Ernst and Young Announces Winners of North America Entrepreneurial Winning Women For 2013

Ernst and Young (EY) announced the 12 winners of its 2013 class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women, a competition and executive leadership program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs from the United States and Canada whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it.

This year’s group of Entrepreneurial Winning Women includes companies with services that range from personalized medicine to jet aircraft charters to cyber security. From the Jersey Shore to California and up to British Columbia, this year’s diverse class represents some of the most innovative women entrepreneurs in business today. Cumulatively, the 12 Winning Women employ almost 400 people, and have annual sales totaling nearly $150 million.

“Women entrepreneurs have the potential to ignite our economy and become powerful engines of economic growth,” says Kerrie MacPherson, Principal, Financial Services Office, and North American Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Sponsor at Ernst & Young LLP. “Our Entrepreneurial Winning Women program helps bridge the gap for a group we call ‘the missing middle’ — those second-stage women business owners whose companies have emerged from the start-up phase but face a crucial inflection point in their growth journey. By providing the right information, networks and guidance, we’re able to help these talented women access capital, identify strong business advisors and put the processes in place to radically expand their companies.” According to an independent assessment by Babson College, participant companies have an average growth of nearly 50% per year and a corresponding 26% average growth in the number of jobs they provide.

Launched in 2008, the program is intended to help women entrepreneurs break through the barriers that keep thriving second-stage businesses from scaling to their full potential. Once selected, the entrepreneurs participate in an ongoing, customized program designed by EY to catalyze their companies’ growth by building and fostering critical relationships, enhancing leadership skills, expanding business know-how and providing increased visibility.

They are coached on the five crucial leaps they need to scale up their business:
– Thinking big and being bold
– Building a public profile
– Working on the business, rather than in it
– Finding and establishing the right networks
– Evaluating financing for expansion

“I’m so proud to be included in a program that truly helps female entrepreneurs think big,” said Leslie Firtell, Founder and CEO of Tower Legal Solutions. “Through the program, I have connected with a network of incredible advisors who have provided strategic advice on raising my company’s profile. The growth of the company has resulted in recognition on both the Crain’s Fast 50 and the Inc. 5000 lists.”

The 2013 winners are:

Raegan Moya-Jones, Co-Founder and CEO | aden + anais, Inc.
(New York, New York) aden + anais has built a successful global brand on one of the most classic baby products: muslin swaddling blankets, which are light-weight and perfect for keeping babies cool in summer and warm in winter. From a home-based business launched in 2006, aden + anais has grown to more than 4,500 retail clients, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Harrods and Babies R Us, with a growing worldwide distribution network that spans 61 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Retailers are clamoring for the company’s rapidly expanding product line that is a favorite among moms everywhere.

Julia Beardwood, Founding Partner | Beardwood & Co LLC
(New York, New York) Beardwood & Co, founded in 2004, has made its mark taking an uncommon approach to product branding and advertising: eliciting emotional reactions based on needs, wants and dreams, and putting clients’ end-users at the center of its campaigns. Today the company has some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the industry and counts among its clients a roster of globally known consumer products, nonprofits and business-to-business brands. The company hopes to leverage its clients’ branding and advertising successes (and its own blossoming reputation) to further entrench itself as a leading agency-of-choice worldwide.

Kelsey Ramsden, President | Belvedere Place Development, Ltd
(West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) Belvedere Place Development is a nine-year-old general and civil contractor with a reputation for delivering projects on-time and on-budget. The company began with small roadway projects and now constructs large-scale infrastructure, including roads, bridges, underground works, treatment plants and airports. Expanding globally, Belvedere is on track to continue expansion from Western Canada and the Caribbean into emerging markets, where fast-growing populations mean high demand for infrastructure development.

Denise Wilson, President and CEO | Desert Jet
(Palm Springs, California) Desert Jet is a full-service aircraft management, charter and maintenance company. Structured as the private car service of the sky, private flyers can use Desert Jet’s services as they need, with no requirements like buying a fractional share, jet card or membership. Aircraft under asset management with Desert Jet benefit from increased operational safety with the option to earn revenue. A three-time Inc. 500|5000 list honoree, the company has grown over 600% in the last three years and has its sights on further expansion.

Corin Mullins, CEO | Holy Crap
(Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada) Holy Crap is the world’s most amazing breakfast cereal. The handmade, certified organic, non-genetically modified, allergen-free cereal line was born in 2009 from the desire for a great-tasting cereal safe for people with food allergies. Now, Holy Crap products are sold in over 2,500 stores and are favorites of athletes, diabetics, celiacs, dieters and even astronauts, who brought the cereal with them to the International Space Station.

Karri Bass, CEO | Illumination Research
(Cincinnati, Ohio)Illumination is a market research and strategy consulting firm that conducts customer research throughout the world to help businesses create ideas to fuel growth. The company’s clients include many of the world’s largest consumer products companies and retailers, including Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Pepsi. It has a track record of delivering better and faster research through its unique capabilities and team of experts. The eight-year-old business is rapidly gaining ground, with significant global expansion plans to serve its multinational clients.

Jamie Kern Lima | IT Cosmetics
(Jersey City, New Jersey) IT Cosmetics is one of the fastest growing cosmetics companies in America. The innovative business works with leading plastic surgeons to infuse anti-aging technology into high-performance makeup and skin care products that solve women’s beauty concerns and help them look and feel their most beautiful. Established in 2008, IT has received 200+ press placements in 2013 alone including TODAY Show, Allure, CEW, WWD, InStyle, W, Glamour, People StyleWatch, Marie Claire, MORE and The New York Times. IT is sold on QVC as well as in 600+ ULTA Beauty stores nationwide and on with 2013 sales of over $60 million. IT’s truly your beauty, but better®!

Adrienne Choma | Saladax Biomedical, Inc.
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)Saladax develops and commercializes novel diagnostic assays for the practical delivery of personalized medicine, including improved cancer drug dosing and early Alzheimer’s detection. The nine-year-old company’s ultimate goal is replacing the current standard of care in cancer drug dosing with more precise dosing methods, resulting in a better quality of life, fewer adverse side effects and improved treatment results for chemotherapy patients.

Jennifer Blumin | Skylight Group
(New York, New York) With six properties, Skylight Group is New York’s largest event venue management firm, brokering access to otherwise inaccessible spaces for a roster of clients that includes Google, Nike and Ralph Lauren. With the rise of global media, Skylight has grown in tandem with its clients, enabling them to create experiential narratives that expand an event from the 300 people in a room to the 300,000 watching across the world. Alone in its niche, Skylight Group has seen 100% growth in the last year, enabling the company to lead its Fortune 500 clients into the future of events as an invaluable part of marketing today.

Joy Taylor | TayganPoint Consulting Group
(Lambertville, New Jersey) TayganPoint Consulting Group, established in 2009, is a niche management consulting company focused on helping pharmaceutical, health care, financial services and energy organizations improve their efficiency and overall business performance. TayganPoint’s team of process experts have a reputation for hands-on service and deep sector expertise. This deep knowledge of its clients’ business needs allows the company to continue to grow its client portfolio and expand into new markets.

Dr. Lisa Williams | World of EPI, LLC
(Chula Vista, California) The World of EPI, which teaches multicultural understanding among children, was founded on the belief that all children deserve access to authentic, multicultural dolls that encourage dreams, promote intelligence and open their hearts to beauty of all types. Founded with a line of books in 2005, the World of EPI is now a multi-faceted business that includes the Positive Perfect doll line with plans to expand into animation.

Phyllis W. Newhouse | Xtreme Solutions, Inc.
(Atlanta, Georgia) Xtreme Solutions, founded in 2002, is an end-to-end IT services and solutions provider, with offerings that range from IT business consulting to state-of-the-art cyber security consulting and forensic analysis. The company employs 23% of the world’s certified ethical hackers and network security professionals to help secure its clients’ private networks and prevent cyber-attacks. The company plans to create a larger global presence and platform for new international customers, supported in part by strategic alliances with large companies to help serve smaller businesses.

The 12 members of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2013 received an all-expense paid trip to this year’s EY Strategic Growth Forum® 2013, an invitation-only gathering of more than 2,300 high-growth, market-leading company CEOs being held this week in Palm Springs, California. The Forum presents a one-of-a-kind platform for Entrepreneurial Winning Women to introduce their companies and share their corporate and personal brands with a community of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners, top executives, prospective investors and business advisors. All 2013 Entrepreneurial Winning Women were introduced and honored at a special celebratory luncheon today during the Forum.

The distinguished 2013 panel of independent judges for the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program included:
Cynthia Cohen, CEO, Strategic Mindshare
Laurie Cunnington, President, Ward Williston Oil Company
Leslie Firtell, President & CEO, Tower Legal Solutions
Harold Mills, CEO, ZeroChaos
Mike Cohen, Managing General Partner, VGPartners

The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is conducted in collaboration with several organizations that encourage the development of women-owned businesses, including the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), The Committee of 200 (C200), the Kauffman Foundation and Babson College’s Center for Women’s Leadership.

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About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets Practice
Ernst & Young LLP’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multi-disciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate the path to market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate.

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About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

SOURCE: Ernst & Young