October is Women’s Small Business Month, and this year Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is honoring the month by recognizing just a few of Florida’s business women whose services and products are making an impact in the lives of Florida residents and the nation and world. These women were selected from different industries and geographic regions of Florida, and their inspiring stories represent the challenges and successes of Florida’s nearly 600,000 women business owners.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater recently appointed Elizabeth Burch, CEO/President of Orlando-based Dignitas Technologies, to the Florida Small Business Development Center Network’s State Advisory Board. Burch was also named by the Small Business Administration as Florida’s 2013 Woman Owned Small Business Person of the Year. Her company was founded in 2004 and provides system and software engineering services for projects ranging from weather simulation to combat vehicle virtual training. In July, Dignitas was among 19 technology leaders who participated in the Orlando Business Journal’s Industry Outlook meeting to discuss the branding of high technology for the Central Florida region. Website
Maria Antonieta Villalba serves as President & CEO of Community Networker LLC and has worked for over 11 years promoting initiatives to unite the Hispanic community. Incorporated in 2010, Community Networker serves as a networking service for Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurs in South Florida offering event planning services, logistical support and professional speakers for small and mid-size businesses. Ms. Villalba was honored with a Congressional Recognition in 2011 during Hispanic Heritage Month and by Ford Motor Company as one of 25 outstanding Latin women for her leadership and contributions to the Hispanic community. Website
Caroline Villanueva is Local Government and Community Affairs Coordinator in Palm Beach County for Florida Crystals Corporation and has worked with agricultural property owners and local governments for about 10 years. She is active with the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County. The five-generation family-owned sugar company claims to have the largest renewable energy facility in North America and that it recycles into clean energy enough crop and wood waste each year to fill the Rose Bowl five times. Website
Carol Craig is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Craig Technologies, an engineering and technical services firm headquartered in Cape Canaveral, FL. Growing Craig Technologies from one person in 1999 to nearly 400 associates and $42M in revenues today, Craig leads nationwide operations with associates in over 20 different states with offices in Huntsville, AL and Orlando, FL. In January of 2013, she opened the 161,000 SF Craig Technologies Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center (ADMC) for end-to-end development and production of precision manufacturing orders. Craig’s military experience includes active duty as a P-3C Orion Naval Flight Officer, specializing in Anti-Surface and Sub-Surface Warfare. Website