Northwest Philadelphia entrepreneurs Indira Gisela Padin-Jeffries, Mae Dooley and Glynis Tart all have something in common. Besides having enterprising minds and growing business ventures, they received Impact Awards during National Business Week recently. Their honors came from the Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC) awards gala.
It was Padin-Jeffries who walked away with first place honors. She is owner of Caring Hands in Home Care, Inc. She was chosen from a field of eight finalists to win her $2,500 cash prize. Her business is a non-medical, in-home care, owner-operated agency that helps seniors or any persons with special needs maintain their independence through personal care, companionship and homemaking.
Dooley’s Landscaping and Tree Care Service LLC received the second place award and $1,000 cash prize. Dooley’s company provides services to government agencies, institutions, companies and Philadelphia homeowners. Another finalist, Tart, owner of Verden Interior Design Studio, LLC, earned the 2012 Young Trailblazer award for her business’s social impact.
“We were incredibly impressed with all of the women who submitted business plans this year,” said Lynne Cutler, president of WORC. “Small businesses, like our winners, have a positive impact on our regional economy. We also realize that the services WORC provides to support women who may struggle to get their ideas off the ground because of lack of funding are critical.”
The judging panel included Shinjoo Cho of the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Sonja Sherwood of the Philadelphia Business Journal, Jenice Armstrong of the Philadelphia Daily News, Franne McNeal of HR Energy and Therese Flaherty of the Wharton Small Business Development Center. Other awardees were Tarshe Scovens, Rochelle Beard, Jacquline Thomas-Stone and Selena Ricks.
Also honored at the Impact Awards was Jeri Lynne Johnson, the founder and music director of Philadelphia’s Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. Johnson is a native of the Northwest Philadelphia area who brings creative use of technology and music to encourage an interactive audience. The group includes alumni from the Juilliard School in New York City, the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.
WORC’s mission is to promote social and economic self-sufficiency, primarily for economically disadvantaged women and their families. It provides training, individual business assistance, incentive savings program, job placement and access to business and financial resources.