Tonight I am being honored by Grace Hill. I was selected as their three year honoree for Grace Hill Women's Business Center's 9th Annual Wall of Fame. There is a reception, guest speaker and event around the evening. A photograph took my portrait to hang on the Wall of Fame and I was interviewed by the Advisory Committee. I have to give a little speech...and this is what I plan to say. Wish me luck!

Almost daily I see many professional women who are devoted to their businesses and who work hard. Therefore, it is an even greater honor for me to be selected as the three-year honoree tonight because there really are many women out there making significant contributions.

Being a business owner, especially a small business owner, allows me the opportunity to incorporate my personal values into the way in which my business is conducted.

Since we are honoring Women in History month tonight, I am especially proud of the women-friendly and by extension family-friendly policies that my forensic engineering business is able to offer its employees, from allowing newborns to come to work with their moms until four months old, to time allowance for breastfeeding for our working mothers. In April, we will begin offering onsite care for children under preschool aged. Our working mothers do not have to wrestle with the choice of working or caring for their babies—they can do both.

We also make it possible for men and women to be dedicated to their jobs without compromising their families. We allow time off or opportunities for remote work when children are sick, and we offer the option to bring children to work when they are off from school. In short, we try to be as flexible as we can when family matters arise.

We are also committed to the health and wellness of our employees and their families. We provide mental health and comprehensive medical coverage for
our employees and their families at no additional cost to them.

You may be thinking that although this sounds great, it probably costs my business a
lot of time and money, and perhaps it even tampers with productivity. On the contrary, these policies have only served to strengthen the commitment and dedication with which our employees work. It also reduces days missed, enforces a positive, family feeling and places us all on the same team, namely the success of the business.

Thank you, Grace Hill and Curtis Triggs, for working diligently to help me and other women start their own businesses and hopefully become models for other small and large businesses who will see the benefits of empowering women, who can then become both professionals and family matriarchs.

I would like to thank my husband, Rob, for suspending his career to allow me the opportunity to pursue starting my own business.

I also would like to thank my business partner, Mark Ezra, for sharing my vision and
being a great business partner.

I would like to end by saying thank you to all of the employees and consultants at MK & Associates, especially those here tonight, who have had a hand in making my business a successful one!