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WIPP National Parter Karen Barbour Achieves WBENC Certification for The Barbour Group

Thursday, December 16, 2010  
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Sandra Schwartzman
RMR & Associates Inc.
(301) 230 -0045 x 100
sschwartzman@rmr.com   

The Barbour Group Achieves Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Certification
The national champion for small businesses in the construction, commercial and government marketplace becomes the only surety bond focused agency in the Mid-Atlantic with this gold standard recognition
 

WESTMINSTER, MD – December 16, 2010- The Barbour Group, www.thebarbourgroup.com, Maryland’s first and leading 100% woman- owned surety bond broker, announces today that they have received the distinguished Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Certification for Women Business Enterprises (WBE), becoming the only surety bond focused agency in the Mid-Atlantic region to be recognized with this gold standard and identified as the agency of choice . In order to achieve this highly coveted certification, The Barbour Group had to go through an extensive application process, including both providing documentation and a one-to-one interview with one of WBENC’s 14 regional partner organizations.  

The WBENC certification will enable The Barbour Group, who provides surety and commercial insurance solutions to the construction industry and Fortune 1000 companies, to have exposure to WBENC’s Corporate Members, who include organizations from Accenture to Hewlett Packard to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and be listed as an approved and qualified woman-owned business that can met the needs of the Corporate Member’s contract. As The Barbour Group looks to continue to expand it’s presence within the construction, commercial and government marketplace this certification exemplifies both the team’s creative capabilities and knowledge as well as continues to demonstrate Karen Barbour’s, President of The Barbour Group, role as a pioneer in breaking down bonding barriers for small and minority businesses.  

"The achievement of the WBENC certification could not have come at a better time,” said Karen Barbour, President of The Barbour Group. "My team and I have worked hard to build a reputation among small to mid-sized construction firms through our surety bonding expertise and services and would like to continue and expand our ability to be the champion for small businesses within the construction, commercial and government marketplace as well and this certification gives us the key to get in those doors.”  

Along with being included into WBENC’s inclusive WBENCLink database, The Barbour Group will also be able to leverage this certification through gaining access to supplier diversity and procurement executives on both the commercial and government side, participate in formal and informal networking and educational opportunities presented by WBENC’s Corporate Members, participate in WBENC specific award recognitions, additional Marketing and Community Involvement opportunities as well as advocacy opportunities, including participation in white papers, key forums and research development. In order to achieve WBENC certification, the organization must be 51% owned, controlled, operated and managed by a woman or women.  

This recognition comes off from Barbour’s Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Award in 2009. Barbour has been very active within the Winning Women Program and was encouraged by Ernst & Young’s Lisa Schiffman, the Americas Director of Marketing and Communications, Strategic Growth Markets to apply for the WBENC certification.  

"We are proud that Karen was named one of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women in 2009,” said Schiffman, "Karen is a great example of an award-winning entrepreneur who thinks strategically about her business, with a specific focus on how she can grow it, while also giving back to her community and helping to advance the interests of other women entrepreneurs. WBENC certification is a great next step in The Barbour Group's growth trajectory.”  

About The Barbour Group The Barbour Group provides a comprehensive suite of surety bonding and commercial insurance solutions for small, medium and large construction contractors as well as Fortune 1000 companies, who are looking for an agile and responsive strategic bonding partner who knows the surety and commercial insurance markets from the inside out. Led by President Karen Barbour, a 26-year veteran of the surety bonding industry, The Barbour Group is known for its dynamic problem-solving approach that combines high degrees of industry knowledge and business acumen with equal measures of passion, persistence and positivity. Unlike typical surety bonding agencies, The Barbour Group combines the insight of a contractor and the experience of a veteran underwriter to find creative business solutions for customers and eliminate the uncertainties of the surety bond approval process. To learn more or get in contact with The Barbour Group, please visit www.thebarbourgroup.com or call (410) 876-9610.

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