Four Wasatch Front women who have found a way to combine making a profit with making a difference soon will receive their just rewards.
Two owners of fast-growing, innovative Utah companies, Debbie Jaketta and Jennifer Ruy-Jen Hwu, each is being honored as Woman Business Owner of the Year, while Jennifer Ha and Joan Muschamp will be recognized as two Rising Stars recipients.
The National Association of Women Business Owners, Salt Lake City Chapter, will salute them at a banquet, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., June 19, at Pierpont Place, 163 W. Pierpont Ave., in Salt Lake City.
2013 Business Owner of the Year:
Jacketta operates Jacketta Sweeping, a family owned business that got its start in 1968. The Salt Lake City company provides parking lot and street sweeping services to municipal, commercial and industrial customers statewide. Jacketta, who started with the firm in 1980, purchased it from her parents in 2002, and within three years pushed sales past the $1 million mark.
“The best advice I ever got from another business woman was that it is OK to hire out the household chores,” she said. “You should spend your time doing what is most profitable to you.”
She serves on the board of a trade group and has supported NAWBO for more than seven years, serving as a mentor to other Utah businesswomen and providing networking opportunities.
Hwu is owner of the Salt Lake City-based-InnoSys, Inc., which bills itself as one of the few companies that offers affordable W-band (100GHz) high-power devices for next-generation satellite communications. Hwu, who earned a doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles, founded the company in 2000 as a component and device developer.
“I think the most exciting part of being a women business owner, especially a high-tech business, is to have access to industry leaders [so that we can] understand their technical needs, and, as a result, lead” technical developments that become part of industry solutions, she said. “I am very proud that InnoSys offers industry those solutions that our customers cannot get from our competitors.”
Rising Stars 2013:
Ha, an attorney with JLJ Law, formed a legal partnership with the goal of helping the Vietnamese and other minority communities with immigration and other legal matters. In her third year in practice, she also has become involved in other ways, such as organizing the Miss Vietnam Pageant and the Lunar Festival. She also writes a blog in Vietnamese on legal issues.
Ha’s family immigrated to the U.S. when she was 11 months old, and she grew up in Utah.
“My favorite part of being a woman business owner is being able to serve as a role model for young women, particularly those from minority communities, to show them that ... they can succeed if they have a vision of what they want to accomplish,” said Ha. “I can’t begin to count the number of times that people in my own family have questioned my ability to own a law practice.”
Muschamp is an author, teacher and public speaker with LemonZest Marketing LLC, which provides consulting services and marketing strategies.
“I think it comes down to [the] freedom to thrive or fail, based on myself,” Muschamp said of owning a business. “It’s the freedom to be accountable for my actions and decisions, as well as the freedom to build [a] business showcasing my values, ethics and lifestyle. I hope to continue mentoring women business owners. Our younger women [really need] help and encouragement because there are so many pressures from all sides [that] it’s hard to stay focused.”
The NAWBO Woman Business Owner of the Year Award is presented annually to someone who’s managed an established business and is involved in volunteer and civic activities. A Rising Star Award is presented to someone who’s directed businesses that are less than 3 years old.
NAWBO, founded in 1975, supports entrepreneurs by strengthening the wealth-creating capacity of its members. The Salt Lake City chapter is one of 80 nationwide.
Women business owners event
The National Association of Women Business Owners, Salt Lake City Chapter will gather for:
What • Business Owner of the Year and Rising Star Awards banquet
When • 5:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 19
Where • Pierpont Place, 163 W. Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City
Cost • $50 per person, table sponsorships also available.