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Seattle District Office Names 2013 Washington state Women in Business Champion of the Year

Release Date: 
Monday, May 6, 2013
Release Number: 
SDOPR 13-12
Advisory Date: 
Monday, May 6, 2013
Advisory Number: 
Contact: 
Lorin Smith (206) 553-7060 lorin.smith@sba.gov

SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2013 Washington state Women in Business Champion of the Year is Whitney Keyes, founder of Whitney Keyes Productions LLC, in Seattle. Keyes is a fellow for the Center for Strategic Communications at Seattle University and manages her own business consulting practice. Recently, Keyes was invited by the U.S. Department of State to return to Malaysia to help deliver a country-wide program there for women entrepreneurs. “Thanks to the SBA, I’ve been able to travel around the world to help empower women business leaders and I’m thrilled to receive the 2013 Washington state Women in Business Champion of the Year award,” Keyes said.   

The SBA Seattle District Office honors Keyes as the Women in Business Champion of the Year for her support to increase small business opportunities for women. She writes for business publications and produces content for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Biz Bite Blog offering free advice for small businesses. She has co-produced and hosted more than 50 episodes of Whitneyandwyatt.com, a weekly online talk show for women. She is currently working on her second book focused on self-promotion strategies for women, including social media and strategic thinking. “I grew up working in a small, family business in Tacoma so I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep passion for helping women-owned small business,” Keyes said. 

Keyes volunteers her time and expertise to assist clients at the Washington Women’s Business Center, SBA programs and functions and local community organizations while growing her own small business. “Whitney Keyes is a wonderful advocate for women-owned small businesses,” said SBA Regional Administrator Calvin Goings. 

Before owning her own small business, Keyes worked as a senior Microsoft manager, a strategic advisor for American Express and her work for the U.S. Department of State to empower women entrepreneurs has taken her to Malaysia, Kenya and Namibia, including Kibera, Kenya, one of the world’s worst slums. She is the author of the book, Propel: Five Way to Amp Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business. 

From amongst her peers, the SBA Seattle District Office has chosen Keyes as the best champion for women-owned small businesses. “Whitney Keyes has been helping small businesses and entrepreneurial-minded organizations become more successful for more than 20 years, and we are so excited to recognize her for those contributions,” said SBA Seattle District Office Director Nancy Porzio. 

Keyes and other Washington state SBA award recipients will be recognized for their achievements at the 2013 SBA Annual Small Business Awards Gala May 9 at the Museum of Flight. For more information about Keyes and Whitney Keyes Productions LLC, call her at (425) 941-0102 or email whitney@whitneykeyes.com. For more information about SBA or the SBA Annual Small Business Awards Gala, call (206) 553-7310.

Related State: 
Washington