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Women’s Business Center director named ‘Woman of Influence’

Pat Blanchard, director of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC), was recently honored as one of

Pat Blanchard

Pat Blanchard

 the “Women of Influence” by the Jacksonville Business Journal.  The award recognizes women in the city of Jacksonville for their positive impact on the region, mentoring and leadership efforts in business and industry and contributions to the community.

“We congratulate Pat on receiving this recognition,” said Wally Lee, president of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce.  “Her leadership has been instrumental in helping many women grow and develop their companies for long-term success.  We applaud her efforts with the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center, which provides programs designed to support our community’s entrepreneurs and strengthen our local economy.”

Blanchard joined the JWBC in 2006 and was named its director in 2009.  She oversees and manages the business center’s training and mentorship programs.

 “The JWBC is an excellent program that can put you in the right direction as a business owner,” said Bonnie Arnold, owner of Bonnie’s Floral Designs.  “Pat has the natural talent to bring people together and provides excellent leadership to women in business.”

Blanchard also launched the Aspiring Business Advisory Council earlier this year.  The council supports aspiring entrepreneurs, providing foundational information about establishing and running a business as well as managing responsibilities as the business owner.  Meetings are centered on prepared curriculum presented by the group’s facilitator over three months.  Adrienne Fennell, founder of FreedomGuide Consulting, Inc. and a participant in the council, said the program provides valuable support and mentorship to new business owners.

 “A wise start-up businesswoman need not feel she’s left to fend for herself in the first two years of business,” Fennell said.  “I learned the importance of creating efficient operating and financial systems and to create policies and procedures.  I also learned how to properly prepare to release tasks and duties so I can focus on my strategic responsibilities as a business owner.  Everything I learned in the Aspiring Business Advisory Council is something I can apply to my business.”

The Jacksonville Women’s Business Center provides mentoring, training, consulting and networking opportunities to advance the success of women entrepreneurs at every stage of business development.  JWBC serves primarily aspiring and existing women business owners in a seven-county area, including Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties.  Some of the JWBC’s programs, such as LaunchPad – Exploring Entrepreneurial Options, are open to mixed gender participants.  The JWBC is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce.


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