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Women’s Small Business Accelerator Celebrates Its One-Year Anniversary with Gala Event Recognizing First Graduates of Its Inspired Education Track

Special Guest Peter Shankman, Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker, and Founder of HARO (Help a Reporter Out), Will Deliver Keynote.

Columbus, OH, October 02, 2013 --( The Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA) announced today that it will celebrate its one-year anniversary at a gala event recognizing the first graduates of its Inspired Education Track. Peter Shankman, well-known marketing pundit on national news channels such as Fox and CNN, will appear as the keynote speaker at “Starting the Conversation: An Evening with Peter Shankman.” The celebration will take place on Weds., Oct. 9 at The Boat House at Confluence Park, 679 West Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Register now at

The evening includes a V.I.P. cocktail reception, networking, dinner and a recognition ceremony for the first graduates of The Inspired Education Track, WSBA’s intensive entry-level program that gives aspiring entrepreneurs a solid foundation to create a successful enterprise. It consists of 66 hours of hands-on entrepreneurial development over a six-month period.

Graduates Sadaya Hope Lewis, founder of Modern Southern Table, Tiffany D. Pannell, founder of Heavenly Brew Coffee House and Ambur Leeann Whitted-Pond, founder of Capital Valley Solutions, will be recognized at the event.

“We’re very proud of these women and can’t wait to celebrate their achievements,” said Sharon DeLay, Executive Director of the Women’s Small Business Accelerator. “This will be an evening of celebration and a rare opportunity to see Peter Shankman live in Columbus. His work is a natural complement to what our graduates and the members of our accelerator are trying to accomplish for their respective businesses every day.”

Recognized worldwide for his radically new ways of thinking about social media, PR, marketing, advertising, and customer service, Shankman has just published his third book, Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management Is Over — and Collaboration Is In. Shankman may be best known as the founder of Help A Reporter Out or HARO, the number one site for connecting thousands of journalists on deadline to experts and sources for their stories around the globe.

Individual tickets are $90 each and may be purchased at Each attendee will receive a copy of Shankman’s new book. Companies interested in sponsoring tables for the event should contact Sharon DeLay,

About Peter Shankman
Peter is currently a Principal at Shankman|Honig, a consultancy designed to help corporations, businesses, and retail operations create stellar customer service that resonates in our new “conversation economy,” driving revenue, repeat business, and new customers. Peter is also the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Social Media, Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, with clients worldwide. His blog, which he launched in 1995 at, both comments on and generates news and conversation.

Peter’s PR and social media clients have included American Express, Sprint, The U.S. Department of Defense, Royal Bank of Canada, Snapple Beverage Group, Saudi Aramco, Foley Hoag, LLP, NASA, Haworth, Walt Disney World, Abercrombie and Kent, The Ad Council, Discovery Networks, New Frontier Media, Napster, Juno, Dream Catcher Destinations Club, Harrah’s Hotels, and many, many others.

Peter is the author of three books: Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Out, and Collaboration is In (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013); Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them (Wiley and Sons 2006); and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social-Enabled World (Que/Pearson, 2010). He’s a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences and tradeshows worldwide, including South By Southwest, Affiliate Summit, BlogWorld, TBEX, The Public Relations Society of America, The International Association of Business Communicators, CTIA, CTAM, CES, PMA, OMMA, Mobile Marketing Asia, and the Direct Marketing Association.

A marketing pundit for several national and international news channels, including Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, Peter is frequently quoted in major media and trade publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The Associated Press, Reuters and USA Today.

About the Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA)
The Women’s Small Business Accelerator ( is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses succeed. The accelerator provides structured educational programs, mentoring, peer-to-peer facilitated roundtables and training to women entrepreneurs. In addition, the WSBA offers co-working offices at its headquarters at 403 West Main Street in Westerville, Ohio. It can accommodate up to up to 35 businesses in a shared environment that features three conference rooms, two kitchens and a training facility.

For more information about the Women’s Small Business Accelerator, please visit
Contact Information
Michelle Garrett
Sharon DeLay WSBA Executive Director
(p) 614-414-2449 (e)

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