Jacksonville Women’s Business Center Honored by SBA

U.S. Small Business Administration North Florida District Director Wilfredo J. Gonzalez  announcedNEW JWBC logo small the winners of SBA’s 2014 State of Florida and South Florida District Small Business Week Awards.

The Jacksonville Women’s Business Center has been awarded the 2014 North Florida and State of Florida Women’s Business Center Excellence Award. Pat Blanchard, Director of the JWBC will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

The 2014 SBA State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year is Dr. Amir Varshovi. Varshovi is the President of Green Technologies, LLC, located in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Varshovi is also the North Florida District winner, and is currently under consideration for the National Small Business Person of the Year Award. The company is focused on extracting and recycling nutrients from the water treatment process, and also developing slow release fertilizers that are environmentally conscious.

The North Florida district and SBA State of Florida Small Business Exporter of the Year is Carlton Smith. Smith is the Executive Vice President of Heavy Equipment Resources of Florida, Inc. (HERO) located in Jacksonville, FL. The company specializes in the export of components, spare parts, and heavy machinery to the mining and earthmoving industries throughout the world.

The North Florida and SBA State of Florida Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year is Jing Zhou. Zhou is the President of Interventions Unlimited, Inc. located in Oviedo, FL. The company provides a wide range of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services and supports to persons with autism, other developmental disabilities or behavioral difficulties.

The North Florida and SBA State of Florida Small Business Financial Advocate of the Year is Jennifer Hodges. Hodges is the Commercial Relationship Manager for SunTrust Bank located in Winter Park, FL.

Jack Corthell is named the 2014 North Florida Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year. Corthell is the CEO of Aircraft Engineering & Installation Services, Inc. located in Orlando, FL. The company specializes in military aircraft systems refurbishment and “build to print” for military and government contracting programs

Patrick Faherty is named the 2014 North Florida Small Business Media Advocate of the Year. Faherty is a reporter for the Citrus County Chronicle.

The 2014 Small Business Week Award Winners from the Jacksonville area will be recognized at the 22nd Annual Small Business Week & Lender Awards Celebration on May 22, 2014 in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida’s University Center from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. This event is hosted by the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida. For more information on this award ceremony, please visit http://www.sbdc.unf.edu/smallbusinessweek/.

For more information about local winners or programs available through the Small Business Administration, please visit the agency Website at www.sba.gov/fl/north or call (904) 443-1900.SBA with contact

 

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MAYOR’S COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN ANNOUNCES HONORARY NOMINEES

Ten local women who have made outstanding contributions to the Jacksonville community were selected by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women for recognition as 2014 Women’s History Month honorees – including two staff of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center: Sandy Bartow and Pat Blanchard.

PatBlanchard

Pat Blanchard

sandy bartow

Sandy Bartow

These women epitomize this year’s theme, Standing Strong, Standing Together: Jacksonville Women Working to Create a Stronger Community!

The Commission, in partnership with the University of North Florida, will host a breakfast reception in their honor during Women’s History Month in March.

WHEN:           Tuesday, March 18,  7:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:         University of North Florida , UNF Student Union, 1 UNF Drive   Jacksonville, FL 32224

Nominees:

  • Sandy Bartow
  • Patricia “Pat” S. Blanchard
  • Amy Buggle
  • Brenda Simmons-Hutchins, Ph.D.
  • Elexia Coleman-Moss
  • Donna Orender
  • Susan Ponder-Stansel
  • Judith A. Smith, D.M.
  • Ann E. A. Williams, Ph.D.
  • Carolyn Williams, Ph.D.  (posthumous)

As is the commission’s tradition, four of the announced honorees will be featured on a specially designed commemorative poster, which will be unveiled at the breakfast. The poster will then be placed in the UNF Thomas G. Carpenter Library where the permanent collection of commemorative posters is exhibited. The poster honorees were selected from the nominations received from individuals, women’s organizations, agencies and businesses.

The cost to attend the event is $20 each and corporate tables are available. To register, call (904) 630-1618 by Friday, March 7. Checks should be made payable to the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and mailed to City Hall, 117 West Duval Street Suite 275, Jacksonville, FL 32202, Attention: Alaina Reaves.

About the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of WomenMCOSW

Within its authority, the Commission shall act to develop a public consciousness of the talents of women, with special emphasis on the utilization of those talents as equal partners in the private, business, governmental and civic community; encourage women to become actively involved in matters pertaining to the government and community; work toward utilization of capable women in roles of leadership; act as a source of information for women including, but not limited to, employment opportunities, education, harassment, and discrimination against women; and focus attention on the needs of underserved women and/or women with special needs.

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SBA Presents Webinars on How Affordable Care Act Affects Small Business

Healthcare reform

Health care continues to be an important issue for small business owners.  The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are committed to helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series.

Each week, small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in small business health insurance marketplaces. Other topics discussed include insurance reforms, the small business health care tax credit, and employer shared responsibility provisions.  SBA representatives help small business owners understand the facts of the Affordable Care Act so they can make informed decisions about providing health insurance for their employees.

The Affordable Care Act 101 takes place every Thursday at 2 PM ET. Below are the registration links for upcoming presentations.

For more information on how the new health care law affects small businesses, check out www.businessusa.gov/healthcare.

SBA 2c logo blk type +s

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Leadership Matters – Calling All Women Who Are Willing to Lean In

Short Time remains to register for a specialized women’s leadership program.

Leadership Matters Application Spring 2014 pdfNEW JWBC logo small

By Lorrie DeFrank

By collaborating with Davis College of Business (DCOB) at Jacksonville University, the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) significantly enhanced the services it provides to women leaders in Northeast Florida.

Jointly presented, Leadership Matters highlights accountability, mentoring and personal development skills for women business owners and other women aspiring to become more effective leaders. Participants attend seven workshops facilitated by DCOB faculty. Each are assigned a mentor to assist with specific developmental needs.

Participants of the inaugural class concur that the experience greatly boosted their self-confidence and helped them gain the knowledge, skills and ability necessary for success in their individual endeavors. The second program will begin Feb. 11 and conclude in May.

Though not a degree program, the course provides the tools and learning experience on par with JU’s commitment to excellence, said Pat Blanchard, JWBC director and a participant of the first class.

“Leadership Matters is not designed for just anybody who wants to move up the corporate ladder,” said Blanchard, explaining the competitive selection process that targets women who demonstrate existing management responsibilities and desire personal advancement or company growth.

Lead curriculum developer Matrecia S.L. James, Ph.D., JU associate dean and associate professor of management, called the collaboration powerful because both the JWBC and DCOB recognized a local void in leadership training and business development for women. “This is an opportunity for women leaders in our community to network with each other and, most importantly, to learn and refine skills that will set them apart from competitors.”

Traditional training focuses on functional skills like marketing and finance that help people succeed in their specific areas or departments. Leadership Matters also spotlights interpersonal skills that connect and convey goals, such as ethical leadership, political savvy and team building. According to James, those soft skills get leaders noticed across a whole corporation. “It’s those intangible things that make a difference, sometimes for career advancement and other times to identify personal areas women can enhance to make them overall better leaders.”

She stressed that although it’s called a women’s leadership program, the skills are useful for anyone. Workshops are in a closed group because they provide a supportive environment for women.

Experienced mentors—who include community leaders and past mentors of such JWBC programs as Financial Matters and Marketing Matters—also work with participants outside of the workshops to help them prepare personal development plans and attain their individual goals. In turn, graduates will mentor MBA students at Davis College of Business.

“Effective leaders must understand that the number one rule of leadership is to set the example. Being in charge means to have an incredible ability to influence people and to personally affect others’ actions, decisions, opinions or thinking. Therefore, influence is important because through positive influence, we can achieve desirable outcomes for the organization,” said graduate Amra Music, operations analyst, APR Energy. “The Leadership Matters program fostered fantastic workshops and mentoring opportunities for leaders within our community. Through the program, these leaders were able to improve on their skills in order to ensure their continued success in providing a positive influence within their organizations.”

How to merge two distinct leadership styles—military and civilian—was Malkia Ross’ biggest takeaway. A chief aboard the USS Farragut, Ross and her husband own Groovie Smoothie Cafe, a health food store.

“Leadership Matters was beneficial because it gave me the ability to see how women in business deal with certain situations that females in the military don’t have to worry about, such as what to wear and how to present themselves,” she said.

Ross found conversations with instructors and fellow participants inspiring and enlightening. “The experience in the room was overwhelming,” she said.

“As a small business owner in a rapidly growing business, it was helpful for me to attend this course,” said Ellen Sullivan, managing partner and territory developer with Doctors Express. “As I am currently in the midst of strategic planning for the next phase of the lifecycle of my business, this course was very timely in helping me reflect on leadership attributes necessary to take it to the next level.”

Sullivan praised the wonderful opportunity to work with other women business owners and corporate leaders under the instruction of a talented professor.

“Everyone connected with the program along with the guest speakers are seasoned, knowledgeable and willing to share their thinking,” said Sullivan, who is excited about her opportunity to mentor an MBA student. ‘What a great way to give back and help out someone working on her own business career!”

To apply:

The next Leadership Matters session will start in March and will conclude in May. To apply or for more information, contact Pat Blanchard, director, Jacksonville Women’s Business Center, (904) 366-6640, or Pat.Blanchard@myjaxchamber.com.

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Leadership Program a Powerful Collaboration for Jacksonville Business Women

By Lorrie DeFrank

By collaborating with Davis College of Business (DCOB) at Jacksonville University, the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) significantly enhanced the services it provides to women leaders in Northeast Florida.

Jointly presented, Leadership Matters highlights accountability, mentoring and personal development skills for women business owners and other women aspiring to become more effective leaders. Participants attend seven workshops facilitated by DCOB faculty. Each are assigned a mentor to assist with specific developmental needs.

Participants of the recent inaugural class concur that the experience greatly boosted their self-confidence and helped them gain the knowledge, skills and ability necessary for success in their individual endeavors. The second program will begin Feb. 11 and conclude in May.

Though not a degree program, the course provides the tools and learning experience on par with JU’s commitment to excellence, said Pat Blanchard, JWBC director and a participant of the first class.

“Leadership Matters is not designed for just anybody who wants to move up the corporate ladder,” said Blanchard, explaining the competitive selection process that targets women who demonstrate existing management responsibilities and desire personal advancement or company growth.

Lead curriculum developer Matrecia S.L. James, Ph.D., JU associate dean and associate professor of management, called the collaboration powerful because both the JWBC and DCOB recognized a local void in leadership training and business development for women. “This is an opportunity for women leaders in our community to network with each other and, most importantly, to learn and refine skills that will set them apart from competitors.”

Traditional training focuses on functional skills like marketing and finance that help people succeed in their specific areas or departments. Leadership Matters also spotlights interpersonal skills that connect and convey goals, such as ethical leadership, political savvy and team building. According to James, those soft skills get leaders noticed across a whole corporation. “It’s those intangible things that make a difference, sometimes for career advancement and other times to identify personal areas women can enhance to make them overall better leaders.”

She stressed that although it’s called a women’s leadership program, the skills are useful for anyone. Workshops are in a closed group because they provide a supportive environment for women.

Experienced mentors—who include community leaders and past mentors of such JWBC programs as Financial Matters and Marketing Matters—also work with participants outside the workshops to help them prepare personal development plans. In turn, graduates will mentor MBA students at Davis College of Business.

kathyflemingsm“I’ve taken a lot of leadership classes. This one was more hands on and more business oriented to practical solutions,” said Kathy Fleming, executive director, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.  “It’s terrific. Women who need to build relationships and communication skills, and influence others, can benefit from this.”

Fleming’s mentor commended DCOB and JWBC for coming together to provide this valuable service, which she said benefits mentors as much as participants. “I could understand what Kathy was going through in all her situations—make budget, provide services, stay on mission and deal with employees,” said Laine Silverfield, retired chairman of Dreams Come True. “I was able to make suggestions that perhaps she never even thought of. Any time you are around other people in business and can network, or be mentors or speakers, the more you learn and the better you do your job and make your organization.”

KristenJacksonSM“I thought it was amazing,” agreed participant Kristen Jackson, vice president/commercial relationship manager at Hancock Bank, a sponsor of Leadership Matters. “It’s very difficult to take the time to do something for your own development, especially for women. This makes you escape from your day and focus on things to help you and your career.”

Her biggest takeaway was the importance of having a mentor and a plan, said Jackson, who has recommended the program to other women.

Sandi WhiteSandi White was flattered when one of the owners of DGG Taser, Inc., where she works as law enforcement sales manager, invited her to apply for Leadership Matters. “Most of us were top level management in our businesses. It was a great way to help guide us all and point us in the right direction,” she said. “The networking has been phenomenal.”

White said the program is a great opportunity for women to grow their businesses or themselves, adding that JWBC and DCOB “worked hand in hand as a great team, with both right there to answer questions.”

John Williams, White’s mentor, said women entrepreneurs couldn’t find a better forum because of the excellent collaboration.

“I see a trend of those entrepreneurs who build a business rather than just hold a job. That’s what these women are looking to do. They have that vision,” said Williams, founder of Coffee Shop Consulting who formerly had an accounting firm and tends to look at things from a financial standpoint.

Of Leadership Matters, Williams said that “JWBC has realized that it takes a separate group to grow the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

To Apply:

The next Leadership Matters session starts Feb. 11 and will conclude in May. Click here to download the application, or for more information, contact Pat Blanchard, director, Jacksonville Women’s Business Center, (904) 366-6640, or Pat.Blanchard@myjaxchamber.com.

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Applications for Marketing Matters Now Open

Marketing MattersSM Mentoring Program links a woman business owner with a team of professionals who are experts in the fields of marketing – strategy, public relations, web development, social media and many more. Working from an established planning system, mentors guide business owners through the development of a marketing plan unique to her business, based on stated goals.

Applications are currently being accepted for the program which starts on January 22, 2014 at the JAX Chamber offices located in downtown Jacksonville. Click <here> for the complete program description, including links to download applications

For More Info Contact:
Pat Blanchard, Director
Jacksonville Women’s Business Center
904.366.6640

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Encore Entrepreneurs Explore Options @ LaunchPad, Dec. 4

sbabanner

So, you’re over 50 years old and thinking about starting a business.

  • Do you have a great idea and want to start your business from the ground up?
  • Are you ready to be your own boss and want to learn more about buying a franchise?
  • Perhaps you want to consider starting a business under the protection of an established corporate umbrella.

This is your opportunity to talk with a panel of entrepreneurs who have taken different paths to business ownership. Hear their stories, the lessons they learned, their successes, what worked, and what didn’t work so well. Presented in an intimate setting, this program is designed to allow you to ask tough questions and come away with real life answers.
Our panelists have “been there and done that” and are prepared to share their experiences with YOU.

When
December 4, 2013
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Where
JAX Chamber Building
3 Independent Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32202
904-366-6600

Cost
FREE TO ATTEND (all ages welcome)

RSVP
Email annette.paulson@sba.gov or
call 904-443-1914

A program of the Small Business Administration and the
Jacksonville Women’s Business Center.

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