Hawthorne Strategy Group Announces Women Business Enterprise Certification
The certification will open up an array of opportunities to the agency
Hawthorne Strategy Group is pleased to announce it is certified as a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation's largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the US. With the recent appointment of Cynthia McCafferty as Chief Executive Officer and President, Hawthorne is proud to receive this certification and considers this a great achievement and important next step for our team.
Cynthia said of the certification, “We are proud to be a woman-owned business and thrilled about significance of this certification. As the top certifier for WBEs across the country, our WBENC certification will create new opportunities for us in Chicago and across the country.”
WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Women’s Business Development Center is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.
By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs. The certification will open new doors for networking, education, and business partnerships, and we are proud of the impact that it adds to our brand.
Hawthorne was established in 2012 and, since then, has grown from a one-person firm to 13 staff members based in the Chicago Board of Trade Building with national and local clients. Today we have a world-class team, providing our clients with best-in-class service. We see the WBE certification as the natural next step in our evolution.
Introducing Our Newest Team Members
Another important step in our evolution is bringing three new members to our team. Please join us in welcoming Lela Olds, Brittany Hill, and Mia Mastandrea!
Prior to joining Hawthorne as an Account Director, Lela spent several years managing projects related to multi-million-dollar litigation cases at a midsize law firm. She then went on to advance in multiple roles at Burrell Communications working on national communications efforts for the agency’s longest-serving client, McDonald’s. She led media as well as influencer and celebrity relations for all McDonald’s marketing events for the African-American consumer market including the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, BET Experience, and ESSENCE Festival. She most recently served as Communications Director for the American Heart Association. When Lela is not tending to client’s needs, she is enjoying her favorite musical acts in and around Chicago, watching sporting events, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Prior to joining Hawthorne as an Account Manager, Brittany lived in St. Louis where she worked as an Assignment Editor at the local NBC affiliate television station, KSDK-TV. She coordinated news coverage and assigned crews for daily broadcasts that included reporting of major events across the St. Louis area such as presidential campaign rallies as well as St. Louis Cardinals and Blues sporting events. Most recently after moving to Chicago, Brittany worked at Fishman PR as a Local PR Strategist where she used high-level strategic thinking to gain awareness in local media markets for new franchise business owners across the country. When she’s not working, you will most likely be able to find Brittany exploring the different breweries throughout the city and serving as co-chair for the Chicago Girls Pint Out chapter, a local non-profit craft beer organization for women.
Prior to joining Hawthorne as a Fellow, Mia gained experience through several strategic communications opportunities. After her sophomore year at Indiana University, Mia interned for Workspace Digital, a marketing start-up in the competitive technology industry. The following summer, she organized events with IVY, a social and professional networking organization. When she wasn’t planning cocktail parties and summer galas, she was establishing and managing all social platforms for Revere Copper, a 200-year-old copper company. Outside of work, Mia likes to experiment with different workout classes, follow the latest celebrity gossip, and dive into a new book.