Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Video of Interest: Joselyn DiPetta, Present Possibility and Her TEDx Talk

Joselyn DiPetta, as featured in the video, specializes in the development and delivery of curricula and trainings that shape attitudes, effect behavior change, and cause transformative impacts within organizations and communities all over the world.  Joselyn conducted a great workshop for WPO Chicago III chapter this year. We are very proud of her, and the work she is doing to make the world a level playing field for both men and women. Watch the video to discover more and share with the world.

To learn more about Joselyn's work and to contact her, visit:  Present Possibility (

Monday, December 15, 2014

Article of Interest: Be Ready to Hire More Staff

As 2015 comes rolling in, do you have enough staff to prepare for future growth?  There is a general consensus that 2015 will be a good year for business.  Now is as good a time as any to assess what's happening at your business and determine whether you need to hire a few good people to get client projects done.
Business leaders need to weigh the decision of hiring very carefully, though. Right now, it may be better for your business to bring new workers in on an evaluation hire, allowing you to see if they are fit for the team before hiring them permanently.
If the timing is right, go for it.  Hire fresh new talent.  You want to be poised for success in 2015!

Read more:  Be ready to hire more staff

Photo Credit: le temple du chemisier

Monday, December 08, 2014

Article of Interest: Do Women-Run Businesses Make More Money?

A global survey from French bank BNP Paribas and consultancy firm Scorpio Partnership found that women might not own as many businesses as men do. But it seems that their businesses tend to be more successful.  Further, U.S. Businesses run by men are 3.5 times more likely to cross the $1 million threshold then businesses run by women, a 2014 study (PDF) by Ernst & Young concluded.

Read the entire article:  Women-Run Businesses Make More Money -- Or Do They?

Screenshot courtesy:  The Scale-up Agenda - Ernst & Young

Monday, December 01, 2014

News of Interest: Women-Led Companies Confident and Thriving

According to a new study by our very own non-profit, peer advisory group, the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), companies led by women are highly confident in the economy, and the positions of their businesses.  The results show that they’re performing well, even outpacing the U.S. national average.  The 2014 Business Outlook Survey was sponsored by KeyBank’s Key4Women program.

Read the entire article:  Women-Led Companies Confident & Thriving, But Need Access to Capital

Photo Credit: ttnk 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Article of Interest: What Are the Reasons For Gender Disparity?

Is there a gap between what men make versus what women make when running a business?  According to a 2014 report by Ernst & Young, there sure is.
Male-run businesses are 3.5 times more likely to surpass $1 million in sales than their female-run counterparts and only 2% of women-owned companies ever break the million-dollar mark, according to a 2014 report by Ernst & Young. "Women start businesses at nearly twice the rate of men, but far fewer of them actually scale," says Kerrie MacPherson, a partner principal at Ernst & Young.
What are the reasons for gender disparity?

Read:  Why More Women-Run Businesses Aren't Making Millions

Screenshot courtesy:  EY

Monday, November 10, 2014

News of Interest: Women of Color Achievement Awards 2014 (St. Louis)

100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis, in partnership with the Women Presidents’ Organization, announce the recipients of this year’s Women of Color Achievement Awards.

A total of 11 women from the St. Louis area will be honored at the 2014 Women of Color Achievement Awards reception, sponsored by IBM and UPS. The event will take place on November 13th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Norwood Hills Country Club.  All award recipients were identified by the 100 in conjunction with local chapters of the WPO.

To learn more and to find out the 11 women who will be honored, visit:


Congrats to all the award winners!

Screenshots courtesy:  100 Black Men  St. Louis and Women Presidents' Organization

Monday, November 03, 2014

Article of Interest: More Women Starting Businesses

According to American Express OPEN’s 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, nearly 9.1 million women-owned businesses currently operate in the United States, generating over $1.4 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.9 million people.  Women are launching 1,200 new businesses a day.
The report also found that between 1997 and 2014, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 68 percent, 1½ times the national average rate of 47 percent.
Learn more:  Upward trend in women-owned small businesses

Screenshot courtesy: American Express OPEN Forum

Monday, October 27, 2014

Article of Interest: 4 Essential Shark Tools for Success

Stacey Alcorn, author and entrepreneur, chats with New York real estate mogul turned Shark Tank television personality Barbara Corcoran about what it takes to build a multimillion-dollar empire. The interview appeared in Entrepreneur.

Barbara Corcoran's Essential Shark Tools for Success

Monday, October 20, 2014

Article of Interest: Women Business Owners Are Turning to Technology To Improve Their Companies

According to a new survey, released by PNC Financial Services Group:
68 percent of women business owners are likely to focus on ways to improve cash flow, 48 percent plan to start or continue to upgrade technology to improve efficiency and 44 percent will add technology to improve customer experiences.
Beth Marcello, director of women's business development at PNC says, "These women owners are prepared to leverage technology and focus on efficiency until they see more growth in the economy and their sales."

Read the article:  Women Business Owners Focused on Technology, Improving Cash Flow

Visit:  PNC Insights

Note:  PNC is a national sponsor to WPO and we so appreciate their support.

Screenshot courtesy:  PNC Insights

Monday, October 13, 2014

News of Interest: Women Presidents' Organization 2014 Business Outlook Survey

A study released recently by the Women Presidents' Organization - 2014 Business Outlook Survey (sponsored by KeyBank's Key4Women Program - showed that 33% of women reported using their own money to start their businesses, with less than 1% saying they received venture capital or angel investing.
"The networks that are established by their male counterparts don't always include the opportunity for women to participate," said Dr. Marsha Firestone, founder of the WPO. "I don't say that in terms of being critical of men. That's just the way the networks work."
Other key findings from the study include:
  • The economic downturn has loosened its grip on women business owners.  Just eight percent of WPO members said they believe economic conditions are the biggest threat to their bottom-line growth, a dramatic drop from last year’s findings, when half of the respondents cited the economic downturn as their biggest worry.
  • Women-led businesses grew three times faster than the national average, a growth rate of 25% or more, compared to 5.4% average U.S. business growth.
Learn more:  Women at the top struggle for funding (CNN Money)

Monday, October 06, 2014

Article of Interest: Meet the New CEO of Life

Image source @STEMwomen
Imagine a life where every girl has an opportunity.  She speaks clearly and confidently.  She skillfully negotiates anything she wants.  She stands up to social pressures.  She builds a global network of mentors and sponsors.  Sounds like WPO members but in this case, meet the official Miss CEO, a website.

A little background:
In August 2014, Stanford professor of mathematics Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win the Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

As the Stanford community celebrates Mirzakhani’s achievement, its members are also working to bring more young women into non-traditional fields like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In July and August this year, an organization called Miss CEO held a series of workshops sponsored by Stanford’s Department of Bioengineering, intended to equip young women with the skills necessary to thrive academically and professionally, particularly in STEM fields.
Now we get it.

Read the entire article:  Young women take the lead in STEM - The Clayman Institute for Gender Research

Monday, September 29, 2014

Article of Interest: Women Investors Fuel Women-Run Companies

Source:  Businessweek (9/10/14)
According to Karen E. Klein for Businessweek, "Women made up 23 percent of all entrepreneurs seeking angel capital in 2013, up from 9 percent in 2005. There were fewer than 20,000 female angel investors in 2005, but that number increased to nearly 58,000 by last year."

Read the entire article:  Angel Investing:  Rise of Female Investors Fuels Women-Run Companies

Related paper:  The Angel Investor Market in 2013:  A Return to Seed Investing

Screenshot:  Businessweek

Monday, September 22, 2014

News of Interest: Vickie Rock Wins the "Ready, Set, Grow Pitch Contest" 2014

Our very own WPO Chicago member Vickie Rock, President of Victoria Legal and Corporate Services, wins the "Ready, Set, Grow Pitch Contest" at the WBDC Conference 2014.

Watch the video here.

Congratulations to Vickie!  We are very proud of you.

Screenshot courtesy of:  Video

Monday, September 15, 2014

News of Interest: Best Ever WPO Chicago Summit 2014

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Our 11th Annual WPO Chicago Summit held September 11, 2014 at Google Chicago was a huge success largely due to our Steering Committee members  - Mary Bahr, Cheri McEssy, Susan Rossie and Lynn Sutton - who worked very hard to make our Summit the best ever.  A huge thank you to them and an even bigger shout-out of gratefulness to Julie Krueger, Hillary Renderman, Lisa Landsman and Matt Butler from Google for sharing their expertise with us.

Related post:  11th Annual WPO Chicago Summit (For Members Only) Hosted at Google

Monday, September 08, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Article of Interest: Start Noticing Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Successful entrepreneur Dr. Marsha Firestone
I am a big fan of Candida Brush, chair of entrepreneurship and research director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College.  In the article below she homes in on the single most important thing she notices when she teaches:  the majority of her students are much less aware of successful women entrepreneurs.

She starts the classroom dialog like this:
How would you answer the question: “Name a successful entrepreneur?” Did you say Bill Gates? Mark Zuckerberg? Steve Jobs?  Richard Branson?  Or maybe you said Larry Page or Howard Schultz if you like coffee?
According to Professor Brush, she says it takes about eight names before a woman is named.

What needs to be done to correct the situation?
In order to change perceptions about who is a successful entrepreneur, we have to work a little harder to intentionally include the names of successful women. 
Read the entire article:  Candida Brush: Include More Women as Textbook Examples of Success

Photo Credit: Women Impacting Public Policy - Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., President and Founder of the Women Presidents' Organization

Monday, August 18, 2014

Article of Interest: Inspiring More Young Women in STEM

How do we help more women break through the glass ceiling that holds them back?  Encourage them to start businesses and get young women interested at the outset in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Stephanie Vozza, for Fast Company, talks about how young girls need inspiration to become equal players among the next generation of innovators and technology leaders.

Read:  Introducing The Next Generation of Female Tech Role Models

Photo Credit: gcoldironjr2003

Monday, August 11, 2014

News of Interest: Where WPO Chicago Member Shea Soucie Dines to Make a Statement

WPO Chicago member Shea Soucie (pictured) is co-owner of two Chicago-based companies:  Soucie Horner Ltd., an interior design studio and SHIIR, a fine artisanal rug company.  She says:
“Everything I do is very visual, so where I choose to eat says something about me from a visual standpoint. We are about quality, not volume.”
Click here for where she dines to make a statement.

Monday, July 21, 2014

News of Interest: Manilow Suites Wins TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014!

Manilow Suites, a short-term corporate housing company of 35 years, announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award 2014. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.  Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

Read the entire news release:  Manilow Suites Wins Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

Congratulations to long time WPO member Francine Manilow, President and Founder of Manilow Suites, for earning this prestigious honor.  We are very proud of you and all your successes!

Screenshot courtesy of Manilow Suites

Monday, July 07, 2014

Article of Interest: Investing in and Supporting Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide

How Goldman Sachs deployed a far-reaching, data-driven strategy to further the cause of women’s entrepreneurship through its 10,000 Women Initiative.
The 10,000 Women Initiative began in 2008 as a five-year program sponsored by the investment bank Goldman Sachs.  Funded with a $100 million commitment from the Goldman Sachs Foundation, the initiative aims to provide training and support to women entrepreneurs.
Read the entire article:  Applied "Womenomics" | Stanford Innovation Review

Supplement to the article above:  Progress Report

Related video:  Investing in Women Entrepreneurs

Screen shot courtesy of Goldman Sachs

Monday, June 30, 2014

News of Interest: Alecia McClung Featured on Windy City LIVE

Our very own WPO Chicago member Alecia McClung, President of Administrative Resource Options (ARO) was featured on Windy City LIVE concerning her kidney transplant in 2003 and the unlikely bond she formed with the organ donor's Mom.

Before we get to the video, here's what her peers -- fellow WPO Chicago members -- had to say about the it:

•  I just watched this with my husband. You were incredible! And inspiring! And so wonderfully you :)

•  You were amazing!  You spoke so eloquently, and so from the heart.  Definitely inspirational for all who watched.  Thanks for sharing!

•  I second those sentiments.  Anyone watching you and Penny Brady had to be moved by the story that binds the two of you.  Truly inspirational.  Hopefully it encourages all to know the lifesaving difference that organ donations make.

Watch the video here:  Son's organ donation leads to friendship

Screenshot courtesy:  Windy City LIVE

Monday, June 23, 2014

News of Interest: Where Mary Bahr Lunches in Chicago

Our very own WPO member, Mary Bahr (pictured), president of MAB Advertising, is featured at Crain's dining blog:
Mary Bahr is president and creative director of MAB Advertising Inc., a 15-year-old Chicago firm whose clients include Sears Holdings Corp., Kmart Corp. and Pet Supplies Plus Inc. She often dines with chief marketing officers ...
Read the entire article:  Where the president of MAB Advertising does lunch in Chicago

Monday, June 16, 2014

Article of Interest: Why I Admire These Two Women Entrepreneurs

Our friend and colleague, Dr. Sharon Hadary (@hadaryco and pictured), writes a wonderful piece for the Wall Street Journal on why she admires two women social entrepreneurs.  The fact of the matter is that the two women she praises are staunch supporters to the Women Presidents' Organizations so we could not be happier to see them honored in this fashion.

Read the entire article:  Why I Admire These Two Women Entrepreneurs

Photo screenshot courtesy:  Sharon Hadary and Co.

Monday, June 09, 2014

News of Interest: How WPO Chicago Member Sandy Marsico Got On CNBC

WPO Chicago member Sandy Marsico, who runs Sandstorm Design, had a fantastic opportunity to share her story of building a culture of gratitude, fun, and recognition with Marcus Lemonis from CNBC's "The Profit."

See what went on:  How we got onto CNBC With Marcus Lemonis

Congratulations to Sandy for this incredible media opportunity!  We are so proud of you!

Screenshot courtesy:  Sandstorm Design

Monday, June 02, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

News of Interest: The Unilever Foundry

Is your business a technology innovator?  Unilever launches a new program called The Unilever Foundry:
You can pilot a project.  Receive a mentorship.  Receive an investment.

Learn more about The Unilever Foundry

Photo courtesy: Wouter Ernsting

Monday, May 19, 2014

News of Interest: Dr. Marsha Firestone Featured at the Huffington Post

Dr. Marsha Firestone
Laura Dunn at the Huffington Post conducts an interview with Dr. Marsha Firestone (pictured).  Here's a clip:
How are female business owners driving growth in the economy? 
WPO members account for significant economic growth. They generate $19 billion in aggregate revenue and employ 145,000 people. Two out of every three new businesses being started today are by women. I call entrepreneurship the great equalizer. By owning their own companies, women have more power, more influence and can pay themselves more. By 2018 one third of all U.S. jobs will be generated by women-led businesses (source: Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute).
Read the entire Q&A:  Women in Business Q&A:  Dr. Marsha Firestone, Founder and President of the Women Presidents' Organization

Monday, May 12, 2014

News of Interest: Emilia DiMenco (WBDC Chicago) Is Ally For Women Business Owners

Emilia DiMenco (pictured) has become president and chief executive officer of the Women's Business Development Center in Chicago.  WBDC has always been a friend to WPO so we are delighted over Emilia's appointment and wish her the best of success.
"Our founders were such iconic women," DiMenco said. "And people knew what the organization did was important because they trusted Hedy [Ratner]. They knew she was an advocate for women, but they really didn't know as much as they should about the direct services that we provide. ... It's time to brand the center."
Read the entire article published in the Chicago Tribune here.

Screenshot courtesy:  WBDC Chicago

Sunday, April 27, 2014

News of Interest: Fastest-Growing Women Owned/Led Companies

The Women Presidents' Organization released its seventh annual list of the 50 fastest-growing women-led companies.  This year marks the first time it has included applicants from outside the United States.
"We saw production soaring, with an average revenue growth of 203% from 2009 to 2013," says Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., president and founder of the WPO. "Not only is the financial growth of these companies impressive, it shows that women entrepreneurs are making inroads in non-traditional businesses, such as information technology, transportation, and engineering."
The winners were announced at last week's WPO 17th Annual Conference in New Orleans.  Read more here.  Visit:  The 7th Annual 50 Fastest Growing Women Owned/Led Businesses

Related articles:  Business owners share keys to success at Women Presidents' Organization Conference

Monday, April 21, 2014

News of Interest: Eriksen Translations

Eriksen Translations Inc. ( is proud to support women-owned businesses by providing complimentary copies of Laurel Delaney's new book, "Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably," to attendees at the upcoming Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) 17th Annual Conference.
The highly anticipated WPO Annual Conference, to be held April 23-25 in New Orleans, provides opportunities for successful women entrepreneurs from all over the world to share business strategies and experience, as well as learn from interactive seminars and inspirational speakers. Eriksen will provide complimentary copies of "Exporting" to all 800 attendees in their conference bags. As a woman-owned business enterprise that helps companies reach their global audiences, Eriksen is pleased to have this opportunity to provide a resource for women who are already in the international marketplace or looking to expand globally.
Learn more:  Eriksen Translations Helps Women Business Owners Reach Their Audiences in the Global Marketplace

Monday, April 14, 2014

Article of Interest: Using Metaphors to Foster Creativity

Whether you are trying to design a great new product or launch a game changing website for your business, using visual metaphors can help foster brilliant ideas.
Whatever the source of the effect, the practical implications for designers are quite intriguing. During a product development process, for instance, visual metaphors might prime people to give designers more creative feedback. And say you hold a focus group in a room vivified with bright light bulbs. Theoretically, participants would come up with more, and more constructive, ideas than participants who sit in an empty room.
Read the entire article:  The Remarkable Power of Visual Metaphors To Make Us More Creative

Photo courtesy:  Flickr

Monday, April 07, 2014

News of Interest: WPO 17th Annual Conference

The Women Presidents’ Organization will hold its 2014 International Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on Wednesday, April 23 - Friday, April 25.

The conference encourages WPO members to share business strategies and experience with other successful women from all over the world, as well as learn from interactive seminars and speakers. Additionally, it will provide potential members who qualify a unique opportunity to experience the impact the WPO has on women business owners professionally, and personally.

We look forward to seeing you there!  If you have questions, please email us at or

Photo courtesy:  Flickr 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Article of Interest: Do You Rule In An Area Where Men Used to Lead?

Women worldwide are taking the lead in places where men rule.  Is that you too?  Here are nine inspiring women entrepreneurs who have broken through barriers in some of the world's harshest business environments.

9 Women Who Are Taking The Lead In Places Where Men Rule

Photo courtesy:  Flickr

Monday, March 24, 2014

Article of Interest: Why Women Rule Social Media?

These 25 women mentioned in the article below are on top of their game in social media.  Are you?
It’s not just that more women use the most popular social networks, we can slice the data in different ways and why, if you own or manage a business, you should take note of this gender trend (other trends include education, age, and household income).
Read the entire article:  Why Women Rule Social Media?

Illustration credit:  Dean Meyers

Monday, March 17, 2014

Article of Interest: Why Women Entrepreneurs Are More Optimistic Than Ever

According to Emily Inverso at Forbes, women are growing companies at a rate one-and-half times the national average. Even though they continue to face challenges as always - access to capital and a complex economy - there's still a sense of optimism out there.
Up from last year, 92% of female entrepreneurs agree the stage is set this year for even more women to launch their own businesses.
Read the entire article:  Why Women Entrepreneurs Are More Optimistic Than Ever

Photo courtesy:  Ed Yourdon

Monday, March 10, 2014

Article of Interest: A Step By Step Guide to Winning the Customer

When your customers make a buying decision, which companies or brands do they consider first?  In the article below, Niraj Dawar talks about how companies that understand the stages of consumer (or business) purchasing decisions have an outsized influence in their outcome.

Learn more:  A Step-by-Step Guide to Winning the Customer

Photo courtesy:  Ron

Monday, March 03, 2014

Article of Interest: Why The Oscars Logo Got a Makeover

What does the Oscars have to do with running a multi-million dollar business?  In this case, it's about the importance of a company logo.
While best (or perhaps only) known as the organization behind the annual awards show, the Academy is also a company that employs thousands of people who work in education, on film archiving, and--right now especially--on the soon-to-open, Renzo Piano-designed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Despite the year-round work, the Academy’s visual identity only spotlighted one thing: the Oscars.
Does your company's logo reflect everything you do?  If not, consider what the Academy did and get a makeover.

Read the entire article:  Why The Oscars Logo Got a Makeover
Photo courtesy:  Fast Company.  The Oscars logo is a registered trademark of the Academy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Article of Interest: Seven Tips for Women Entrepreneurs

Whether you run a startup or a $300 million company, you can always use a refresh on how you are doing things.  The article below by Peri Pakroo offers tips for women entrepreneurs.  Here's a snippet of one:
4. If you need start-up or expansion financing, consider sources other than traditional banks. One of the concerns most commonly cited by women entrepreneurs is difficulty finding start-up financing. And it's little wonder: traditional banks typically don't lend money to new ventures that don't have a track record of success or creditworthiness. Instead of focusing on conventional big chain banks, start-ups should instead look for local community banks, credit unions, and other local financial institutions that have a vested interest in the health of the local economy. Often, their application processes and criteria are softer than the big banks.
Read:  Seven Tips for Women Entrepreneurs

Photo credit:  Yuri Samoilov