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Women's Business Development Center to Present 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference September 14 in Chicago

Chicago, IL, September 01, 2011 --( Want to know how to build a business into one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S.?

Several nationally-renowned women entrepreneurs will share their path to business success at the 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference presented by the Women’s Business Development Center on Wednesday, September 14, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place-West, 2301 S. Indiana Ave., in Chicago.

The lively, candid discussion will take place at the event’s 25th Anniversary Women’s Forum Breakfast at 8 a.m. Moderated by Chicago Sun-Times syndicated financial columnist, finance expert and best-selling author Terry Savage, the panel will share their personal business success stories, as well as the greatest challenges they have faced, and offer advice for overcoming those challenges. This year’s panel includes:

Leylani Cardoso, Founder and President of Bolzano Handbags, and Vice President of Duty Free World International
Along with her mother and business partner Mayra Del Valle, a Cuban native, Cardoso founded Duty Free World International, a leader in in-flight travel retail with 30 locations around the world, and wasted no time turning her business into a multimillion dollar company before hitting the five-year mark. After more than a decade working with every major retail brand in the international retail business, Cardoso saw a void in the handbag industry. And, in 2002, she launched her own, international luxury handbag and accessories line, Bolzano Handbags, drawing on her international business acumen, practical needs and her talent for design.

Maxine Clark, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop®, Inc.,
Founded in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop® is a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience for children and families. Today, there are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Mexico and the Middle East. The company extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award- winning virtual world at®.

Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson, Radio One, Inc.
Radio One, Inc. is the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast-company in the nation, the first African-American company in radio history to dominate several major markets simultaneously, and the first woman-owned radio station to rank #1 in any major market. Now a public company, Hughes is also the first and only African-American woman to chair a publicly-held corporation. Radio One is the parent corporation of TV One, a partnership with Comcast; Syndication One, the media home of Rev. Al Sharpton, Yolanda Adams, and Russ Parr, to name a few; Reach Media, the home of the Tom Joyner Morning Show; Music One, the home of Harpist Jeff Majors; Interactive One, the home of Black Planet, NewsOne and Hello Beautiful; and, Distribution One, where CD’s and DVD’s are marketed.

Lynn Tilton, Founder and CEO, Patriarch Partners, LLC
Patriarch Partners, LLC, is a private equity firm and holding company managing 75 companies with annual revenues of more than $8 billion. A passionate proponent of saving American manufacturing jobs by saving companies, Tilton has bought more than 150 companies since 2000, many of which were on the brink of closure or liquidation. In so doing so, she has saved over 250,000 jobs. Tilton’s portfolio includes such brands as Dura Automotive, American LaFrance, MD Helicopters, Rand McNally, and Stila Cosmetics. Under her leadership, Patriarch has become the largest woman-owned business in America with more than 120,000 employees.

In addition to the Women’s Forum Breakfast, Conference attendees will benefit from advice and networking in several other ways:

· Women’s Business & Buyers Mart offering face time with more than 200 corporate and government representatives who are committed to purchasing products and services from women-owned businesses.
· Contract Connections pre-arranged, one-on-one meetings between certified Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) and corporate and government purchasing decision-makers.
· 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, honoring successful female entrepreneurs, as well as supporters of women’s economic development; NBC5 Chicago news anchor Allison Rosati will serve as emcee.
· Workshops and roundtable discussions with practical advice from business experts addressing the current issues facing women business owners today.
· The WBDC’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, to be held the early evening of September 14, immediately following the day’s activities.

For more information or to register online, visit or call (312) 853-3477, ext. 240.

Contact Information
Women's Business Development Center
Chris Ruys

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