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3 Judges Selected For Crystal Star

julie_anderson lent_headshot rounce_jeff

The Alliance of Women Owned Businesses (AWOB) this week announced the selection of three regional public figures to be judges for the upcoming Crystal Star Awards honoring outstanding women business owners from Pierce, Mason, Kitsap and Thurston counties in Washington State.

The awards are sponsored by the Alliance, and are presented every other year to women who inspire excellence, run successful businesses, open doors and make a difference in their communities.   The judges include Jeff Rounce, publisher of the South Sound Business Examiner; Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor; and Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent.

Anderson and Lent served as judges for the 2012 Awards and agreed to serve again in 2014.   “These women bring their ‘A Game’ to small business.   Their success stories challenge us all to take it to the next level.   I love being a Crystal Star judge!  I leave the room shouting, ‘Bring it!’ ”  exclaims Anderson.

Lent, who has been a business owner herself in the private sector, is looking forward to the opportunity to meet the finalists that are chosen by the organization’s Crystal Star Awards committee.

Rounce is the President and CEO of the regional Business Examiner Group, which he founded in 1989.  A former executive in television news, his publications currently cover business news online and in print from Kent/Auburn to Centralia/Chehalis, including the greater Tacoma and Olympia markets.

This year’s award ceremony, will take place at a banquet on May 15, 2014 at the Fircrest Golf Club, and will feature awards in three categories:

  • The Crystal Star Award acknowledging the outstanding role a woman has played over the years in enhancing the status of all women business owners through her creative vision, determination, success, and leadership in her business and community.
  • The Rising Star Award honoring a woman entrepreneur, who has owned her business for less than five years, and is already showing the persistence, tenacity and leadership to make a difference in her business and community.
  • The Shining Star Award, new for 2014, recognizing a current AWOB member and business woman who contributes to the mission and vision of the Alliance as well as shining her own entrepreneurial light.

“With the nomination of over sixty women, the job of the judges is likely to be a formidable one,” said Bev Cox, who is an AWOB Secretary and the event’s chair.  “There are so many outstanding women in this region that our judges will have some hard decisions to make.”
Cox urges people who are planning on attending the Awards Banquet in May to make plans early, and gather a table full of friends to join them.  Tickets will go on sale by March 12, 2014 at the organization’s website,

Alliance of Women Owned Businesses is a membership driven non-profit organization formed for the purpose of supporting women-owned businesses in the West Sound and South Sound regions. We serve Mason, Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston Counties. Membership is open to any woman who owns her own business, is a partner in a business, is an independent contractor (1099), or is thinking of starting a business.  Membership is also open to business students, retired business owners, non-profits or trade associations that support women who own their own businesses, and any non-business owner who wishes to lend support to the organization and its mission. To learn more about AWOB, got to

The Mission of the Alliance of Women Owned Businesses (AWOB):
Our mission is to  empower women entrepreneurs to achieve higher levels of  business success. We provide our members with opportunities to hear excellent speakers, discuss timely subjects, meet other business owners while gaining insight and inspiration to grow their business.