|Women in Business honorees|
|Thursday, 22 December 2016|
Seven outstanding women were recognized Dec. 6 at the Fifth Annual Women in Business Awards Luncheon.
The annual Women in Business awards luncheon, presented by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, honors individuals in the Conway area who have excelled in leadership and community service and who have inspired others on both a personal and professional level.
“Women-owned businesses are a significant portion of our membership and we are proud to recognize such a dynamic group,” said Brad Lacy, president and CEO of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. “From executives to business owners and philanthropists, this year’s honorees represent some of the finest leaders in our community. We are grateful for their service and leadership.”
Rhea Lana Riner, owner of Rhea Lana’s Franchise Systems Inc., is the recipient of this year’s Diamond Achievement Award.
Jessica Crum – Silverlake Design Studio; Heather Drilling – Green Bay Packaging, Arkansas Kraft Division; DeEnna Runyon – Regions Bank; Debbie Goodwin – Arkansas Roofing/Equinox Outdoor Concepts; Marla Hambuchen – Conway Regional Health Foundatio; Donna Robertson, MS, LPE – Birch Tree Communities Inc.
Terilyn Juarez Monroe, chief people and culture officer and senior vice president of human resources at Acxiom, was the keynote speaker.
Presenting sponsors for Women in Business are Conway OBGYN and the University of Central Arkansas Foundation. The Award Sponsor is RE/MAX Elite. 501 LIFE is the media sponsor.
Rhea Lana Riner, Rhea Lana’s Franchise Systems
Almost 20 years ago, Rhea Lana’s Consignment began in a living room when a young mother saw a need for a better shopping and selling experience. That one idea has led to 80 franchises in 24 states.
Rhea Lana has helped redesign the industry of children’s consignment events. She continues to pave the way, raising the standards of excellence and providing leadership across the country as the industry has grown.
Rhea Lana and her business have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg Business, numerous national TV and radio broadcasts and in the International Franchise Association publication.
She has received numerous awards, including the Top 200 Fastest Growing Franchises in 2016, Top Retailer, Top 50 Franchise Business, the Silver Stevie Business Award for Maverick of the Year, the Silver Stevie Award for Woman of the Year and the Bronze Stevie Award for Company of the Year.
She and her husband, Dave, have three children: Rebekah, Ben and Leah.
Her advice to other women in business: “Stay true to yourself and be who God created you to be. Commit to excellence and reach beyond your comfort zone to keep discovering your strengths. Love others and always do the right thing. Life is a journey and you never know where this journey will take you, so embrace each day with joy and a grateful heart.”
Jessica Crum, Silverlake Design Studio
Jessica Crum is the owner and design director at Silverlake Design Studio. She founded Silverlake Design Studio over a year ago after working in the fashion industry. The company offered graphic and apparel design initially but quickly expanded to provide branding, web design and all-around marketing services. In addition to many local companies, Silverlake Design’s client base spans from Los Angeles to Miami.
“This is such an honor!” Jessica said about receiving the Woman in Business Award. “I’ve loved being a part of the Conway community and I feel so thankful for the support and friendship of fellow business leaders.”
Jessica and her husband, Justin, have two children: Mila and Isley.
Her advice to other women in business: “You are super woman! Allow yourself to believe the positive feedback and see negative feedback for what it is, an opportunity for improvement.”
Heather Drilling, Green Bay Packaging/Arkansas Kraft Division
As human resources manager, Heather Drilling’s work has ranged from successfully negotiating five labor agreements to acquiring commemorative items for the company’s 50th year.
Heather strives to ensure that her female co-workers in the male-dominated industry of papermaking feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. She adheres to an open-door policy with all employees and communicates regularly with union leadership to keep relationships strong.
Heather and her husband, David celebrated their 20th anniversary this year. They have two sons, Ben and Jack. “We also have Lamar Walker, who David and I consider our ‘third’ son.”
Her advice to other women in business: “Our life is entirely what we make of it. We can’t control other’s attitudes or actions, but we can control how we act. Be kind to others and yourself. As women, we tend to be our own worst critic. So stop. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Debbie Goodwin, Arkansas Roofing Kompany/Equinox Outdoor Concepts
Debbie Goodwin and her husband, Tim, started Arkansas Roofing Kompany out of their home seven years ago. They now own and operate three businesses in Conway.
Debbie is no stranger to working in a male-dominated industry. In addition to her local businesses, she has started a construction company and a horticultural company that supports low-income women.
Currently, Debbie is working on plant cultivation and is developing programs to help South African women provide for their families.
The couple has two children, David and Danielle.
“I’m both humbled and honored,” she said of receiving the award. “All the glory goes to Jesus. As a woman and Christian, I just want to do my best at helping humanity utilizing whatever abilities I have.
“I’m looking forward to hearing, ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant.’”
DeEnna Runyon, Regions Bank
As a Christian, mother and wife, DeEnna Runyon takes Regions Bank’s five core values to heart: 1) put people first; 2) do what is right; 3) reach higher; 4) focus on your customer (and family); 5) and most of all, enjoy life.
Armed with the realization that people bank with people, DeEnna believes that building relationships with customers and team members is the secret to success. She tries to lead by example and coaches her team to do their best.
DeEnna is married to JR Runyon and has two children: Pierce Redmond Norwine and Camden Reed Norwine.
DeEnna said as a child, she always was interested in the banking field. “I always wanted to be a banker, seriously. My dad introduced me to the president of Parker Square Savings and Loan in 1979, and I never left the banking field.”
Marla Hambuchen, Conway Regional Foundation
As events coordinator for Conway Regional Health Foundation, Marla Hambuchen has helped in the tremendous growth of the Conway Regional Golf Tournament, Dazzle Daze, the Tribute Tree and other programs of the Foundation.
Marla strives to lead by example and believes that if motives are pure, good decisions will rise to the top. The success of events such as Dazzle Daze provides a good example of teamwork and the importance of relationships that she has been able to cultivate over the years.
Her advice to women in business is balance, perspective and excellence. “Women are uniquely wired to want it all. Be kind to yourself,” she said. “Broaden your perspective – there is much to be learned from walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Intentionally strive for excellence every day and surround yourself with others who do the same.”
Marla and her husband, David, have four children: Mary Margaret, Elizabeth, Caroline and Harrison. She is a daughter of Judson and Carolyn Hout and the late Richard Hardwick.
Donna Roberson, Birch Tree Communities
Donna Robertson has spent the last 30 years working in the mental health field.
As a licensed psychological examiner, she has provided counseling services to thousands of individuals with the belief that she can help those living with mental illness become more independent, active members of their community.
Donna serves as co-director and clinical director of the Conway branch of Birch Tree Communities and is responsible for ensuring the staff provides evidence-based best practices to help members.
“It is a humbling experience, and I feel much honored to receive this award,” she said. “I know there are many, many women with the same desires to be of service to others, and who have probably done much more than I have done in advancing their organizations and causes. So I think of myself as representing all of them.”
Donna has two children, Kathryn and Whit Knisley, and a grandson, Whit Jr.