2004 Winners Release

Contact:  Patrick Kowalcyzk, patrick@mkpr.com
Jill Feldman, jill@mkpr.com
Michael Kaminer Public Relations, 212.627.8098


18 Women Small Business Owners From Across U.S.
Are Honored at New York City Ceremony

New York, NY – October 25, 2004 – Shining a spotlight on 18 outstanding women behind the fastest growing segment in small business today, The 2004 Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs winners were announced Friday evening in categories including Best Entrepreneur, Best New Service of the Year and Best Overall Company.

The Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs, www.stevieawards.com/women, is a national awards competition recognizing the accomplishments of women small business owners in the United States.  The awards are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards.

Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards ceremony and reception took place on Friday, October 22 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City’s Times Square. The masters of ceremonies were Bill Rancic, winner of the hit television show “The Apprentice” and official spokesperson for Advanta, the exclusive sponsor of the awards, and Rhonda Schaffler, the New York Stock Exchange senior correspondent for CNNfn and CNN Business News.

Two women took home the coveted Best Entrepreneur prize. Lauren Sharfman, president of Seno Jewelry, a manufacturer of private label jewelry for leading fashion brands, was honored in the non-services business category. Betty Tuppeny, founder and CEO of Domus, Inc., one of the top ten advertising and marketing agencies in the Philadelphia area, was recognized in the services business category.

Other winners included Best Young Entrepreneur Venus McNabb, the twenty-seven year old founder and CEO of 1-800-GeeksOnTimes, a provider of computer related services for corporate and individual users, and Mentor of the Year Vickie Milazzo, owner and CEO of The Vickie Milazzo Institute, the largest U.S. legal nurse consulting firm. 

“The winners’ hard work, dedication, and passion are an inspiration to women and men everywhere,” said Bill Rancic, official spokesperson for Advanta.  “We're proud to salute these amazing women who have turned their ideas and dreams into successful businesses.”

More than 600 nominations from small companies in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration in 18 categories. A complete list of winners is available at www.stevieawards.com/women.

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.

“The winners of the Stevie Awards for Women Entrepreneurs reflect the vital and exciting role that women small business owners play in today’s economy,” said Dennis Alter, Chairman and CEO of Advanta.  “Helping women entrepreneurs build their business is longtime goal of Advanta’s. That’s why we’re extremely proud to honor such dynamic women.” 

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 America’s small businesses through its subsidiary Advanta Bank Corp.

“Women small business owners are at the forefront of business innovation, but they rarely get the acclaim they deserve,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of The Stevie Awards. “The Stevie Awards are an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the extraordinary women who are re-inventing American business.” 

For more information on the awards, please visit: www.stevieawards.com/women.

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 www.stevieawards.com.