MANSFIELD – The stars of the show Wednesday were all women.
Approximately 30 female business owners were featured Wednesday at the 4th Women’s Business Showcase in the Renaissance Theatre.
“The goal is to highlight their contributions to the community at large so they realize what a powerful force women entrepreneurs are,” said Richland Area Chamber of Commerce president Jodie Perry.
“I hope those who come see all of the different types of businesses that women are actively operating, everything from manufacturing, to photography, to art, to finance. There’s really a wide variety,” Perry said.
Linda Horning Pitt, owner and identity theft prevention specialist at Harvard Risk Management Corporation attends the event because it is a version of “good old girls’ network” she’s always wanted to see.
“I am a big believer in helping other women, supporting women, especially women in business,” she said.
Jocelyn Whitaker, part-owner of Whitaker’s Farm Market, comes for that same connection.
“We’re all trying to serve the community in our different ways and having a networking event where you can connect with each other is great,” she said.
She brought along some of the store’s natural supplements to display and offer as samples.
Aimee Monroe, a yoga instructor for Evolve Barre Yoga Pilates, enjoys working in a women-run business.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” Monroe said. Working for a woman, I can see her passion and inspiration. It’s amazing to watch.”
Co-owners Carrie Aquino & Alison Turnbaugh have locations in Mansfield and Bellville.
“Just getting ourselves out there is super important,” Aquino said about attending the showcase.
The showcase started four years ago with an idea from Michalina Lacy, director of the Small Business Development Centers. She wanted to bring women together.
The event is put together by a collaboration of local organizations, including the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers of Ohio, the Small Business Development Center at Ashland University, Prospering Life events, Mind Body Align, North Central State College and the Mansfield branch of The Ohio State University.
Richland County commissioner Marilyn John called it one of her favorite events.
“Because it’s about celebrating the contributions women make to Richland County,” she said.