Congratulations to our Winners!

 30th Annual NAWBO Charlotte Awards

The Rising Star Award is presented to a member who has demonstrated entrepreneurial creativity and determination in successfully managing a business that is less than five years old.

THE WINNER!  Lisa Woodie, Homemade Fresh Chef Service

Raised with entrepreneurial roots from her grandparents and father in a family of great cooks, Lisa Woodie was destined to be a Personal Chef.

Armed with a degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she spent many years as a marketing professional. Lisa started cooking in college, beginning a journey to prepare meals that were healthier than what she ate as a child. Over the years she used her creativity and adventurous palette to develop a recipe collection that focused on homemade foods using lots of fresh and minimally processed ingredients. As her passion for cooking grew, she bought a restaurant and catering business.


A few years ago, Lisa joined a business that opened her eyes wider to the concept of wellness. She became more educated on environmental and personal wellness, including what we put on and in our bodies. She researched and studied holistic nutrition, environmental toxins, and the personal chef industry. She founded Homemade Fresh in 2011 to blend her passion for cooking with her goal to help people experience better overall wellness.

Lisa specializes in planning and preparing meals that are personalized to each client’s tastes, preferences and dietary requirements using food from nature, not science. She believes that food is fuel for your body, and food choices can affect your energy, productivity and overall wellness—either negatively or positively.

Lisa is very passionate about transforming the way people eat so that they don’t have to rely on processed convenience foods. She shares that passion through educational presentations. She also donates her chef service and resources to charitable organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Safe Alliance, Hospitality House, and various cancer research and support groups.


The Woman Business Owner Award is presented to a member who has demonstrated strong leadership skills in growing and managing a successful business that is more than five years old.

Ellen Linares NEW #1

THE WINNER!  Ellen Linares, HF Financial

After beginning her career in the financial industry in New York City, Ellen moved to Charlotte and launched her own practice in financial planning. Here she achieved the designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and became one of only a few planners to complete the Chartered Special Needs Consultants (ChSNC) designation.

In her broad based practice, she’s had the opportunity to work with special needs families in partnership with Ryan Platt of A Special Needs Plan. Following her family’s example in service to the Special Needs Community, Ellen is delighted to be working beside Ryan and his team. She is able to blend her financial acumen with her compassion and understanding.


A graduate of Cornell University and America College, Ellen has 25 years of financial experience. She holds a FINRA Series 65 Investment Advisory Representative license, as well as Series 6, 7 and 63. She is also licensed in Life, Health, Disability, and Long Term Care Insurance.

In 2011, she received a “Most Influential Women” award by Mecklenburg Times. She also received a Community Service Award for a $10,000 grant to Room at the Inn.

In addition to being the incoming NAWBO Charlotte President for 2015-2016, she also serves on the Executive Board of the Harris YMCA, as a member of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, and School Leadership Team at South Mecklenburg High School.


View Full Video of all nominees interviews.

 Thank you to our Platinum Event Sponsor: Hartmann Luggage

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Silver Sponsors:

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Bronze Sponsors:



Reception Wine Sponsors:

JR MotorsportsMynatt logo

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Spirit CommRLogowTag                         9R Dilworth logoelements

Dessert Sponsors:

Home Instead Senior Care


Get It Together

HF Financial