WBES Celebrate Significant Increase In Number Of Contracts

WPEO recognizes achievements of women-owned businesses at annual awards event.

Being certified as a woman-owned diverse supplier can open previously inaccessible business opportunities. Many Fortune 1000 corporations in the U.S. require Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification before granting woman-owned businesses access to their supplier diversity programs. Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO), a regional partner organization of the WBENC that helps create increased access to business opportunities for WBEs, facilitates the certification process. Companies must be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by women. Further, women must have unrestricted control of the business, while the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents must be held by a woman. Once certified, WPEO works to ensure each business reaps the benefits and helps its Corporate Members tap into a pool of high caliber vendors.

WPEO announced significant accolades at its recent Annual Awards event, reflecting singular accomplishments by a dynamic community of certified women-owned businesses and companies with which they do business. This year’s theme focus was on Women’s Leadership in the New Decade. Winners of the awards meet stringent criteria. This includes significant accomplishments in support of WPEO women’s business enterprises and the women’s business community. Advocate awardees are selected based on significant involvement with WPEO and support of women-owned businesses. The President’s Award winners, selected by WPEO President & Founder Dr. Marsha Firestone and Sandra Eberhard, Executive Director, WPEODC, recognize those that have gone above and beyond in their service to the WPEO.

“The success of our Supplier Diversity Program continues to be attributable to our ability to adapt to the company’s annual objectives and the industry’s emerging trends and the consistent support of the CEO, board of directors, and executive management. It’s extremely satisfying to be recognized for our long-standing commitment to the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization and the value that our program delivers to diverse suppliers,” said Joy Wong, Corporate Vice President, Supplier Diversity, New York Life Insurance Company.

“The huge increase in the number of people who applied for WPEO awards this year demonstrates the increasing importance that certification has to a variety of constituencies. The women-owned businesses are looking for greater access to contracting opportunities that certification offers and corporations who prioritize diversity as part of their business strategies,” said Eliseo T. Rojas, WPEO Board Chair and CEO Founder, ETR Business Solutions.

“Many of the region’s top corporations are WPEO Corporate Members and committed to doing business with certified WBEs. We help them make valuable connections with businesses owned by women,” said WPEO President & Founder Dr. Marsha Firestone.



Erika Gibson

Director Supplier Diversity, Hilton Supply Management, Hilton Worldwide


Kathleen M. Benson

CEO, Office Remedies, Inc., DBA ORI


Beth Canning

Supplier Diversity Manager, Prudential


Susan M. Michel

Founder and CEO of Glen Eagle Advisors


Laura Londin

CEO and Co-Founder of The Booth for Business