The Greater Women’s Business Council® (GWBC®), one of the Southeast’s largest certification and development resources provider for women business enterprises (WBEs), hosted its annual LACE (Ladies Achieving Continuous Excellence) Awards virtually on Friday, November 5.
Traditionally a black-tie gala with a silent auction, gourmet dinner and entertainment, the 2021 LACE Awards were again held virtually out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19. This year’s virtual event, however, stayed true to its core mission to honor and recognize GWBC corporate partners and certified WBEs for their commitment and contributions to further the success of women-owned businesses.
“While we would love to celebrate these fabulous companies with a large in-person ceremony and affair, it was important that GWBC hold the virtual event to fully recognize our enterprise corporations and innovative women businesses for their success and influence,” said GWBC President and CEO Roz Lewis. “It is an amazing testament to these companies that they have continued to thrive and commit to furthering the success of women-owned businesses in a challenging business climate.”
Vince Bailey (also known as “Vince the Voice”) and Monica Maldonado with IPCOMM hosted the event as emcees, while virtual guests enjoyed a dinner on GWBC – delivered food of their choice in the comfort of their own homes.
2021 LACE Award Winners
LACE Awards are given to companies or individuals for their outstanding contributions in supporting women-owned businesses through mentoring, coaching, world-class supplier diversity initiatives and providing procurement opportunities. The 2021 GWBC LACE Awards recipients include:
- Corporation of the Year – Truist Financial Corporation
The award is given to a corporation that has created significant advancement in breaking down barriers that impede WBEs from gaining fair access to procurement opportunities, including supplier development activities, financial assistance and strategic alliance counseling.
- Advocate of the Year, Corporation – Lissa Miller, Truist Financial Corporation
This award goes to a supplier diversity practitioner, procurement professional or buyer who is a current employee of a corporate GWBC member, and is selected for extraordinary efforts in inspiring, engaging and empowering GWBC certified WBEs.
- Buyer of the Year – Marc Musgrove, UPS
This award is given to a buyer, procurement professional or a supplier diversity practitioner who is a current employee of a corporate GWBC member, selected for instituting programs that offer equal access for GWBC-certified WBEs and attained world-class quality in its supplier diversity process.
- The Voice Award – Aflac
The Voice Award goes to a corporation selected by GWBC WBEs that has exhibited the most significant progress in creating a voice and platform for GWBC-certified WBEs to gain fair access to procurement opportunities.
- Advocate of the Year, WBE – Tina Weede, Peerless Performance; and Christi Powell, 84 Lumber
This award is given to a GWBC-certified WBE business owner (CEO/President) or an employee of a GWBC-certified WBE, recognized and honored for their proven methods in mentoring, coaching and supporting women-owned businesses.
- Trailblazer Award
These awards go to GWBC-certified WBE owners (CEO/President) based upon being a pillar of their community, contributing their time and talent with a proven track record of mentoring, partnerships, volunteerism and supporting other WBEs.
- Trailblazer, Category I (Annual sales under $1 Million) – Littie Brown, LittKare, LLC (dba) SpeedPro Marietta
- Trailblazer, Category II (Annual sales $1 – $5 Million) – Wendy Fletcher-Hardee, Atlantic Coast Trucking, Inc.
- Trailblazer, Category III (Annual sales $5 – $10 Million) – Tracey Grace, IBEX IT Business Experts LLC
- Pivot Award –Trudy Hanna, PIE Imports
The Pivot award goes to a GWBC-certified WBE business owner (CEO/President) selected by popular vote from GWBC’s constituency of women businesses and corporate members for retooling her business or adding a product or service that made a positive impact on the current environment.
“We are so proud to honor our LACE nominees and honorees and are thankful for their continued contribution toward creating successful women-owned businesses in our tri-state region of Georgia, North and South Carolina,” said GWBC Board Chair and Truist Senior Vice President and Head of Supplier Diversity Lissa Miller. “The network and support these companies and individuals provide is invaluable to elevating our certified women business enterprises as we all strive for excellence together.”
GWBC also took time to thank and recognize the contributions of four board members who are retiring from the board at the end of 2021, including Evelyn Ashley, Trusted Counsel, 2017 – 2021; Deborah Mackins, formerly Georgia Power and currently with The Hartford Group, 2016 – 2021; Anne Marsden, Marsden Marketing, 2019 – 2021; and Nicola Rivera, Bank of America, 2019 – 2021.