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WIPP National Partners Evelyn Graham and Janice Hamilton Selected for AMEX OPEN VIP Awards

Wednesday, October 20, 2010  
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National Contact:

Rosa Alfonso; Director of Public Affairs,

American Express OPEN; 212/640-1712

rosa.m.alfonso@aexp.com

Sal Della Monica; M Booth & Associates;

212/539-3272

sald@mbooth.com

American Express OPEN Recognizes Business Owners for Success in Government Contracting with First-ever Victory in Procurement (VIP) Awards

OPEN's Government Contracting Event in New Orleans Helps Entrepreneurs Do Business with World's Largest Customer

New Orleans, LA – October 20, 2010 – Today at the Government Contracting Procurement and Networking Event in New Orleans, American Express OPEN®, the small business division of the financial services company, recognized three small business owners for their outstanding achievements in government contracting with the first-ever Victory in Procurement (VIP) Awards.

"Today we are celebrating the persistence and ingenuity of three unique small businesses. Our award winners exemplify what it takes to thrive in government contracting and are proof that small businesses can be profitable when working with the world's largest customer,” says Karen-Michelle Mirko, Director of Customer Advocacy at American Express OPEN. "In a recent American Express OPEN VIP survey of successful small business contractors, two pieces of advice were offered: be persistent and start with small contracts, which will lead to large opportunities.”

In 2009, the U.S. government spent $96.8 billion on products and services supplied by small businesses, including $33.5 billion with small, disadvantaged firms and $16.4 billion with women-owned small businesses.

At today's event, hundreds of business owners were given the opportunity to network and learn the tools and strategies around marketing their business to the government, planning for federal contracting as a revenue stream and executing tactics such as teaming and subcontracting to better their chances of securing contracts.

The award winners present at the event are being recognized in the categories of Government Contractor of the Year, Woman Contractor of the Year and Teaming Contractor of the Year. The winners are:

  • Contractor of the Year awarded to Janice M. Hamilton of New York, NY-based JMH Education Marketing, a firm specializing in creating customized education programs on behalf of corporations, government agencies, and not-for-profits.
  • Woman Contractor of the Year awarded to Evelyn Graham of San Francisco, CA-based Presynct Technologies Inc., provider of complete document management solutions in Public Safety and Healthcare.
  • Teaming Contractor of the Year awarded to Michael Nicholas of Washington, D.C.-based NIMS Services, Inc., a full service energy marketing firm providing fuels, lubricants, oils, greases, waxes, hydraulic, transmission and brake fluids.

The VIP awards are part of American Express OPEN's Victory in Procurement™ (VIP) for Small Business initiative. Launched in 2009, VIP is a national program designed to help small business owners capitalize on the enormous growth opportunity provided through government contracts. By partnering with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) (http://www.giveme5.com/), SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" (http://www.score.org/) and Teaming USA (http://www.teamingusa.com/), a partnership with Business Matchmaking (http://www.businessmatchmaking.com/), the program is helping business owners at every level of contract readiness.

Click here to view a picture of VIP Award Winner Evelyn Graham and WIPP President Barbara Kasoff.

Three additional business owners will be recognized with VIP awards at an American Express OPEN event in Chicago on Friday, November 5, 2010. The free Government Contracting Procurement & Networking Event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicagostarting at 8:30 a.m. Business owners who would like to attend can register at http://www.vipgovtcontracting.com/.

About American Express OPEN

American Express OPEN is the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners and online tools and services designed to help improve profitability. Learn more at http://www.open.com/ and connect with us at http://www.openforum.com/, www.facebook.com/open and www.twitter.com/openforum.

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com and connect with us on www.facebook.com/americanexpress, www.twitter.com/americanexpress and www.youtube.com/americanexpress.


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