Ernst & Young recently honored 11 winners of its 2012 Entrepreneurial Winning Women program at the firm’s annual Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs.

The winners of the national competition and executive leadership initiative were selected by a distinguished panel of independent judges from a pool of 110 U.S. applicants and come from different industry sectors, geographies and backgrounds. Combined, their total 2011 revenues are nearly $85 million.

"Our Entrepreneurial Winning Women program helps bridge the gap for an area we call 'the missing middle' – those second-stage women business owners whose companies have emerged from the start-up phase but face a crucial inflection point in their growth journey," said Kerrie MacPherson, Ernst & Young partner and Entrepreneurial Winning Women Executive Sponsor, in a statement. "By providing the right information, networks and guidance, we're able to help these talented women access capital, identify strong business advisors and put the processes in place to radically expand their companies."

This years winners are:

•    Allyson Ames, Wonderland Lifestyle Brands (Newport Beach, Calif)
•    Emily Armenta, Armenta (Houston, Texas)
•    Leslie Firtell, Tower Legal Solutions (New York, N.Y.)
•    Fiona Gathright, Wellness Corporate Solutions, LLC (Cabin John, Md.)
•    Kara Goldin, HINT (San Francisco, Calif.)
•    Allison O'Kelly, Mom Corps (Fort Washington, Pa.)
•    Dr. Ellen Stang, ProgenyHealth ® (Conshohocken, Pa.)
•    Tammy Tedesco, Edibles Rex Management Services (Detroit, Mich.)
•    Michelle Marciniak and Susan Walvius, SHEEX (Irmo, S.C)
•    Kari Warberg Block, Earth-Kind TM (Bismarck, N.D.)

The winners received an all-expense paid trip to the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, an invitation-only gathering of more than 2,000 CEOs, to accept the award.

According to a recent independent study directed by the Babson College Center for Women’s Leadership, revenues of program participants’ companies have grown nearly 50 percent each year on average, with a corresponding 25 percent average annual growth in the number of jobs.

"The Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program has totally changed my definition of 'big' and opened my eyes to the growth potential for our company," stated Amy Buckner Chowdhry, CEO of AnswerLab and a 2011 Entrepreneurial Winning Woman. "I'm thinking entirely differently about how we measure being the market leader."

The program is conducted in collaboration with many organizations, including the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO), the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), The Committee of 200 (C200), the Kauffman Foundation and Babson College's Center for Women's Leadership.

More information about the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program can be found at