For the sixth time, State and Federal Communications, Inc., under the leadership of President and CEO Elizabeth Z. Bartz, has been selected as one of the top women-owned businesses in Ohio, and is the only company recognized from Summit County.
The “Top Businesses in America” program award from DiversityBusiness.com, a web-based publisher and business site, selected the Akron company due to its overall leadership and economic achievements, ranking it in the top 50 of women-owned businesses in Ohio in 2014.
This is a considerable accomplishment given the current business climate in Ohio. The state currently ranks 48th in the country in combined economic clout for women-owned companies – a measurement averaging the rankings in growth in number according to the fourth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses report, sponsored by American Express OPEN.
Bartz recognizes the trend and sees this award as an opportunity. “As a successful small business owner and a woman, I believe it is important to be an example to other women, to demonstrate to the community what women can achieve and the impact we can have.”
Bartz says hard work in both business and community, is how rising above the trend is possible. She has witnessed disparity firsthand throughout her professional career, and uses these experiences as a motivator to grow not only her company and mentor her staff, but to also mentor other women in the community.
Bartz believes the best advice she can give to other women is to encourage them to take on leadership roles and immerse themselves in the community. United Way of Summit County, Go Red for Women, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, Susan G. Komen – Race for a Cure, the WKSU/Kent State University Foundation, and the Akron Urban League’s Speakers Series Platinum sponsorship only begin to chronicle the array of local organizations Bartz and her company support. She serves in a leadership role on multiple local and national boards, including Kent State University’s National Alumni Association Board, the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Foundation, Council of State Governments (CSG) Associations, Public Affairs Council, and the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL).
“Keep growing and keep leading. This is how we create a counter-trend in Ohio,” said Bartz, who also encourages her staff to get involved. “Last year we celebrated our 20th anniversary, launched a new website, and increased our staff by nine percent. My staff gets all the credit for our achievements, but their dedication to the company is surpassed by their dedication to the community.”
This month, State and Federal Communications was also presented with an award for the highest per employee corporate giving for companies with less than 50 employees from the United Way of Summit County. Bartz believes the demonstration of their core values sets the company apart from other similar small businesses and are the ingredients needed to shift the direction Ohio is heading with diversity in the workplace.
The “Top Businesses in America” program is sponsored by major brands, including Apple, AT&T, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Office Depot, Toyota, Cisco, and Verizon. The program offers one of the nation’s most coveted awards. More than 3,000 award recipients have been honored since the program’s inception. Bartz and the company also won the award in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.