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Finalists Release

Contact: Patrick Kowalcyzk,  
Jill Feldman,  
Michael Kaminer Public Relations, 212.627.8098




Bill Rancic, Winner of The Hit TV Series “The Apprentice,” To Host

October 22nd Awards Ceremony  in New York City


New York, NY – September 27, 2004 – Shining a spotlight on outstanding women behind the fastest-growing segment in small business today, The 2004 Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs today unveiled finalists in 18 categories including Best Entrepreneur and Best Overall Company.


The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs,, is a new national awards competition recognizing the accomplishments of women small business owners in the . 


Nicknamed the Steviesfor the Greek word “crowned,” the awards ceremony and reception will take place on Friday, October 22 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City’s Times Square.  The master of ceremonies will be Bill Rancic, spokesperson for Advanta which is sponsoring the awards and winner of the hit television show “The Apprentice.” 


More than 600 nominations from small companies in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration in 18 categories. Complete lists of finalists in all categories are available at


The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs are governed by a board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors that features many leading women entrepreneurs and luminaries in American business, including Carrie Fitzmaurice, publisher for Entrepreneur Media, Inc.; Edie Fraser, President of the Business Women's Network; and Dr. Betty Spence, president of The National Association for Female Executives.


Advanta Corp. (NASDAQ: ADVNB; ADVNA) is the exclusive sponsor of The 2004 Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs, and has been committed to supporting the success of women in business for over 50 years.  Founded as Teachers’ Service Organization, originally providing needs-based loans to teachers – mostly women – at a time when banks often did not, Advanta is now one of the nation’s largest issuers of MasterCard business credit cards to ’s small businesses through its subsidiary Advanta Bank Corp.


“The Finalists for the first-ever Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs comprise the most dynamic women in business today,” said Dennis Alter, chairman and CEO of Advanta.  “As part of our long-standing commitment to help women entrepreneurs build their businesses, we congratulate all of the Finalists on their achievement.”


Leading the list of women-owned small companies among the Finalists are Digital Frames of Mulberry, FL and The Homemaker’s Idea Company of Glendale Heights, IL, both with four Finalist nominations.  Seven other companies, ranging from the Chicago-based operator of a web site for parents and babysitters to a New York public relations agency, have three Finalists each.


“Since we began the Stevie Awards, our goal has been to shine a spotlight on ordinary businesspeople who accomplish extraordinary things every work day,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of The Stevie Awards. “We look forward to honoring the outstanding women entrepreneurs who are reshaping and re-invigorating the American business landscape.”


Nominations were rated by scores of business professionals nationwide during a two-month round of preliminary judging in July and August, and their average scores determined the Finalists.  For more information on the awards, please visit:


About The Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in three programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, and The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs.  Honoring companies of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.  Learn more about The Stevie Awards at