Michelle DeClerck, CMP, President of Conference Event Management, was awarded the Iowa Small Business Administration’s “Iowa Women in Business Champion of the Year” in connection with the U.S. National Small Business Week 2017 at today’s Iowa Business Opportunity Fair. The award recognizes women who have made advancements in women business ownership through community involvement and innovative business development.
“As a woman-owned business, run by women, we are committed to helping advance the careers and continue to pave the way for other women. Iowa is a strong supporter of women issues and we’re proud to be a part of the conversation,” said DeClerck.
In addition to her success as an entrepreneur, DeClerck has been a dedicated advocate for supporting women business owners and providing mentoring to young women. She has enjoyed her leadership involvement with the Central Iowa Executive Committee for Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) (also a previous Iowa NAWBO Business Owner of the Year), with Governor Reynold’s Million Women Mentors – Iowa program and other organizations as well, including Mentor Tank.
GOLDMAN SACHS HONOR
In addition to her past community involvement and business pursuits, DeClerck also graduated from the spring Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program at Babson College. Conference Event Management was the only small business in Iowa to be accepted into the program. As a result, Conference Event Management is wrapping up a transformation to encompass growth strategies propelling the company forward with its vision to become the preferred, most trusted and referred resource of successful event services and experiences.
“These business owners represent the best of the U.S. economy, and this program helps them grow their businesses, create new jobs, and strengthen our communities. Nearly 70% of participants increase revenues and 50% create new jobs just six months after graduating,” said Babson Professor Richard T. Bliss, National Academic Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.
Besides the SBA and the Goldman Sachs honors, in the past few months, DeClerck was also awarded the Top Influential Woman – Innovator of the Year by Smart Meetings, the Inspiring Women of Iowa Character Award, and was featured on the cover of Midwest Meetings magazine.
Conference Event Management (CEM) helps companies achieve their goals, improve their performance, and increase sales by creating and implementing meeting and/or reward strategies through professional planning and facilitation of meetings, incentive trips, conferences and special events. Conference Event Management handles all hotel and cruise negotiations, air and affiliated travel services, including luxury trip planning, for corporations, associations, financial industries, and more. CEM now features the Gift Suite experience and elite sports and adventure packages.