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Women Bisnow
June 19, 2008


This issue of Washington Women is presented by
Reznick Group:
"Building Business Value"


By Karin Tanabe for Bisnow on Business

We've come a long way, baby, as the ad goes. But Tuesday night, with all the successful women business owners milling around Tyson's Habatat Gallery for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) NOVA's annual meeting, it would have been easy to take for granted.


Web designer, founder and president of Bean Creative, Layla Masri, second from right, reminded us just how much attitudes about women in business have changed with this cringe-worthy guide to hiring women from 1943. Masri is flanked by Vorsight's Beth Parker, The Dandelion Patch's Heidi Kallett, whose stationary company has had 450% growth since she bought it in '05 (best-selling author David Baldacci and ice skater Michael Weiss are regular clients), and Vorsight's Amy Lessans.


Just profiled in Thomas Heath's "Value Added" Washington Post column on Monday, Blisk Financial Group CEO, Brenda Blisk, right, is also celebrating being one of Barron's top 100 female financial advisers. And more importantly, her 21st year as a breast cancer survivor. Information Experts founder and CEO, Marissa Levin, knows about getting all the "lousy jobs" in the beginning based on her gender. She founded Information Experts 14 years ago on her kitchen table and now the communications company has 70 employees and clients like AOL, Marriott and McDonald's.


NAWBO NOVA's new prez is Carla Morelli of Freyer Martin, here with Kinetix Technology's Catherine Thomas. "We have 150 members, all women business owners," says Morelli. She tells us most of NAWBO's businesses are pulling in half a million to 10 million dollars in revenue, and the group's programming is tailored accordingly.


Hinge's Candace Frederiksen, Executive Coaching for Women's Jean Stafford, Blueprint Technology's Jeannie O'Kelley and outgoing NAWBO President Molly Gimmel of Design to Delivery. "When I started Executive Coaching in '93, my hair was a different color," says Stafford who works with professional women hoping to get ahead in fields that they're passionate about. O'Kelley sold Blueprint in 2006 but still works for the company, the third one she's founded.


From left: Capital Strategy and Development's Julie Taylor, Total Strategy's Kim Lysik Di Santi, Office Remedies' Kathy Benson, Plave Koch's Leslie Curran and Momentum Coaching and Consulting's Minna Keller. Founded by Benson 20 years ago, Office Remedies was voted top 25 places for women to work in the April issue of Working Mother Magazine. "We have a very unique business model," says Benson of the research strategy company. "We have a lot of home-based employees, mothers of young children, who have a lot of flexibility and still keep up their business skills."

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