Earlier this year, I was selected for the national 2022 Enterprising Women of the Year Award. I accepted the award at the Enterprising Women Celebration and Conference held in Florida and was recently recognized at a luncheon alongside the other honorees from Kansas City: Amber Lutz Sherman and CiCi Rojas.

Attending the national conference and the KC luncheon was a pinch-me moment. I started elle marketing communications (which later became Novella Brandhouse) in 2006 and never dreamed where I would be today. Well, maybe I (day) dreamed about it, but never imagined I would be in the company of all these incredibly successful female entrepreneurs that make up the Enterprising Women honorees and past winners.

Only 2% of women-owned businesses in the US make over $1 million in annual revenue. So it’s not very often that I am in a room with other women business owners who are doing just that. At the Enterprising Women Conference, I met so many ladies building amazing companies with over $1 million in revenue while fulfilling their mission and vision, plus doing great work in their communities. For the award, I was recognized for my leadership, entrepreneurial insights, business development, mentoring, and dedication to community betterment, as were all of this year’s honorees.

My number one take-away from the conference and this experience is that women-owned businesses grow to over $1 million in revenue by creating authentic relationships and helping each other up. The camaraderie among fellow female entrepreneurs and the sharing of ideas makes us different. Thank you to Monica Smiley and Enterprising Women Magazine, the national publication that manages the award program. For the last 20 years, you have brought together an incredible group of women, and I’m humbled to be included among the honorees.