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American Express Company : Make Mine a Million $ Business Shows Sisterly Love to Thirty Three Women Entrepreneurs at Philadelphia Event

11/15/2011 | 11:30am EDT

150 Compete for "M3 1000" Business Growth Resources

M3 1000, the latest evolution of the groundbreaking Make Mine a Million $ Business (M3) program, an initiative of Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence and American Express OPEN, has announced the newest M3 1000 awardee class of up-and-coming women entrepreneurs. The 33 women honorees, representing 10 different states and all aspiring to grow their post start-up enterprises into million-dollar firms, were selected as part of the second-ever M3 1000 pitch event, held on September 26, 2011 in Philadelphia.

Built on the lessons learned over the past six years through more than 20 M3 competitions held nationwide and the movement's growing community of successful women business leaders, M3 1000 is designed to help women entrepreneurs strengthen their vision, build their strategy and take their business past one million dollars in revenue.

The recent M3 1000 competition marks the initiative's first visit to the "Keystone State" and the host city and state are well represented in the awardee group, with six winning businesses based in Philadelphia and 26 from Pennsylvania. Other winning business owners hail from as far away as Texas, Colorado and California.

"Make Mine a Million $ Business was reinvented into M3 1000 for one main purpose: to help a greater number of women entrepreneurs grow their businesses into million-dollar enterprises," said Nell Merlino, founder and president of Count Me In. "Through tools, inspiration, and a community of supporters, we are helping this new class of 33 awardees take their companies to the next level, and we look forward to working with them on that journey."

The Philadelphia event featured keynote addresses from famed entrepreneurs Jen Groover, media mogul and business expert; and Lisa Price, founder of the Carol's Daughter beauty products line; and included educational sessions focusing on business financials, social media and leadership. The event yielded 44 pitch competition winners from which the 33 M3 awardees were chosen, based on additional analysis involving financials, business plans and reference reviews.

"The Philadelphia event awardees represent the promise, determination, and potential of female entrepreneurs everywhere," said Karen-Michelle Mirko, director of customer advocacy at American Express OPEN. "Through M3 1000, we at OPEN are hoping to inspire more of the 8.1 million women-owned businesses across the country to strive for million-dollar outcomes. Small businesses have the power to drive this economy. Their success is America's success."

As M3 awardees, each of the winners are eligible to receive group coaching and training sessions with other Philadelphia awardees; a one year legislative membership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP); an invitation to join the exclusive M3 online networking group; and special consideration for additional national and local public relations opportunities. The honorees already received a $1000 American Express(R) Gift Card and an introductory cycle of professional coaching with The Coach Connection as a result of being named a pitch competition winner.

The following 33 women, whose current revenue mean was $208,000, were selected as the second M3 1000 awardee class based on their ability to build significant and sustainable companies with the growth potential to achieve $1 million or more in annual revenues.







Type of Business

Audra Fordin   What women AUTO know   NY   Auto repair workshops for women
Beverly Rossi   Graphic Matter Inc.   NJ   Graphic, web design
Brittany Jones Hodak   ZinePak   NY   CD/DVD/magazine combo
Colleen Mook   Baby Be Hip   PA   Retail personalized baby gifts
Dana Lucero   The Dana Agency, LTD   CO   Insurance broker
Dawn Lewis   Caffe Craze Co.   PA   Coffee bar; catering services
Doreen Foxwell   The Children's School of Yoga   NY   Yoga for children
Elizabeth Whelan   Design Studio   NY   Textile design
Gen Anderson   Gen's Guiltless Gourmet   CA   Cooking show
Heather McCloskey   McCloskey Partners, LLC   PA   HR services
Joan Denizot   Super Sized Cycles   VT   Bicycles for large people
Judy Weintraub   Weintraub Legal Services   PA   Legal services; arbitration
Karen Moustafellos   EnA Elements and Alloys Inc.   PA   Jewelry manufacturing
Katherine Hughes   Dance Yourself Fit LLC   NC   Shoe accessory for dancing
Katie Gutierrez Miller   Assistant Match   MD   Virtual assistants
Linda Della Rocca   Image Enterprises, Inc.   PA   Custom clothing; image consulting
Margit Novack   Moving Solutions   PA   Moving services for elders
Maria Grazia   Eco Zip   PA   3-zip baggies
Marilyn Walker   Synergize, LLC   PA   Consulting; team building
Mary Scheetz   Consulting Concepts & Innovations   PA   Consulting services to call centers
Meaghan Dunn   Dunnamic   PA   2D & 3D animation services
Melanie Hoffman   Brandnu Marketing, LLC   TX   Marketing; communications
Meredith Pizzi   Roman Music Therapy Services   MA   Music therapy
Nancy Vinkler   WSI We Simplify the Internet   PA   Online marketing consulting
Patricia Scott   Uhmms   PA   Communication training
Rebecca Rescate   CitiKitty Inc.   PA   Pet products
Robin Whitsell   Whitsell Innovations, Inc   NC   Medical/technical writing
Starr Osborne   Tailored Transitions   PA   Home staffing/moving management
Suzanne Curran   SC Consulting, LLC   PA   Staffing company
Tina Van Buren   Embrook Benefits Consulting, LLC   PA   Benefits broker & consulting
Tracey Deschaine   Dixie Picnic   PA   Fast casual southern food restaurant
Valerie Erwin   Geechee Girl Rice Cafe   PA   Southern food restaurant & food trucks
Valerie Link   Four Paws Inc.   PA   Doggie daycare

An assortment of past Make Mine a Million $ Business awardees, including Rosana Santos, owner of BIG CHEF, a Hollywood, FL, hors d'oeuvres company and Rupila Sethi, president of Aerial Design and Build, a New York City-based design consulting and general construction business, who both grew their businesses over a million dollars in revenue for the first time this year, were on hand to show their support to the competing women entrepreneurs and personify the objective of the program.

About Count Me In

Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow micro businesses to million dollar enterprises. Count Me In launched Make Mine a Million $ Business® to inspire one million women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to a million dollars in revenue by providing tools, skills and the support of a nation-wide community of peers.

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.

M Booth for Count Me In and
American Express OPEN
Alex Della Rocca, 212-539-3203
American Express OPEN
Scott Krugman, 212-640-3244

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