Dr. Anastasia Gentles, Chief Medical Officer, and Zawadi Bryant, Chief Executive Officer, recognized at EY Strategic Growth Forum

HOUSTON, TX – EY announced today that Dr. Anastasia Gentles, Chief Medical Officer, and Zawadi Bryant, Chief Executive Officer, has been chosen as one of 14 entrepreneurs inducted into the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ 2016 North America class. EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women is an annual competition and executive education program that identifies high-potential entrepreneurs in the US and Canada seeking to scale their businesses — and then helps them do it. Program participants are among the top 2 percent of all women-led businesses in terms of company revenue.

“We are tremendously fortunate to have been selected to join this highly-accomplished network of female entrepreneurs.The resources and connections provided by the EY network will help catapult us to another level of success,” said Zawadi Bryant, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women  Class of 2016 award winner and Chief Executive Officer, at Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care. “The program has clearly defined the barriers to growth and given us the tools to minimize or remove those barriers.The benefits of this program have already proven to be invaluable.”

Since its inception in 2008, Entrepreneurial Winning Women has spurred rapid growth among participating entrepreneurs. According to an independent impact assessment directed by the Babson College Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, 2014 revenue for participating companies was 54 percent higher than before they joined the program. Individual participants average 20 percent annual revenue growth, and can have up to 50 percent growth in their second year of participation. Winners also report increased confidence, growth goals, networks and more.

“This program helps bridge the gap for an area we call “the missing middle” – those second-stage women business owners whose companies have emerged from the start-up phase but face a crucial inflection point in their growth journey,” said Kerrie MacPherson, principal, Financial Services Office, and North America Entrepreneurial Winning Women executive sponsor at EY.  “By providing the right information, networks and guidance we’re able to help these talented women access growth capital, identify strong business advisors and put the processes in place to radically expand their companies.”

This year’s diverse class includes some of the most promising business leaders of today. They average $9.8 million in annual revenue, with an average three-year combined annual growth rate of 42 percent and an average of 45 employees. Half of the 2016 Entrepreneurial Winning Women helm companies in science, technology and math (STEM) industries, and one-quarter have immigrated to the United States.

NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care introduced the market-leading concept of an urgent care center specifically for kids in 2007. It has since grown to five locations across the greater Houston area, including Sugar Land, Cy-Fair, Humble, Pearland and Webster. Unlike other urgent care centers, NightLight is seen as a partner and extension of the family’s primary care physician or pediatrician. This close relationship with primary care doctors strengthens the continuum of care by providing children what they need after office hours, including weekends and holidays.

Entrepreneurial Winning Women is evergreen, continuing to help its participants in the years that follow their initial selection. The program offers the entrepreneurs a like-minded community of ambitious women business leaders with common objectives, challenges and paths to growth. The relationships they establish with each other also serve to reinforce their efforts to scale, often getting the entrepreneurs through rough patches and creating opportunities for entirely new ventures with peer partners.

“The journey of the business visionary can be very lonely,” said Lisa Schiffman, Director, Brand, Marketing and Communications, Americas Growth Markets, Ernst & Young LLP and program founder. “Being selected for this elite program provides a vital shot in the arm to many of the entrepreneurs. That endorsement, along with tutelage in establishing advisory boards, positioning for growth capital with the right investors, building infrastructure and effective leadership teams and other how-to’s catalyze the scaling process for these companies.”

The panel of independent judges who selected the 2016 inductees included Pat Hedley, CEO, Path Ahead and advisory director, General Atlantic; Dr. Christina Lampe-Önnerud, CEO, Cadenza Innovation, LLC; Claudia Mirza, CEO and co-founder, Akorbi; and Don J. Morrison, CA, CPA, CIRP, ICD.D. The 14 members of the class of 2016 received an all-expenses paid trip to the EY Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Spring, California, an invitation-only gathering of more than 2,000 executives representing high-growth companies.

Entrepreneurial Winning Women is conducted in collaboration with several organizations that encourage the development of women-owned businesses, including the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), The Committee of 200 (C200), Golden Seeds, TEC Canada, the Kauffman Foundation and Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership. For more information on the program, visit ey.com/winningwomen.

About Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care
NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care is the only minority-and woman-owned business of its kind in the market. Its mission is to provide quality, affordable, compassionate service for infants, children and adolescents. More information is available at www.nightlightpediatrics.com.

About EY’s Growth Markets practice
EY’s Growth Markets (GM) guide leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate the path to market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY firms are the undisputed leaders in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

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