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Finalists Named For Crystal Star Awards


For Immediate release


Nine Women to Vie for 3 AWOB Business Recognition Awards 

Nine women who are business owners in the south Puget Sound region were surprised Wednesday  to receive a red rose and the personal notification that they had been selected as finalists for the bi-annual Crystal Star Awards sponsored by the Alliance of Women Owned Businesses (AWOB). The Crystal Star Awards Program honors women business owners who inspire, open doors and make a difference today and tomorrow.

Jill Neumeister, President of AWOB, the sponsoring organization, shared her enthusiasm for the people who were selected from over 60 nominees. “The caliber of women finalists in this year’s Crystal Star Awards showcases the incredible amount of professionalism, passion and dedication that women business owners in our local communities have,” said Neumeister. “It is wonderful to be able to recognize the efforts behind the accomplishments of the South Sound area standout business owners.”
The awards include:

  • 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. Finalists are:  Lianna Collinge, Association Management Inc., Gig Harbor; Laura Day – Moran, Harbor Audiology & Hearing Services, Inc. Gig Harbor and Mary Lynn Pannen, Sound Options Inc., Tacoma.
  • 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. Finalists are: Sarah Friesen, Gig Harbor Home Management, Gig Harbor; Kelle Kitchel-Cooper, The Rockfish Group, Poulsbo and Lynnae Schneller, Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles, Tacoma.
  • The Shining Star Award, a new category this year, recognizes a current AWOB Alliance member and business woman who contributes to the mission and vision of AWOB as well as shining her own entrepreneurial light.  Finalists are:  Margit Glenn, Visionarch LLC, Port Orchard; Dyann Lyon, Whole Health By Design, Tacoma and Janet Vitcovich, A Blessing to Serve, Gig Harbor.

The Award winners will be selected by a panel of three judges, including Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor; Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent; and Jeff Rounce, publisher of the South Sound Business Examiner in mid-March.

At the Gala Awards Dinner & Ceremony on May 15 at Fircrest Golf Club, AWOB leaders will announce the three winners.  Attendees are urged to make plans early, and gather a table full of friends to join them.  Tickets for the gala will go on sale by March 12, 2014 at the organization’s website,

For more information, contact Jill Neumeister, 253-405-6330.



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.

Photo: Margit Glenn, Visionarch LLC, Port Orchard receives her finalist certificate.