1. THE COMMONWEALTH INSTITUTE SOUTH FLORIDA’S
2016 WOMEN-LED BUSINESS SURVEY RESULTS
WHAT WE’RE SEEING
Women’s entrepreneurship continues to
be an engine of growth inAmerica and in
Florida. New funding sources, powerful
networks and persistence are among the
forces that are creating success for women
leaders in a wide range of industries.
2. You deserve better. Kaufman Rossin is proud to
partner with successful women business leaders
to help improve performance and minimize risk.
Kaufman Rossin is proud to be a part of
The Commonwealth Institute of South
The Commonwealth Institute South Florida partnered
with Kaufman Rossin to administer and analyze its 2016
Women-Led Businesses Survey. This survey provides
insight into the community of women-led businesses
in Florida, identifying trends and common concerns.
It also serves as the source forTCI's annual awards lists:
Top 50Women-Led For-Profit Organizations andTop 10
Women-Led Not-for-Profit Organizations.
Surveys were distributed to 10,000 email addresses,
sourced from the database of Hoovers, a D&B Company.
The recipients were identified as the CEO, president
or owner of a woman-owned business with 2 or more
employees. Additional distribution went to the
TCI database of leading women.
349 responses were received, with 263 completing
all questions. Only companies who provided specific
revenue information were included in the rankings.
Self-reported data was verified through on-line research
and personal contacts.
4. Executive Summary
Women-owned businesses are strong and growing,
and Florida is one of the top five places it’s happening,
according to data recently released by the National
Women’s Business Council.1
Women reached the 10 million businesses mark, and
according to Carla A. Harris, chair of the Council. “If
we continue on this trajectory,” says Harris, “we could
expect to see the number of women-owned and women-
led businesses increase by greater than 50% over the
next five years.We could also expect to see the number
of women on private and public company boards
grow substantially over this same time period and the
proliferation of funding sources outpace that of the last
five years by 30-40%.”
5. Our sample is ethical and authentic, they say.
More than 60% of respondents chose these words to describe their
management style, with “passionate” a close third at 59.3%.
Exit strategies appear to be changing.
This year’s sample is more inclined to sell their businesses, either
to friendly buyers or larger competitors. 34% selected one of those
when asked about exit strategy, a 45% increase over last year.
Nontraditional funding is on the rise.
Five businesses in our study reported crowdfunding as their original
funding source to start their business, more than double last year.
While it’s a small sample, this funding source is definitely growing
among newer businesses in our survey and nationwide. In fact, 47%
of successful Indiegogo campaigns are run by women.2
Women tend to own smaller business,
often with no employees.
According to the Council report, 89.4% of women-owned
businesses nationwide were sole proprietorships. In our study we
found that nearly 35% of respondents (the largest group) had 1-5
employees; next year we will break that down further, and target a
bigger sample of solo performers.
The most cited obstacle remains the same.
“Women have mentors who give advice; men have sponsors who
offer opportunities” was cited by 43% this year, even higher than
last year. We may want to review how we offer help to younger
women, and create our own opportunity-generating culture.
6. Women who lead Florida’s businesses
Revenue continued to grow in 2015.
More than half of respondents reported their businesses grew,
continuing a three year trend. This year, 55% reported moderate or
OnJanuary 28, 2016,TheCommonwealth InstituteSouth Florida hosted a cocktail hour
and asked attendees about NewYear’s Resolutions for their companies.Some of their
responses are contained below.
MY #1 GOAL
IN 2016 IS:
• Get women out to vote
• Develop and launch a
• Prove that age is
not a factor in success
• Increase my revenue by 25%
• Be a leader in my industry
• Listen to my employees
• Develop a cohesive team with
our newly-acquired offices
7. Respondents expect that trend to continue into 2016.
plan to hire
than last year.
81% of these leaders are projecting moderate or substantial
growth.That optimism has grown steadily since 2011, when the
projections of moderate or significant growth totaled 67%.
increases in 2015
expect to increase
staff in 2016.
ͮͬ.ͬ% ͭ6.ͬ% ͮ6.͵%ͮ6.ͱ%ͮͰ.ͬ%
ͮͬͭͯ ͮͬͭͰͮͬͭͮ ͮͬͭͱ ͮͬͭ6
Technology Legal Other
Ͱ% Ͱ% ͯ%
These businesses aren’t small start-ups
in “women’s industries.”
These women-led businesses operate
in a wide range of industries.
WHAT BUSINESS AREYOU IN?
If more than one applies, select your most important industry focus.
, “theindustrieswith thehighest
concentrationof women-ownedfirmsarehealth careandsocial
assistance.” Butinour sample, professionalservicesdominates,
representing20% of respondents;other womenonourTop50listlead
10. How did these women become leaders?
For several years we’ve asked women how they became leaders in their
organizations. “I started the company” continues to be the number 1
choice, but it has decreased slightly in the past year, from 72% to 67%.
I bought the
I was hired
for this role
I worked my
way up from
I started the
11. Wewantedtoknow why thesewomenstarted
Most financed their companies with savings –
but non-traditional funding sources may be growing.
IFYOU STARTEDYOUR OWN COMPANY,WHY?
Pure entrepreneurship and passion topped the charts, but the need
for flexiblity and balance ranked as well.
More than 60% of businesses are financed with personal savings4
57% of our sample cited that funding source. The percentage
using angel investors and crowdfunding increased from last year,
though numbers are still small. We expect to see growth in these
funding strategies in the coming years.
12. What are the qualities of women’s
WHICH 3 QUALITIES DOYOUTHINK MOST SET WOMEN APART
AS STRONG LEADERS?
Communication, collaboration and goal-orientation
are qualities to their leadership.
Those are the top
chose when asked
to describe their
Qualities like consensus-
building and empathy, typically
viewed as women’s strengths,
did not rank very high.
Family responsibilities get in the way
When women display leadership
characteristics we are seen as unfeminine
I don’t think there are diﬀerent
obstacles for women
But obstacles remain for women in the
workplace, even in leadership roles.
The most cited obstacle continues to be “Women have mentors who give
advice; men have sponsors who offer opportunities.”Women may want to
review our own mentoring styles.
Other obstacles, like the difficulty
obtaining financing or being ignored for
high profile assignment will require more
creativity in approach.
WHAT OBSTACLES MAKE IT DIFFICULT
FOR WOMEN LEADERS IN FLORIDA?
15. Women who lead businesses should be especially
sensitive to the needs of work/life balance needs
of their employees. It’s time to change the culture,
and women can lead the way.
We still do not promote ourselves and our
accomplishments. We have become under-spoken
about the value of our business and the value of
our ability to grow the business both financially
and meet market demands.
Finding the right forum to express their thoughts,
frustrations, fears and to share successes.
RESPONDENTS SHARED THEIR
PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON OBSTACLES. ONE THING
I’D LIKE TO
IN 2016 IS:
• Become more
active in the
• Create a
• Increase the
16. What creates success for these
women business leaders?
Personal networks still take top honors when women leaders are
asked what has contributed to their success. But formal business
education rose slightly this year, while on-the-job training dropped.
18. Never giveup,notall paths arelinear andbepatient!
Workhardandyouwill bevalued,but set boundaries between work
andhome sothatyouhavequalitytimewithyour familyandfriends.
Gettrainedandexperienceina major organization.Focus ongetting roles
asclosetotherevenuegenerating activities ofthefirm.
Your reputationis your greatest asset.
Success is failure turned inside out.So stick
to the fight when you’re hardest hit. It’s when
things seem worse that you mustn’t quit.
Createopportunities for yourself.Don’t expect others toberesponsiblefor
fulfillingyour ambition.Set goals anddon’t let anything standinyour way.
What advice do our women leaders
give to ambitious young women?
ONE WORD THAT
COMES TO MIND
WHEN I THINK OF
Never beafraid toput forthyourbest
set your plan in motion.
Beflexible,lookfor new opportunities,
Always statewhat youwouldlikeor
what youexpect.Donot assumethat
others know what your goalsare.
Start building your networkveryearly.
Set clear goals andstayobjective.
Brushoffinsults and slightsandjust
keep moving forward.
Nomatter your rolein theorganization
– Beanasset vs.a liability.
Being challengedinlifeis inevitable–
being defeatedis optional.
20. Top 50Women-Led For-Profit
Organizations in Florida
1 Lisa Lutoff- Perlo CEO CelebrityCruises Hospitality 33131 250
2 Kirsten Dolan President &COO One Parking ProfessionalServices 33401 250
3 Deborah Beetson BusinessUnit Leader DPRConstruction Construction 33409 51-250
4 AliciaCervera Lamadrid CEO Cervera Real Estate Real Estate 33130 250
5 Robin Ranzal President Edgewater Ranzal Technology 33431 51-250
6 LindaWatson President Rainmaker Inc. Manufacturing/Distribution 33334 1-5
7 Ellen Latham Founder Orangetheory Fitness Fitness 33330 51-250
8 Olga Ramundo President ExpressTravel ProfessionalServices 33134 26-50
9 LeilaJammal Florida Division Manager Terracon ProfessionalServices 32789 250
10 Deborah Herman CEO Fabric Innovations Hospitality 33134 26-50
11 Catherine Muth CEO O. R.ColanAssociates, LLC ProfessionalServices 33019 51-250
12 LisaSomerville President &COO FortressSolutions, LLC - Technology 34748 51-250
13 Christine Franklin President Cherokee Enterprises, Inc. Construction 33016 51-250
14 Sue Romanos President &CEO CAREERXCHANGE ProfessionalServices 33176 250
15 Mayte Fernandez Managing Partner MomentumConsulting Technology 33016 51-250
16 BarbaraStankowski President &CEO AMTIS ProfessionalServices 32817 51-250
17 Mary Freeman President AwarenessTechnology, Inc. Manufacturing/Distribution 34990 51-250
18 RachelSapoznik President &CEO Sapoznik Insurance Insurance 33162 51-250
19 Josephine Kling President Landry & Kling Events atSea ProfessionalServices 33146 11-25
20 Ginger Martin President &CEO American National Bank Banking 33062 26-50
21 TeresaCanlas President Bb trading worldwide inc Manufacturing/Distribution 33122 11-25
22 Miranda Monahan President M-PowerTech Technology 34208 26-50
23 Sandy King President SymbiontServiceCorp Construction 34224 26-50
24 Tina Elmowitz ExecutiveVP rbbCommunications Marketing 33134 26-50
25 KayStephenson CEO DatamaxxApplied Technology 32311 51-250
Name Title Organization Industry
21. 26 SusanStokes President Stokes Mechanical Construction 33461 26-50
27 Celeste Notardonato President The Integration Factory, Inc Construction 32955 11-25
28 LeighAnn Hoey President Scientific Instruments, Inc. Manufacturing/Distribution 33407 26-50
29 JenniferCramer CEO DVC Industries, Inc. Manufacturing/Distribution 33069 26-50
30 RitaGolberg President BritishSwimSchool Education 33306 51-250
31 MaryCarmichael President DMRConsulting Government 32407 26-50
32 Angela Heyne President H.I.S. Painting, Inc. Construction 32780 26-50
33 Susana Robledo CEO CUBECARE Manufacturing/Distribution 33015 26-50
34 Sally Hayes President Federal Eastern Manufacturing/Distribution 33715 6-10
35 JoyceT.Velitsckowski President JTV Incorporated Construction 33709 11-25
36 Suzette Dimascio CEO CSISpecialtyGroup Healthcare 32771 11-25
37 Betsy McGee President Aluminum Distributing Manufacturing/Distribution 33315 11-25
38 DawnTiura President SIG IndustryAssociation 32034 26-50
39 Eileen Rosenweig President SirSpeedySarasota Manufacturing/Distribution 34231 11-25
40 JenniferStafford President OMNICommunications ProfessionalServices 33634 26-50
41 Ania Rodriguez CEO Key Lime Interactive ProfessionalServices 33178 11-25
42 LindaGonzalez President Viva Partnership ProfessionalServices 33141 11-25
43 DeborahSmith Vice President ACEStaffingUnlimited, Inc. Staffing 32757 250
44 Holly MacDonald-Korth Managing Director JW Korth &Company Investments-Broker-dealers 33133 11-25
45 JillSteinberg President InterlinkGroup Construction 33122 11-25
46 Lourdes Martin Rosa President Government BusinessSolutions ProfessionalServices 33173 11-25
47 Delia Passi CEO WomenCertified Inc. Marketing 33021 11-25
48 Kizzy Dominguez President KPC Education 33139 6-10
49 Deborah Deleo President & TreeFrog DataSolutions, Inc Healthcare 32931 26-50
50 Debbie Margolis Horwitz ChairWoman & Kreative Kontent Entertainment/Arts 33334 1-5
Learn more about these top leaders at
22. Top 10Women-Led Not-For-Profit
Organizations in Florida
1 Sister Linda Bevilacqua President BarryUniversity Education 33161 250+
2 Lucy Morillo President &CEO MiamiChildren’s Non-Profit 33155 51-250
3 Kristi Mollis President &CEO EvergladesUniversity Education 33431 250+
4 GillianThomas President &CEO Patricia and Phillip Frost Non-Profit 33129 51-250
5 BarbaraWeinstein President &CEO FamilyCentral, Inc Non-Profit 33068 51-250
6 KimCavendish President Museum of Discovery Non-Profit 33312 51-250
7 Germaine Baugh President andCEO Urban League Non-Profit 33311 51-250
8 DeborahSpiegelman CEO MiamiChildren’s Museum Non-Profit 33132 51-250
9 Tina Philips CEO Palm Beach HabilitationCenter Non-Profit 33461 51-250
10 Catherine Penrod CEO Switchboard of Miami Non-Profit 33132 51-250
Name Title Organization Industry
Learn more about these top leaders at
24. Featured Leaders
Alicia Cervera Sr., Founder, Cervera Real Estate
Over four decades ago, she was crowned the Queen of Brickell; today, with thriving new
neighborhoods to her credit Alicia Cervera, Sr. has rightfully earned her title as the Grand
Dame of real estate. Ms. Cervera is the founder of the preeminent Cervera Real Estate,
Miami’s leading real estate firm.
Over the course of 47 years, Ms. Cervera is responsible for breathing life into new
communities and revitalizing existing ones such as the once dormant Brickell area, the
cosmopolitan South of Fifth neighborhood in Miami Beach, the vibrant Downtown Miami and the new urban East
Edgewater. She has sold hundreds of thousands of luxury high rise condominium units, served as an invaluable
consultant to the most prolific developers, and amassed dozens of personal and professional accolades for her
work in the real estate industry.
In 1980 Ms. Cervera was joined by her daughters,Veronica Cervera Goeseke and Alicia Cervera Lamadrid; together,
they grew Cervera Real Estate into the full-service organization it is today.
Ellen Latham, M.S., Founder, Orangetheory Fitness
Ellenisahighlytrainedphysiologistwitha lifelongpassionfor health andfitness. Ellenisa
newplateau-bustingworkout,andtheownerof Ellen’sUltimateWorkoutstudio inFlorida.
InspiredbyherfatherArthurCalandrelli,a verypopular PhysicalEducationteacher andcoach
inNiagaraFalls,NY,Ellenhas beenmotivatingandtrainingclientsfor over 35 years.Sheholds
Before perfecting her signature workout, Ellen worked at the prestigious Bonaventure Spa when it was the main
fitness retreat for the stars, as well as managedWilliams Island Spa andThe Eden Roc Spa on South Beach. She
served as aTV fitness expert for six years, authored fitness columns forThe Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-
Sentinel and earned the title of BusinessWoman of theYear in South Florida.
Dr.GermaineSmith-Baughis PresidentandChief ExecutiveOfficer of theUrbanLeague
ofBrowardCounty.Founded in1975,theUrbanLeagueof BrowardCountyisanaffiliate
oftheNationalUrbanLeague,a historiccivilrightsorganizationdedicatedto economic
empowermentinordertoelevatethestandard of livinginhistoricallyunderservedurban
communities.Servingas PresidentandCEOsince2006, Dr.Smith-Baugh wasappointedas
theonlywomanandtheyoungestadministrator to leadanUrbanLeagueaffiliateinFlorida.
includingthe2010USCensusCompleteCountSubCommittee;Greater FortLauderdaleChamber ofCommerce;Holy
CrossHospital;GreaterFortLauderdaleAlliance.Dr.Smith-Baugh also servesasanactivemember of theDeltaSigma
ThetaSorority,TheCommonwealthInstituteof Florida andtheInternationalWomen’sForumandLeadershipFlorida’s
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises
In 2001,TravelAgent magazine named Lisa one of the “Most PowerfulWomen inTravel.” Lisa studied accounting at
BentleyCollege inWaltham, Mass. and currently resides with her husband,Andre, in Plantation, Fla.
26. Janet Kyle Altman, Marketing Principal, Kaufman Rossin
Janet Kyle Altman is Marketing Principal for Kaufman Rossin. She joined the firm in 2000
and leads all aspects of the firms marketing program.Teaching and learning are among
Altman’s passions. She leads seminars in marketing, leadership and management, and
is certified as a yoga instructor. Prior to joining Kaufman Rossin, Altman had nearly two
decades of Fortune 100 marketing experience, including experience in employee
benefits, financial services and electronic publishing. Altman serves as Chair for the
Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade. She is a frequent writer and lecturer, and an accomplished facilitator who has led
retreats and planning meetings for local and national non-profit groups. Janet Altman received her degree from
the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, Altman was named one of the community’s Influential BusinessWomen
by the South Florida Business Journal.
andstaysuccessful. Our mission is to help womenCEOs,
Entrepreneurs andSenior Executives grow their business
through peer mentoring, education, development and high-
Since its inception,TCI has worked with hundreds of women-led
companies.TCI currently has more than 300 members whose
companies have annual revenues ranging from $100,000 to
more than $200 million.TCI has chapters in South Florida and
Boston.The South Florida region serves Dade, Broward and
Palm Beach Counties.
Our two signature events are our Leadership Luncheon and
ourTop 50Women.These annual luncheon events draw 300+
women CEOs and Senior Executives. OurTop 50Women
event is where we release the ranked list of top 50 women-led
businesses and top 10 non-for profits in Florida and recognize
these outstanding women.
We AreThe Mighty
Barbara Liberatore Black
Janis K. Cheezem
Gerson, Preston, Robinson,
Klein, Lips & Eisenberg
Perry Ellis International
Carton Fields, P.A.
The MelTech Group
A special thanks to ourTCI South Florida Advisory Board 2016
and all the women that have served before them!