This issue of Washington Women is brought to you
by Ernst & Young: “Quality in Everything We Do.”
By Karin Tanabe, for Bisnow on Business
The women honored Wednesday night at the 1st Annual BRAVO! Women Business Achievement Awards presented by SmartCEO Magazine would have the late James Brown eating his words. The 25 award recipients, who gathered with their teams at Silver Spring’s Crowne Plaza hotel, proved full well that it’s not “a man’s, a man’s, a man’s world” anymore. Said Steve Thomas, Executive Director of TiE-DC, the evening’s main sponsor: “We felt the story of women being successful in business and philanthropy was not being told enough.”
Award recipient Bobbie Kilberg, President of NVTC, on crutches, flanked on left by her daughter, Gillian Kilberg Hodge, founder of Grandma Rita’s Children, and fellow award recipients Brenda Blisk, owner of Blisk Financial Group and Michelle Lee, CEO of STG International. Bobbie said the “caliber of the staff defines the success of an organization and its CEO.” Unfortunately she has bonding with staff to blame for her near broken foot: It happened while bowling on a wet lane with them recently. Michelle’s team cheered like a college pep squad when she accepted her award. Her advice for budding entrepreneurs: “You can’t just hang up a shingle and start a business.”
Access Systems’ CEO Julie Lee is flanked, left, by colleagues Maher Darwish and Lamont Hanes, and on right by husband Brian Lee. Brian was the loudest “woohooer” of the evening as he cheered his wife’s acceptance of the award.
Seated, Bonnie Fogel, Executive Director of Imagination Stage, and her son David, who spoke glowingly of her. “She’s a winner, I knew from the second I saw her.” Standing, Cathy Bernard, owner of CSB Management Corporation with Jerry Morenoff, Managing Director of Imagination Stage.
Molly Matthews, left, CEO of Matthews Media Group and board member of The Children’s Inn at NIH, with award recipient Kathy Russell, CEO of Children’s Inn. Hiding her drink, Molly said, “Every time I have my picture taken, I automatically lower my glass; it’s the PR in me.”
“Girls just want to have fun.” And found, build, and run companies while they’re at it. Award recipient Tonya Harmon, left, CEO of Harmony Information Systems with award winner Jill Stelfox, CEO of Defywire. Jill “remains one of less than a dozen women venture-backed CEOs in the mid-Atlantic.”
Journalist Maureen Dowd is famous for asking, “Are men necessary?” Perhaps they are. They’re great at cheering loudly and make for arm candy in pictures. Award recipient TiTi McNeill, CEO of TranTech, flanked by her colleagues, COO Paul O’Brien, left, and CFO Joe Duda. Joe told us we “should print this photo because TiTi shows amazing vision and because we’re great looking.”