Friday, March 4, 2011

Kohler Expos Honored as Top Women-Owned Business of the Year

Kohler Expos has been honored by The Grand Rapids Business Journal as a Top Women-Owned Business of 2011. Denise Kolesar, founder of Kohler Expos and successful promoter of West Michigan Women’s Expo, received the award for businesses up the $1.49 million from Editor Carole Valade during a special luncheon on March 2. Kolesar was recognized for the work she has done for the past 13 years promoting hundreds of women-owned and women-focused businesses through her many shows.

Kohler Expos, which produces five shows annually, was one of four businesses highlighted during the bi-annual awards presentation. Independent judges reviewed the businesses on a number of criteria, including financial health, mentoring, philanthropy and leadership skills.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses of the year,” Kolesar said. “Through my work with Kohler Expos, I have been fortunate to help women from throughout the state launch new businesses, promote new products and services and connect with other women. Our events really are great business incubators, allowing women to lunch a new business with very little capital.

“This recognition equally belongs to the entrepreneurs I have worked with over the years, as well as those women who attend Expo and are inspired to start their own businesses.”

Kolesar launched Kohler Expos in 1997, promoting her first West Michigan Women’s Expo in Grand Rapids that winter. The show, which returns to Grand Rapids March 11-13 for its 13th season, has grown tremendously and now attracts more than 17,000 attendees. During show season, Kohler Expos employs nearly 55 full- and part-time employees.

The West Michigan Women’s Expo at DeVos Place:

March 11: 10 AM- 8 PM

March 12: 10 AM- 8 PM

March 13: 11 AM- 5 PM

The Spring Bridal Show of West Michigan at DeVos Place:

March 11: 5 PM- 8 PM

March 12: 10 AM- 8 PM

March 13: 11 AM- 5 PM