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Women In Business 2012


For 10 years, Inside Business has been honoring women in business in Hampton Roads who have made a significant impact on the community, within their industry and by helping lift other women up on the road to success.
By honoring these women, we seek to encourage them and other women to trust their abilities, strengthen their self-confidence and participate in the economic growth of Hampton Roads.
From operating one of the area's leading accounting firms to working in local nonprofits to seeing to the medical and dental care of their patients, these women serve vital roles in the community.
Our hope is this recognition will spur them on to even greater things. We're proud to introduce you to them and present them with this honor.

Helping with their selection were the following judges:
Anne C.H. Conner
President, TowneBank
2003 Women in Business honoree

Susan Kelly
CEO, Jo-Kell
2008 Women in Business honoree

Lisa Smith

Louisa Strayhorn
President and CEO, Louisa Strayhorn & Associates Consulting
Virginia Beach
2008 Women in Business honoree

Marian B. Ticatch
Lincoln Financial Advisors/Sagemark Consulting
Virginia Beach
2005 Women in Business honoree

All photos by Vincent Schilling


  • Alma Martinez Fallon, Director of Supply Chain Procurement, Newport News Shipbuilding

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    There is nothing conventional about Alma Martinez Fallon's journey to success. Born in the Dominican Republic, Fallon immigrated to the U.S. when she was 9 years old and has been faced with many challenges that have only made her fight harder to be successful.

    Today, she is the director of supply chain procurement at Newport News Shipbuilding, a company she's been with for more than 25 years. In her position, Fallon is responsible for materials that add up to about $1 billion annually. She is charged with managing 4,000 suppliers across North America and Europe.

  • Barbara Hamm Lee, Executive Producer and Host, WHRO's "Another View"

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    For 34 years, Barbara Hamm Lee, executive producer and host of "Another View" at WHRO, has worked in the media.

    After graduating from Bennett College with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, Lee worked as a production assistant at WBAL-TV in Baltimore.

    "I love live television," Lee said. "It's the best, and you get an adrenaline rush. You get to be part of the crew responsible for putting the show together. The best part is when it's over, you get to start all over the next day."

  • Bev Sell, General Manager, Five Points Community Farm Market

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:14 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    "It takes a village to raise a farm market" is the daily mantra of Bev Sell, the general manager of Five Points Community Farm Market in Norfolk.

    With a background in marketing, Sell decided in 1995 to get involved with her community.

    "I was invited to a block watch and business district meeting in Norview," Sell said. "That's when I found out the needs for my marketing services in Five Points. I ended up marketing the community to the community."

  • Carol Ormond, President and CEO, AAA Tidewater Virginia

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Carol Ormond began her career at AAA Tidewater Virginia answering the phones. Now, 35 years later, she is president and chief executive officer.

    "I never had a reason to leave," Ormond said.

    The Norfolk native from the Norvella Heights section learned about running the organization from former longtime president J.T. Timmons who was in charge well into his 80s.

    "He loved his job," said Ormand who began working for him when Timmons had just turned 70 years old.

    "He hired me because I knew shorthand," she said.

  • Connie Meyer, Vice President, Meyer Group Insurance

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:04 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Connie Meyer once jogged all over Southern California selling high-dollar real estate. But when her father became ill, she came back to Hampton Roads and applied her talents to a new industry - employee benefits.

    Meyer is vice president of Meyer Group Insurance, a business she owns with her husband, Bruce.

    "Yes, my husband and I work together," she said.

    Meyer's role in the business is to make sure those enrolled in their plans are using their benefits to the fullest.

  • Connie Todd, President, Connie's Kids Ltd.

    Updated: December 11, 2012 - 10:52 am

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Connie Todd drove home from her shift at Chesapeake Regional Hospital more than 25 years ago with an idea in her head. The hospital was opening a new birthing unit and she decided to start a children's clothing business. But with a degree in psychology and a certification as an X-ray tech, "I had no business going into business," she said.

    Todd began buying boxes full of samples from children's clothing companies and bringing the boxes to the emergency room to sell to the doctors.

  • Deborah Cox Wood, Executive Director, Renova Wellness

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:22 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    There are no signs of slowing down for Dr. Deborah Cox Wood.

    In recent years, the entrepreneur has written a bestseller, had encounters with Alaskan bears and helped run a well-known real estate company, William E. Wood and Associates, Realtors. And last February, she and partner Dr. Lambert Titus Parker opened Renova Wellness in Norfolk, where clients with or without health issues can get treatment based on natural remedies.

    "I'm supposed to be slowing down, I think," she said. "Actually, I'm just picking up speed."

  • Debra M. Dandridge, Co-founder and Executive Director, Dress for Success Hampton Roads

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 2:45 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Debra M. Dandridge is passionate about helping women reach their greatest potential.

    As co-founder and executive director of Dress for Success Hampton Roads, Dandridge's mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire and a network of support and career-building tips to help them thrive in work and in life.

  • Edith G. White, President and CEO, Urban League of Hampton Roads Inc.

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Edith G. White, president and CEO of Urban League of Hampton Roads Inc., calls the nonprofit "the safety net for the community."

    She works to ensure that each component of the organization works in tandem with the others in meeting the needs of the community.

    "I think nonprofits are an essential component of the community," White said. "I think recent events, for example, Superstorm Sandy, showed how important it is to have a volunteer network in place.

  • Florence Kingston, Director, Newport News Department of Development

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Florence Kingston works daily to make Newport News more than a one-horse town.

    As the city's director of the department of development, Kingston has overseen and directly negotiated some of the major development projects in the city including the City Center at Oyster Point, the 700,000-square-foot expansion of Canon Virginia Inc. and the construction of The Apprentice School mixed-use redevelopment project, worth $72 million.

    "It's exciting to be able to shape and evolve where you grew up," she said.

  • Helen Hayes Sommer, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity for South Hampton Roads

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Helen Hayes Sommer fell in love 10 years ago.

    After getting tired of traveling around for her job, Sommer decided she needed a change in life and she was looking for a job that would give her more opportunity to stay home with her then 14-year-old son.

    She landed the perfect job working as a development director for six years with Habitat for Humanity for South Hampton Roads. Now as executive director, she enjoys working with low income families to build and buy houses.

  • JC Kreidel, Managing Director, Business Development, Vox Optima LLC

    Updated: December 20, 2012 - 10:48 am

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    For JC Kreidel, working for a full-scale public relations and management consulting business that focuses on military contracts is a natural way to operate.

    Kreidel is managing director of business development of Vox Optima LLC. She is charged with being a lead generator of new business. Her job includes writing detailed contract proposals.

    Headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M., with offices in Chesapeake and Washington, D.C., Vox Optima provides strategic communications consultation, products and services.

  • Jeri Prophet, President and CEO, IntellecTechs Inc.

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:10 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Computers interest some people early in life, but the U.S. Navy brought Jeri Prophet to the information technology field.

    Prophet started IntellecTechs in 2008 after her Navy career because she wanted more flexibility and to make all the big decisions in a company.

    IntellecTechs provides IT support, website design and development, hosting, networking, and security, among other services.

  • Kathy Thompson, President Kelsul Inc.

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:18 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Kathy Thompson went from the winter slopes to warm blankets in her business career. Ski Center was her first business endeavor. Throughout the process of starting the specialty store, she learned and grew to love the business world. In 1996, after selling Ski Center, her father came up with a new product using his experience as a chemist.

  • Kirkland Kelley, Partner Kaufman & Canoles

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    In a business of adversity and sometimes blurred ethical lines, one Hampton Roads lawyer is fighting for diversity and blazing the trail for female lawyers all over Virginia. Kirkland Kelley is considered one of the top legal minds in southeast Virginia in her practice area of taxation and private client services. She was named as one of Virginia's legal elite by Virginia Business Magazine.

    Today she is a partner at Kaufman & Canoles, and she is proud to be a strong-willed woman in a male-dominated profession.

  • Kristi Wooten, Managing Partner, Wooten & Shaddock PLC

    Updated: December 12, 2012 - 11:37 am

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    With four degrees and more than 14 years of legal experience, Kristi Wooten is under 40, but far from new to the field of law. Wooten and her partner, Peter Shaddock, opened Wooten & Shaddock PLC in 2010 after graduating from Regent University's law school and working together at Bowman Green Hampton & Kelly PLLC, where Wooten was a partner and family law division leader.

    Wooten & Shaddock PLC has six attorneys and two employees. It specializes in legal fields including family, patent and intellectual, land zoning and commercial, tax and estate planning.

  • Lisa B. Barr MD Founder, APM Spine & Sports Physicians

    Updated: December 12, 2012 - 9:46 am

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    For Lisa B. Barr, health care reform must happen from the inside out.

    It will take health care leaders - not legislators - to conceive and execute common-sense ways to rein in costs.

    It will take clinicians to step outside the box and do what's best for the patient, instead of what's best for tradition.

    "If the health care system really knew what they were doing, then why do we have a health care crisis?" Barr said.

    "So, this conventional wisdom - really? It doesn't work, completely."

  • Lynette R. Young DMD, Owner, Young Family Dentistry

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:23 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    When Dr. Lynnette Young began practicing dentistry in 1984, a black woman with dental tools was rare.

    "I had a lot of obstacles and a lot of negativity," Young said. "But I took those negative comments and made them into a positive. I was inspired by trying to prove people wrong."

    Young made up her mind she wanted to be a dentist in fifth grade.

    The first obstacle she faced was her high school guidance counselor at a private Quaker school in Baltimore.

  • Martha McClees, Executive Director, Virginia Beach Vision

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:03 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    Martha McClees grew up in Virginia Beach and now, as executive director of Virginia Beach Vision, she gets to help grow the city.

    Though McClees said she has had people call to get their eyes checked, Virginia Beach Vision is really a non-partisan, issue-oriented group made up of 120 private-sector business and civic leaders who work together to help determine the future direction of Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads region in terms of development.

  • Mary B. Oder, Manager, Witt Mares PLC

    Updated: December 7, 2012 - 3:06 pm

    Posted: December 7, 2012

    As a manager at the accounting firm of Witt Mares overseeing the company's entire individual tax preparation division, Mary Oder specializes in accuracy and efficiency.

    "I am looking to make sure that clients get an accurate output within a specified period of time," she said. "I want to exceed client expectations. That's my motto."