Women’s Business Council gets new Central Ohio member

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Tara Abraham, chairman and co-CEO of Accel Inc.

Tara Abraham, chairman and co-CEO of Columbus- based Accel Inc., was appointed to the National Women’s Business Council on Thursday, making her the third Central Ohioan to become a member of the NWBC since the fall.

The NWBC is a federal advisory council that gives advice and policy recommendations to the president, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. Each of the NWBC’s 15 members are appointed for three-year terms.

“I am honored to be appointed to the NWBC representing the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council,” says Abraham. “As a WBENC-certified women’s business enterprise, and as a member of the WBENC board, I have been immersed in key issues of women’s business opportunities and leaderships that drive women’s business success.”

During her tenure in the beauty industry, Abraham saw the need for a company that could affordably package products on time, according to her specifications, and in 1995 Accel was born.

Initially, the company assembled gift sets out of a 1,200-square-foot studio. Next month, Accel will move into a 517,000-square-foot, LEED-certified facility in New Albany. Its clients now include companies in the personal care and beauty, pharmaceutical and health care, and food and beverages sectors.

The move not only upgrades Accel’s contract packaging services, but also positions the company to expand its offerings by partnering with suppliers of complementary services in the area, Abraham said in a release announcing the transition.

Accel was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Emerging Business in 2000 and was named one of the Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in the United States from 2005 to 2009 by Diversity Business.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that NWBC Chair Donna James expressed confidence in Abraham, saying she is “a credible and knowledgeable leadership voice for women entrepreneurs and small business owners” and that she brings “a valued perspective on the development and growth issues they face from startup to success to significance.”

James, managing director of Columbus consulting firm Lardon and Associates LLC, was appointed to the NWBC by President Obama in October and Kimberly Blackwell, CEO and managing partner of PMM Agency in Columbus, was appointed last month.