Reality TV Star Headlines Women's Business Event at VSU

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Valdosta, GA - Tiffany Young operates the Pink Pastry Parlor in Atlanta. She said "I've accomplished everything that... well almost, I don't have any children yet. Honey I need some children for Christmas."

Although she's not a mom yet Tiffany has done well for herself since graduating from VSU 10 years ago. Aside from being her own boss she is also the star of a reality TV show called Party at Tiffany's on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network. This event gave her the chance to connect with dozens of local businesswomen.

She said "sometimes money gets tight because we know where our responsibilities are. If we have children, we're taking care of them first you know. We put ourselves second a lot, but I'm going to kind of show them how to put yourself half way first. Do your business and your family."

The symposium was created by the Small Business Development Center. Their office at VSU covers 10 counties including Lowndes.

Ruby Riesinger is an Area Director for the Small Business Development Center. She said "we offer free counseling just to help businesses. And we are especially helping businesses who need to write a business plan and go for capital acquisition, go for a loan."

According to the Center for Women's Business Research, women own roughly 40% of the private businesses in the country.

This was the third annual business symposium held at Valdosta State Univeristy.

Valdosta, GA - According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women own approximately 40 percent of the private businesses in the nation. Last year the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 51.4 percent of managerial, professional and related positions were held by women.

With women at the forefront of the business world, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Valdosta State University has created an event that allows businesswomen to assemble for a day of education, empowerment and enlightenment. The 2012 Women in Business Symposium is to be held Friday, Oct. 5 at the University Center from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For the past two years, the SBDC has hosted a women-owned business symposium for female entrepreneurs to network and attend professional development workshops. However, this year, the center opened the event to women who hold leadership positions in the private and public sectors.

“Through this event, businesswomen will be able to engage in discussions that allow them to share perspectives of those who own businesses and those with professional and executive roles,” said Ruby Riesinger, SBDC area director and business consultant. “They will also gain insight on ways to make their jobs easier, de-stress and network.”

The symposium includes power networking sessions, breakout sessions and the keynote address by Tiffany Young, VSU graduate, owner of Pink Pastry Parlor, LLC and star of the reality television show, “Party at Tiffany’s.” Young will discuss her journey to success as an entrepreneur and her focus on female leadership and empowerment.

Breakout sessions include presentations from Rita Suiter of 5 Start Customer Service Strategies and Joey Broadwater with the Center of Physical Rehabilitation. Attendees can also participate in a human resources panel discussion, business expo and ice cream social. There will be resources available for women who are interested in starting their own businesses as well as an opportunity for women to take professional headshots. Gently used shoes will be collected to donate to Goodwill.

“There is so much competition among women in business, but there are also many opportunities for all women to thrive professionally if support is shown,” said Riesinger. “This event is held to bring business women together and promote support for each other. It also satisfies an initiative of the Small Business Administration to reach out to certain interest groups in business.”

The event is sponsored by Georgia Power, the Georgia Small Business Development Center, and the VSU Langdale College of Business Administration.

Registration for the symposium is $25 per person. Businesses and individuals can also register to display booths for $35, which is registration plus an additional $10. For more information or to register to attend and/or display at the symposium, visit or call (229) 245-3738.