Women will be taking over the world.

That was the message from Ross Shafer, the emcee of Sage Software’s second annual customer awards luncheon during the Sage Summit in Atlanta.

Shafer, a six-time Emmy award-winning comedian and writer, discussed how the economic downturn offers opportunities for business.

He noted that female-owned and operated businesses are the fastest-growing segment in North America. Women buy approximately $7 trillion a year in goods. By 2015, Shafer added, at least $15 trillion will land in the hands of Baby Boomer women.

Sage honored six of its customers during the luncheon presented by chief customer officer Doug Meyer.

The awards are as follows:

Rookie of the Year: Coilhose Pneumatics, East Brunswick, N.J.
Best Use of Customization: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Rockville, Md.
Community Stewardship: Teach for America, New York, N.Y.
Innovation: Entertainment Lighting Services, Sun Valley, Calif.
Best End-to-End Deployment: Power Curbers, Salisbury, N.C.
Lifetime Achievement: Amix Salvage & Sales Ltd., Surrey, British Columbia.

Each company received free hotel and airfare so representatives could attend the conference, as well as a crystal statue and a $1,000 donation to a charity of their choice.

“We were genuinely excited,” said Todd Richards of Entertainment Lighting Services, who has been using MAS 500 for nine years. “We’ve gone through different phases. The strength is that it was able to grow with our needs and phase in different aspects over time.”

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