50 Female Entrepreneurs Recognized for Strong Business Growth

The Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies; 10th Annual Award Ceremony Held in Orlando

May 05, 2017 — ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express, today released the 10th annual ranking of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies – marking one decade of honorees.

The companies on this year’s 50 Fastest list span a range of industries including technology, retail and consulting. The companies generated a combined $7.2 billion in 2016 revenues (mean of $155.6 million) and collectively employed 46,000 people in 2016 (mean of 725). The awardees who took home the top rankings are:

Fitness studio franchise Orangetheory Fitness is the fastest growing women-owned business and is appearing on the list for the second time, moving up from the #3 spot in 2016. The seven-year-old Boca Raton, FL-based company, led by Ellen Latham, saw its revenue flourish over the past two years ($86,842,513 in 2014 to $451,101,433 in 2016) and hired 98 employees during that time span. Ellen’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to turn the “I can’t” channels in their brain into “I can” channels.

Pinnacle Group, an IT workforce solutions firm based in Dallas, remains at the #2 spot for the second year in a row. Nina Vaca, President and CEO, saw her 21-year-old company approach $2 billion dollars in revenue ($1,887,230,307 in 2016, up from $665,504,491 in 2014). The entrepreneur, who still owns 100% of the firm she founded at age 24 with $300 of startup capital, attributes her company’s success to its ability to meet the ever-changing demands of clientele.

IT services firm Technology Concepts Group International, a newcomer to the list, is the third fastest-growing company in the 2017 rankings. Based in Somerset, NJ, the nine-year-old business, founded and led by Avis Yates Rivers, saw its revenue rise from $6,726,000 in 2014 to $49,000,000 in 2016. Avis’ primary strategy for success has been to deliver value and create solutions to respond to customer challenges.

The 10th ‘graduating’ class

“We are proud to announce the 10th class of 50 Fastest honorees. This year, we’re excited to have awardees from a diverse range of industries and locations, including three international winners,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., President and Founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization. “Our partnership with American Express has been crucial in acknowledging the influence women-owned and led companies have in job creation and growing the global economy.”

“Supporting the growth of women-owned and led companies is a true mission for us at American Express, and we are delighted to recognize these trailblazing women for their success,” said Susan Sobbott, President, Global Commercial Payments, American Express. “We hope these awardees and the stories of their business success will inspire others to create and lead prosperous businesses.”

Each of the honored business owners will be offered a congratulatory prize from American Express.

The companies on this year’s 50 Fastest list span a range of industries including technology, retail and consulting

Applicants do not have to be WPO members. All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth; the top 50 were selected for the list. To be qualified for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, woman-owned/led companies and have reached an annual revenue of at least $500,000 as of January 1, 2012.

More about the 2017 50 Fastest:

  • Average honoree age: 50
  • CEOs that founded the business: 92%
  • Started the business with their own funds: 72%
  • CEOs that are active in day-to-day operations: 100%
  • Companies that do business globally: 36%
  • Plan to continue to grow their company: 92%
  • Provide health insurance: 94%

All 50 companies will be honored at a special event hosted by American Express at the 2017 WPO Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida on Friday, May 5, 2017. The lunch and awards ceremony will take place from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes.

Immediately following the lunch and awards ceremony, American Express will also host a Guide to Growth Panel from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM. The panel will feature 50 Fastest honorees, who will share insights and advice for WPO members looking to grow their businesses.


The 2017 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies include:

Entrepreneur NameCompany NameCity, State/Province/Country
1Ellen LathamOrangetheory FitnessBoca Raton, FL
2Nina VacaPinnacle Technical Resources, Inc. d/b/a Pinnacle GroupDallas, TX
3Avis Yates RiversTechnology Concepts Group InternationalSomerset, NJ
4Dr. Rebecca ThomleyMorning Sun Financial ServicesGolden Valley, MN
5Catherine DowneyCATMEDIATucker, GA
6Elizabeth HammondContract DirectSouthfield, MI
7Phyllis Winchester NewhouseXtreme Solutions IncAtlanta, GA
8Claudia MirzaAkorbiPlano, TX
9Christina SeelyeMaximum GamesWalnut Creek, CA
10Debra GentryContingent Resource Solutions, LLCDuncan, SC
11Raegan Moya JonesAden & Anais, Inc.Brooklyn, NY
12Jamila StanfordNugate Group, LLCSan Jose, CA
13Rebecca CenniAtrium StaffingNew York, NY
14Patti MasseyMYCA Material Handling SolutionsCary, NC
15Kay IvieIvie & AssociatesFlower Mound, TX
16Tierra Kavanaugh (Turner) WayneTKT & Associates, Inc.Louisville, KY
17Pamela EvetteQuality Business Solutions, Inc.Travelers Rest, SC
18Mary KariotisMerrimak Capital CompanyNovato, CA
19Shelly SunBrightStar Franchising, LLCGurnee, IL
20Britt WhitfieldThe Revel GroupChicago, IL
21Elizabeth PrimPrim Construction, LLCFort Worth, TX
22Elizabeth ScherleInfluensterNew York, NY
23Liz EltingTransPerfectNew York, NY
24Margaret MarcucciCorAnet CorpNew York, NY
25Yi LiRenogyOntario, Canada
26Katie ConovitzTwelve, Inc.Brooklyn, NY
27Stacy KnightCA SouthAtlanta, GA
28Roberta Roberts Shank “Sissie”Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing, Inc.Phoenix, AZ
29Tana GreeneGreene-GroupDavidson, NC
30Anjali “Ann” RamakumaranAmpcus IncChantilly, VA
31Simone Schendel ReeseSchendel Mechanical Contracting LtdEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
32Jennifer SmithInnovative Office Solutions, LLCBurnsville, MN
33Michelle BakerSwoon Group, LLCChicago, IL
34Patricia BibleKatom Restaurant Supply, Inc.Kodak, TN
35Karen McPartlandTSAC EngineeringSan Diego, CA
36Sushumnaa Roy JalajamSoftpath System, LLCNorcross, GA
37Pamela O’RourkeICON Information Consultants, LPHouston, TX
38Margrit Anne WolffMercury Freight (PTY), LTDJohannesburg, South Africa
39Ronia KruseOpTech, LLCTroy, MI
40Kathleen BensonOffice Remedies, Inc. dba ORIHerndon, VA
41Victoria VasquesTribal Tech, LLCAlexandria, VA
42Cordia HarringtonThe Bakery Cos.Nashville, TN
43Linda A SullivanAdministrative Strategies, LLCFishers, IN
44Tamara L. NallThe Leading NicheNew York, NY
45Diane AstleyXclusive StaffingWestminster, CO
46Patty KleinA-Plus Meetings & IncentivesCoral Gables, FL
47Natalie McDonaldCreate NYCNew York, NY
48Annette JohnsonCMT Services, Inc.Hyattsville, MD
49Cheryl PiaPIA AgencyCarlsbad, CA
50Lindsay McCutchenReliant Staffing Systems, dba Career StartRochester, NY




About the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
The WPO is the ultimate affiliation for successful women entrepreneurs worldwide. In monthly meetings across the world, women from diverse industries invest time and energy in themselves and their businesses to drive their corporations to the next level. Local WPO chapters are coordinated by a professional facilitator and meet monthly to share business expertise and experience in a confidential setting. For more information, call 212-688-4114 or visit www.womenpresidentsorg.com. Follow WPO on Twitter (@womenpresidents) and like us on Facebook.
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