According to the American Express 2017 Women Owned Businesses Report, over the past 20 years (1997–2017), the number of women-owned businesses has grown 114% compared to the overall national growth rate of 44% for all businesses. Raleigh, NC is one of the top ten cities showing the highest employment vitality — employment growth rate from 2002 to 2017 and average numbers of employees.

“It is so important that we recognize the women trailblazers in our state’s entrepreneurial community who have made this possible. Our goal is to empower women to open and grow businesses, as well as advocate for women as significant contributors to the business community in our state.”Wendy Coulter, 2018-2019 President NAWBO-GREATER Raleigh

Launched in 2018, the North Carolina Women Business Owners Hall of Fame honors North Carolina’s most successful female entrepreneurs and advocates who have made significant and enduring contributions to impact women’s entrepreneurial development in North Carolina.

Nominations for the 2nd annual event are open through March 15, 2019. This initiative is in coordination with NAWBO-Charlotte, the Small Business Administration and many other North Carolina organizations.


Brenda Harris - Chair

Wendy Coulter - Founder


Wendy Coulter - Chair/Founder
Sarah Glova
Lorelai Kraft
Pam Williams


Brenda Harris
President Elect- NAWBO Charlotte

Olalah Njenga
President Elect – NAWBO Greater Raleigh

Lorelei Kraft
2018 Selection Committee Chair
Member, NAWBO Greater Raleigh

Sarah Forney
Member, NAWBO Greater Raleigh

Johnny Bass
Member of NFIB/NC Leadership Council
& NFIB USA/DC Leadership Trust

Natalie Williams
Executive Director |The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte

Rhonda Stokes
Programs Manager
Greater Women’s Business Council

NAWBO-Charlotte 2018-2019 BOARD 
Marise Kumar - President
Brenda Harris - President-Elect
Stacey Randall - Past President
Carol Bondy - Secretary
Michelle Smith - Treasurer
Pam Secrest - Education
Suzy Johnson - Education
Lauren Cantor - Member Services
Elaine Piraneo - Chapter Expansion 
Laurie Johnson - Chapter Expansion 
Carolina Aponte - Public Policy
Donna North - Special Events
Mindy Hinson - PR-Marketing
Vilma Betancourt-O’Day - Community Relations/ Corporate Partnerships
Melinda McVadon - Special Events
Lisa Jordan - Administrator

NAWBO-Greater Raleigh 2018-2019 BOARD 
Wendy Coulter - President
Olalah Njenga - President-Elect
Sarah Glova - Past President
Sherry Elliott - Secretary
Jess McLamb - Treasurer
Emily Brennan - Membership Chair
Elyssa Kivus - Corporate Partnership Chair
Myra Ray - Mentoring Chair
Judy Fourie - Programs Chair
Emily Parks - Advocacy Chair
Karen Albright - At Large
Caroline Fisk - Administrator