SEATTLE – The Women Business Owners (WBO), Puget Sound’s leading organization for women entrepreneurs, has named the five finalists in the 2010 Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year Awards Competition. This year marks the 28th anniversary of the Nellie Cashman (‘The Nellie’) award competition, which recognizes and honors women business owners who have enhanced the status of women entrepreneurs through their vision, perseverance, and fearless, relentless leadership in business and the community. To qualify a nominee must own at least 51% of the business, gross more than $1million in annual revenue and have three or more employees.
Candidates for The Nellie are judged based on their entrepreneurial spirit, ethics and community spirit, financial and management skills, and the difficulty and risk they have endured to achieve their success. The 2010 Nellie finalists represent an amazing and inspiring collection of women, all of whom have not only built successful businesses but who also give generously of their time to the community. The winner will be announced at a gala awards banquet on Thursday, October 14, 2010 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Meeghan Black, host of Evening Magazine, and a remarkable woman herself, is presiding over the ceremonies.
The five finalists are:
• Barbara Bollinger, Senior Salons, LLC www.seniorsalons.com
• Jody Hall, Cupcake Royale & Vérité Coffee Inc. www.cupcakeroyale.com
• Andrea Heuston, Artitudes Design, Inc. www.artitudesdesign.com
• Susan Kaufman, Serafina, Inc www.serafinaseattle.com
• Liz Lasater, Red Arrow Logistics www.redarrowlogistics.com
Lovingly Helping Seniors Look Their Best
Barbara Bollinger, Senior Salons, LLC
Barbara Bollinger’s first job after attaining her license was in a beauty salon with a largely senior clientele. After four years she opened her own salon, which she later sold to build another in her home so she could raise her children while continuing an active business. In 1998, Barbara opened her first senior salon, in an assisted living community that had been built down the street, and rediscovered the enjoyment she had found working with seniors in her very first job. When a back injury forced her out of hair styling, instead of giving up her business, Barbara decided to take on more salons and hire staff to provide a unique service – hair care exclusively for seniors. Senior Salons now has a staff of 35 and growing, plus a management team of 3, serving over 1500 residents in 34+ salons in senior communities in the Greater Seattle area. Each salon embodies her loving spirit, reflected in her fabulous decorations for every season. A wife and mother of three teenagers, Barbara is an active, enthusiastic PTA member and double PTA Golden Apple and Golden Acorn recipient. She is also a major volunteer and leader in her community, in the Northshore Girls Slowpitch Softball Association, Cedar Park Christian School, and Evergreen Community Church in Bothell.
Cupcakes with a Conscience
Jody Hall, Cupcake Royale & Vérité Coffee
Hall embarked on her first business venture at the age of eight. It involved her grandfather’s pumpkins, a stealthy fleet of wagons, and a modest cut of the neighborhood kids’ earnings. After graduating from Seattle University with a marketing degree in business and 13 years of work in corporate America (including Starbucks and REI), she decided to step out on her own. In 2003, she took the plunge, and opened Cupcake Royale & Vérité Coffee – the first cupcake shop in the US outside of New York City – in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle.
Cupcake Royale & Verite Coffee now includes four neighborhood locations, an expanding wholesale business, an online ordering and delivery service, and all natural cupcake recipes that are made with local and sustainable ingredients In 2009 Seattle Magazine readers voted Cupcake Royale Seattle’s Best Cupcakes as did The Seattle Weekly. Hall is passionately committed to the community and the environment and has been recognized for her work including receiving the Mayor’s Small Business Award, the Deanna Knudson Grassroots Leadership Award and Seattle’s Best Local Crusader. The past year proved to be particularly busy as Jody advocated for affordable health care as a member of the Washington CAN! Small Business for Secure Health Care Coalition. She championed her cause to politicians and was invited to the White House to attend a round-table discussion to help the Obama administration understand the perspective of small business regarding health care reform.
Visual Storytelling for Clients and Kids
Andrea Heuston, Artitudes Design Inc.
Heuston, founder and CEO of Artitudes Design Inc., is an award-winning graphic designer and consultant with over 20 years of experience in the design industry. Her unique approach to design management and relationship building has helped to make her firm a leader in the arena of visual storytelling. Her expertise and the amazing skills of her employees have connected her with such companies as Microsoft, Starbucks, Avanade, Big Fish Games, and many others.
In 2009, she was honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40. In addition she serves on the Board of Directors for Olive Crest, an organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and treating and educating at-risk children. In 2007, concerned by the alarming number of students who receive little to no art education in the public school system, she created an art docent program –Artitudes In Action –connecting local schools with art resources and instructors. One of the specialties of Artitudes in Action is designing art projects that use recycled material so all students are able to do art projects at home without spending money on expensive supplies. Artitudes Design was a 2009 and 2010 Puget Sound Business Journal Best Workplaces finalist, recognized as one of the top 20 small businesses to work for in Washington State, and recently awarded Best Office Space by 425 Magazine.
Cooking and Community
Susan Kaufman, Serafina, Inc.
Kaufman, a native of New York, grew up eating all foods Italian. She is a born entrepreneur, having started her first business at the young age of 16. Her love affair with cooking, especially Italian, blossomed in her early 20s, after spending a year in Italy. This love affair begat two highly successful restaurants in Juneau, Alaska. During her ten years as chef/owner, Kaufman introduced Alaska to authentic regional Italian cuisine, from housemade pasta to freshly made gelato. In 1991, she opened Serafina in Seattle, which was an immediate success city wide and has become nationally known. Serafina, now in its nineteenth year, is considered a much-loved Seattle institution, and has received many accolades and awards, including Best Italian, Most Romantic, Best Wine list, Best Outdoor Dining.
As a business owner, Kaufman has made well-timed decisions on personnel changes, expansions, remodels, and property acquisition to promote growth. Her most recent move was to purchase the building behind Serafina to open Cicchetti Kitchen and Bar. A strong proponent of the local and sustainable food movement, Kaufman resides close to the restaurants, where her kitchen garden is a source of herbs and vegetables for Serafina. Kaufman lives true to the Italian idiom of bringing people together to share food and wine with family and friends.
Logistics Simplified and Streamlined
Liz Lasater, Red Arrow Logistics
Lasater founded Red Arrow Logistics in 2003, and in just six years it was named a top 10 woman-owned company in the state of Washington and by WPO one of the 50 fastest growing women led business in America and a Top 500 Small Businesses in America by Diversity Magazine 2008-2009. She believes the amazing trajectory will continue and forecasts that Red Arrow Logistics to hit huge goals in the next five years, predicting annual revenues of $20m by 2013. Lasater has succeeded in what is considered a predominantly male industry. She has done so with a wonderful sense of humor, a direct style and incredible vision.
Lasater brings more than two decades of experience in transportation and logistics, advising Fortune 100 companies and others with fast growing, complex and high value supply chains in both the international and domestic arenas. She previously served in senior management for Fritz Companies (acquired by UPS in 2001), SeaLand Logistics and APL Logistics. Dedicated to corporate philanthropy, Liz and her company are active supporters of community organizations including the American Cancer Society, The Mission Continues and Treehouse.
About Women Business Owners
Women Business Owners is Puget Sound’s leading organization for women entrepreneurs. Our mission: to propel resolute women entrepreneurs to embrace their fullest vision of success. Beyond a great business referral network, WBO is a resource for inspiration, education, enduring relationships, and leadership development.
About the WBO Nellie
Since 1982, the Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year Award has recognized and honored Puget Sound area women entrepreneurs who have made outstanding contributions to the status of women business owners through their leadership in business and the community.
The award, also known as the WBO Nellie, is the most prestigious and longest running honor of its kind in the region. Presentation of the award brings together more than 300 prominent local business and community leaders in a professionally organized and hosted awards dinner banquet to share the inspiration of our most prominent women entrepreneurs and business owners.
About Nellie Cashman
Irish-born Nellie Cashman was an American pioneer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and gold prospector. From the time she came west in the late 1860s, Nellie exhibited her unique style of courage, compassion, determination and spunk that made her one of the most famous women in the American West. She started as a mining camp cook and progressed to running a series of boardinghouses and ultimately owning restaurants and grocery stores.
From Tucson and Tombstone, Arizona, to Nevada and the Klondike, Nellie continued her life of prospecting, mining and business ownership until her death in 1925. She became as well known for her philanthropy as she was for being a rare woman to not only mine and prospect, but to lead veteran frontiersmen in mining expeditions.
It is the spirit of the pioneering Nellie Cashman that Women Business Owners salutes with our annual award in her name.