Fortune and American Express OPEN have chosen ten female small-business entrepreneurs to join the annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, to be held October 4-6, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The ten women will join 400 of the world’s most influential women leaders in business, philanthropy, government, education and the arts for panel discussions, on-stage interviews and interactive sessions over the course of three days. Two of the Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs will join a panel discussion about how the best and brightest build businesses. That session will include Tory Burch, Co-founder and Creative Director of Tory Burch, and Susan Sobbott, President, American Express OPEN. Fortune Assistant Managing Editor Leigh Gallagher will moderate.
“The Summit is all about powerful and influential women sharing ideas,” said Pattie Sellers, Fortune Editor at Large and Chair of the Most Powerful Women Summit. “With small business being the engine of economic recovery, it is most important to do all we can to help the best and brightest entrepreneurs expand their horizons and their companies.”
The program, which debuted at the 2009 Summit, targets entrepreneurial women who are game changers, ground-breakers and innovators in their fields. Hundreds of business owners were nominated and 25 were selected as finalists. From the list of finalists, ten women were chosen to attend the 2010 Summit in D.C. The winners are:
* Theresa Alfaro Daytner, President & CEO, Daytner Construction Group, Mt. Airy, MD
* Leah Brown, President & CEO, A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc., Cary, NC
* Linda Chaput, Founder, Agile Mind, Grapevine, TX
* Wendi Goldsmith, CEO, Bioengineering Group, Salem, MA
* Desiree Gruber, CEO & Founder, Modelinia/Full Picture, New York, NY
* Alexa Hirschfeld, Founder, Paperless Post, New York, NY
* Dina Kaplan, Co-Founder & COO, Blip.tv, New York, NY
* Susan Koger, Co-Founder, ModCloth, Pittsburgh, PA
* Mariam Naficy, Founder & CEO, Minted, San Francisco, CA
* Elizabeth Perelstein, President, School Choice International Inc., White Plains, NY
“Women-owned businesses in the US employ over 13 million people and will generate approximately 5.5 million new jobs nationwide by 2018,” says Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. “We at OPEN are thrilled to facilitate the interaction and learning between innovative small and large business leaders who are building a legacy for the next generation.”
The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, now in its twelfth year, is the premiere gathering of women leaders. This year’s theme is Building A Legacy-incorporating lessons in leadership, building businesses and organizations, reputation, succession, mentoring and extending your power to make a positive difference in the world.
American Express OPEN is the Founding Partner of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Small Business Initiative. Fortune and American Express OPEN will celebrate the above 10 winners at a special reception at the Summit.
Fortune Magazine’s Editor at Large Pattie Sellers speaks on how they founded the Most Powerful Women in Small Business Initiative.