Chatham News

Rebecca Harris selected as regional U.S. Small Business Administration Women in Business Champion of the Year

PITTSBURGH (May 16, 2012) …  Rebecca U. Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University, has been selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2012 Western Pennsylvania and Region III Women In Business Champion of the Year. Harris will be recognized at the Western Pennsylvania Small Business Network Awards Luncheon on May 25 at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel. Region III of the SBA includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

“The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University is a nonprofit center that helps women start and grow businesses, endeavors that I am so passionate about,” says Harris. “I always tell women to take more risks and to ask for help because none of us can do it all on our own. We have developed CWE to help business women succeed.”

Harris is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience as a consultant and marketing specialist. Her own company—a group of monthly publications in the Toledo-Ann Arbor metro area—achieved the million-dollar revenue mark in just seven years.

Harris, who has led CWE since April 2009, develops strategic, innovative programs that are changing the way women do business in western Pennsylvania and empowering women entrepreneurs to take a leading role in driving our region’s economy.

Harris’ accomplishments at Chatham include the launch of CWE Connect, an online membership business development and mentoring community that allows businesswomen to access programs on their own time and makes networking and mentoring more accessible for entrepreneurs in rural areas. In addition, Harris has enhanced CWE’s signature event, the Think Big Forum, which has now tripled in participation, and headed the launch of the popular monthly Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series.

Harris was named one of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2012 Women in Business, National Association of Women Business Owners (Greater Pittsburgh Chapter) 2010-11 Member of theYear, and was recently named to Mayor Ravenstahl’s PowerUp Pittsburgh Working Group, which seeks to stimulate the region’s economy. Her other honors include the Crystal Award of Excellence from Women in Communications; Marketer of the Year Award from the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the American Marketing Association; and the Milestones Business Award from the Greater Toledo YWCA, which recognized her success in building her newspaper group into a million-dollar enterprise and highly regarded employer.

She received her MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University and received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.