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50 Female Entrepreneurs Recognized For Strong Business Growth

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 and collectively employed 46,000 people in 2016 . The awardees who took home the top rankings are:

The Women Presidents’ Organization and American Express Recognize 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies; 10th Annual Award Ceremony Held in Orlando

Technology Concepts Group International CEO Avis Yates Rivers.

NEW YORK — 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 and collectively employed 46,000 people in 2016 . 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.