Wednesday April 13, 2022 | Edition 50
Celebrating the achievements of the women that make up our RPO. Congratulations ladies, keep up the amazing work!
Jacqueline Gamblin, founder & CEO of JYG Innovations was named an Women of Influence Honoree by the YWCA Dayton for being a thought leader within the community. She was recognized on March 10th at the Women of Influence Awards Luncheon. Read more about the award and get to know more about her and the other honorees here.
Kimmi Wernli, President & Owner of Crazy Richard's Peanut Butter Company was featured on The Giant Company's website during Women's History Month as a business that's breaking down barriers. Check out their feature here.
WBE Certification Helps Propel Custard Stand Chili to New Heights
Angie Cowger, owner & CEO of Custard Stand Chili
 Angie Cowger, the owner of Custard Stand Chili, says her company’s WBE certification impressed the Kroger buyer where Custard Stand Hot Dog Chili will roll out to nearly 600 more stores in May. “And it helped us get shorter payment terms with Kroger,” she added.
Cowger points to the WBE Certification as a key to getting the bean-free Hot Dog Chili in front of major grocery retailers like Meijer, Albertsons, and Hannaford. “The buyers were specifically looking for products from women-owned and diverse companies,” says Cowger. Meijer is adding Custard Stand Hot Dog Chili to two stores in April and more in June.
A buyer for Sysco, a wholesale restaurant food supplier, was pleased to hear that Custard Stand Chili had received both WBE and HUBZone certifications since Cowger’s last meeting with him.
Custard Stand Hot Dog Chili and Chili Soup with Beef & Beans are made from secret family recipes with 100% ground beef. “You can pronounce all the ingredients on the label. Plus, they’re free of gluten, trans fats, fillers, and extra additives/preservatives,” Cowger says.
The chilis come in microwaveable containers and are favorites at home, while camping, or at a tailgate. “Both are hearty, budget-friendly staples for busy families,” she says. “They’ll beef up just about any meal or recipe that calls for a meaty sauce.”
Custard Stand Chili opened in 2003 in Webster Springs, WV. Cowger and her family also own The Custard Stand and Bergoo Grill restaurants and Cowger’s Riverside Campground and Cabin Rentals.
WBEC ORV Team Updates
The WBEC ORV Team has grown! Pleas join us in welcoming our new team members on board.
Fesha Buie is our new AVP, Strategic Programming. Fesha has over 14 years of experience in Supplier Diversity working in the financial services industry, as well as 27 years of experience in the banking industry. As a supplier diversity professional working for major corporations, Fesha has demonstrated success in growing certified diverse supplier spend and has developed programs to support the growth, scale, and capabilities of diverse suppliers.
Angela Ruff is the new Executive Assistant to Sheila A. Mixon. Angela is an experienced administrative professional with a strong background in project management. Along with her excellent work ethic and ability to take initiative, she also possess a high level of knowledge in supply chain and logistics.
Corporate Relations Updates
Louisville Water Company Small Business Opportunities
Louisville Water wants to give small businesses a greater opportunity to work with them. As they deliver water to their customers every day, they create jobs for hundreds of large and small businesses. They are looking for suppliers and contractors who can deliver great quality work. If you are a small business, they want to work with you.
They encourage small businesses to apply to be a qualified Louisville Water Small Business Equity (SBE) program member. Only Louisville Water SBE program members can bid on certain Louisville Water projects, and Louisville Water will determine what those projects are. Their SBE program generally includes bidding on construction, construction sub-contracting, professional services, or general services contracts for more than $30,000 but less than $250,000. They are offering workshops on the requirements and the application process. Please sign up for a workshop by clicking here.

Visit for benefits of the program, how to apply, FAQs, and information on training sessions.
2022 Catch the Wave Conference
Griffin Gate Marriot Golf Resort & Spa Lexington, KY
August 29 - 31 2022
Mark your calendars for the 13th annual Women's Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV) Catch the Wave Conference, where we will be back together in person!

Registration for the event will open on Monday, April 18, 2022. We look forward to having you with us in person!

You will leave this conference with inspiration and new tools that will make a difference in your personal and business growth. We look forward to seeing you for an exciting 2022 Catch the Wave Conference!

The Catch the Wave Regional Conference brings female entrepreneurs together to network, learn, and gain inspiration from each other. The conference provides networking, training, and access to both women business owners and corporate members from across our region of Ohio, Kentucky & West Virginia.
New Additions to Catch the Wave
We're excited to host our first ever Catch the Wave Golf outing this year on Monday, August 29th! We have several sponsorship options available, please take a moment to review all levels and reach out to Robert Moore at with any questions.

If you're not a golfer, that's okay, we have other options for you to take part in as well! We will also be offering a spa day and a bourbon tour at the same time as the Golf Tournament. You will be able to sign up for either the Spa Day or the Bourbon Tour once registration goes live. Please note that the Spa Day will only be open to the first 30 people to sign up and sign up will be active until Friday, July 29th or until we reach capacity.

Special thank you to our Title Sponsors:
Opportunities to Sponsor

If you are a Certified WBE interested in supporting the conference, please take a look at our Sponsorship Package and contact Kathryn Macon at with any questions you might have.

If you are a Corporate Member interested in supporting the conference, please take a look at our Sponsorship Package and contact Ashton Wilson at with any questions you might have.

*We still have sponsorship opportunities available for both WBEs and Corporates*
Scholarship Opportunities

The Sheila A. Mixon Scholarship Fund will be providing scholarships to Catch the Wave for up to 8 businesses. The businesses must be in operation for 5 years or less and should submit a one (1) page essay explaining why they should be selected. If you are interested in being considered, please send your essays to Angela Ruff at
Bid Opportunities
Active Solicitations
Please visit this website to check all available solicitations and preview the bid without logging in. Remember, you must register to download the bid documents. Registration is free: click this link to register.

If you have difficulty registering, please send your email to  with your username, email address, first name, last name, organization, and phone number. A confirmation of your registration will be sent to you confirming receipt of your registration.

All responses must be received on or before the date and time indicated on the bid opportunity and sent by email to
CVG's invitations to Bid (ITB) may be downloaded from the website under Current Opportunities.

Invitation to Bid and Request for Proposal opportunities are currently available with the KCTCS.

In order to be considered in the Procurement to Payment Department, please submit a sealed bid or proposal by the due date supplied. Please submit via the link below:

The University of Kentucky has released the following Requests for Proposal:

The advertisements for all bids, RFPs, and more can be found here.
RFPs from Fayette County Public Schools are available and can be downloaded by registering here  

Invitation to Bid and Request for Proposal opportunities are currently available with Louisville MSD:

The City of Columbus invites you to explore their vendor services opportunities. All open bids can be found on their website under open requests for quotations.

The City of Hillview
The City of Hillview is soliciting sealed bids for the electrical, plumbing and sprinkler system needed at Hillview Annex Building project in Hillview Kentucky.

Corporate Member Spotlight
This month, we are shining light on our Corporate Member, Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA). CRAA was formed in 2003 and has been focused on creating exceptional travel experiences along with strategic opportunities for businesses.
They have been a WBEC ORV Corporate Member since 2018 and we appreciate their continued support and look forward to growing this relationship even further this year. Karmin Bailey, Director of Procurement, Compliance & Business Diversity took some time to share the success that the organization has achieved since partnering with us as well as their goals for this year and beyond.
Karmin Bailey, Director of Procurement, Compliance & Business Diversity at Columbus Regional Airport Authority
"CRAA utilizes several WBE firms for various types of work. We have experienced the benefit of helping to build stronger communities through economic growth by utilizing WBE firms that deliver a great product and/or service.

Since partnering with WBEC ORV in 2018, our biggest success story is that we have spent over $16 million dollars with WBE firms and as it has been documented, when women owned businesses thrive the economy and our communities thrive as well.

Looking ahead, we want to continue to utilize WBE firms but in a greater capacity in 2022 as well as increase our engagement with WBEC ORV."
WBENC Forum's Corner
Welcome to the WBENC Forum's corner! This serves as an opportunity for you to get to meet our forum representatives and hear more about their story. This month, we will hear from representative Ellie Halter.
Hi Everyone! My name is Ellie Halter. I am the CEO and President of our family business, Schnipke Engraving Co. We are based near Ottoville, Ohio with a second facility in Tucson, Arizona.
Schnipke Engraving Co. is a privately held High Precision Injection Molding company specializing in small intricate components providing solutions to our partners in the Medical, Aerospace, and Electronic industries.
My parents started our business over 50 + years ago. I “came back home“ and joined our family business when we began working with the medical industry in the mid 80’s. Previously, I worked in Radiology for almost 20 years.
I am very passionate about the work that we do because our plastic components are used in medical surgical instruments which are used to save people’s lives, everyday! That can be an overwhelming task when you think about how important this work really is and that one mistake could cause serious injury to a patient or even cost them their life!
We first became certified as a Women Owned Business in 2002 after constant urging from one of our major customers. I was asked to join the Forum Leadership Team the following year by that same customer. (At that time, Corporates named representatives to the Forum Leadership Team.) I have been a representative ever since.
Being on the Forum, at the national level gave our company direct access to the top leadership of the corporates we worked with daily! This was a tremendous asset since we were a major supplier to them.
Since we are in the medical manufacturing business, our quality and expertise in producing these molds, components and assemblies was paramount to our partnership. We were often held to my father’s motto, “The impossible we do immediately, the miracles take a little longer”. Being a Women Owned Business was the “icing on the cake” for their diversity goals!
My relationship with WBEC-ORV followed years later as the Regional Organizations became more active and involved. They fostered connections and friendships throughout our area as well as other RPOs.
Participation in the Forum is so important in developing relationships with Corporates and other WBEs. There are untold opportunities available whether professionally or personally through the Forum Network.
As a Forum member, I try to give back from the manufacturing side where even though performance is what gets you in the door, diversity becomes very important to that area of their organization.
Most of our Venders are specified by our customers in order to meet FDA requirements however, we do utilize WBEs whenever possible.
Being certified as a Women Owned Business and a part of this great organization has been a tremendous asset to our company and to me personally. The partnerships and the friendships that have been developed because of WBENC, the Forum, and ORV are a blessing that we will always cherish.
WBENC Forum Representatives
The Women's Enterprise Forum (The Forum) serves in an advisory capacity to the WBENC Board of Directors. The Forum gives input and feedback on WBENC programs and other matters at the direction of the Board. Participation in The Forum offers opportunities for WBENC-certified WBEs to represent all women's business enterprises' voices and engage in networking and development activities with other WBEs, member corporations, and government entities.

WBEC ORV Forum Reps are here to represent you! Feel free to contact them for input, suggestions, and feedback regarding WBENC, WBEC ORV, and other matters relevant to the WBE community.
All WBEC ORV Forum Representatives are listed below: 
COVID 19 - Resources Corner
Our RPO has multiple WBEs that provide COVID-19 related supplies and services. We encourage you to support and share opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Please check out the COVID-19 Resource page on our website to access a list of companies providing COVID-19 suppliers. in this arena. We encourage you to review the list, and if applicable, send your business name and contact information so we can update your information.
The WBEC ORV Team is working to identify various support platforms such as webinars and partner resources that can assist you during this difficult time.
The Women's Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV) mission is leading through an innovative, collaborative, and engaged group of Corporates, Government, WBEs, and Advocates. We are a catalyst for growth and sustainability by adding more Corporate Partners & WBEs in the Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia region.

WBEC ORV is a regional partner organization of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and provides certification to women-owned businesses in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. WBEC ORV operates under the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati's Business Development and Entrepreneurship through a collaborative effort with WBENC. Click the link below for more information.
WBEC ORV is operated by the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio Business Development and Entrepreneurship Department under the authority of WBENC. The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio.