The Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley Honored Those Who Make the Impossible Possible at their Catch the Wave Conference

CINCINNATI, OH. (September 19, 2023) – The Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV) completed their 14th annual Catch the Wave Conference on a high note with energetic sessions and an inspiring list of award winners.

This year’s pitch competition was highly selective. Participants were required to submit video pitches beforehand, and while several applicants submitted, only seven were chosen to participate in the competition.

After hearing compelling pitches, the judges selected Tina Chamoun, Founder, Terranean Herbs & Spices as the first-place winner, Barb Smith, President, Journey Steel, Inc. in second place, and Christine Sech, Founder & Brand Building Strategist, Brave Oak Brand Building LLC in third place.

More winners walked away from the conference at the Trailblazer & Awards dinner.

Dr. Lisa Hinkelman, Founder & Director, Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc., was the 2023 Trailblazer Award winner and she gave a riveting speech about her background and her commitment to empowering the next generation of girls in the community.

WBEC ORV also took the time to honor both women business enterprises (WBEs) and corporate members for their accomplishments over the past year. Awards ranged in categories from rising star, corporate advocate of the year, done deals, and corporate partner of the year.

“I take great pride in our award recipients, who have set exceptionally high standards for what can be accomplished when vision aligns with unyielding commitment,” Lynnise Smith, WBEC ORV Executive Director said.

The full list of winners is listed below.

Ohio WBE Advocate of the Year – Michele Uber of Quickstitch Plus LLC

Kentucky WBE Advocate of the Year – Vanessa Pennoyer of Go2Girl LLC

WBE Volunteer of the Year – Darla King of King Business Interiors

WBE Rising Stars – Kristin Harper of Driven to Succeed, LLC, Tina Macon of Allmac & Associates, LLC, Cathy Lindemann of Evolution Creative Solutions, Karen Wing of Walker Transfer-Powell, LLC, Cathy Stafford of Ad-Venture Promotions, LLC

Done Deals WBE B2B Award – Hunter International Recruiting

Corporate Advocate of the Year – Carla Cobb of Fifth Third Bank

Corporate Partner of the Year – Monica L. Womack of Department of Development

Corporate Done Deals – Toyota

Regional Corporation of the Year – The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority

National Corporation of the Year – Eaton

WBEC ORV is an organization for women business owners interested in promoting, developing, and maintaining business relationships with other women business owners, major corporations, and governmental agencies. Our charge is to certify women-owned businesses and to promote the activities directed at the development, expansion and encouragement of businesses owned by women. The organization is one of 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPO) in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council network and serves Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.