Delaware Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year Alisa Morkides did not hold back in talking about the highs and lows of the coffee.
In her acceptance speech on Tuesday, the founder, and owner of Brew Haha, an independent chain of coffee houses headquartered in Wilmington, said the more than two-decade existence of the company has seen big success and major setbacks.
The award was presented at the 27th annual Entrepreneurial and Business Women’s Expo at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington
Brewhaha came into being after Morkides fell in love with the coffee culture during a trip to Italy.
The locally owned chain found success, but stumbled at one point, leaving Morkides $2 million in debt, with bankruptcy more than a remote possibility.
In working with staff to turn things around, she said she took inspiration from a poem from Lansgston Hughes:
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Morkides reports that Brewhaha is now doing well, with 10 locations and Brandywine Coffee Roasters in Wilmington shipping coffee throughout the world.
Also honored was former DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Entrepreneurial & Business Women’s Expo, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kullman talked about her latest project, the Parity Paradigm. The group has signed up 61 companies, large and small, that have committed to male-female parity in upper management by 2030.
Kullman noted that more females than males graduate from college. Yet, the percentage of female grads promoted into managers drops to 30 percent, with the numbers falling in leadership roles.
Business Woman of the Year is Deirdre Smith, director of operations and partner at Duffield Associates an engineering and science consulting firm headquartered near Wilmington, with regional offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Smith praised the opportunities for advancement and growth at Duffield
Keynote speaker was Dr. Arianne Missimer. Missimer, a human movement specialist, has spent the past 15 years in the fitness and nutrition industry, specializing in performance enhancement and injury prevention.
She owns and operates CORE Fitness, a performance training studio.
A survivor of a rare form of cancer, who went on to participate in American Ninja Warrior, Missimer suggested that a blend of Eastern and Western Medicine, as well as good nutrition and mindfulness, can lead to better health.
The expo, one of the longest-running events of its kind, was founded by Dian Taylor, CEO of Artesian Resources, Newark.
DelawareBusiness Now was one of the media partners for the event.