Women Entrepreneur Award Winners

September 11th, 2009

This week on Business Matters, we’ll speak with some of the award winners from this years Entrepreneurial Women’s conference. The 23rd annual conference is held Wednesday, September 16th at Navy Pier in Chicago, and we spoke with the founder and three of their honorees ahead of the conference to learn their stories about being a successful businesswoman in large and small companies alike.

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Hedy Ratner – Co-President and Founder of the Women’s Business Development Center

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Hedy Ratner brings over 30 years of leadership in the women’s community including many national and local awards for her visionary approach to women’s economic development. In addition to serving s on the boards of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations, she is a presidential appointee to the National Women’s Business Council; a gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Women’s Business Ownership Council and the newly formed Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Shelley Stern – Midwest Community Affairs Director, Microsoft

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Shelley Stern is community affairs director for the Midwest District, responsible for building community awareness through Microsoft’s Citizenship programs, including grants and software allocations and investing in programs that assist in providing technology education for the disadvantaged. She manages all non profit board relationships, diversity outreach and employee engagement programs for Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin and is responsible for Microsoft’s thought leadership programs on Innovation.

Sharon Castillo – Principal, SB Services Inc.
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Sharon Castillo is the founder and principal of SB Services, Inc. Early on in her career Ms. Castillo spent 10 years with a Fortune 500 corporation, entering the world of consulting in the early 80’s. With tenure in several boutique consulting firms, Ms. Castillo founded SB Services, Inc. Ms. Castillo has published numerous articles in industry and trade publications, and has served on both local and national Boards for various non-profit organizations.

Kim Holstein – Founder, Kim and Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels
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Kim Holstein co-founded the her pretzel company with her husband Scott in 1995. She appears regularly on QVC, serves as co-spokesperson for the Company in press and television appearances, creates new products and marketing strategies and serves as a coach and mentor to the employees. Kim has participated in the Women’s Business Development Center workshops in Chicago, which helped form the Company.

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