CHICAGO, IL, May 19, 2014 – Several child care business owners and advocates will receive awards from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) at the organization’s 16th Annual Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Expo to be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, in Chicago.
Themed “Your GPS to Business Success” and presented in English and Spanish, the Expo is the only event of its kind in the Chicagoland area to provide business solutions, resources, products, information and services in one location on a single day to prospective and established early childhood education entrepreneurs. There are learning and networking opportunities available for both home and center-based educators.
Josephine Garrett, owner of Learning for a Lifetime Childcare Center, will receive the “Fast Track Award” for her growth and success. The award is given to a child care entrepreneur who has been in business less than five years and has, in that short time, achieved rapid success in her business. Garrett made the transition from the corporate world to pursue a career in the child care industry. After obtaining a credential in early childhood education development and completing the WBDC’s 10-week program “Developing Your Child Care Business,” she utilized many of the WBDC resources to help her gain ownership of her very own child care business in Chicago’s South Loop which serves infants 6 weeks of age through preschoolers 6 years of age.
Shanetha Pollnitz, owner of Tiny Tots Tabernacle Childcare in Bellwood, will receive the “Unsung Hero Award,” which recognizes a child care entrepreneur who has been in business for over five years and invests both time and resources into the mentoring, training and development of other child care professionals. A home-based provider of child care for the past 11 years, Pollnitz is licensed to care for 12 children by day and seven at night for parents who have night jobs. To improve her business skills, she recently completed the WBDC’s 10-week entrepreneurial training program. Active in the child care industry, she supports Illinois Action for Children where she provides input on policies that impact the child care industry. Last November, she became president of the United Child Care Association and works to help peers in the industry improve their child care programs.
The “Friend of Child Care Award” will be presented to Shirley and Janet Marx, owners of New World Van Lines, for their strong and steadfast support of other women business owners, including child care business owners. Their generosity has enabled the WBDC to provide access to information, education and resources to women on how to establish and operate sustainable, profitable home and center-based child care businesses.
Lourdes Anlly Jasso, co-owner of New Beginnings Child Care and Educational Program, Inc., in Brighton Park, will receive the Hedy M. Ratner and S. Carol Dougal Legacy Award. Founded in 2001, Jasso’s home-based business offers low-cost, high-quality services to children from 6 weeks through 12 years old. Through her leadership in the Latin American Professionals in Child Care and Education in Oak Park, she mentors other professionals, leads trainings on a variety of child care issues and is a major resource to the WBDC as it shapes its child care business curriculum.
Expo highlights include the Destination Success! Breakfast, featuring a panel of child care industry experts; Road Map to Growth Business Workshops for every level of business featuring experts and experienced child care providers; Early Childhood Education Applause Awards Luncheon, honoring outstanding child care providers and activists in the child care community; and the 16th Annual Reception celebrating 16 years of supporting, building and growing successful child care businesses.
An Exhibition Hall of more than 60 booths will feature insurance vendors, bankers, child care associations, state regulatory agencies for the industry, educational products, business resources and curriculum vendors. Premier sponsors for the event include Citi, the Deluxe Corporation Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Benefactor sponsors include New World Van Lines and Walgreen Co.
Registration is $55 and includes breakfast, lunch and the chocolate hour reception. Limited on-site registration will be available for $75. For more information and to register, visit www.WBDC.org, or call 312-853-3477.