Wednesday, March 07, 2007

News of Interest: Office Depot Businesswoman of the Year is a WPO Chicago Member!

WPO member Francine Manilow, of Manilow Suites, wins Office Depot Businesswoman of the Year in our region. We are very proud of her. This is such a prestigious honor.

Here's what some of her peers had to say after hearing the news:

That is so wonderful and you certainly deserve it! 1000 Congratulations!

You are so deserving! God bless you!

I’m so happy for you! Congratulations!

Congratulations Francine ... WAY TO GO GIRL!

The recognition could not go to anyone who deserves it more than you!

Congratulations! Well deserved!

News release:

Office Depot Awards Francine Manilow, CEO and Founder of Manilow Suites, 2007 Chicago Businesswoman of the Year

Office Depot is proud to honor the Francine Manilow, CEO and Founder of Manilow Suites, as Chicago's 2007 Businesswoman of the Year. Francine was nominated by Office Depot's supporting professional women's association, Women Presidents' Organization, in recognition of her exceptional leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and support for women in business.

Francine was the first person in the United States to offer upscale short-term housing incorporating hotel services, numerous amenities and flexibility with arrival and departure dates. Manilow Suites offers beautiful apartments in 12 luxury high-rise buildings within the downtown Chicago area. In March 2007, the company will celebrate its 27th anniversary.

When she was 15 years old, Francine began her career with the formation of the International Van Cliburn Music Club to promote classical music among young adults. There were 15 chapters in the U.S. and numerous chapters throughout the world including Japan, Bangkok, London and Paris. In 1966, she formed her first corporation, employing stewardesses to work exhibit booths at trade shows in 16 different cities. She was also the first to offer secretarial services for the exhibitors at the trade shows with only the help of her little desk, two chairs, a typewriter and a small copy machine. Today, exhibit halls offer elaborate business centers.

From there, she was the first in Chicago to offer 24-hour film developing and then same-day film developing through various retail outlets. Francine also formed the largest company which provided housewives to offer food tasting in supermarkets on the weekends. Along the way, she acquired a stock photo company called "Piles and Files of Photos."

The award will be presented to Francine at Office Depot's Success Strategies for Businesswomen Conference in Chicago on Wednesday, March 20, 2007 at the Wyndham O'Hare. For more information or to register, visit


Please join us in celebrating Francine's award on March 20th at the Office Depot Conference in Chicago. WPO will be represented by Sheila Liao of Pointe International. Please look for the WPO table, Sheila and of course, Francine! See you there.

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