SCORE, mentors to America's small businesses, today announceed the appointment of the organization's first female board chair, Dedra M. Johanneson, entrepreneur and former owner and CEO of Johanneson's of WI Inc.
Ms. Johanneson brings a strong passion for and knowledge of the business environment to this role and will serve as a leader and proponent for the 7.8 million women business owners, 88 percent of whom represent small businesses, in this country, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
With woman-owned firms growing twice as fast as male-owned firms (based on statistics by the National Women's Council) Ms. Johanneson's appointment as SCORE's board chair comes at a time when small business growth depends on the involvement and advocacy of qualified women business owners and entrepreneurs.
As a Hispanic woman, Ms. Johanneson also represents the 19 percent of women business owners in our country who are minorities and serves as a role model for these female small business owners as a successful entrepreneur herself.
She currently owns 19 Mystic Mountain Inc. a Real Estate Investment company, and is a speaker and business consultant with Open Mind Consulting dba I Deserve It Now. Previously, she was owner and CEO of Johanneson's of WI Inc., a chain of supermarkets in Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin. She became known for providing strong conceptual and consumer insights and driving excellence through a performance-oriented style of leadership.
"I am so proud to be the first woman to chair the SCORE Board at a time when change and diversity are the face of our nation," Ms. Johanneson said. "I also take great pride in representing an organization with 12,000-plus mentors who unselfishly volunteer their precious time because they care about nurturing small businesses and therefore, our country."
Ms. Johanneson is a strong advocate of small businesses and entrepreneurship. In 2007, she was honored with the National Champion of Women Business award from the SBA and in 2011, she was featured in Women of Wealth magazine's "Nation's Top 90 Women Mentoring Leaders." Johanneson has been an active volunteer mentor with the SCORE Phoenix chapter for the past 7 years and has served on the SCORE Association Board for 5 of those years.
"We are proud and excited to have Dedra as our new Board Chair," said SCORE CEO Ken Yancey. "Her 5 years of service on our board and 7 years of service as a SCORE mentor have been invaluable to our development committee and nominating committee and we know her leadership will prove effective and inspiring."
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