Trailblazing Women Business Owners Achieve Rapid Growth Despite Challenging Economy


American Express OPEN and the Women Presidents' Organization Name Top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--American Express OPEN, the small business division of American Express, in partnership with Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), today released the third ranking of the 50 fastest growing women-led companies in North America. The Top 50 generated a combined $2.3 billion in gross revenues (2009) and averaged 128 employees (2009).

“The Top 50 list exemplifies the vital role women business owners have on boosting the economy and enhancing job growth overall”

Argent Associates, Inc., a New Jersey-based Supply Chain company providing managed services in warehousing, logistics and product life cycle management, topped the list and illustrates the vigor of women-led businesses across the continent. Beatriz Manetta, President and CEO, saw her 12-year old company gross revenue grow more than 12 times in two years from $9,238,850 in 2007 to $115,000,000 in 2009.

BrightStar, a home healthcare and medical staffing company based in Illinois, came in second on the list. Shelly Sun, the company’s CEO plans to take her business public. Artech Information Systems LLC is the third fastest growing company reported. The New Jersey-based business more than doubled its number of jobs from 1,560 in 2007 to 3,500 in 2009.

“The Top 50 list exemplifies the vital role women business owners have on boosting the economy and enhancing job growth overall,” says Marsha Firestone, Ph. D., president and founder of the WPO. “We are pleased to partner with American Express OPEN to honor these powerful women and recognize their triumphs.”

“There are 10 million women-owned businesses in the US that employee over 13 million people and generate nearly $2 trillion in annual sales,” says Nancy Hood, Vice President at American Express OPEN. “We at OPEN are honored to support this group of women business leaders that thrived in a challenging economic climate.”

All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth. From this list, the 50 Fastest are selected. To be qualified for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, woman-owned/led companies in the U.S. or Canada and have reached revenue of at least $500,000 by the first week of 2005 and $2 million in 2009.

In order to help the Top 50 continue to seize even more business opportunities, each of the honored business owners will be offered a Business Platinum Card1 from American Express OPEN. The card will include 100,000 Membership Rewards® points, which may be used on capital investments including: the funding of employee recognition programs, business travel or the purchase of office equipment and supplies.

46 of the Top 50 women were polled to examine what makes them tick and uncover how they were able to grow their businesses at breakneck speed and in such a difficult economic environment. The survey touched on key themes including: overcoming business growth challenges, reexamining business strategies despite the current economic condition and prioritizing the important characteristics for being a successful woman leader.

The key findings include:

Reasons for success

A commitment to high growth – 71% agreed or strongly agreed that their goal from the very beginning of their leadership of the company was to build a large company

Inspiring leaders – 64% believe their “ability to motivate employees” is the most important characteristic for being a successful woman entrepreneur

Surrounding yourself with a skilled team - 78% say “Hiring the right people” was the most important action that contributed to their company’s growth

Adapting to a changing environment - The strategy most frequently chosen (64%) to meet the challenge of the current economy is to “enter new markets”. Sixty-one percent admitted current economic conditions caused them to change their business strategies

Toughest challenges

Lower sales – 56% say their biggest challenge in our current economy is “existing customers reducing purchases.”

Positive Outlook

Doubling their workforce – Nearly all (96%) plan on adding employees this year.

Boosting the economy and their communities – Their ability to create much needed jobs is the greatest benefit of being a successful woman entrepreneur

All 50 companies will be honored at a special event hosted by American Express OPEN at the WPO annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale on April 23, 2010. The awards reception will take place from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at the Ritz-Carlton Ft. Lauderdale.

Top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies Include:

Entrepreneur NameCompany NameStateDescription of Business
1Beatriz ManettaArgent Associates, Inc.NJSupply Chain Management
2Shelly SunBrightStar CareILStaffing services
3Ranjini PoddarArtech Information Systems LLCNJIT Consulting
4Gail Warrior-LawrenceWarrior GroupTXPremier construction services
5Elizabeth EltingTransPerfectNYLanguage services provider
6Amy GonzalesAK Environmental, LLCNJConsulting firm
7Fran LessansPassport HealthMDProvider of travel medical services
8Hallie SatzHighRoad PressNYPrinting solution
9Vicki RaportQuantum Retail Technology, Inc.MNSoftware solutions
10Elaine OsgoodAtlas Travel InternationalMAFull-service travel agency
11Sue ButlerButler/Till Media Services, Inc.NYMedia agency
12Dr. Padma AllenTECHNODYNE LLCNJHigh-end technology solutions

Jill E.M. Kusic Esq.

NRA Group LLC. d/b/a National Recovery AgencyPARevenue Recovery Services
14Cheryl LangIntegrated Mortgage SolutionsTXCollateral protection resources
15Tomima EdmarkAndra GroupTXOnline lingerie store
16Jeni BogdanTHE SAXON GROUP, INC.GAHeavy industrial construction
17Carol KoffinkeBeacon Associates, Inc.MDConsulting and program support
18Vickie WesselSpirit Electronics, Inc.AZSupply-chain solutions
19Magdalah SilvaDMS InternationalMDManagement, consulting training
20Anjali RamakumaranAmpcus IncVABiz, tech, engineering solutions
21Stephanie PointPoint 2 Point Global Security, Inc.MDSecurity patrols services
22Carole BordenC.B. Transportation, Inc.PATransportation management
23Nicole GellerGovernment Contract SolutionsVAProfessional services and solutions
24Susan A. MoranoSuzanne's Specialties, Inc.NJMakes Organic Sweeteners
25Cynthia B. KayeLogical Choice Technologies, Inc.GAPromethean integration & training
26Francine Farkas SearsFabrique Ltd.CTDesign & Make accessory case
27Min ChoNova DatacomVAInformation assurance
28Lee Ann CochranCochran ElectricWAElectrical contractor
29Donna K. AlligoodKnowledge Link IncorporatedVAInformation technology services

Dr. Ellen H. Yankellow

Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, Inc.MDPharmaceuticals
31Cynthia J. PaskyStrategic Staffing SolutionsMIConsulting and staff augmentation
32Pamela O'RourkeICON Information ConsultantsTXRecruiting
33Katherine DietzenMedEdNow, LLCNYMedical education communications
34Elizabeth Williamsroxbury technology corpMARemanufacturer/distributor of ink
35Sonu RatraAkraya, Inc.CAStaffing
36Melissa Cather-ThiedeProActive Solutions, Inc.KSIT services and solutions
37Lori MatthewsISOFLEXCADistributor of stable isotopes
38Liz LasaterRed Arrow LogisticsWATransportation provider
39Jennifer ScullyClinical Resources LLCGAStaffing firm
40Wendi GoldsmithBioengineering GroupMAEcological restoration
41Laura K.T. SchriverLanguage Services AssociatesPAForeign language communication
42Priti ParikhSweta systems IncAZTech Consulting services
43Lisa Moore TuranoProvidusTXLegal Staffing
44Sherry S DeutschmannLetterLogic, IncTNManufactures mail, letters
45Danielle WaskeDNT ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES INCGAContracting specialty
46Juli SpottiswoodParagoTXRewards-based incentive solutions
47Noreen GuanciLong Term SolutionsMA

Elder care coordination & support

48Maria D BradleyBenefit Express Services, LLCILAdmin and enrollment services
49Kiran GillPARS Environmental, Inc.NJEnvironmental consulting firm
50Heidi GanahlCamp Bow WowCOPet care franchise

About the Women Presidents’ Organization

The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) is the premier peer advisory organization which internationally connects top women entrepreneurs at the multimillion-dollar level ($2 million in gross annual sales or $1 million for service-based business) for greater professional success. In monthly meetings across four continents, chapters composed of 20 accomplished women presidents from diverse industries and backgrounds invest time and energy in themselves and their businesses to drive their corporations to the next level. For more information, call 212-688-4114 or visit

About American Express OPEN

American Express OPEN is the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners and online tools and services designed to help improve profitability. Learn more at and connect with us at and

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on, and