The GWBC's LACE Awards Honor Women in Business & Women-Owned Businesses

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

The Greater Women's Business Council, the largest provider of certification and development resources for women business enterprises in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, hosted its annual LACE (Ladies Achieving Continuous Excellence) Awards Gala on Nov. 9 at the St. Regis hotel in Atlanta.

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

More than 200 business leaders gathered at the black-tie masquerade gala to honor and celebrate the nominees and winners in a variety of categories.

LACE Award Winners

Award winners are GWBC corporate members and GWBC certified WBEs who demonstrate outstanding contributions in supporting women-owned business through mentoring, coaching, offering world-class supplier diversity initiatives and access to procurement opportunities.

Winning individuals and companies are:

  • Corporation of the Year – Georgia Power
    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 – Sesley Brown, Accenture
    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 – Maranda Artis Ellison, 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 – Kittie Watson, Innolect Inc.
    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) – Natalie Keng, Chinese Southern Belle LLC

Trailblazer, Category II (Annual sales $1 Million - $5 Million) – Sara Webb, InTandem Promotions Inc.

Trailblazer, Category III (Annual sales $5 Million - $10 Million) – Kimberly A. Ajy, River To Tap Inc. 

Trailblazer, Category IV (Annual sales $10 Million - $20 Million) – Rebekah Barr, AllStaff Technical Solutions Inc.

Trailblazer, Category V (Annual sales $20 Million - $50 Million) – Sushumna Roy, SoftPath System LLC

Trailblazer, Category VII (Annual sales more than $100 Million) – Livia Whisenhunt, PS Energy Group Inc.

"We're honored to celebrate our region's outstanding women in business and corporate partners who support the growth and development of women business enterprises," said Roz Lewis, president & CEO of GWBC. "With more than 1,000 WBE members in our region, it's a historic moment in time for us all, and we couldn't do it without the commitment and contributions of our entire membership."

The LACE Awards gala featured a mix of activities including the pre-awards reception, LACE silent auction, dinner, live entertainment and dancing.