NAWBO Announces Finalists for May 18 EPIC Awards Honoring Women Business Owners; includes NKyian
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) of Kentucky reached a milestone this year; 30 years of activity in Bluegrass. To celebrate this achievement, they are honoring women entrepreneurs from Kentucky and Southern Indiana at their annual EPIC Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 18.
The EPIC Award event is an opportunity to come together as a group of businesswomen and recognize incredible leaders from across the state. NAWBO will present several awards at the EPIC event this year, and the three finalists for each award are in attendance.
The first prize is awarded to the female entrepreneur of the year. The finalists are Christine Smalley of Fort Thomas CoffeeJesika Young of Cimtech Machine and Crinda Franke of ExecuTrain, Inc.
Christine Smalley is the owner and president of Fort Thomas Coffee, located in Fort Thomas. FTC opened in March 2019 and will expand in June 2022 to include a wine and cocktail bar and business center.
“Embracing the community with coffee fits perfectly with our family mission,” Smalley said.
Jesika Young is a Team Member, President and CEO of Cimtech Inc. and its Action Material Handling/Axis Machine and Tool subsidiaries located in New Albany. Cimtech is a 47-year-old company that Young bought in July 2018 and has been running ever since. “Despite the pandemic, we’ve consistently grown 33% year-over-year since 2019,” Young said. “We are now at 44 team members and we are going strong! »
Crinda Franke is President and CEO of ExecuTrain Corporation, located in Lexington. Franke has owned this business since May 1997, over 25 years. “ExecuTrain was a perfect match for what I loved to do and what I had been trained to do,” Franke said. “…I knew I could make a difference for the women who work there and for countless other women to come.”
NAWBO will also present the Next-Gen Women Business Owner of the Year award, which focuses on the younger generation of female business owners to uplift them in their endeavors. Finalists for this award are Brooke Corder of Squeaky Cleaners, LLC and Aubrey Mealey of Aubrey’s Bed and Biscuit.
Brooke Corder is the owner of Squeaky Cleaners, LLC, located in Louisville. This janitorial, residential and commercial cleaning services company opened in February 2020. “I have always loved cleaning and quickly learned that there is a large market for residential and commercial cleaners,” said String. “From there, the little idea turned into the beautiful dream I have today.”
Aubrey Mealey is the owner and CEO of Aubrey’s Bed and Biscuit, located in Lebanon, which was founded in January 2022. After years of experience as a veterinary technician, Mealey discovered the need for a safe space for children. pets when their owners are gone. “Most of my guests compare it to a pet-friendly Airbnb,” Mealey said. “I was hoping to create a place where pets LOVE to come.”
The third EPIC Award is the Public Policy Catalyst of the Year, which honors women who have made a difference in our region through their ongoing work to improve public policy. The finalists for this award are Adriane Polyniak of Kentucky Cannabis Company, Council Member Amanda Mays Bledsoe of Lexington Fayette County Urban Government and Betty White of Betty White Real Estate.
Adriane Polyniak works with the Kentucky Cannabis Company, LLC, in Midway, and has been involved in multiple policy changes that have benefited women business owners. Some of these policies include hemp legalization, Shawna’s Law, and improving access to cannabis research.
Councilor Amanda Maye Bledsoe has worked with LFUCG in Lexington for eight years. She works with the Budget, Finance and Economic Development (BFED) committee and has chaired the committee since 2018. One of her most notable accomplishments was overseeing the creation of a $5 million loan program for small businesses during COVID-19. pandemic. This program supported more than 340 businesses, 35% of which were women-owned.
Betty White has been a realtor with Betty White Realty, LLC for over nine years. Prior to her career in real estate, she was a schoolteacher for 32 years. Her knowledge both inside and outside the classroom has helped her become a champion of free enterprise in all aspects of life. She ensures that all parties in various outlets abide by the constitution and the rights given to us by it.
NAWBO is also establishing a new tradition this year of recognizing women business owners who have excelled in their careers for 30 years or more by adding another award, the Legacy Award. The winner of this award is Alice Houston, co-founder, president and CEO of HJI in Louisville.
The final two awards, NAWBO Corporate Partner of the Year and NAWBO Member of the Year, will be announced at the EPIC event.
The NAWBO Kentucky EPIC Awards will take place on Wednesday, May 18 at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Event and reward sponsorships are available for purchase, as well as tables and tickets to attend the luncheon. For more information on NAWBO Kentucky and the annual EPIC awards, click here.
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) was founded in 1975 and is the unified voice of more than 11 million women-owned businesses in America, representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs in all industries with local chapters across the United States. NAWBO began its first chapter in the Bluegrass State 30 years ago, and NAWBO Kentucky is now a thriving organization with a vision for statewide growth.
National Association of Women Entrepreneurs