SEATTLE – June 29th 2021 – The Female Founders Alliance (FFA), an organization dedicated to achieving equitable representation among business owners and leaders, celebrated champions of intersectional gender equity at the fourth annual Champion Awards.
Finalists for the awards were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by FFA’s community. Winners were chosen after tallying thousands of votes, and announced at a virtual event held on June 29th. The nominees this year included an impressive roster of finalists from across the nation, spanning industries, and diverse backgrounds.
The show began with an inspirational address from US Representative Sharice Davids who shared the importance of representation in public office and boardrooms, saying “The power of women coming together and working together, supporting one another cannot be understated because we are so much stronger when we do that. My congratulations to the Female Founders Alliance and taking the charge and leading in this work, pushing for gender equality is so important.”
Attendees were also treated to inspirational stories like that of Sponsor Award winner Phyllis Newhouse, who is the first woman of color to take a SPAC public. “One of the things that my mom told me”, she said, “You’re merely crossing the line of the hard work of other women, so make sure that you draw a line for other women to cross. For me, if I think back on why I do what I do, it is because I’ve had one hell of a mentor, and that’s my mom”
“We’re hyping everybody else up. It feels good for people to hype us up in this way.” said Minda Harts, Founder and CEO of the Memo and award-winning best-selling author of What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table and winner of the Role Model award, “May we all continue to do this work because people see us when we don’t even know it.”
Founder of EDJA, an organization that advocates against sexual & gender based violence, Tabitha Mpamira won the Advocate Award. “What motivates me is that we end this and that my children and the next generations never have to do this work again.”
Ruzwana Bashir, founder and CEO of Peek.com was awarded the Founder Award for pivoting her travel and experiences company in the face of a global pandemic.
The Company Award was received by All Raise, represented by their CEO Pam Kostka, for their continued work in growing and supporting female founders and funders.
As in past years, FFA also selected nine outstanding nominees to receive the 2021 Unsung Hero Award.
“It is our honor to find the leaders that have worked tirelessly in the shadows, blazing trails and creating pathways for those who follow.” said Leslie Feinzaig, Founder and CEO of FFA. “We need more people to celebrate their goodness and be inspired by them to be the change themselves”.
2021 Champion Awards Winners
The Advocate Award: Tabitha Mpamira, Founder of EDJA
The Company Award: All Raise
The Founder Award: Ruzwana Bashir, Founder & CEO Peek.com
The Role Model Award: Minda Harts, Founder & Author, The Memo
The Sponsor Award: Phyllis Newhouse is the CEO and President of Xtreme Solutions
The 2021 Unsung Heroes:
- Jennifer Carlson, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Apprenti
- Jessica Bussert, Founder & CEO at Wave Therapeutics
- Jennifer Byrne, Co-Founder & CEO Quesnay
- Arianna Trujillo-Wesler, Co-Founder at OpenField
- Sofia Haq, Founder & CEO, Muslim Women Professionals
- Dr. Tameka Womack, Graduate Programs Director at Clayton State University
- Pariss Chandler, Founder & CEO of Black Tech Pipeline
- Samara Mejia Hernandez, Founding Partner at Chingona Ventures
- Elaine Werffeli, Co-Founder, Kachinga
Watch the replay of the 2021 Champion Awards here.
Partners & Sponsors
The Champion Awards are sponsored by Microsoft Azure, Cooley, Seattle Bank, WTIA, Bank of America, Pacific Science Center, Fuel Talent and Reverb.
About the Female Founders Alliance (FFA)
Founded by CEO Leslie Feinzaig, the Female Founders Alliance is a network of 25K founders, investors, partners and supporters that collaborate to help women and non-binary startup leaders succeed. FFA offers programming, community, incubation, deal flow and investment opportunities, with a mission to increase the number of successful founders 20 times over in 10 years or less.
Learn more at www.femalefounders.org. Follow us on Twitter @2point19, Instagram @female_founders_alliance, LinkedIn @femalefoundersalliance, and #2021ChampionAwards.