“Nifty Fifty” Women Entrepreneurs Leads Spikes in Sales and Growth

The Women Presidents' Organization and American Express OPEN Name Top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies

VANCOUVER, B.C.--()--The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express OPEN, the small business division of American Express, today released the fourth ranking of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/led companies in North America. The Top 50 generated a combined $4.1 billion in 2010 revenues (mean of $82.7 million) and collectively employed 24,650 in 2010 (projected average for 2011 is 557 employees).

BrightStar, a home healthcare and medical staffing company based in Illinois, rose from the number two spot last year to top the list in 2011. Shelly Sun, president and chief executive officer, who plans to take her business public, saw her nine-year-old company revenue quadruple in two years from $24,413,433 in 2008 to $99,142,249 in 2010. Shelly attributes BrightStar’s use of social media as a significant factor in her company’s rapid revenue growth.

Sierra Nevada Corporation, a Nevada-based electronic systems provider, is new to the list and comes in second both in growth and longevity (the business was founded in 1963). The company has nearly doubled revenues ($690,000,000 in 2008 to $1,201,000,000 in 2010) and employment (1,183 in 2008, 2,067 in 2010 and 2,170 projected for 2011).

Rose International, Inc., a contingent workforce services and IT solutions company based in Missouri, is the third fastest-growing company and also a newcomer to the annual ranking. Himanshu Bhatia, owner and chief executive officer, has seen her business employment skyrocket (1,500 in 2008, 5,000 in 2010 and 6,500 projected for 2011) in addition to the company’s rapid revenue growth ($117,000,000 in 2008 to $230,000,000 in 2010).

“The Top 50 list includes a group of trailblazing women entrepreneurs that represent a variety of industries ranging from staffing to electronic systems providers, language services to security,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph. D., president and founder of the WPO. “We are pleased to partner with American Express OPEN to honor these powerful women and recognize their triumphs.”

In order to help the Top 50 continue to seize even more business opportunities, each of the honored business owners will be offered a Business Platinum Card1 from American Express OPEN. The card will include 100,000 Membership Rewards® points, which may be used on capital investments including: the funding of employee recognition programs, business travel or the purchase of office equipment and supplies.

“Based on American Express OPEN’s ‘State of Women-Owned Businesses’ report, there are an estimated 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.7 million people,” said Nancy Hood, Vice President at American Express OPEN. “We at OPEN are honored to support this elite group of women who diversify the full spectrum of industries and have become leaders within the women business community.”

All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth. From this list, the 50 Fastest were selected. To be qualified for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, woman-owned/led companies in the U.S. or Canada and have reached revenue of at least $500,000 by the first week of 2006 and $2 million in 2010.

More about the 2011 Top 50:

  • Founded the Business: 90%
  • Current CEO is actively involved in the day-to-day operations: 100%
  • Average years in business: 16
  • Average age: 47
  • Average Number of Projected 2011 Employees: 557

All 50 companies will be honored at a special event hosted by American Express OPEN at the 2011 WPO Annual Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on April 28, 2011. The awards reception will take place from 6:30PM to 9:30PM at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel.

Top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies Include:

1   Shelly Sun   BrightStar   IL   Healthcare staffing
2   Eren Ozmen   Sierra Nevada Corporation   NV   Prime systems integrator
3   Himanshu Bhatia   Rose International, Inc.   MO   Contingent Workforce Services
4   Carolyn Doerle   Doerle Food Services, LLC   LA   Wholesale foodservice distribution
5   Theresa Daytner   Daytner Construction Group   MD   General Contracting Management
6   Rebecca Minkoff   Rebecca Minkoff LLC   NY   Fashion Brand
7   Ranjini Poddar   Artech Information Systems LLC   NJ   IT Consulting
8   Elizabeth Elting   TransPerfect   NY   Language services provider
9   Amy Walden   Walden Security   TN   Contract security service
10   Heidi Ganahl   Camp Bow Wow   CO   Dog Day/Night care
11   Carol Koffinke   Beacon Associates, Inc.   MD   Management consulting
12   Rachna Agarwal   Expedien, Inc.   TX   Business Intelligence
13   Cynthia Kaye   Logical Choice Technologies   GA   Education and security technologies
14   Jennifer Schoenhofer   Axis Teknologies   GA   Wireless infrastructure engineering
15   Amy Gonzales, Kelly Caldwell   AK Environmental, LLC   NJ   Project Management Consulting
16   Gloria Rajkumar   SIMAC Canada Inc.   ON   Coordinate Independent Medical Assessments
17   Pamela O'Rourke   ICON Information Consultants, LP   TX   Human Capital solutions
18   Rumia Burbank   Vendor Managed Solutions, Inc.   MI   Integrated Materials Management
19   Jill Becker   Cambridge NanoTech   MA   Atomic Layer Deposition
20   Carole Borden   C.B. Transportation, Inc   PA   Distribution solutions
21   Kiran Gill   PARS Environmental, Inc.   NJ   Environmental consulting firm
22   Vicki Raport, Dr. Linda Whitaker   Quantum Retail Technology, Inc.   MN   Optimization platform and solutions
23   Sue Butler, Tracy Till   Butler/Till   NY   Media agency
24   Elaine Osgood   Atlas Travel International   MA   Travel agency
25   June Ressler   Cenergy International Services, LLC   TX   Oil and gas industry staffing
26   Anjali "Ann" Ramakumaran   Ampcus Inc.   VA   Consulting services
27   Laurie DeJong   LDJ Productions   NY   Event Management Company
28   Paige Lentz   Monarch Site Services   CO   Environmental construction
29   Lisa Bair   The Hobart Group   NJ   Healthcare communication services
30   Claudine S. George   ICONMA LLC   MI   Staffing
31   Roz Alford, Nancy Williams   ASAP Solutions Group, LLC   GA   IT Consulting
32   Kathleen Benson, Susan Lynd   Office Remedies, Inc.   VA   Full-service survey research firm
33   Anita Emoff   Boost Technologies   OH   Employee performance tracking
34   Joan Bialek   Bialek Environments   MD   Modular interior construction
35   Dr. Lydia Bock   Geodetics, Inc.   CA   Civilian and military products
36   Cassandra Sanford   KellyMitchell Group, Inc.   MO   Technology staffing
37   Sonu Ratra   Akraya, Inc.   CA   IT & Marketing staffing
38   Cynthia Pasky   Strategic Staffing Solutions   MI   IT development center
39   Gail Whittenberger   Tyndale Company, Inc.   PA   Flame resistant clothing
40   Wendi Goldsmith   Bioengineering Group   MA   Ecological engineering
41   Bonnie Laiderman   Veterans Home Care, LLC   MO   Veterans home care
42   Lisa Weber   Timeless Decor   NY   Custom framing
43   Danielle Waske   DNT Environmental Services, Inc.   GA   Environmental Firm
44   Rebecca Cenni   Atrium Staffing LLC   NY   Staffing
45   Tanya C. Matthews   TMG Construction Corporation   VA   Government general contractor
46   Vickie L. Wessel   Spirit Electronics, Inc.   AZ   Superior supply-chain solutions
47   Francine Farkas Sears   Fabrique, Ltd   CT   Technology Case Manufacturer
48   Elise Mitchell   Mitchell Communications Group, Inc.   AR   Strategic communications
49   Jennifer Smith   Innovative Office Solutions   MN   B to B provider of office supplies
50   Beatrice P. Key   Key & Associates, P.C.   MD   Certified public accounting firm

About the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)

The WPO is the premier peer advisory organization connecting women who own multi-million dollar companies. In monthly meetings across four continents (North America, South America, Europe, and Africa) chapters of 20 women presidents – 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.

About American Express OPEN®

American Express OPEN is the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners and online tools and services designed to help improve profitability. Learn more at www.OPEN.com and connect with us at openforum.com and twitter.com/openforum.

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com and connect with us on www.facebook.com/americanexpress, www.twitter.com/americanexpress and www.youtube.com/americanexpress.

1 Based on approvals


M Booth & Associates for
American Express OPEN
Alex Della Rocca, 212-539-3203
Women Presidents’ Organization
Kirsten Wynn, 212-688-4114


M Booth & Associates for
American Express OPEN
Alex Della Rocca, 212-539-3203
Women Presidents’ Organization
Kirsten Wynn, 212-688-4114