Sell-Out Crowd Supports Women’s Business Center

Last Thursday, the Central Ohio community came together for the second annual Women’s Business Center luncheon.

“We were pleased to have increased seating capacity and to once again have a sellout crowd,” says Patty Tumen, vice president of Women’s Business Centers of Ohio. “The luncheon provides much-needed monetary support for the services of the Women’s Business Center, and just as importantly, increases awareness of our program to those who could benefit from the Center as well as others who may consider volunteering time as professional coaches. The luncheon gives our hard-working staff and Center members the chance to celebrate their success.”

Sherrod Brown sent a recorded tribute to the luncheon in support of the Center’s efforts.

“The Women’s Business Center does important work to empower Ohio women to take control of their economic destiny,” Brown says. “Six-hundred thousand households in Ohio are headed by women. The future of Ohio families depends on women having equal opportunity in our economy. You are not giving women a hand out, you are giving them a hand up to start businesses, to grow companies, to enrich our state.”

The results of less than three years of work as the only Small Business Administration approved Women’s Business Center in the state include nearly 50 businesses created, over 300 individuals served, and more than $1 million in capital accessed.

The Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), home to the WBC, released its new video highlighting some of the great client stories.

Jendell Duffner, owner of Green Scoop and winner of this year’s WBC Member Business of the Year Award, was recognized as the first business of its kind in the U.S.

“I have taken advantage of every service that I had offered to me,” Duffner says. “That includes creating my business plan, mentoring and more. ECDI and the WBC is where I got the idea, where it started, where it blossomed. They gave me the tools to take that idea to the next step.”

Jendell Duffner of Green Scoop holds her WBC Member Business of the Year award at the luncheon.

The afternoon featured keynote speaker Kimberly Blackwell, founder and CEO of PMM, a national, award-winning brand consulting firm. In her role as a council member of the National Women’s Business Council, she works to give women entrepreneurs a voice in Congress, the U.S. SBA, and the White House. She stressed the importance of resources like ECDI and the WBC.

Columbus continues to be an ideal place for entrepreneurs to begin and grow their ideas. The WBC and ECDI work hand in hand with community partners and leaders to develop the best tools for every business. Find out more at

Kimberly Blackwell address the crowd during the luncheon.
Lawyer Jonathan Bryan accepts the WBC Volunteer of the Year Award. Bryan teaches workshops on trademarking, liability and contractual agreements and also provides one-on-one counseling to small business owners on those topics.
Lisa Groomes accepts for Nate Hrusovsky, both Accenture employees. Nate organizes volunteers from Accenture to help with workshops and events, has presented workshops on customer service, negotiations, accounting and networking and is organizing a business book drive to stock the lending library shelves.
Stephanie Steward-Young accepts for Fifth Third Bank, WBC Corporate Partner of the Year. Fifth Third has representatives on both the ECDI board of Directors and the WBC Advisory Board. Fifth Third has been sponsors for both WBC luncheons, provided funding for the Learning Lab, and for two years in a row has funded VGATE – Veterans Growing America Through Entrepreneurism – a day-long seminar for women veterans exploring entrepreneurialism.