Dept. of Commerce: June brings many celebratory moments for women-owned businesses in Wisconsin

Contact: Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661

MADISON – Several events celebrating the accomplishments of women-owned businesses across Wisconsin will take place this month. From award ceremonies to competitions, business women across the state will be recognized and applauded for their achievements.

“Women-owned businesses continue to play an important role in Wisconsin’s economy,” said Department of Commerce Secretary Richard J. Leinenkugel. “We at Commerce salute their continuing efforts to not only grow their own businesses, but to help educate other women on the whys and wherefores of running a successful business.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will hold its 24th Annual Small Business Awards Breakfast on June 5 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee. The SBA will recognize the following awardees: Women in Business Champion – National Winner Laurie Benson, owner of Inacom Information Systems; Emerging Small Business Persons Michelle Richard and Lisa Pikkila, owners of Coalesce, Inc.; and Young Entrepreneur – Regional Winner LaToya Robbins, owner of Le Pre Enterprises. The Women’s Business Center Service Excellence Award will be presented to Wendy Baumann of Wisconsin Womens Business Initiative Corporation.

Dane County Small Business Administration will hold its Awards Breakfast at the Sheraton Madison Hotel on June 19 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Over 250 Dane County business owners and professionals are expected to attend to local award recipients. Women-owned business award recipients include: Sue Mowris, co-owner of Andy Garcia Productions, Inc.; Laura Douglass, owner of Next Generation Clinical Research; Robin Pharo, owner of Healthy Home Reports, LLC; Mary Volker, owner of MCV Salon & Spa; and Monique Minkens and Kimberly Wilson; co-owners of The Skin Care Source. Laurie Benson will receive the Small Business Advocate Award.

Governor Jim Doyle and the Wisconsin Women’s Council are holding their 2009 Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business at the State Capitol on June 22nd at 10:30 a.m. The awards are given to businesses statewide to recognize the legacy of women’s business ownership in Wisconsin. Commerce Secretary Leinenkugel will present awards to the following winners: Patricia Nemec, Far Horizons Travel; Pam Wencel and Mary Miller, Middleton Travel; Sandra Torkildson, A Room of One’s Own Feminist Bookstore; Terese Zache, Terese Zache Designs; Sue Ann Kaestner, The Widget Source; Kathryn Hasselblad-Pascale, Hasselblad Machine Company; Sara Erickson, Mondovi Hardware Store; Donna Diane Clark, Wedige’s Badger Bar; Christine Ingersol and Patricia Ziwisky, Jefferson Travel Agency; Beverly Johnson, AJA Enterprises; Delilah Souter, Graceful Aging and Debra Alder, Alder Cos..

Participants in the “Make Mine a Million $ Business Race (M3 Race)” will gather from June 24-June 26 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. During the three-day conference Wisconsin’s M3 Race entrants will have the opportunity to compete for prizes during the Business Pitch Competition. The M-3 Race is a competitive and cooperative year-long business growth marathon hosted by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence. Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and is the only national initiative committed to helping women-owned business grow their business to

$1 million in annual revenue. Seventy women from Wisconsin have joined over 4,300 women-owned businesses nationwide in the M3 Race. To view a list of Wisconsin’s entrants visit

Women have launched entrepreneurial careers in record numbers during the past two decades. The variety of events happening this month will continue to inspire women to dream big and achieve their aspirations.