In the News: Laura Lee Williams Named a Top Woman Entrepreneur 2009 by Enterprising Women magazine


Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs
Inkandescent Public Relations, / 703 346-6975

Leading business magazine picks luxury handbag manufacturer Laura Lee Designs to be in its “Class of 09”

Washington DC, February 24, 2009 — Laura Lee Williams, owner of the Washington DC-based luxury handbag company Laura Lee Designs, got word this week that she was named a Top Women Entrepreneur in North America by Enterprising Women magazine.

Award recipients must demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities, explains Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women magazine, which is based in Cary, NC. Many of these women are also leaders in key organizations that support the growth of women’s entrepreneurship.

“These awards recognize some of our nation’s most talented women business owners,” Smiley says. “Our mission with this award celebration is to showcase the outstanding accomplishments of this remarkable group of women entrepreneurs, both in their industries and local communities.”

Smiley notes that a total of 39 women were picked to be part of the “Class of 2009,” and only five landed spots in the “up to $1 million in annual sales revenues” category that Laura Lee Designs is listed on.

“I am thrilled and honored to be part of this elite group,” says California native Laura Lee, who got her a master’s degree in international studies from Harvard University and spent two decades working for Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, American Express and Apple Computer before launching her own firm in 2005. “It’s an incredible feeling to do what you love and have others enjoy it, too. It’s never easy to launch and grow a business, and I can honestly say winning this award is a dream come true.”

Celebrating Success

Award winners and finalists will be recognized during a three-day tribute held in their honor from March 11-13 at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL. This is the seventh anniversary of the gala awards celebration. The Walt Disney World Company is the premiere sponsor of the 2009 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration.

2009 Enterprising Women include:

Up to $1 million in annual sales revenues category:
Laura Lee Williams of Laura Lee Designs, Inc., McLean, VA
• Mary Ardapple Dierker of Apple’s Bakery, Inc., Peoria, IL
• Ann Kayman of New York Grant Company, New York, NY
• Genma Stringer Holmes of Holmes Pest Control, Hermitage, TN
• Patricia Massey of Myca Multimedia & Training Solutions, Cincinnati, OH

Over $1 million and up to $5 million in annual sales revenues category:
• Marri Aviza of Rumors Salon and Spa, Latham, NY
• Tina Teree Baker of Cadence Group, Atlanta, GA
• Jennifer Bisceglie of InTEROS Solutions, McLean, VA
• J. Isabel Chancellor of IngenuitE, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK
• Joan Killian Gallagher of Warden-Brooks, Ltd., New Canaan, CT
• Jena Gardner of JG Black Book of Travel, New York, NY
• Debbi Somers of Somers Furniture Inc., Las Vegas, NV
• Mary Wu of Wu Consulting LLC, Washington, DC

Over $5 million and up to $10 million in annual sales revenues category:
• Nancy Freeman Balkcom of MySupplies, Atlanta, GA
• Jessica Browder-Stackpoole of EventPro Strategies, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ
• Leah Brown of Aten Solutions, Inc., Cary, NC
• Annie Danielson of Danielson Designs, Trinidad, CO
• Angela Hedges Hendricks of Bentley Hedges Travel Service Inc., Oklahoma
• Lou Jurkowski of BJAC, pa, Raleigh, NC
• Darlene M. Miller of Permac Industries, Burnsville, MN
• Lynn Paige of PerfectPower, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
• Bridget Soyka Smith of Soyka Smith Design Studios, Upper Montclair, NJ
• Paula Turner of Lexair Electronics Sales Corporation, Greensboro, NC

Over $10 million and up to $25 million in annual sales revenues category:
• Terri S. Alpert of Uno Alla Volta LLC, North Branford, CT
• Carol Craig of Craig Technologies, Cape Canaveral, FL
• Hannah Kain of ALOM, Fremont, CA
• Colleen Kramer of Evergreen Supply Company, Chicago, IL
• Julie Levi of Progressive Promotions, Inc., Englewood, NJ
• Linda Moraski of PeopleSERVE, Inc., Chestnut Hill, MA
• Anne D. Shybunko-Moore of GSE Dynamics Inc., Hauppauge, NY
• Terri Sullivan of Meridian Imaging Solutions, Alexandria, VA

Over $25 million in annual sales revenues category:
• Carolyn T. Doerle of Doerle Food Service, LLC, Broussard, LA
• Elise Hernandez of Ideal System Solutions, Inc., Maple Grove, MN
• Deborah Jallad of Accredited Surety & Casualty Company, Orlando, FL
• Amy Langer of SALO, LLC, Minneapolis, MN
• Tanya C. Matthews of TMG Construction Corporation, Purcellville, VA
• Cynthia J. Pasky of Strategic Staffing Solutions, Detroit, MI
• Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations, Washington Township, NJ
• Sonu Ratra of Akraya Inc., Sunnyvale, CA

Additional Finalists for the 2009 Enterprising Women of the Year Award include:
• Amberly Allen of Direct Innovations, LLC, Bellaire, TX
• Dale Bare of Bare International, Inc., Fairfax, VA
• Gloria J. Carter-Hicks of Hicks-Carter-Hicks, LLC, St. Louis, MO
• Tricia Dempsey of Agile Resources, Inc., Cumming, GA
• Helen Ficalora of Helen Ficalora, New York, NY
• Linda Maslow of The Maslow Media Group, Washington, DC
• Stella M. Miller of Stella May Contracting, Inc., Edgewood, MD
• Carrie Mitchell of ASAP Office Supply, Raleigh, NC
• Natalie Perkins of Clean Design, Research Triangle Park, NC
• Jill Vitiello of Vitiello Communications Group, LLC, East Brunswick, NJ
• Mindy T. Withrow of CSS Distribution Group, Inc., Louisville, KY.

About Laura Lee Designs
With a master’s degree in international studies from Harvard University, businesswoman Laura Lee Williams has worked for Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, American Express and Apple Computer. When she was the vice president of global business with Hong Kong’s Pacific Century CyberWorks she was inspired to create a company of her own. In 2005, she launched the luxury handbag firm Laura Lee Designs, and today her fabulously chic handbags have adorned the arms and outfits of celebs including Desperate Housewives Eva Longoria, Oscar winner Mira Sovino, and Touched by an Angel actress Roma Downey. Each bag is handmade with Nepalese fabrics, high quality satins and swirling patterns of Japanese beads. Colorful snakeskin accentuates each bag and adds functional elegance to each piece of wearable art. For more information, visit Laura Lee’s website: and her blog:

About Enterprising Women
Enterprising Women, headquartered in Cary, NC, is the nation’s only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners that chronicles the growing political, economic and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women. The magazine provides a friendly meeting place, a public forum, and a national stage for the critical issues confronting women’s businesses and daily lives from the unique perspectives and experiences of entrepreneurial women. For more information, or to register to attend the 2009 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration, visit or call (919) 674-6640.