press release

Texaco Press Release - HWBC Honors Women Business Owners and Their Corporate Sponsors

The following press release was issued by The Houston Women's Business Council.


HOUSTON, TEXAS, MAY 12 - Women business owners and major corporations turned out in record numbers for the FOURTH ANNUAL WOMEN'S BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY EXPO AND AWARDS BANQUET. The event was hosted by the Houston Womens Business Council (HWBC), whose mission is to increase business opportunities for women-owned businesses (WBEs) and provide qualified suppliers to buyers.

"The reason this event is so significant to WBEs in Houston" comments Mary Wilson, HWBC Executive Director," is the explosion of women-owned businesses in recent years not only in Houston, but across the nation as well. In 1999, there were 9.1 million women-owned firms nationally (38% of all US firms), employing 27.5 million persons (25% of all US employees), and generating $3.6 trillion in revenue (18% of business revenue). In Houston, those numbers totaled 136,400 women-owned firms, employing 560,100 persons, and generating $78.2 billion in revenue - making Houston the fifth largest city in the country in terms of WBEs and their associated employment, and sales figures. Houston also was the fourth largest city in the country in terms of WBE growth rate, and associated employment and sales, from 1992-1999. Nevertheless, as WBEs have a steep mountain to climb in securing their just share of private and public business, our Council still faces an enormous challenge."

"Reflecting the growing numbers of start-up WBEs, the HWBC EXPO has mushroomed from 42 exhibitors and about 400 attendees to 90 exhibitors and at least 1,000 attendees in the last four years," observes Jonetta Cherubini, Supplier Diversity Manager for Schlumberger and President of the Board of Directors for the HWBC. "The HWBC undoubtedly has become the best place for WBEs to make important connections leading to win-win buyer/supplier relationships," adds Wilson. Over the years, EXPO planners have succeeded in attracting a variety of exhibitors, ranging from corporations and WBE members themselves, to government agencies, public and non-profit resource agencies, and prime suppliers with supplier diversity initiatives. This years EXPO even attracted Mayor Brown - who read a proclamation in honor of the HWBC and its members at the events Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies.

Following are the four women business owners and three corporations who received special awards for their achievements and diligent work to advance the HWBC's mission during the past year.

THE WBE OF THE YEAR WITH ANNUAL SALES UNDER $1 MILLION HONOR - was awarded to Teri Ray, President, Adprint International, Inc. Teri was deemed to be customer-service oriented and proactive in all aspects of her business, taking ownership for understanding the customers design restrictions and its corporate culture.

THE WBE OF THE YEAR WITH ANNUAL SALES OF $1 TO $5 MILLION HONOR - was awarded to Cheryl Fee, President, WTS of Houston, Inc. who won high marks from the HWBC corporations she serves for timely delivery of goods, quality of service, customer service, business skills, and ability to keep current with industry trends. THE WBE OF THE YEAR WITH ANNUAL SALES OF OVER $5 MILLION HONOR was awarded to Sherra Aguirre, President, Aztec Facility Services, who was singled out for winning the highest possible scores on all criteria as well as a commitment to customer service which is viewed as unequaled among her peers.

THE HWBC's CORPORATE CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD - was presented to Texaco Inc. and accepted by Patricia J. Richards, Manager of Texaco's Minority and Women Business Development. Texaco supports the HWBC with representation on the Board of Directors and is involved with the Corporate Advisory, Scholarship, Events, and Certification Appeals Committees. Texaco also has provided sponsorship and financial support for all major Council events, as well as its scholarship fund, and regularly underwrites HWBC's participation in Womens Business Enterprise National Council meetings and events. Most importantly, Texaco transacted $94 million in business with WBEs in 2000, $17.8 million of which was with 42 HWBC WBEs - and also provided mentoring assistance to a WBE by establishing a web presence for the firm as well as the first-year operating expenses.

Charles Brazil, Patricia Richards, and Hilda Rivera, Texaco Inc. -
HWBC's Corporate Champion of the Year Award Winners

THE HWBC BUYER OF THE YEAR AWARD - was won by Scott Watjus, Supervisor of Contracts, Motiva Enterprises, LLC, Port Arthur Refinery. Mr. Watjus refinery spent $11.5 million, or 8.6% of its discretionary spend with Minority WBEs in 2000. Mr.Watjus also has been directly responsible for over $6 million in expenditures with one certified WBE, and has personally mentored many Minority and Women Business Enterprises.

THE HWBC ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR AWARD - was presented to Charles R. Brazil, Jr., Senior Corporate Coordinator, Minority & Women Business Development, Texaco Inc. Brazil was honored for his counseling of WBEs to provide insight into opportunities within his corporation and advice on how to position their firms for greater success. Furthermore, he made internal employee presentations reinforcing the value and benefit of WBEs as business partners, supported the programs, activities and outreach to the WBE community of the corporation; and supported business unit outreach efforts and local trade fairs. In 2000 Brazil served on the HWBC's Board of Directors and chaired the Corporate Advisory and Scholarship Committees. He also partnered with the HWBC, sponsoring travel & accommodations to promote the value of HWBC membership and certification to WBEs in two corporate field locations. Finally, Brazil reported a $14.5 million spend with WBEs in 2000.

THE HWBC WBE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD - was given to Terri Hornsby, President, TLC Adcentives. Hornsby donated 10 15 hours of her time per month to Council activities. Although hers is only a two-person firm, she has been extremely active in the HWBC by serving on the Womens Input Committee, the Womens Business Opportunity Expo & Awards Committee, the Golf Classic & Auction Committee, and more recently, the HWBC Board of Directors. In addition, in 2000, she served on the Womens Business Enterprise National Councils National Nominating Committee for Selection of the Top Corporations, traveling to Washington, DC at her expense to help select the Top Corporations and represent the HWBC.

Other sponsors of the event included: Conoco Inc., Enron Corp., ExxonMobil, Halliburton Company, JPMorgan Chase, Shell Oil Company, Texaco Inc., Equiva Services LLC, Pennzoil - Quaker State Company, Schlumberger, Dynegy Inc., Grainger Industrial Supply, Reliant Energy, United Space Alliance, Warren Electric Group, Ltd., Wells Fargo SBA Lending, Arriba Public Relations, Baker Hughes, Inc., Bank One, Texas, NA, Clausman Legal Staffing, Inc., Cole Chemical & Distributing Inc., Duke Energy Corporation, Instromet, Inc., Marathon Oil Company, Sue Pistone & Associates, The Minute Maid Company, and United Parcel Service. The Print Media Sponsor was the Houston Business Journal and the TV Media Sponsor was Fox 26.

Updated: May 2001