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Business Awards Honoring Dedicated Members for 2022

Livonia, Michigan (September 28, 2022) – The Great Lakes Women’s Business Council announced the winners of the 2022 Business Awards, a trademark event for our organization. The awards exhibit our history of commitment and dedication to leadership and excellence. These awards are for outstanding members that go above and beyond to support the Great Lakes WBC and its members with time and effort will be honored. After three years of virtual recognition, we were finally able to Gather Again at the 22nd Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference. 

Business Award categories and 2022 winners:  

Government Champion of the Year 2022

Tanya Markos-Vanno, Pure Michigan Business Connect (MEDC)

  • Encourages corporate involvement in Great Lakes WBC and support of women business owners
  • Demonstrates extraordinary leadership in championing women business owners
  • Champions the cause of women’s business ownership

Corporate Volunteer of the Year 2022

Barbara Morgan, Lear Corporation

  • Involved in Great Lakes WBC Programs/Projects
  • Volunteers on committees
  • Encourages others to participate in Great Lakes WBC

Corporate Advocate of the Year 2022

Marcia Hunter, Stellantis

  • Advocates on behalf of individual women business owners or as a group
  • Identifies procurement opportunities for women business owners
  • Makes certain that women are represented in the procurement process

WBE Volunteer of the Year 2022

Lisa Mininni, Excellerate Associates

  • Involved in Great Lakes WBC Programs/Projects/Committees
  • Volunteers on committees and encourages others to participate
  • Is current on industry trends and incorporates best practices in business

WBE Role Model/Mentor of the Year 2022

Emily Likens, Knappen Milling Company

  • Demonstrates extraordinary leadership
  • Serves as a role model
  • Encourages women business owners and shares knowledge and experiences

WBE of the Year 2022

Tiffany Klingensmith, Unconventional Solutions Inc. (USI)

  • Offers exemplary customer service and is proactive in servicing customer needs
  • Conducts business with other women entrepreneurs
  • Possesses good business skills (financial stability, creativity, innovation, mgt.)
  • Is current on industry trends and incorporates best practices in business

Significant Contributor of the Year 2022 Winners

Amanda Medlen, IDO Incorporated
Bob Ellis, WDIV, Local 4 News Detroit

  • Contributed time, talent, and resources beyond that of others
  • Responded to a need the organization has not been able to address
  • Gone above and beyond expectations

“2022 Business Awards honor outstanding members who go above and beyond to support the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council and its members planning for the unplanned. Their leadership and support are an inspiration to all members, partners, and friends.” Michelle Richards, Founding Executive Director. Paula Tutman hosted the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council’s Awards presentation at the 22nd Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference on September 27-28, 2022.

Sponsored by Stellantis, The Diez Group, Kellogg’s, Bay Corrugated Containers, USI, and Trillium.

The 22nd Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference, hosted by The Great Lakes Women’s Business Council (Great Lakes WBC), was a two-day in-person event on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 27 & 28. In celebration of being back in person, this year’s theme was Gather Again. This event typically boasts over 550 attendees (including Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), partners, and 90+ corporate members. The agenda included keynotes from Cathy Fisher of Citizens Bank, Anne Aristeo Martinelli and Michelle Aristeo Barton of Aristeo Construction, Karen Swensen, Life’s About Change, and Michelle Richards, Great Lakes WBC. Also, strategic educational workshops, business resource labs, and the WEpitch Competition.

The Conference also featured WEmatch, where women-owned businesses matched with corporate buyers seeking to engage with diverse suppliers. The Business Conference would not be possible if not for these incredible sponsors.  Great Lakes WBC is a nonprofit champion for women and minority business owners. We provide access to capital, corporate procurement opportunities, certification for women-owned business enterprises, and small business educational support.  

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Media Contact: 

Shelly Hyland 

Marketing & Engagement Manager 


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