Daily News

Women’s Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley to Present Awards on Oct. 24

HOLYOKE — The Women’s Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley (WBOA) will hold its 2019 Business Woman of the Year Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Delaney House in Holyoke.

Patricia Banas, owner and president of Latka Printing in Westfield, will be named the 2019 Business Woman of the Year, an honor given to a member who has contributed to WBOA in a significant way and is a role model who inspires other women to be successful.

Also during this event, the WBOA will recognize its 2019 Outstanding New Members: Lori Novis, owner of Mango Fish Art in Easthampton, and Andrea Kennedy of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicopee.

“Both honorees have shown support to the group and have stepped in to volunteer after only being a member for a short time,” said Carleen Fischer Hoffman, chair of the event. “We are so thrilled to be honoring all three of these women and the contributions they have given to both WBOA and the community.”

The celebration will carry a Roaring Twenties theme and will include live entertainment provided by Steve and Roxann Bailey. The Baileys will offer a dance demonstration and a dance lesson for attendees to learn about styles from the period.

Banas is a second-generation owner of Latka Printing, a certified woman-owned business. Her parents, Joseph and Murielle Banas, bought the business 40 years ago, while Banas was in high school. While studying at Westfield State College, Banas learned the print industry. She enjoys working with government agencies, nonprofits, manufacturers, service industries, small startups, and other customers. She is a member of WBOA, now based in Springfield, and the National Print Owners Alliance, and she is the treasurer of New England Peer Group. She also sits on the Buy Westfield Now Committee and is a former Westfield Rotarian and past board member.

Novis holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and social work from Clemson University and a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University. She worked as a librarian for many years. While living on an island in Puerto Rico in 2010, she launched a Caribbean jewelry line, and was involved in community activism, launching several nonprofits and also fundraising. She and her husband, Fred Hanselman, owned and managed a year-round guesthouse they called Mango Fish, which survived two major hurricanes. She relocated to Western Mass. in 2016, where she worked in a vocational high school before launching a jewelry and gift business called Mango Fish Art. She offers employment and mentoring to women in the region while designing unique, handcrafted items. Recently, Novis launched a new division of her business, Proud of U, marketing to educational institutions and sororities.

Kennedy’s mother, Lynne Andreen, is a Realtor, which inspired Kennedy to enter the industry. She is a full-time real-estate professional with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage located in Chicopee, serving Hampden and Hampshire counties.

A portion of the proceeds from WBOA’s event will benefit the WBOA Cheryl Reed Loan Fund, which offers low-interest loans to members for seed money, expansion, or other worthy business purposes.

For more information or tickets, visit www.wboa.org or contact Hoffman at (413) 525-7345 or [email protected].