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2019 Woman of the Year Celebration
October 24 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
2019 Woman of the Year Celebration
October 24, 2019
5:30 in the evening
The Delaney House
Each year, the WBOA recognizes and honors a member as the Business Woman of the Year, a woman who has been inspirational and has “stood out” in both her business and personal life.
This year, we are delighted to announce our Business Woman of the Year and our Outstanding New Members. Come help us celebrate and bring along a special woman in your life to enjoy an evening of inspiration.
Business Woman of the Year
Patricia Banas, Latka Printing
Patricia Banas is the owner and president of Latka Printing and Marketing in Westfield, Massachusetts, a certified woman owned business. Celebrating their 40th year, Pat is a second-generation owner. While still in high school, her parents, Joseph and Murielle Banas, bought Latka Printing. Immediately captivated and challenged by both the printing industry and all the different businesses it served, she elected to continue her education at Westfield State College. This enabled her to go to class and continue learning the trade.
Pat immediately gravitated to the administration and sales side. Being a creative thinker and problem solver, she became a solution provider and not just an order taker. Constantly embracing the changes in industry and technology she strives to assist her clients in growing their business in this changing marketplace. Her passion is to help others succeed.
Early on, Latka offered automated direct mail marketing and specialized in educating Latka’s clients to the benefits of promoting their business and now integrating it into all the other marketing platforms. Pat enjoys working with government agencies, non-profits, manufacturers, service industries, small start-ups and everything in between.
Technology has changed the playing field so much in the printing industry with computers, digital technology and the internet. Pat has navigated the changes within her own business and assists her clients with all the changes as well.
She is a member of the National Print Owners Alliance and The Women Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley. Pat is the Treasurer of New England Peer Group, currently sits as a committee member for Buy Westfield Now and is a former Westfield Rotarian and past Board member.
Pat’s greatest sense of pride and accomplishment, besides her two daughters, has been working side by side with her immediate family and with Latka’s dedicated team who she considers part of her extended family. Pat resides in Indian Orchard with her husband Dan and their daughters Amelia and Danielle. She is an avid reader, enjoys boating, spending time with family and volunteering in her community.
We also recognize and honor new members who have shown an immediate interest in involvement with WBOA.
Outstanding New Member
Andrea Kennedy, Real Estate Professional
Andrea Kennedy’s primary goal in life has always been to help people. Her passion and ability to communicate effectively have kept her busy as a traveling sales professional most of her life. The transition to real estate sales was inspired by her mother (also a realtor), her single mom status, and her desire to assist people through very stressful life changes. Her courage to be honest and negotiate effectively help clients push forward through the complicated transactional process of buying or selling their family home.
Andrea lives in South Hadley with her two children, Jack (15) and Kelly Lynne (12). She is a full-time real estate professional with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage located in Chicopee. Andrea came to WBOA last summer as a guest of a member and was immediately attracted to this dynamic group of women business owners. As a natural extrovert and leader type she participates actively. Currently, Andrea serves as interim secretary for the WBOA operations meetings.
Outstanding New Member
Lori Novis, Mango Fish
Lori is a native of central New Jersey where her education was rich and stimulating. It was there Lori received her undergraduate degree at Clemson University and a graduate degree in library science at Rutgers University. Most of her professional career has been spent in libraries until 2009, when she and her husband moved to the beautiful island of Culebra, Puerto Rico, living in the tropics for 8 years. While there, Lori launched her Caribbean jewelry line, earned federal non-profit status for three Culebra non-profits (private school, community library and animal rescue), wrote and earned $200,000 in grants, and rescued 150 homeless animals in fewer than two years. On the side, Lori and her husband owned and managed a year-round guesthouse they called “Mango Fish,” which survived two major hurricanes.
In September 2016, Lori and her husband relocated to western Massachusetts. Lori settled in quickly and accepted a job working at a vocational high school in Franklin County. While there she discovered that 40% of the students were living at the poverty level as well as 13% of the residents in the Pioneer Valley. The statistics inspired Lori to relaunch her jewelry and gift business, naming it “Mango Fish” after her fond memories of her time in Puerto Rico. Lori is pleased to offer employment and mentoring to women in this region while designing unique handcrafted items. Recently she launched a new division of her business, “Proud of U™,” marketing to educational institutions and sororities. All items are proudly made in the USA. Lori’s mission to support women is equally important as the quality of gifts that are created.