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This year’s “Women of the Year” festivities, presented by the Los Angeles Business Journal on Thursday, April 16th from 5-8 p.m. at the Pacific Design Center’s Green Theater, promises to be a gala event. Women business owners from a variety of different industries were named to the Business Journal’s list of top 100 Women Owned Businesses last month, and many of the listed will be in attendance.

Kelly Lange of Channel 4 News will be the keynote speaker and awards will be presented to Los Angeles’ most successful and inspirational women business owners.

This year’s list of the Top 100 Women Owned Businesses was highlighted by women who have made truly remarkable achievements in the business world. Last year’s top three women owned businesses and the woman owned business that made the biggest jump up since the previous year’s list included:

1. photo

Lynda Resnick


Roll International Corp.

As the holding company for the Franklin Mint, Teleflora and Paramount Agribusiness, Lynda Resnick’s Roll International Corporation generated combined revenues of $1.5 billion last year, making them the largest women-owned business in Los Angeles County.

2. photo

Margaret Kott


Don Kott Auto Center

With the Don Kott Auto Center’s current status as a full service new and used car and truck dealer with seven existing franchises and 350 employees, Margaret Kott is excited to announce major new expansions for 1998.

3. photo

Noel Irwin-Hentschel

Chairwoman and CEO

American Tours International

Noel Irwin-Hentschel’s Los Angeles-headquartered wholesale tour operator, American Tours International, started in 1977 and now boasts eleven offices. The company provides international tours for groups, leisure, incentive and resort vacations.

41. photo

Carol Silver-Lutza

Dynamic Homecare/Dynamic Nursing Inc.

Carol Silver-Lutza’s company, Dynamic Homecare/Dynamic Nursing Inc., was this year’s “biggest jumper.” The rapidly growing, 11-year-old company provides nursing care in the patients’ home environment throughout .


The Los Angeles Business Journal is proud to present its panel of judges for this year’s Women Owned Business Awards. The judges have carefully reviewed the nearly 100 nominees for these prestigious awards. The winners will be announced at the 1997 Women of the Year event on April 16th.

This year’s distinguished panel of five judges includes:


Susan Garland Forte

Founder and Principal

Forte Designs

Susan launched her full service communications consultancy, specializing in developing partnerships with governments, corporations and community agencies, with the goal to open the lines of communication between the east and west coast. She maintains offices in L.A., Washington DC and New York.

Katherine Malzacher

Southern California Business and Professional Relationship Manager


Katherine manages business and professional relationships for Citibank’s SBA portfolio in the Southern California area. Utilizing her commercial lending skills and more than eight years of banking experience, She has helped Citibank double its Californian SBA portfolio within one year.


Lauren Raissen

President and Chief Financial Officer

Breath Asure, Inc.

As co-founder of both the Breath Asure product and the company that develops, manufactures and markets it, Lauren brings a bottom-line sensibility to a company, which, under her management, has grown from $40,000 in sales to over $30 million in five years.

Vivian L. Shimoyama

Founder and President

Breakthru Unlimited

Vivian founded the inspirational Breakthru Unlimited, which designs and manufactures hand-made glass artwork, jewelry and executive gifts which symbolize breaking the glass ceiling. Her company’s goal is to help promote the advancement of women and accelerate the process of equality for future generations.


Marianne Younkheere

Vice President

Merrill Lynch.

Marianne has been with Merill Lynch for twenty years both in New York and Los Angeles, and currently manages over $180 million in assets for the company. She says that her “real claim to fame,” however, is her history as the first female toll collector on the New Jersey State Parkway!


Another important participant in the judging process this year has been our readers. For the first time, three very special awards, the “Humanitarian,” “Leader” and “Innovator” of the year have been selected among 70 outstanding nominees by reader poll. Every nominated woman for these categories is a trail blazer and inspiration in her own right. Our readers have spoken and the winners of these special categories will also be announced at the 1997 Women of the Year event on April 16th.

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