Visionary Awards

Aiming to Inspire

NAWBO-Indianapolis proudly recognizes and celebrates the remarkable achievements of its members through its Visionary Awards program. Through these awards, we acknowledge the dedication, innovation, and hard work of our members and aim to inspire and empower a community of women entrepreneurs to strive for excellence and create positive change in the business world.

Established in 2004, the Visionary Awards were conceived to pay tribute to accomplished and vibrant women business proprietors in Indianapolis. Nominations for these five awards are solicited from both NAWBO-Indianapolis members and corporate associates, and an esteemed panel of business experts from across the state of Indiana meticulously evaluates these submissions.

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visionary awards

Nominations 2023

Woman Business Owner of the Year

This award honors one outstanding NAWBO-Indianapolis business owner who has built a successful and sustainable business. Recipients of this award have a demonstrated history of driving business forward and creating job growth. They assertively break through barriers and overcome challenges to actively support other women business owners. They seek out opportunities to give back to their communities.

Nominate a Driven NAWBO-Indianapolis Member

Recognize an outstanding NAWBO-Indianapolis member by nominating her for The Woman Business Owner of the Year Award.

Corporate Partner of the Year

This award honors one outstanding Corporation supporting the organization and is a powerful advocate for NAWBO-Indianapolis and woman-owned businesses in Indiana. The corporate recipient of this award has a demonstrated history of helping woman-owned companies reach their full potential while improving the overall business climate via contracting opportunities and advocacy efforts. Nominees are limited to monetary sponsors of the NAWBO-Indianapolis Corporate Partner Program.

Nominate a NAWBO-Indianapolis Partner

Recognize a supportive NAWBO-Indianapolis partner by nominating the corporation for The Corporate Partner of the Year Award.

Emerging Entrepreneur Award

This award is presented to a NAWBO-Indianapolis member who owns a minimum of 51% of her business, has been in business less than 5 years, and has successfully grown her business since its inception.

The winner of this award will also receive a $1,200 Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship, which will be used in the next year for NAWBO-approved educational training. This will assist with educational programs that will help improve business management skills, obtain access to new markets, or recognize and capitalize on opportunities for growth and expansion. The member must represent the organization’s mission and vision in all facets of business ownership, including innovative leadership and community involvement.

Nominate an Emerging Entrepreneur

Celebrate an up-and-coming female business owner by nominating her for The Emerging Entrepreneur Award.

Indianapolis Choice Award

This award honors one outstanding individual who is a powerful advocate for NAWBO-Indianapolis and woman-owned businesses throughout the state. Recipients of this award have a demonstrated history of helping woman-owned companies reach their full potential while improving the overall business climate via contracting opportunities and/or advocacy efforts.

Both NAWBO-Indianapolis members and non-members are eligible.

Nominate an Advocate

Show appreciation to an individual who advocates for women business owners in Indiana by nominating them for the Indianapolis Choice Award.

Member of the Year Award

This award honors one outstanding member who has elicited powerful change and strengthened the presence of NAWBO-Indianapolis via her support of the vision and ongoing engagement with the organization.

Nominate an Outstanding NAWBO-Indianapolis Member

Recognize a woman business owner who is a true asset to NAWBO-Indianapolis.


Past Award Recipients

Entrepreneur Scholarship

  • 2021 — Mira Cassidy, Mira Cassidy, LLC
  • 2019 — Mario Santiago, M. Santiago Group
  • 2018 — Johna Cripe, Harmony Senior Relocation Services
  • 2017 — Denise Herd, Herd Strategies
  • 2016 — Cassandra Faurote, Total Reward Solutions
  • 2015 — Michelle Coy, Eclipse Staffing
  • 2014 — Tiffany Thompson, DaMar Staffing Solutions
  • 2013 — Sola Adelowo, ImageCube
  • 2012 — Jessica Nickloy, The Etica group
  • 2011 — Sahara Williams, Enginuity Management & Consulting Corporation
  • 2010 — Melissa Brown, Relocation Strategies, Inc.

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year

  • 2022 — Leslie Bailey, Indy Maven/Maven Space
  • 2021—Mel McMahon Stone, Indiana Owned
  • 2019 — Andrea Sloan, Ground Breakers, LLC
  • 2018 — Michelle Farley, Edify Hair Care
  • 2017 — Arin Lindauer, Transformation Fitness and Wellness
  • 2016 — Amanda Parker, Collective Alternative
  • 2015 — Rosemily Geyer, Geyer Fire Protection
  • 2014 — Kelly Lynn, Kelly Lynn Photography
  • 2013 — Tiffany Thompson, Damar Staffing Solutions
  • 2012 — Starla West, Starla West International
  • 2011 — Laura Ciriello-Benedict, Ciriello Plumbing Co., Inc.
  • 2010 — Laura Sniadecki, A.G. Maas Company

Indianapolis Choice

  • 2022 — Shirley Tang-Audritsh, Eli Lilly & Company
  • 2021 – Jennifer Ping, Krieg DeVault
  • 2019 — Chelci R. Hunter, DBELO, Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation
  • 2018 — Billie Dragoo, RepuCare
  • 2017 — Kimberly Dunning, Vectren Corporation
  • 2016 — Dr. Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech Community College
  • 2015 — Ronalda Minnis, Duke Realty
  • 2014 — Richard Wise, Citizens Energy Group
  • 2013 — Gregory Wilson, City of Indianapolis
  • 2012 — Brenda Jackson-Morrissey, Stewart & Irwin, P.C.
  • 2011 — Amie Peele Carter, Baker & Daniels LLP
  • 2010 — Joyce Rogers, Esq., Ivy Tech Community College
  • 2009 — Holli Harrington, Eli Lilly and Company | LaTricia Hill-Chandler, Indianapolis Public Schools

Member of the Year

  • 2022 — Karen Young, Hayes Young Law, LLC
  • 2021 – Gayle Ross, Ross Business Solutions
  • 2019 — Carol Curran, Phoenix Data Corporation
  • 2018 — Beth Rovazzini, B&W Plumbing and Heating Co., Inc.
  • 2017 — Audrey Taylor, Netlogx
  • 2016 — Ellyn Ludden, Team Summit
  • 2015 — Penny C. Lutocka, Houlihan Valuation Advisors
  • 2014 — Ann Fisher, HR Alternative Consulting
  • 2013 — Janet South, DECO Group, Inc.
  • 2012 — Jennifer Ping, Bose Public Affairs Group
  • 2011 — Lynn Zettler, LifeAction Coaching, Inc.
  • 2010 — Deb Walton, Indy City Gift Baskets
  • 2009 — Pam Parker, JP Parker Flowers
  • 2008 — Erin Smith, The Stitch Smith

Woman Business Owner of the Year

  • 2022 — Jessica Nickloy, Etica Group
  • 2021 – Kristen Cooper, Startup Ladies
  • 2019 — Janet South, DECO Coatings Inc.
  • 2018 — Debra Kunce, CORE Planning Strategies
  • 2017 — Mary Beth Oakes, Choreo and Business Furniture
  • 2016 — Jeryl Mitsch, Mitsch Design, Inc.
  • 2015 — Elaine Bedel, Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc.
  • 2014 — Jill Hall, ReproGraphix
  • 2013 — Jennifer Foster, Foster Results
  • 2012 — Karen Cooper, Smart IT Staffing, Inc.
  • 2011 — Michele Meyer, CSCI Consulting
  • 2010 — Bev Miller, A Sign by Design
  • 2009 — Carol Curran, Phoenix Data Corporation

Corporate Partner of the Year

  • 2022 — Citizens Energy Group
  • 2021 — Indianapolis Airport Authority

NAWBO-Indianapolis Gives Back

Learn about The NAWBO-Indy Foundation and its impact on members.

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