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Intern, Communications


March 19, 2024


Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate and honor the remarkable contributions of women throughout history. This month, we are spotlighting the achievements of trailblazing women in the U.S. Chamber of Small Business Council who are shaping policy and regulation that impact the business community.

The U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Council is where small business leaders come together to advocate for policies that support small businesses nationwide. Among these influential voices are women who are steering their own companies toward success.

From running wine shops to credit card processing services, these women CEOs and presidents are driving economic growth in their communities and championing innovation. Read more about their businesses below. 

Karen Olson Beenken

Blue Rock Companies

Karen Olson Beenken is President and CEO of Blue Rock Companies in Sidney, Montana. Blue Rock Companies is the largest locally and family-owned wholesale beverage distributor in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota and has been in business since 1913.

Melissa Bercier

Couch Clarity

With the life goal to destigmatize mental health enrichment and create a positive and healthy community for all, CEO Melissa Bercier founded Couch Clarity in Illinois. Couch Clarity is a private mental health practice offering traditional “on the couch” therapy services for everyone.

Joanne Sanders

EWISE Communications

As a former executive, Joanne Sanders founded EWISE Communications in response to traditional agencies' generic baseline marketing services. EWISE provides honest, creative, and committed marketing services for businesses.

Stephanie Sims


With over two decades of experience in finance and IT management, Stephanie Sims is the CEO of Finance-Ability. Finance-Ability helps businesses stand out by assessing their strengths and weaknesses for funding opportunities.

Brenda Nolby

Jam Hops Gymnastics

Brenda Nolby is the CEO of Jam Hops Gymnastics, a children’s recreational facility that provides athletics, arts, and educational programs for all age groups. Formed in 1997 with the merger of two gymnastics programs, Jam Hops hopes to “Inspire Kids to Become Life Champions.”

Natalie Kaddas

Kaddas Enterprises, Inc.

Natalie Kaddas is the CEO of Kaddas Enteprises, Inc., and the current Chair of our Small Business Council. Kaddas Enterprises is a second-generation family business located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kaddas Enterprises is the leader in wildlife and asset protection and an innovator in the manufacturing of thermoformed parts.

L to R: Amy Fazackerley, Natalie Kaddas, Renee VanHeel, and Melissa Bercier.
L to R: Amy Fazackerley, Natalie Kaddas, Renee VanHeel, and Melissa Bercier.

Amy Fazackerley


Amy Fazackerley is the co-founder of Lay-n-Go, a company designed to solve cleanup and organizational challenges in daily routines and improve people's lives. Originally created as a solution to tame their sons’ large collection of toys with small pieces, Lay-n-Go develops innovative organizational solutions for life, play, and travel.

Rhonda and Heleena Sideris

Park City Lodging

Park City Lodging is a family-owned business founded by CEO Rhonda Sideris in 1984. Park City Lodging provides vacation rental properties in Park City, Utah, and has made a huge impact on the local tourism market.

Renee VanHeel

Pay it Forward Processing

A lifelong entrepreneur, Renee VanHeel is the founder of Pay it Forward Processing. VanHeel identified a need for ethical credit processing services and created Pay it Forward Processing, making it possible for money to be donated to charity without the merchant changing any processes and at no additional cost.

Lori and Traci Tapani

Wyoming Machine Inc.

Sisters Lori and Traci Tapani are co-presidents of Wyoming Machine Inc., a Minnesota-based and family-owned manufacturing business. Wyoming Machine is a sheet metal fabrication company offering a variety of services to clients, from laser cutting to welding.

Julianne Weiner

Sonic Promos

Julianne Weiner, the COO of Sonic Promos, is passionate about creating engaging and innovative promotions that build valuable relationships, drive action, and recognize achievement. Sonic Promos, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, specializes in promotional merchandise and consulting.

Christel Slaughter

SSA Consultants

As CEO of SSA Consultants, Christel Slaughter is a catalyst for organizational success. SSA Consultants is a consulting firm that offers a variety of services, from strategic planning and leadership development to outreach and engagement and organizational design.

Dean Jones Hinchey

The Communications Center

Dean Jones Hinchey is the President and CEO of The Communication Center in Washington, D.C. This company provides critical, relevant practice to help clients feel more confident and comfortable in communications, assisting with everything from boardroom presentations to media interviews.

Hadley Douglas

The Urban Grape

Hadley Douglas is the co-founder of The Urban Grape, a black-owned and woman-owned wine shop co-founded by Hadley and her husband, TJ. The idea for The Urban Grape emerged during a trip to Italy and is now a premier wine shop with locations in Boston and Washington, D.C.

About the authors

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