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Pictured (from left) are Hedy Ratner, Cook County Board Chairman Toni Preckwinkle, and Jackie Taylor, founder and executive director of the Black Ensemble Theater
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For 30 years, the Women’s Business Development Center has had the privilege of working with key business leaders all over the globe. On November 15th, WBDC celebrated their 30th Anniversary at the Wintrust Grand Banking Hall to honor women business leaders and corporate government and community partners, who continue to landscape the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The night centered around paying tribute to the history and future of entrepreneurial women. With an attendance of nearly 500, their guests shared pearls of wisdom with one another over food, drink and music featuring The Black Ensemble Theater.
Awards were presented to five women who have made themselves role models for entrepreneurial women everywhere:
-Kara Yokley was awarded the Deborah Sawyer Rising Star Award, for not only building a new and unique business, KMY Consulting, but one with great growth and economic potential.
-Michelle Vondrasek, owner of Von Technologies, was given the Innovative Business of the Year Award for leading the charge on creative, solution-oriented, and cutting-edge business practices.
-The WBE of the Year Award was granted to Caren Schweitzer, for her dedication, passion, and commitment to the WBDC and her conviction to support those around her.
-Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County president, was honored with the Government Support Award because of her contributions to the women, minority and veteran entrepreneurial ecosystem.
-Pamela Jones of Charboy’s, International House of Sauces & Seasonings Inc., who was awarded Vetrepreneur of the Year, for her continued success, commitment to the WBDC, and ambition as an entrepreneur.
The WBDC is committed to empowering under-represented populations through business. They provide women, minority and veteran business owners with the resources they need to grow and prosper. To date, the WBDC has helped over 78,000 clients start and grow a business and it seems, there is no slowing down.