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Shawn Taylor Zelman, NAWBO
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – May 30, 2007 – Celebrating the continued success of women business owners nationwide, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO®) will recognize three women entrepreneurs with the sixth-annual NAWBO/Wells Fargo Trailblazer Award. Each winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and be honored at NAWBO’s 2007 Women’s Business Conference in Atlanta on June 1, 2007.
Three recipients were selected from a nationwide pool of applicants based on their companies’ business performance, innovation, growth, and personal service to the community. Together with NAWBO, Joy Ott, regional president for Wells Fargo Bank in Montana and national spokesperson for its Women’s Business Services program, will present the Trailblazer Awards to:
· Lucie Voves – President and founder Church Hill Classics & Diplomaframe.com
· Christine Wallace –President and founder of Gracewinds Perinatal Services
· Debra Ruh – President and founder of TecAccess, LLC
“The diverse talent and leadership demonstrated by these three women is inspiring and extends far beyond the walls of their businesses. They are leaders not only in business but also in their communities. This is why we salute and recognize the contributions of women entrepreneurs nationwide,” said Ott. "This year’s winners truly personify what it means to be a ‘trailblazer’ and we applaud and thank them for their continued innovation and success.”
Church Hill Classics & Diplomaframe.com designs and manufactures high-quality diploma, certificate, and award frames for over 700 colleges, universities, professional associations and military organizations. Based in Danbury CT, Church Hill Classics was founded as a home-based business in 1991 by Lucie Voves and began as a custom framer and art publisher, primarily servicing the college market. After numerous customer requests, the company expanded into the diploma frame business and now occupies a 30,000 square foot facility where each diploma frame is hand-crafted to order. Committed to supporting her staff of more than 49 diverse and skilled employees, Lucie championed on-site English as a second language classes to help her Hispanic workers develop their language skills.
Gracewinds Perinatal Services offers complete and continuous personalized support to help women and families throughout pregnancy and afterwards by providing professional programs for pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Drawing on her background as a certified medical assistant, Christine Wallace established the Seattle-based company in 2002 to provide women and families the opportunity to easily access high quality, birth-related services in one location. Extending her efforts internationally, Christine founded “Gracewinds Global Breast Milk Initiative” to establish an onsite milk bank and community center for new mothers in third world countries. The first clinic will be based in Muhuru Bay, Kenya.
Based in Rockville, VA and founded by Debra Ruh in 2001, TecAccess, LLC provides compliance and accessibility solutions to corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions. Inspired by her daughter, who was born with Down syndrome, Debra recognized that employment opportunities for the disabled were rare. Determined to make a difference and utilizing her knowledge of information technology, she founded TecAccess and employed a diverse team, most of whom are people with disabilities. Drawing upon the unique experiences of its employees, TecAccess implements and develops creative and accessible IT solutions and ensures that federal agencies comply with Section 508 requirements by developing an infrastructure that is accessible to people with disabilities.
“These unique businesses reinforce the innovation and trailblazing spirit we see so much of in women entrepreneurs,” said XXX, NAWBO’s national president. “We are honored, along with our partner Wells Fargo, to recognize and celebrate their success as they truly uphold and embody the spirit of this award.”
Wells Fargo established the Women’s Business Services program in 1995 to build relationships with women business owners and increase access to capital and financial services. Since the program’s inception, Wells Fargo has lent more than $28 billion nationwide to women business owners.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $486 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest credit rating from both Moody's Investors Servie, "Aaa," and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "AAA."
Providing financial products and services to more than 1.5 million businesses with annual sales up to $20 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, Wells Fargo is America’s #1 lender to small businesses in total dollar volume according to the most recent CRA data (2005).
The second largest national SBA lender in dollars, Wells Fargo is an SBA Preferred Lender in 28 states and the District of Columbia, and originated 4,937 loans for $578 million in 2006. Its diverse business services programs provide outreach and education to women, African American, Latino, and Asian business owners about financial services. Since 1995, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $30 billion to women and diverse business owners. For more information, please visit www.wellsfargo.com/biz.
Founded in 1975, NAWBO propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. Thirty years later, NAWBO is still the only organization that solely represents the interest of women entrepreneurs in all industries. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of its members and promote economic development; to create innovative and effective change in the business culture; to build strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and to transform public policy and influence opinion makers. Visit www.nawbo.org for more information.