SPARK Publications


2010 Stevie Award Winner

Company: SPARK Publications, Matthews NC
Company Description: SPARK Publications is a graphic design firm specializing in the design and production of award winning and effective magazines, books, catalogs, marketing materials and brochures. SPARK designs and produces publications and promotional materials for higher education, business associations, lifestyle, wholesale and retail merchants, entrepreneurs, and consultants.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses - Up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Fabi Preslar, President

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

I am nominating Fabi Preslar for her extraordinary entrepreneurial passion,
persistence and perseverance in leading SPARK Publications while serving the

Maintaining Growth and Profitability:
SPARK realized 19% growth in 2009 over 2008, beating projections by 9%. The
company increased customized publications project work (in their book
custom-publishing division) by 10% over 2008. Additionally, the company realized
48% growth in 1Q of 2010 compared to 1Q 2009 – a direct result of doubling
capacity and personnel in their custom-publishing division.

Staff Development:
In a small firm, each employee represents a significant piece of the company’s
success. Preslar streamlined operations for efficiency, tactically replacing two
mid-level design and production staff with one seasoned art director. She
recently relinquished her position as creative director to hire one of
Charlotte’s top talents, with 25 years of experience in the publication design
and production field – Larry Preslar. He has more than 80 magazine designs to
his credit and is Fabi Preslar’s husband of 23 years. Last fall, she added a new
duel position of Assistant to the President/Publications assistant and in early
2010 she added a new production assistant to the team. As president of her
design firm, Fabi Preslar focuses her efforts on business development and client
relations and still has time to be a panelist and keynote speaker, as well.

Strategic Partnerships:
Preslar forged strategic partnerships to produce higher quality work at a faster
pace and on budget. The use of talented vendor partners keeps SPARK’s operation
lean. SPARK clients receive value-added products and additional services through
the firm’s strong partnerships with editors, writers, PR advisors, photographers
and web producers.

A Heart for the Community:
Preslar maintains a solid record of service and community impact by donating
hundreds of hours of marketing and publication design services to non-profits
serving women in need as well as emerging businesses. In addition, she acts as a
keynote speaker for women’s organizations and contributes time each month to sit
on advisory boards, advocating for women business owners. She is currently a
board director and co-chair of the marketing and PR committee for the Women’s
Inter-Cultural Exchange, an organization that helps bridge the social gap
between professional women of color and others. Mentoring other women
entrepreneurs also plays a vital and energizing role in Preslar’s busy life.

Preslar received the 2009 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award.
This prestigious award recognizes a former CPCC student whose efforts have
helped the community.

Awards and Recognitions (since July 2009):
• Honoree, Enterprising Women Magazine, Enterprising Women of the Year, 2010
• Recipient, International Award for Best Business Turnaround of the Year,
Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, 2009
• Top Three Finalist, Woman Business Owner of the Year, National Association of
Women Business Owners (NAWBO)–Charlotte, 2010
• Stevie® Award Finalist, Best Women Entrepreneur with under 100 employees,
Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, 2009
• MarCom Creative Awards, 1 Platinum, 2 Gold, Association of Marketing and
Communication Professionals, 2009
• 3 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, 2009
• 50 Most Influential Women, Mecklenburg Times, 2009
• Life Well Lived Award, Women’s Living Well Series, 2009
• Top 24 Entrepreneurs in Charlotte, Business Leader Magazine, 2009
• Top 100 NC Small Businesses (#79), Business Leader Magazine, 2009

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your nomination. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

Charlotte Business Journal

SKIRT! Magazine

2010 Enterprising Women of the Year Award

CPCC Entrepreneurial Success: Get Up & Grow Keynote Speaker

Central Piedmont Community College Alumni Bio,%20Fabi.pdf

2010 INTERACT Speaker Bio

2010 NAWBO Woman Business Owner of the Year Finalist

The Lady’s Grotto Symbol Design:

WLNK-FM 107.9: Link Leading Lady (6/26/09)

Business Leader Media: 2010 Book of Leaders (Shown in 4 categories)

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):

Fabi Preslar
President, SPARK Publications

Fabi Preslar is an energetic entrepreneur and the president of SPARK
Publications. She founded SPARK twelve years ago as a home-based business and
built it into a thriving marketing-design powerhouse. Her award-winning
publication design firm specializes in the design and production of custom
magazines, self-published books, catalogs and marketing design.

Enterprising Women Magazine named Preslar an honoree for the 2010 Enterprising
Women of the Year Award. She was also the 2009 recipient of the prestigious
Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award, which recognized her
valuable contributions to the community. Her company received the 2009
International Stevie® Award for Best Business Turnaround of the Year.