Melinda Zito O’Brien, Founder and Owner of Energy Utility Group, started working in the energy sector after seeing a new opportunity emerge as energy became deregulated in the U.S. And now she’s on a mission to help fellow Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) reduce their energy costs while incorporating sustainability into their operations.
"Attending events such as Harvesting Partnerships and Power to Potential have provided the opportunity to introduce me and my business to corporations that I may not otherwise have had the chance to meet. A recent introduction to a Sustaining (Corporate) Member at an event led to a conversation that eventually turned into a contract." - Molly Sandlin, President of CAET Project Management Consultants
Renee Gilmore is the President of a women-owned and operated firefighter company, Firemans Paving Contractors. Located in Fort Worth, the company proudly services the DFW area and has been WBCS certified for 3 years. Renee serves on our Parade of Stars Gala Committee and was also a 2018 Lillie Knox Recipient. We reached out to her to discuss how certification and the Lillie Knox Investment Award has helped her business grow.
"WBCS is a central place to gain business development insight, focus on your organization’s vision, and surround yourself with positive people." - Chanel Christoff Davis
"The best reason to get certified is to connect with other women-owned businesses. For a small company like Kanti Goods, it is much harder to get your foot in the door at any of the large companies, and so the bigger opportunities for me are with the other WBEs. " - Ernestine Lammers
"From the beginning, the biggest benefit has been the education, inspiration and informal mentoring from fellow WBEs. Although intangible, these have been extremely valuable for my professional development and the long-term success of my business." -Tracy Southers-Parker
"Working with other WBEs, both as partners and clients, has enabled me to add another stream of revenue to my business. The opportunities are tremendous and continue to grow. It’s such a great way to step out of your comfort zone and add an entirely new group to your network." - Darlene Templeton
"Get involved immediately because WBCS is a network that is ready to support you. I eased into getting involved and wished I had jumped in sooner." - Carrie Martinez
"If you’re a woman who owns a business, you may find the woman-owned certification requirements a bit excessive - and a little overwhelming - at first. If you can get past the initial shock, you may see the benefits of certification outweigh the work required to complete certification. Some of the many valuable benefits of this certification include increased visibility and access to the Fortune 500 business world. But you have to get involved and network" -Patricia Rodriguez Christian
"WBE Certification with WBCS will offer the support, insight, and the ability to partner with other women to obtain opportunities not available without the certification. My business has added a new revenue stream with our WBE Certification that has shown an increase of 30% in the year since we were certified." -Andrea Tsakanikas,