Business alliance to honor its woman of the year

  • Terri Kolodziej

  • LIZ PROVO

For the Gazette
Published: 5/28/2017 9:23:10 PM

An organization founded 35 years ago to support women in business in the Pioneer Valley is set to honor a longtime business owner at its women of the year celebration this Friday.

The Women Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley announced that it will award its Business Woman of the Year honor to Liz Provo, an Easthampton business owner with a long career in marketing and communications.

“It’s a real honor,” says Provo of the award. She says the alliance is filled with, “so many well qualified women who are there to support others.”

Provo had a long career in marketing and communications when in 2001 she launched her first business, Massachusetts 4 Sale by Owner, a real estate marketing service for private home sellers.

The business provided magazine and internet marketing services for private home sellers. Her popular home seller workshops featured a team of experts including real estate attorneys, appraisers, home inspectors and stagers, along with her marketing expertise to empower sellers through knowledge.

In 2008, she started Mass Marketing Resources, a general marketing firm to help small businesses navigate web-based marketing such as social media, blogging and newsletters.

Provo remembers one client who worked seven days a week as the owner of a chain of consignment stores. Her busy schedule did not allow her enough time to even send out a weekly email.

“We started talking and within a week, we had a good relationship,” she said.

Provo took over all of her marketing needs and still counts the woman as a client eight years later.

She curates the Western Mass Small Business Networking & Event Calendar, published weekly on her website and on social media.

She also created the Volunteer in Western Mass Facebook page, sharing information about volunteer opportunities and giving shout-outs to organizations and their volunteers.

Her Facebook group, Western Mass Business Buddies, is home to over 130 small business owners who are able to ask questions, share events and expand their networks.

As for the Women Business Owners Alliance, Provo said community building and empowerment are cornerstones of the group. Meetings are often “a space where we can get together and practice things from elevator pitches to building new businesses.”

Newcomer of the year

The alliance will also honor Terri Kolodziej with a New Member of the Year award.

Kolodziej has her own AVON business and is a national sales trainer for the company. She oversees a team of 160 AVON representatives across the country. In the alliance, Kolodziej serves as the chairperson of the ambassador program that orients new members.

Also receiving awards at the celebration are Theresa Broderick for the Woman of Influence Award; Jennifer Roberge for the Spirit Award; Anita Eliason for the Special Mentor Award; and Pat Banas for the Quiet achiever award.

All honorees will receive their awards at the 2017 Woman of the Year celebration Friday at the Delany House in Holyoke. The public is welcome to attend the celebration. More information can be found online at wboa.org.


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