After 14 years building several international brands, Lili Hall had the vision to unite design and strategy in own her full-service design and branding business. In 2001, she gathered a core group of talent – many of whom continue on the leadership team today – and launched KNOCK, inc. KNOCK has grown at a remarkable rate, landing it on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies list for two consecutive years...full story>
GB Fine Art, LLC.
GB Fine Art is a business built on an eye for the finer things. That eye belongs to Gretchen Burch, art appraiser extraordinaire and principal at GB Fine Art. Combining her knowledge of the art industry with the business acumen she achieved through attending the FastTrac NewVenture 12-week entrepreneurial training at the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), Gretchen launched her business in January 2013....full story>
B & K Power Equipment, Inc.
Barbara Christ was a young single mother in 1970 when she and her father decided to start B & K Power Equipment, Inc., a sales, service and parts company for the lawn, agricultural and construction industries based in Huntley, IL. Barb began her journey within the business handling the secretarial duties, however, over time she began to take on greater responsibilities within the company doing everything from facilitating the service of her clients’ tractors to responding to questions regarding new equipment purchases...full story>
Enterprise Solutions Technology Group
of Enterprise Solutions Technology Group is a firm believer in continually learning to grow in business and in life. The CEO and president of the Wisconsin-based information systems consulting firm has sought out and been chosen to participate in many learning opportunities in the last few years. She has attended a WBDC regional pre-Conference workshop done in partnership with Harley Davidson as well as WBDC’s Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference in Chicago
Mary Babiez, President of Thoughtful Presence says, “I graduated from FastTrac Planning in April 2011 at the WBDC. This program was a tremendous help in every area of planning and documenting my business plan. It was also great for introducing me to resources, networking, interaction and feedback from other professionals and entrepreneurs. “ ...full story>
ECCO Select Corporation
Jeanette Prenger started her company, ECCO Select, in 1995. Her Kansas City-based company provides highly talented and technical resources to assist in modernizing legacy applications for IT. Identifying a need she could fulfill in the market, Jeanette is able to provide these services at a lower price than her competitors. She was not only her first employee, but also a billable consultant who wore several hats within her business. Within a year, she connected 12 consultants to clients and today ECCO Select employs more than 200 people nationwide, serving Fortune 500 companies as well as public sector contracts....full story>
Little Precious Angels Home Child Care
“In it for the long haul” does not begin to explain Mary Dotson’s dedication to her child care business, Little Precious Angels Home Child Care. Being in business for 17 years is impressive in any industry, but in the child care industry, it’s a lifetime. Mary started her business after receiving training at Lutheran Family Mission, quickly followed by receiving her license from the Department of Family and Child Services (DCFS)....full story>
Linda Grow was very fortunate to be involved with the distribution of welding, safety; maintenance, repair & operations (MRO) and tools for much of her life, and this experience led her to see a gap in the industry that could be filled. To find success in the tools distribution industry, explains Linda, a business owner must understand the demand placed on facility maintenance and construction projects, especially those issued by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and Dept. of Defense (DOD). She felt the industry needed the fresh perspective of a Women/Minority/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (WBE/MBE/DBE)...full story>
Allison’s Infant & Toddler Center
In the spring of 2002 Allison Perkins decided to take the steps necessary to open an education based child care center in the neighborhood she grew up in, Englewood. “I kept hearing so many negative things about the community I was raised in that I wanted to create a positive impact and show the good in Englewood.” With the capital she received through a microloan from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), personal funds and other financial resources, Allison was able to open her business. Allison’s Infant & Toddler Center opened in November 2004 at 5522 S. Racine Ave with the capacity to educate 25 children through child care and Head Start programs...full story>
Joanna Sobran, president and CEO of MXOtech, a company that provides technology solutions to replace cumbersome processes, has had quite the successful year, much of which she attributes to gleaning valuable information from several small business development programs. Joanna’s passion for and expertise in technology and providing opportunities for creative IT professionals spurred her to found MXOtech in 2006. As CEO and president, Joanna oversees the business strategy, sales and operations of MXOtech, which serves a wide range of industriesJoanna’s passion for and expertise in technology and providing opportunities for creative IT professionals spurred her to found MXOtech in 2006. ...full story>
Service, Dependability, Quality, Ltd., (SDQ Janitorial)
Marie Bak, owner of Service, Dependability, Quality, Ltd., (SDQ Janitorial) believes in respecting all aspects of her business, no job is too menial. So when the investors she sought out to help fund her commercial cleaning services company in its beginning phases fell through, she took on her company’s daily cleaning duties, scrubbing floors in the homes of top executives. Her unfailing belief in her company caught the attention and earned the respect of several Fortune 500 executives who recognized that her vision and work ethic would be key to her success...full story>
Pulido Sanchez Communications, LLC
Pat Pulido Sanchez, president and CEO of the strategic communications practice that carries her name, has found substantial success in keeping a sharp focus on her business’ mission and goals. Pulido Sanchez Communications, LLC specializes in reaching diverse audiences for both corporate and business clients. When Pat first launched Pulido Sanchez Communications, she says she was open to too many business avenues that ended up pulling her out of her natural talents and capabilities. As a result, Pat has taken into account the measures necessary to keep balance in her business, managing the amount of client work and new opportunities by acquiring the proper talent for each opportunity...full story>
Kujawa Enterprises, Inc.
A 19-year-old newly married Sally Kujawa wasn’t expecting to become an entrepreneur. Sally had set her sights on working with her husband to support what mattered to her the most - their family, but just three years into her marriage, she had to adjust her role in household as the sudden death of her father-in-law left Sally’s husband in charge of the family business, Kujawa Enterprises, Inc. (KEI). At the time, KEI’s main source of revenue came from their business as a beer distributorship, but faced with substantial challenges brought on by local unions, KEI was eventually forced to rework their business model and focus on lawn and garden supplies...full story>