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50 Female Entrepreneurs Recognized for Strong Business Growth The Women Presidents' Organization and American Express Recognize 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies; 10th Annual Award Ceremony Held in Orlando
NEW YORK, May 5, 2017 – 

The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express, today released the 10th annual ranking of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies – marking one decade of honorees. The companies on this year’s 50 Fastest list span a range of industries including technology, retail and consulting.  The companies generated a combined $7.2 billion in 2016 revenues (mean of $155.6 million) and collectively employed 46,000 people in 2016 (mean of 725). The awardees who took home the top rankings are:

  • Fitness studio franchise Orangetheory Fitness is the fastest growing women-owned business and is appearing on the list for the second time, moving up from the #3 spot in 2016. The seven-year-old Boca Raton, FL-based company, led by Ellen Latham, saw its revenue flourish over the past two years ($86,842,513 in 2014 to $451,101,433 in 2016) and hired 98 employees during that time span. Ellen’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to turn the "I can't" channels in their brain into "I can" channels.
  • Pinnacle Group, an IT workforce solutions firm based in Dallas, remains at the #2 spot for the second year in a row. Nina Vaca, President and CEO, saw her 21-year-old company approach $2 billion dollars in revenue ($1,887,230,307 in 2016, up from $665,504,491 in 2014). The entrepreneur, who still owns 100% of the firm she founded at age 24 with $300 of startup capital, attributes her company’s success to its ability to meet the ever-changing demands of clientele.  
  • IT services firm Technology Concepts Group International, a newcomer to the list, is the third fastest-growing company in the 2017 rankings. Based in Somerset, NJ, the nine-year-old business, founded and led by Avis Yates Rivers, saw its revenue rise from $6,726,000 in 2014 to $49,000,000 in 2016. Avis’ primary strategy for success has been to deliver value and create solutions to respond to customer challenges.

“We are proud to announce the 10th class of 50 Fastest honorees. This year, we’re excited to have awardees from a diverse range of industries and locations, including three international winners,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., President and Founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization. “Our partnership with American Express has been crucial in acknowledging the influence women-owned and led companies have in job creation and growing the global economy.”

“Supporting the growth of women-owned and led companies is a true mission for us at American Express, and we are delighted to recognize these trailblazing women for their success,” said Susan Sobbott, President, Global Commercial Payments, American Express. “We hope these awardees and the stories of their business success will inspire others to create and lead prosperous businesses.”

Each of the honored business owners will be offered a congratulatory prize from American Express.   

Applicants do not have to be WPO members. All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth; the top 50 were selected for the list. To be qualified for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, woman-owned/led companies and have reached an annual revenue of at least $500,000 as of January 1, 2012.

More about the 2017 50 Fastest:

  • Average honoree age: 50
  • CEOs that founded the business: 92%
  • Started the business with their own funds: 72%
  • CEOs that are active in day-to-day operations: 100%
  • Companies that do business globally: 36%
  • Plan to continue to grow their company: 92%
  • Provide health insurance: 94%

All 50 companies will be honored at a special event hosted by American Express at the 2017 WPO Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida on Friday, May 5, 2017.  The lunch and awards ceremony will take place from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes.

Immediately following the lunch and awards ceremony, American Express will also host a Guide to Growth Panel from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM. The panel will feature 50 Fastest honorees, who will share insights and advice for WPO members looking to grow their businesses.

The 2017 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies include:

Entrepreneur/Company Name

City, State Province/Country

1

Ellen Latham
Orangetheory Fitness

Boca Raton, FL

2

Nina Vaca
Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc. d/b/a Pinnacle Group

Dallas, TX

3

Avis Yates Rivers
Technology Concepts Group International

Somerset, NJ

4

Dr. Rebecca Thomley
Morning Sun Financial Services

Golden Valley, MN

5

Catherine Downey
CATMEDIA

Tucker, GA

6

Elizabeth Hammond
Contract Direct

Southfield, MI

7

Phyllis Winchester Newhouse
Xtreme Solutions Inc

Atlanta, GA

8

Claudia Mirza
Akorbi

Plano, TX

9

Christina Seelye
Maximum Games

Walnut Creek, CA

10

Debra Gentry
Contingent Resource Solutions, LLC

Duncan, SC

11

Raegan Moya Jones
Aden & Anais, Inc.

Brooklyn, NY

12

Jamila Stanford
Nugate Group, LLC

San Jose, CA

13

Rebecca Cenni
Atrium Staffing

New York, NY

14

Patti Massey
MYCA Material Handling Solutions

Cary, NC 

15

Kay Ivie
Ivie & Associates

Flower Mound, TX

16

Tierra Kavanaugh (Turner) Wayne
TKT & Associates, Inc.

Louisville, KY 

17

Pamela Evette
Quality Business Solutions, Inc.

Travelers Rest, SC

18

Mary Kariotis
Merrimak Capital Company

Novato, CA

19

Shelly Sun
BrightStar Franchising, LLC

Gurnee, IL

20

Britt Whitfield
The Revel Group

Chicago, IL

21

Elizabeth Prim
Prim Construction, LLC

Fort Worth, TX

22

Elizabeth Scherle
Influenster

New York, NY

23

Liz Elting
TransPerfect

New York, NY

24

Margaret Marcucci
CorAnet Corp

New York, NY

25

Yi Li
Renogy

Ontario, Canada

26

Katie Conovitz
Twelve, Inc.

Brooklyn, NY

27

Stacy Knight
CA South

Atlanta, GA

28

Roberta Roberts Shank "Sissie"
Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing, Inc.

Phoenix, AZ

29

Tana Greene
Greene-Group

Davidson, NC

30

Anjali "Ann" Ramakumaran
Ampcus Inc

Chantilly, VA

31

Simone Schendel Reese
Schendel Mechanical Contracting Ltd

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

32

Jennifer Smith
Innovative Office Solutions, LLC

Burnsville, MN

33

Michelle Baker
Swoon Group, LLC

Chicago, IL

34

Patricia Bible
Katom Restaurant Supply, Inc.

Kodak, TN

35

Karen McPartland
TSAC Engineering

San Diego, CA 

36

Sushumnaa Roy Jalajam
Softpath System, LLC

Norcross, GA

37

Pamela O'Rourke
ICON Information Consultants, LP

Houston, TX

38

Margrit Anne Wolff
Mercury Freight (PTY), LTD

Johannesburg, South Africa

39

Ronia Kruse
OpTech, LLC

Troy, MI

40

Kathleen Benson
Office Remedies, Inc. dba ORI

Herndon, VA

41

Victoria Vasques
Tribal Tech, LLC

Alexandria, VA

42

Cordia Harrington
The Bakery Cos.

Nashville, TN

43

Linda A Sullivan
Administrative Strategies, LLC

Fishers, IN 

44

Tamara L. Nall
The Leading Niche

New York, NY

45

Diane Astley
Xclusive Staffing

Westminster, CO

46

Patty Klein
A-Plus Meetings & Incentives

Coral Gables, FL

47

Natalie McDonald
Create NYC

New York, NY

48

Annette Johnson
CMT Services, Inc.

Hyattsville, MD

49

Cheryl Pia
PIA Agency

Carlsbad, CA

50

Lindsay McCutchen
Reliant Staffing Systems, dba Career Start

Rochester, NY


About the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
The WPO is the ultimate affiliation for successful women entrepreneurs worldwide. In monthly meetings across the world, women from diverse industries invest time and energy in themselves and their businesses to drive their corporations to the next level. Local WPO chapters are coordinated by a professional facilitator and meet monthly to share business expertise and experience in a confidential setting. For more information, call 212-688-4114 or visit www.womenpresidentsorg.com. Follow WPO on Twitter (@womenpresidents) and like us on Facebook.

About American Express Global Commercial Payments
Through its Global Commercial Payments division, American Express offers a suite of payment and lending products that help businesses and organizations of all sizes gain financial savings, control and efficiency. Global Commercial Payments provides solutions for travel and everyday business spending, cross border payments, global currency solutions, and business financing.

To learn more about Global Commercial Payments visit business.americanexpress.com

To learn more about American Express OPEN, which provides products and services for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the United States, visit www.OPEN.com

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cardsbusiness credit cardsPlenti rewards programtravel servicesgift cardsprepaid cardsmerchant servicesAccertifycorporate cardbusiness travel and corporate responsibility.


Contacts

Melissa Filipek 212.640.8658 Melissa.J.Filipek@aexp.com

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