Allyson Ames, Founder and CEO of Wonderland Lifestyle Brands and Wonderland Bakery,
named one of Ernst & Young LLP’s 2013 Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA, October 26, 2013 –Wonderland Lifestyle Brands and Wonderland Bakery announced today that Allyson Ames, Founder and CEO, was named one of Ernst & Young LLP’s 2013 Entrepreneurial Winning Women. Ames is one of 11 exceptional women entrepreneurs recognized throughout the country with this prestigious award.
Now in its fifth year, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is a national competition and executive leadership program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it.
The program has spurred dramatic growth. According to a recent independent impact assessment directed by the Babson College Center for Women's Leadership, revenues of program participants' companies have grown an average of nearly 50% each year, with a corresponding 25% average annual growth in the number of jobs.
“This is an exciting time in my business with the expansion of the brand beyond baking with Wonderland Lifestyle Brands to include merchandising, media and entertainment properties,” says Ames. “The resources, programs and mentoring within the Ernst & Young Women Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is the catalyst that will help to scale my business exponentially.”
The winners represent a wide variety of industries and headquarter locations. They were selected from a highly competitive pool of women entrepreneurs across the US by a distinguished panel of independent judges, including:
· Howard Brodsky, Chairman and CEO, CCA Global Partners
· Cynthia Cohen, CEO, Strategic Mindshare
· Laurie Cunnington, President, Ward Williston Oil Company
· Dr. Mary Jo Gorman, CEO, Advanced ICU Care and a 2011 Entrepreneurial Winning Woman
· Jeri Harman, Managing Partner, Avante Mezzanine Partners
· Rob Scott, VP and Worldwide General Manager, Hewlett Packard
· Mary Ellen Sheets, Founder, Two Men And A Truck
“Over the past five years, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program has grown into a highly competitive platform to help women entrepreneurs think bigger and scale their companies to new heights,” said Kerrie MacPherson, Partner and Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Sponsor, Ernst & Young LLP. “Allyson Ames is an exceptional business leader with extraordinary potential, and we are pleased to honor her as one of this year’s winners.”
Women entrepreneurs are among the brightest spots in the American economy, starting businesses at a tremendously fast rate. Despite a volatile market and high unemployment, nearly half of privately held companies in the country are now at least half-owned by women. The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program aims to increase the number of leading women-owned companies by providing key resources and supporting their business growth.
Launched in 2008, the program is intended to help women entrepreneurs break through the barriers that keep thriving second-stage businesses from scaling to their full potential. Once selected, the entrepreneurs participate in an ongoing, customized program designed by Ernst & Young to catalyze their companies’ growth by building and fostering critical relationships, enhancing leadership skills, expanding business know-how and providing increased visibility. They are coached on the five crucial leaps they need to scale up their business:
- Setting higher goals
- Building a public profile
- Working on the business, rather than in it
- Establishing key advisory networks
- Evaluating financing for expansion
The 11 members of the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2013 will receive complimentary participation in this year’s Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum. The Forum brings together more than 2,000 of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to share growth strategies. The Entrepreneurial Winning Women will be introduced at a special luncheon induction ceremony and will be provided with numerous opportunities to network throughout the conference with successful entrepreneurs, senior executives and investors who can act as formal or informal advisors, provide access to capital and extend their extensive business relationships to the women entrepreneurs.
About Wonderland Lifestyle Brands and Wonderland Bakery:
Wonderland Lifestyle Brands was founded in 2005 in Newport Beach, California, with the opening of Wonderland Bakery®, a unique destination specializing in delicious desserts and whimsical products that make every day a celebration. A national brand favorite of families, celebrities and the White House, Allyson Ames, Founder and CEO is expanding beyond baking to include lifestyle products, licensing merchandising, media and entertainment properties.
For more information, please visit WonderlandBakery.com, WonderlandLifestyleBrands.com and follow news on Facebook and Twitter @WonderlandBuzz.
About Ernst & Young's Strategic Growth Markets Practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multi-disciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. Ernst & Young is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at www.ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter at EYSGM.