Last week, Katrina Markoff, owner/chocolatier of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, was announced as the 2007 Entrepreneur magazine and OPEN from American Express® Woman of the Year. Markoff will accept her award and speak at the next "Women in Charge: Winning Strategies for Women Business Owners" conference, to be held in Miami Beach, Fl., on Jan. 29, 2008.
Entrepreneur's editorial staff and OPEN from American Express® chose Markoff for her creativity, solid business acumen and passion for her community. Markoff turned inspiration into a highly successful business by using her culinary passion to create an entirely new chocolate experience with Vosges Haut-Chocolat.
This Woman of the Year first discovered she had a passion for trying new flavor combinations while attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She later began experimenting with exotic ingredients for truffles like wasabi, anise and ancho chili powder, eventually leading her to start her gourmet chocolate company in 1998. The unusual flavors in her chocolates have helped her make her mark -- one worth almost $12 million in 2007 sales alone.
Markoff has made sure to grow her business with the environment in mind -- Vosges Haut-Chocolat's headquarters is run with 100 percent renewable energies. She's also planning to attain LEED platinum-level certification as well, a special recognition for sustainable green building and development practices with the U.S. Green Building Council.
"Katrina is the total embodiment of the creative, passionate and socially conscious entrepreneur," says Rieva Lesonsky, senior vice president and editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine. "She is a wonderful example of how entrepreneurial success can be achieved while maintaining a sense of connection to community and responsibility for the environment."
As the Woman of the Year, Markoff will share her insights with other women business owners during the luncheon portion of the Women in Charge conference, designed by Entrepreneur. This one-day, second-annual event will feature breakout sessions, speakers, giveaways and special opportunities for women entrepreneurs looking to start a business or make one grow.
"OPEN from American Express® is committed to supporting initiatives that empower women entrepreneurs," says Marcy Shinder, vice president, OPEN from American Express®. "We are proud to partner with Entrepreneur magazine to recognize and celebrate Katrina's success. She is among the growing number of women business owners across the country who are achieving their vision and making positive contributions to the economy and their communities."
Markoff is featured in the January 2008 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, on newsstands now. For more information on the Women in Charge conference and to register to attend for free, visit http://www.entrepreneur.com/womenincharge.
About Entrepreneur Media Inc.
Entrepreneur Media Inc. is the premier content provider for and about entrepreneurs. Its products engage and inspire every day with the advice, solutions and resources that fuel the bold and independent way entrepreneurs think.
After 30 years, nobody reaches more growing businesses. As the original magazine for the small and midsize business community, Entrepreneur continues to be the definitive guide to all the diverse challenges of business ownership. Entrepreneur.com is the most widely used website by entrepreneurs and emerging businesses worldwide. Entrepreneur Press publishes the books that turn entrepreneurial skills into business success.
About OPEN from American Express®
OPEN from American Express® is dedicated exclusively to the success of small-business owners and their companies. OPEN supports business owners with unparalleled service. With tailored products and services, the team delivers purchasing power, flexibility, control and rewards to help customers run their business.
Specifically, business-owner customers can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings -- including charge and credit cards, business gift cards, convenient access to working capital, robust online account management capabilities, and savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners. To obtain more information about OPEN®, visit OPEN.com, or call 1-800-NOW-OPEN to apply for a card or loan. Terms and conditions apply.
GoodBiz113 ad partner American Express Company [http://www.americanexpress.com] is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.
SOURCES: American Express, Entrepreneur Media Inc., For the Love of Chocolate [photo]
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