Prestigious Awards Program Recognizes World’s Top Women Entrepreneurs


Vicarious Public Relations (VPR)

January 7, 2020 (VPR) Arlington Heights, IL Vicarious Multimedia is proud to announce its founder and president, Melanie Santostefano, has been named a 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Award winner. This annual tribute to women entrepreneurs is now in its 18th year and is presented by Enterprising Women Magazine.

Marketing Communications, Public Relations, Vicarious Multimedia

Melanie Santostefano, Vicarious Multimedia founder/president.

A press release from the publication describes the award program in the following way, “The Enterprising Women of the Year Awards is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners. To win, nominees 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.”

“It is a great honor to be recognized with other women entrepreneurs who are working hard every day to grow their businesses, while supporting future leaders through the sharing of expertise and guidance,” Santostefano said. “I’d like to personally thank Monica Smiley, the Enterprising Women Magazine publisher/CEO, for perpetuating this honor that continues to inspire and highlight women who are achieving great heights in business.”

Santostefano has been a mentor and educational presenter for the Young Entrepreneur Academy for the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce since 2013. She will be participating in the District 211 Career Fair February 27 to showcase careers in the marketing/public relations fields, and will be a member of the Women at the Table panel, made up of area women business owners, sponsored by Harper College’s Hope Giving Circle March 6. Vicarious Multimedia also offers year-round internships for college sophomores and juniors seeking experience working in communications.

“The recipients of the 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards represent an amazing group of women entrepreneurs from across the U.S. and as far away as Japan, India, Turkey, Kenya and the UAE,” Smiley said. “We are so proud to recognize their accomplishments as CEOs of fast-growth companies, community leaders, and role models and mentors to other women and girls. We look forward to shining the spotlight on them at our 18th annual awards event in March.”

Visit to learn more about the Enterprising Women of the Year awards and to view a full list of all the award winners.

In addition to winning the Enterprising Women of the Year Award, Santostefano recently was named the 2019 Business Leader of the Year by the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the board of directors for the nonprofit, The Bridge Youth and Family Services, and is a Buffalo Grove Rotarian, where she is the publicity chair, and president-elect for 2020-2021.


About Vicarious Multimedia

About Vicarious Multimedia

Vicarious Multimedia (formerly Vicarious Productions, Inc.) is a comprehensive marketing communications and public relations firm, specializing in intimately understanding the client, their identity and goals for the future, and executing a custom-tailored strategy to reach their target audiences. Services provided by the firm including traditional and digital marketing, such as: writing/editing/copywriting, website design and development, graphic design and social media management, in addition to video production. Public relations, public information campaigns and crisis communications services are also offered. Clients served include closely held businesses, nonprofits, professional associations and local government.

The firm is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, with a satellite office in downtown Palatine. To learn more, visit or call 224-633-3120.


  Enterprising Women of the Year Award Press Release

Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women Magazine, has announced the winners of the 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs. Honorees will be recognized at the 18th Annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference, to be held from Sunday, March 29 to Tuesday, March 31 at the Wyndham Grand in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

The Enterprising Women of the Year Awards is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners. To win, nominees 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. Many of the honorees also serve as leaders of the key organizations that support the growth of women’s entrepreneurship.

Award winners were recognized in categories based on the annual sales revenues of their businesses. Finalists for the award, called Champions, were also named to the prestigious list of honorees.

Winners in the “over $50 million in annual sales” category:

  • Patricia Marx, New World Van Lines, Chicago, Illinois
  • Kristi Alford, E2 Optics, Englewood, Colorado
  • Stacy O’Reilly, Plunkett’s Pest Control, Inc., Fridley, Minnesota
  • Celeste Ford, Stellar Solutions, Inc., Palo Alto, California

Winners in the “over $25 million and up to $50 million in annual sales” category:

  • Teresa Clark, Enso Plastics, Mesa, Arizona
  • Barb Potter, T J Potter Trucking, Inc., Becker, Minnesota
  • Gail Adinamis, GlobalCare Clinical Trials, LLC, Bannockburn, Illinois
  • Nooshin Behroyan, Paxon Energy & Infrastructure Services, Pleasanton, California

Winners in the “over $10 million and up to $25 million in annual sales” category:

  • Gail Worth, Gail’s Harley-Davidson, Grandview, Missouri
  • Jani Hegarty, Audrey Pezzuti, Bonnie Welsch, Health & Wellness Partners, LLC, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
  • Jennifer Baxter, Tennessee Associated Electric, LLC, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Jessica Hawthrone-Castro, Hawthorne, Los Angeles, California
  • Tracy Watson, Go Watson Realty, Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
  • Seema Chawla, TekValley Corporation, Pleasanton, California
  • Rebecca Contreras, AvantGarde, LLC, Rockville, Maryland
  • Maril MacDonald, Gagen MacDonald, Chicago, Illinois
  • Jackie Locklear, Locklear Roofing, Holly Springs, North Carolina
  • Mary M. “Mickey” Swortzel, New Eagle, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Kristen Thibeault, Nybil, Oakland, California
  • Janice Migliore, PALCO, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Jill Butler, RedKey Realty Leaders, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Betsy Bassan, Panagora Group, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Denise Pollard, The Center for Learning and Autism Support Services (CLASS), Inc., San Mateo, California
  • Catherine A. Downey, CATMEDIA, Inc., Tucker, Georgia
  • Denita R. Conway, Proven Management, Washington, DC
  • Diana E. Dibble, Design To Delivery, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland
  • Vidya Ravichandran, GlowTouch, Louisville, Kentucky

Winners in the “over $5 million and up to $10 million in annual sales” category:

  • Patricia Miller, Matrix4, Woodstock, Illinois
  • Shabana Siraj, Trident Consulting, San Ramon, California
  • Monica Hernandez, MAS Global Consulting, LLC, Palm Harbor, Florida
  • Brooke Neblett, Federal Hill Consulting LLC & FYI – For Your Information, Beltsville, Maryland
  • Megan Driscoll, EvolveMKD, New York, New York
  • Gerri Domenikos, Airlogix, Astoria, New York
  • Rebecca Fyffe, Landmark Pest Management, Schaumburg, Illinois
  • Barbara Myrick, B & M Construction, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Meena Krishnan, Inoventures, LLC, McLean, Virginia
  • Frida Owinga, PassionProfit Brands, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Dominique Cagle, Nika Corporate Housing, LLC, Tampa, Florida
  • Perla Tamez, Dynamic Rehab LLC, McAllen, Texas

Winners with “over $4 million and up to $5 million in annual sales” category:

  • Gayatri Sagar, The Kinderville Group, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Eleanora L. Chiavelli, Reliable Shipping Services, Rockville Center, New York
  • Flavia Lamberghini, Apple Dental Care, Chicago, Illinois
  • Kimberly Springsteen-Abbott, Commonwealth Capital Corp., Clearwater, Florida
  • Natasha Miller, Entire Productions, Inc., San Francisco, California
  • Shannon Shores, WELLEX Inc., St. Louis, Missouri
  • Sherrika Arch, Straight Line Management, San Antonio, Texas
  • Michele Adams, Levy Recognition, Tampa, Florida
  • Lois Elrich, Solid Blend Technologies, Inc., Dayton, Ohio
  • Christine Andrukonis, Notion Consulting, Montclair, New Jersey
  • Brenda Jones Barwick, Jones PR, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Divya Palat, Balancing Act, Mumbai, India

Winners with “over $3 million and up $4 million in annual sales” category:

  • Ingrid Macher, Burn20 LLC, Hallandale Beach, Florida
  • Donna Childs, Prisere LLC, Cranston, Rhode Island
  • Koy Saephan, Excel Interpreting, LLC, Sacramento, California
  • Laura Chiesman, FirstWave Financial, Satellite Beach, Florida
  • Theo Prodromitis, Spa Destinations, Tampa, Florida
  • Lusnail Haberberger, LUZCO Technologies, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Elizabeth Ann McNeill, MCO Construction & Services, Inc., Miami, Florida
  • Neelima Parasker, SnapIT Solutions, LLC, Overland Park, Kansas

Winners with “over $2 million and up to $3 million in annual sales” category:

  • Esther Poulsen, Raare Solutions, LLC, Paramus, New Jersey
  • Leslie L. Kischer, Assured Healthcare Staffing, LLC, Gurnee, Illinois
  • Martina Derra, DiverseID, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Kathleen Quinn Votaw, TalenTrust, Denver, Colorado
  • Suzanne Burns Jacob, Altura Group LLC, Chicago, Illinois
  • Marina Ilari, Terra Translations, LLC, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Julie Towner, Towner Communications, Mission, Kansas
  • Heather K. Margolis, Channel Maven, Boulder, Colorado
  • Kelly Woo, Profectus Financial, Los Angeles, California
  • Kerri S. Barile, Dovetail Cultural Resource Group, Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Patricia Durocher, Global Cynergies, LLC, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Vicki Mayo, Touchpoint Solution, Phoenix, Arizona

Winners with “over $1 million and up to $2 million in annual sales” category:

  • Marnice D. Miller, Human Capital Resources and Concepts Inc., Winter Haven, Florida
  • Ann Dolin, Educational Connections Tutoring and Test Prep, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Christy Jones, R Jones Collision 1, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Maharba Zapata, Salsa Queen LLC, West Valley City, Utah
  • Erin Mays, EBCO, Austin, Texas
  • Mary Nutting, CorTalent, Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Maria de Lourdes (Lulu) Sobrino, Lulu’s Foods, Inc., San Antonio, Texas
  • Amanda Gianotti, Allogram Inc., Timonium, Maryland
  • Ola Parks, Be Real Company, New York, New York
  • Sharon W. Reynolds, DevMar Products, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Lynn Griffith, Welcome Events, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Wendy Lieber, ContentBacon, Davie, Florida
  • Julie Lopez, PhD, Viva Partnership, LLC, Washington, DC
  • Samantha Razook, Curious Jane, Brooklyn, New York
  • Nicole Middendorf, Prosperwell Financial, Minnetonka, Minneapolis
  • Lauren Reed, Reed Public Relations, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Paloma Schackert, Ethical Apparel Africa, London, United Kingdom
  • Deborah Garry, BBG&G Advertising & PR, Campbell Hall, New York
  • Stacia Guzzo, SmartyPits, Tehachapi, California
  • Crystal Hamm, Go 2 Girls, Morrisville, North Carolina
  • Christine Walsh, Alpha Graphics, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland
  • Chanel Christoff Davis, Davis Davis & Harmon LLC, Dallas, Texas
  • Rachel Durkan, Paradigm Marketing and Design, Pine Brook, New Jersey
  • April Jensen, ADJ Interiors, St. Louis, Missouri

Winners in the “up to $1 million in annual sales” category:

  • Jill Kerrigan, JAK Creative Design, LLC, Darien, Illinois
  • Andrea Arco, Arco & Associates, Ballwin, Missouri
  • Shaylyn Cullen, Cullen Construction Management, Chicago, Illinois
  • Vikita Poindexter, Poindexter Consulting Group, Temecula, California
  • Shari Stein, DesignTeam Plus, LLC, Birmingham, Michigan
  • Jy’ Juan Maze, Maze Freight Solutions, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Brooke Foley, Jayne Agency, Highland Park, Illinois
  • Dilshad Delawalla, Alycom Business Solutions, LLC, Dallas, Texas
  • Stacey Grant, Koi-Fly Creative, West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Jolene Risch, Risch Results LLC, Dallas, Texas
  • Wendy Coulter, Hummingbird Creative Group, Inc., Cary, North Carolina
  • Melisa Galasso, Galasso Learning Solutions, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Melanie Santostefano, Vicarious Multimedia, Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Sarah Konowal, Ripshot Enterprises, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
  • Gia Machlin, EcoPlum, Inc., New York, New York
  • Kimberly A. Lemke, Dr. Kimberly A. Lemke, P.C., Naperville, Illinois
  • Megumi Ishimoto, Women’s Eye, Chigasaki, Japan
  • Gulden Turktan, Gliss, Istanbul, Turkey

Enterprising Women Champions (Honorable Mention) — all revenue levels:

  • Michelle Murphy, Nice Dog Media, Pacific Palisades, California
  • Christina Pou, Harvest Pack Inc., Torrance, California
  • Michelle Funk Deal, Key Services Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Jennifer Compton, J & L Communications, Brooklyn, New York
  • Cathey Hunter, APX Plastics, Inc., Arlington, Texas
  • Holly Steele, GavinHeath LLC, Greenwood Village, Colorado
  • Joanna Terry, Souperb, LLC, Emeryville, California
  • Sonya Pierrelus, DSSP Consulting, Inc., National Harbor, Maryland
  • Gail Trauco, Medical Bill 911, Barnesville, Georgia
  • Sherri Heckenast, Dirt Oval 66, Joliet, Illinois
  • Monir Jalili, InstantFigure Inc., Irvine, California
  • Mary S. Swenson, PhD, mymedchoices, Hockessin, Delaware
  • Qingyuan Li, Teriyaki Madness, Greenwood Village, Colorado
  • Mendee Ligon, Ligon Dental Group, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Deborah Anne Jackson, Pivotal Talent Search, Village of Lakewood, Illinois
  • Wendy Barlin, Barlin Business Solutions Inc., Los Angeles, California
  • Daphney M. Smith-Jackson, Broker Builder Solutions, LLC, Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
  • Jennie M. Campbell, Stewart Steelwood Investments, LLC, East Loxley, Alabama
  • LaFarris Risby, Loving Arms Childcare and Preschool, Junction City, Kansas
  • Ida Abdalkhani, Ability to Engage, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Elin Barton, White Knight Productions Inc., Vestal, New York
  • Alison Freeman, Alicomm International LLC, McKinney, Texas
  • Heather Cox, Certify My Company, Henderson, Nevada
  • Emellie O’Brien, Earth Angel, Brooklyn, New York
  • Debra Sunderland, Sunderland Coaching, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Virginia McGann, Value Management Resources, Chicago, Illinois
  • Amy Jacobus, Amy Jacobus Marketing, Brooklyn, New York
  • Roberta Moore, EQ-i Coach, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tonya Tiggett, Tiggett and Co., LLC, Columbus, Ohio
  • Franne McNeal, Significant Business Results LLC, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

The 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference will bring together dynamic women business owners from North America and around the world for two-and-a-half days of top-notch workshops, networking opportunities, corporate sponsor exhibits, and awards presentations. The celebration will shine the spotlight on honorees, with award presentations at the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Gala Dinner. During the annual “Hall of Fame Luncheon,” one woman entrepreneur and one nonprofit leader will be inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Enterprising Women magazine under the leadership of Monica Smiley, Publisher/CEO, 20 past recipients of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award will be honored with the Enterprising Women “Top 20 in 2020 Award” and recognized at a special reception held in their honor.

The event is open to 2020 award honorees, alumni (previous) award winners, corporate supporters, members of the Enterprising Women Advisory Board, VIPs in the women’s business community, readers of Enterprising Women magazine, and members of the many partner organizations affiliated with Enterprising Women.

Partner organizations represented on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board and supporting the 2020 event include:

  • The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
  • National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC)
  • Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW)
  • The Global Initiative for Women’s Entrepreneurship Research
  • Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)
  • Quantum Leaps
  • Springboard Enterprise
  • National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB)
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC)/Women Entrepreneurs Inc. (WE)
  • Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global
  • Women’s Leadership Exchange
  • The International Alliance for Women (TIAW)
  • Asian Women in Business (AWIB)
  • eWomenNetwork (EWN)
  • Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC)