will continue to play a critical role in shaping the future of digital media quality across high-growth segments including CTV, programmatic, social platforms, and international markets. The company also continues to lead in developing and collaborating on ad fraud and brand safety and suitability guidelines, as well as further industry standards. 


The company’s continued growth during Lisa’s tenure underscores her strong leadership and the value that IAS delivers as a digital media quality company, ensuring its customers, which include Verizon, L’Oreal, HP, Hulu, Nestle, Volkswagen, and Coke, make every ad impression count. As one of about 30 women to successfully lead her company through an IPO this past year, during one of the busiest IPO seasons on record, Lisa is also committed to paying it forward by continuing to support other female leaders across the technology industry and supporting diverse talent.


Lisa Utzschneider won a Gold Stevie Award in the 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business for Female Executive of the Year – Business Services –11 to 2,500 Employees.

Interested in submitting a nomination for the 2022 (19th Annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

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Rebecca Bendikov Works to Bring STEM Workshops to Classrooms Across South Australia

Posted by Grace Payne on Wed, Jul 27, 2022 @ 12:30 PM

Stevie Award-winner Rebecca Bendikov is the Head of Marketing at Lumination, an immersive technology company, where she works to inspire and educate teachers on how to incorporate emerging software and technology into the classroom through storytelling and building community. Doing so will in turn contribute to the development of students' abilities in an evolving technological landscape. Rebecca’s work represents her great passion for forming the “sparking the lightbulb moment” in young Australian women and girls when introducing them to careers in STEM.

Prior to her Stevie Award nomination, Rebecca’s job was to develop a marketing strategy for the Lumination Learning Labs built by Lumination. The Lab is a space where students engage with emerging technologies to solve real-world problems across all classroom subjects, covering topics like waste management, climate change, accessibility, and sustainability – all vital issues in today’s world. Rebecca developed the marketing collateral for the Lab, including a highly successful testimonial video, brochures, a website, as well as several Symposium events designed to bring school principals and decision makers into the space to foster brand awareness and develop networks with schools.

Rebecca took the Lumination Learning Lab from concept to reality. Due to Rebecca’s marketing work, the Labs are being incorporated by Lumination in all new government schools across South Australia.  Her achievements are significant as she was new to the industry and still managed to adapt effectively and encapsulate the learning outcomes to reach a broad variety of teachers across South Australia. Now, many students across South Australia are to benefit from being exposed to new technologies and experiences. Since earning her Stevie Award, Rebecca has continued her amazing work and taken the role of Head of Education Programs at Lumination, building a team supporting teachers as they integrate the use of immersive technology into their lesson plans. 

Rebecca Bendikov won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand.

Interested in submitting a nomination for the 2022 (19th Annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

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Christine Tao is Helping to Train Future Business Leaders

Posted by Grace Payne on Fri, Jul 22, 2022 @ 09:30 AM


Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO of Sounding Board, a Silicon Valley startup redefining how organizations develop their leaders. Her rapid career growth to executive management in the tech sectors of Silicon Valley became her inspiration for founding Sounding Board. As she began to manage larger teams and became responsible for revenue growth, it became clear that she needed a “sounding board” to coach her on the development of her leadership skills. After receiving valuable mentorship in leadership development, Christine was driven to make this coaching accessible to people at all levels. Traditionally, leadership coaching has only been available to C-Suite executives, but with the advent of Sounding Board’s most recent innovations, coaching has become available and affordable to all levels of an organization in order to rapidly scale and upskill employees at a critical time when companies are needing to escalate at a more rapid pace.

Copy of ABA22 peoples choice winners

Christine achieved significant milestones that led to the acceleration of growth at Sounding Board and set the company on course for strong valuation for the future. First, she developed and supported the engineering and product leadership to create Group Coaching, a new product offering that has rapidly attracted new business and expanded the spend of existing clients wanting a more impactful leadership coaching program for teams. Additionally, Christine built the board of directors and advisory board for Sounding Board to include influential leaders and investors in the learning and leadership development industry. This helped to prepare the company to start fundraising to bring the company past its start-up level.

Since earning a Silver Stevie® Award in the 2021 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business for Female Executive of the Year, Christine has scaled Sounding Board in revenue exponentially, surpassing budgeted expectations. She hired heads of engineering and finance, and built out a strong infrastructure to design new products launching in early 2022. Additionally, Sounding Board’s coach network scaled rapidly to meet and exceed the demand from enterprise clients around the world. 

Christine has also supported her team to transition from SMB-centric clients to Enterprise companies using Sounding Board’s services for their companies with 5,000+ employees. This development fueled revenue growth during the pandemic and completed a record of meeting or exceeding stated gross revenue goals. Additionally, she led the company’s efforts to create an innovative AI-enabled tech platform that is the first-to-market. This program is designed to coach leaders for measurable business impact. 

As a female co-founder of Asian descent, Christine has broken several glass ceilings in not only completing a Series A funding round at a rapid pace, but also being part of the only all-female-founded, female-led, and all-female board of directors within the leadership development industry.

Christine Tao won a Silver Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year in the 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business: Business Services – 11-2500 Employees.

Interested in submitting a nomination for the 2022 (19th Annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

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Zoe Simmons Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Through Her Journalism

Posted by Grace Payne on Fri, Jul 15, 2022 @ 09:12 AM


Stevie Award-winner Zoe Simmons is a journalist, copywriter, editor, and author based in Australia who writes with the goal of making a difference in the world. Zoe has published her work hundreds of times in major publications such as New York Post,, and Daily Mail. She specializes in capturing audiences through the raw power of storytelling, tackling challenging topics in a way that connects with readers. Recently, she has been working on her first book on her town's survival in the Black Summer Bushfires, a cause for which she has also raised over $15,000. Additionally, Zoe has published pieces including personal stories, guides, and features, all containing an element of activism on bushfire recovery, mental health, disability, and more.zoe simmons

In 2016, Zoe started her freelance writing business. She built her business part-time while working as a social media assistant at the Daily Mail and a communications assistant at Forensicare. She then transitioned to full-time business ownership as a copywriter and editor in July 2021. Now, she works to help businesses find the perfect words to engage their audiences. As a chronic pain and mental health advocate, she still regularly writes and shares stories to combat the stigma of disability. Specifically, she has worked with organizations like Women With Disabilities Australia, Reach Out, SANE, Endometriosis Australia, and more, creating content that makes a difference in the lives of disabled people.

It’s not about the finances for Zoe, but the impact of her words. Since advocacy is integral to her business, her stories are more to her than just works, but a sign that she is helping someone in their hour of need. She chooses to run her copywriting business in a way that sets her apart from others, accommodating employees and clients who deal with daily health struggles.

zoe logo

Since winning her Silver Stevie Award, Zoe has appeared on a number of podcasts, where she has spoken about her commitment to advocating for chronic pain and mental illness acceptance. Additionally, she presented at the 2021 National Young Writers Festival in Australia, including the panel on Journalism and Trauma: Keeping Safe in an Unsafe World. Zoe has also been continuing to develop her journalism workshop, where she shares the impacts of journalism, how stories stick with readers, and practical advice on how to best support ourselves and others through the storytelling process.

Zoe Simmons won the Silver Stevie Award in the 2021 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business for Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year.

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Sophie Bowman Helps Influencers Convert Their Following into Sales

Posted by Grace Payne on Wed, Jul 06, 2022 @ 10:34 AM, founded by Sophie Bowman, provides services to social media influencers who want to convert their followers into customers via innovative strategies. The company was created in 2020 when the United States government attempted to impose bans on the social media service, TikTok. During this time, many influencers feared what would happen if other forms of social media were threatened. Their followers, time, and money could disappear. was created to serve one major purpose; to educate brands and individuals on how to convert their social media followers to customers. Sophie saw that even major brands failed to convert fans to sales, so she set up to educate the world and help business owners improve their sales. 

Sophie bowman

The proven process was first tested on a giveaway collaboration with BALMAIN and a celebrity entrepreneur. Within 24 hours, they received 950 email subscribers which were then retargeted with email marketing campaigns. Sales of the entrepreneur's beauty brand were up by 38% that month with no cost. The process was so successful that Shark Tank's Kevin Harrington said, “This is such a niche and unique business model which I think is a lifeline for businesses.” 

Sophie is now shattering glass ceilings by educating business owners and individuals on how to implement this process themselves to cut out the costly marketing middlemen. Typically, this service would cost thousands of dollars a month, but her goal is to help business owners save their businesses or ensure that they thrive rather than survive the aftermath of COVID. She has won multiple awards for her pro bono efforts to support business owners throughout the pandemic.

Since winning the Gold Stevie Award for Company of the Year, Sophie started to launch her book, How to Convert Your Social Media Followers to Customers. Additionally, Sophie has been featured on billboards in Times Square as an example of an inspirational immigrant who launched two patented technology brands in the past year. Following the success of the BALMAIN campaign, she integrated a $200 voting poll plugin on the celebrity entrepreneur's website and launched a monthly makeup contest to tap into her army of influencers for her makeup and beauty brands. The influencers used their own social channels to ask for votes from their followers, driving 63,000 unique visitors to the celebrity entrepreneur's blog within 24 hours. Many of these visitors gave their email addresses and were retargeted via marketing campaigns which saw sales of her brands increase by 70% the following month. won Gold for Company of the Year – Business Products – 10 or Less Employees at the 2021 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in submitting a nomination for the 2022 (19th Annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

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Mission Partners Is a Women-Led Company Prioritizing Equitable Practices For Clients

Posted by Grace Payne on Wed, Jun 29, 2022 @ 12:23 PM


Mission Partners is a social impact communications firm and Certified B Corporation that uses the power of communication to advance social justice. Based in Maryland, their team is made up of passionate women that guide organizations to be more authentic in their words, equitable in their strategies, and intentional about their impact. Through their work, Mission Partners use communications to bridge differences, address injustice, and act in the spirit of service with communities for more just and equitable outcomes. They specialize in offering their services to companies in critical moments of organizational change to help them maintain or improve their levels of success. 

mission partners logo

Since its founding in 2017, Mission Partners have counseled hundreds of foundations, nonprofit organizations, and social impact organizations as well as the partners who fund and support their work. Additionally, they have helped organizations refine their strategies, increase their impact and amplify their stories in order to inspire other entrepreneurs. And we regularly invest our own dollars and time back into the clients we represent. They regularly invest their own revenue and time back into the clients they represent, as their goal is to share and strengthen powerful ideas that will improve our world. 

Since receiving their Silver Stevie Award for Women-Run Workplace of the Year - 10 or Less Employees, their commitment to service has been demonstrated in several ways. Mission Partners have participated in community volunteering and monthly learning labs, given paid time off to vote and participate in elections, and had a collective commitment to skills-based volunteering. Recently, they met their goal of delivering $100,000 in skills-based pro bono services to Black-led organizations in 2021, doubling their originally intended amount.

Additionally, after the onset of the pandemic, they focused on creating simple and authentic ways to support their team. Mission Partners rolled out new employee benefits, including paycheck advances, a stipend to support home office expenses, and an allotment of additional time off to support staff through the year. They also instituted a COVID response strategy for client projects, which included significantly discounted rates and granted pro-bono work to existing clients and community partners. The support of their clients and team maintained Mission Partners goal of providing equitable and intentional care in the business world.

Mission Partners won the Silver Stevie Award for Women-Run Workplace of the Year - 10 or Less Employees in the 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

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Viola Palescandolo is Making the Luxury Travel Industry Accessible to All

Posted by Grace Payne on Wed, Jun 22, 2022 @ 09:19 PM


Viola Palescandolo is a former naval engineer, and luxury market expert, who founded Black Platinum Gold B.V. in 2017. Viola always had a passion to become an entrepreneur, and after gaining international expertise in the luxury industry, she decided to give a deeper meaning  to the word “luxury.” She founded Black Platinum Gold with no associates or investors, to empower dreamers to go after their goals, and created the first travel auctions platform that makes luxury more accessible without markdowns. Her vision revolved around the difference between price and value, for travelers that want to bring home new values from their journeys.

Black Platinum Gold

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Her business model is based on a virtuous cycle, which generates value for all the involved parties, including travelers, hotels, and destinations, going beyond simple services in exchange of a fee. Hotels benefit from this agreement because it’s based on barter agreements and they receive, while travelers are able to add significant value within their budget.

Despite the pandemic, Black Platinum Gold has seen over 1,000,000 unique website visitors, partnering with over 100 high-end destinations and hospitality brands and offering auctions in more than 20 countries. Additionally, Black Platinum Gold launched its first official app available worldwide. With this success, Viola’s next goal is to start giving back, with a project that revolves around supporting local initiatives, focusing on environmental sustainability and animal rights as beneficiaries of part of the auctions’ revenue.

Since receiving her Bronze Stevie Award for Female Solo Entrepreneur of the Year, Viola has partnered with major hospitality brands including The Ritz Carlton, Nobu, Kempinski, among others. Black Platinum Gold has expanded to a global platform that is accessible to all travelers, and with this she has received international press coverage by the most influential luxury travel magazines and portals. Viola was invited by David Meltzer to his show for an interview on "how to reinvent the luxury travel business during the pandemic."

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Additionally, Black Platinum Gold is about to launch a first-of-its-kind Luxury Travel Auction NFT. Along with the usual benefits of this digital collectible, the winner of the auction for this product will also receive an exclusive travel experience on Lake Como. Together with 15 other guests, the winner will spend New Years in luxury accommodation with other perks including a live music performance on New Year’s Eve, a professional photographer, and all-inclusive food and beverage. Viola's goal with this new project is to combine the tourism and crypto industry together and bring out the best in both. 

Viola Palescandolo won the Bronze Stevie Award for Female Solo Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in submitting a nomination for the 2022 (19th Annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

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Topics: stevie awards for women in business