Greater Women's Business Council Honors 12 Companies for Contributing to the Success of Women-Owned businesses at 2020 LACE Awards

Staff Report

Monday, November 16th, 2020

The Greater Women's Business Council, one of the largest providers of certification and development resources for women business enterprises (WBEs) in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, hosted its annual LACE (Ladies Achieving Continuous Excellence) Awards Gala with a virtual event on Nov. 6.

This annual event celebrates, honors and recognizes GWBC corporate partners and certified WBEs for their commitment and contributions toward furthering the success of women-owned businesses.

Monica Maldonado of IPCOMM and Vince Bailey of Vince The Voice, LLC served as emcees for the virtual event, which for the first time named Pivot Award honorees, awarded to WBEs who retooled their business or added a product or service that made a positive impact on the current environment.

"There was nothing predictable about 2020, but one thing stayed the same – the unwavering commitment of our corporate partners and women businesses to drive forward and further the success of women-owned businesses," said GWBC President and CEO Roz Lewis. "And while we were unable to celebrate this year's LACE awards in person, our staff, committees and suppliers ensured that the accomplishments of our award winners in 11 categories were celebrated in a big and exciting way."

Guests who attended the virtual event received a celebratory goodie bag that included gifts from three women-owned businesses: Aunt Ole's mini pound cake from Tracey West Irresistible Pound Cakes, a Strawberry Crème Martini Muffin from Voulez-Vous Foods and a GWBC Anniversary face mask made by bFIVE40. And, IPCOMM, a woman-owned business, along with UPS provided the fulfillment and shipping.

LACE Award Winners

Each year, the Greater Women's Business Council LACE Awards recognizes companies and individuals who demonstrate outstanding contributions in supporting women-owned business through mentoring, coaching, offering world-class supplier diversity initiatives and access to procurement opportunities.

2020 winning individuals and companies are:

  • Corporation of the Year – UPS
    The corporation that has created significant advancement in breaking down barriers that impede WBEs from gaining fair access to procurement opportunities, including supplier development activities, financial assistance, and strategic alliance counseling.

  • Advocate of the Year, Corporation – Latasha Griffin, UPS
    Supplier diversity practitioner, procurement professional or buyer who is a current employee of a corporate GWBC member, selected for extraordinary efforts in inspiring, engaging and empowering GWBC certified WBEs.

  • Buyer of the Year – Deborah Mackins, Georgia Power
    Buyer, procurement professional or a supplier diversity practitioner who is a current employee of a corporate GWBC member, selected for instituting programs that offer equal access for GWBC certified WBEs and attained world-class quality in its supplier diversity process.

  • The Voice Award – Georgia Power
    Selected by GWBC WBEs, this award is presented to a corporation who has exhibited the most significant progress in creating a voice and platform for GWBC certified WBEs to gain fair access to procurement opportunities.

  • Advocate of the Year, WBE – Tina Stevens, Secondary Solutions
    GWBC certified WBE business owner (CEO/President) or an employee of a GWBC certified WBE, recognized and honored for their proven methods in mentoring, coaching and supporting women-owned businesses.

  • Trailblazer Award
    GWBC Certified WBE owners (CEO/President), selected based upon being a pillar in their community, contributing their time and talent with a proven track record of mentoring, partnerships, volunteerism and supporting other WBEs.

Trailblazer, Category I (Annual sales under $1 Million) Donna Brin, bFIVE40

Trailblazer, Category II (Annual sales $1 Million - $5 Million)Pamela Lopez/Suzanne Beisner, Customer Focused Strategies, LLC

Trailblazer, Category III (Annual sales $5 Million - $10 Million) Paula Edwards, Lexair Electronics Sales Corp.

Trailblazer, Category IV (Annual sales $10 Million - $20 Million) Amy Bush, HLMF Logistics

Trailblazer, Category VII (Annual sales $50 - $100 Million) Latha Ganeshan, Datum Software

  • Pivot Award – Keshia Walker, Insights Marketing & Promotions; and Taylor Estes, Apple Box
    GWBC certified WBE business owner (CEO/President) selected by popular vote from GWBC's constituency of women businesses and corporate members for retooling her business or adding a product or service that made a positive impact on the current environment.

"We congratulate all our LACE nominees and honorees and are grateful for their contributions to the great success of women-owned businesses in our region, " said Deb Mackins, GWBC board chair and a member of Southern Company's Supplier Sustainability & Inclusive Growth team. "Their commitment to stay focused on their core businesses, adapt where necessary and continue to drive forward in this challenging year is impressive."