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Women's organization creates first ever 'Man of the Year' award

Posted: February 2, 2010 2:01 p.m.
Updated: February 1, 2010 1:57 p.m.
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-LA) announced it will honor its first "Man of the Year" award recipient on March 19 at the 24th Annual Leadership and Legacy Awards Luncheon in Los Angeles. Peter Griffith, Vice Chair of Ernst & Young, LLP, who will be named the organization's first-ever male honoree, is being recognized for his support of women in leadership, both in management and in the board room.

"Peter's outspoken support for women in business is why we created this award," said Jane Pak, CEO of NAWBO-LA. "When women succeed, so does the economy. At this crucial time in our organization's history, the time to expand our recognition to include men who champion women is now."

A 2009 Ernst & Young study showed that eight million women-owned enterprises in the United States have an annual economic impact of $3 trillion, creating or maintaining more than 23 million jobs. One in five U.S. firms with revenue of $1 million or more is women-owned. Yet, only 10 percent of board seats on California's 400 largest public companies are held by women.

"In the early days of NAWBO, it was a struggle to establish women as business leaders in a male-dominated working world. As the data in California shows, we're not quite there yet, but there has definitely been great progress as men and women work together to leverage each other's unique strengths to make companies more successful," said Madelyn Alfano, president of Maria's Italian Kitchen, Chair of the 24th Annual Leadership and Legacy Awards Luncheon, and President-Elect of NAWBO-LA.

Peter Griffith is Vice Chair of Ernst & Young, LLP, and a member of the Ernst & Young United States Executive Board and the Ernst & Young Americas Executive Board. He has over 28 years of experience in accounting and auditing, coupled with extensive investment banking, private equity and corporate governance experience. Peter graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. He lives in Westlake Village, California with his wife Mary, who is also a Certified Public Accountant, and their four children - Kristan, Marianne, Katherine and Pete.

Representing more than 509,000 women-owned businesses in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, employing more than 688,000 people, and generating more than $129 billion in annual revenues, women entrepreneurs have become an increasingly active and powerful force shaping the economic and political landscape of Southern California.

Founded in 1979, NAWBO-LA is one of the largest and fastest-growing chapters of the National Association of Women Business Owners, an organization that strives to empower and enable women entrepreneurs into economic, political and social spheres of leadership.

Founded in 2000, the NAWBO-LA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization dedicated to promoting the entrepreneurship of women worldwide.

Together, NAWBO-LA and the Foundation work closely to ensure that women business owners are recognized as a public policy voice to be reckoned with, a formidable economic force, and effective agents for change in the dynamic business environment that is Southern California.


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