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2015 Kansas Business Advocate
KANSAS WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
 Mary_Redmond.jpg FearLess Negotiator, LLC, Mary A. Redmond
Kansas City, KS   

Mary provides a unique set of skills to business owners, managers and staff responsible for negotiating and managing contracts. For more than 20 years, she negotiated some of the largest financial institutions in the world. In 2002, she founded Independent Lease Review as a client advocate consulting firm to reduce equipment lease spending. She subsequently created several successful CD and DVD series on negotiating, and speaks, consults and writes nationally on the subjects of negotiation skills and body language.

Mary coaches, councils, educates and supports many women in business each year. She makes numerous presentations to women in business on a pro bono basis and delivers many workshops and seminars. She led a team that organized a panel of experts to help small women-owned businesses become more informed about social media as tools to grow a business. She also participates as a volunteer mentor in the annual Mentoring Monday sponsored by the Kansas City Business Journal. More than 200 women attend this event at the KU Edwards Campus in search of business mentors.

In 2014, Mary taught a communication and body language workshop to the residents of Sheffield Place, a facility that serves homeless mothers with children aged 12 and under. Her efforts have helped many women in the Kansas City area and in Kansas become more successful in business.


KANSAS MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Sook_Park
           
Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Sook Park
Overland Park
Prior to taking a leadership role with the Asian American Chamber of Kansas City, Sook worked in both the private and public sectors. She holds a master's degree in public administration from KU and a master's in international business. She has served as treasurer on the board of the Korean American Society of Greater Kansas City and is active in other local Asian, minority and business organizations.

Since joining the Asian American Chamber of Commerce in 2008 as executive director, Sook has guided the growth of the organization, which is comprised of small businesses, entrepreneurs, emerging enterprises and major corporations. Members hail from many countries, including China, India, Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and the United States. Sook works with the board of directors to establish an effective strategy to support these member businesses, and also goes above and beyond by identifying business opportunities and communicating them to members.

Sook works collaboratively with top diversity supplier program leaders in the corporate and government sectors to help create contract opportunities for minority suppliers. She also helped establish a foundation at the Chamber that provides philanthropic support for local students and also aids with disaster relief.

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