RALEIGH, N.C., March 27, 2019 – Monica Smiley, CEO and publisher of Enterprising Women magazine, recognized two extraordinary women whose pioneering accomplishments in business are matched by their profound contribution to the success and empowerment of women around the world. She inducted Phyllis Newhouse, Chief Executive Officer of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame; and bestowed Manizha Wafeq, In-Country Facilitator for Afghanistan for the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS program, with the 2019 Enterprising Women Advocacy Award.
The awards were given during the Hall of Fame Luncheon yesterday at the 17th Annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference March 24-26 at the Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale. These are special recognitions followed by the 2019 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs.
“Enterprising Women is honored to have Phyllis Newhouse and Manizha Wafeq as stellar inspirations in our constellation of women leaders,” Smiley said.
“We welcome Phyllis Newhouse to our Hall of Fame, reserved for outstanding women who have reached the top of their industry or profession, have built a remarkable business or nonprofit, and have given back to their communities in significant ways. She is one of the most influential women in technology with her IT consulting and state-of-the-art cyber security firm, Xtreme Solutions. More recently, as the founder of Shoulder Up -- a movement she founded with Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis to empower women and encourage them to create their own legacy -- Phyllis has proven herself to be an exemplary leader,” Smiley added.
“As our 2019 Advocacy Award winner, Manizha Wafeq has demonstrated the true meaning of this award by educating and impacting hundreds of Afghan women entrepreneurs through her 12 years of work with PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS and for the past 16 years as an advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality in Afghanistan.” she said. “Her persistent and influential lobbying skills resulted in the first Afghan Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a 5 percent preference clause for women-owned businesses in national procurement, and a 15-25 percent allocation of industrial park space for small, medium and women-owned businesses in Afghanistan. Manizha is one of her country’s strongest advocates for women in business and her work has been life-changing,” Smiley said.
Enterprising Women, the nation’s only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners, chronicles the growing political, economic and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women in 185 countries. The organization extends this influence through thought leadership conferences, recognition, online learning and the Enterprising Women Foundation advancing vital mentoring for high school young women.
Phyllis Newhouse is the Chief Executive Officer of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., an end-to-end IT services and solutions provider, with offerings that range from IT business consulting to state-of-the-art cyber security consulting and forensic analysis. Phyllis co-founded Xtreme Solutions in 2002 upon retiring from the United States Army as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. She is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, and worldwide motivational speaker in business. Her company, Xtreme Solutions, has been recognized as being one of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies in the United States consecutively for the past seven years.
Phyllis, now one of the most influential women in technology, was admitted into the 2013 class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ and was most recently recognized for her accomplishments as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 National Technology Award winner.
She is currently a member of the Business Executives for National Security (BENS), and she is a member of the Women's Presidents' Organization (WPO) where she proudly serves on the Executive Board. Phyllis also serves on the Board of Directors of Girls, Inc.
Manizha Wafeq graduated from the inaugural PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® class in 2007 and is currently teaching her 12th year of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® education in Kabul as the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s In-Country Facilitator for Afghanistan. In this role, she has taught and mentored more than 350 Afghan businesswomen in Kabul and other smaller provinces. In December 2018, Manizha led business trainings for nearly 50 women for the second year of the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® / Northwood University Pathways mini-courses in three different provinces of Afghanistan.
Manizha is the co-founder of several organizations to advocate for women's economic empowerment, including the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Network, and Leading Entrepreneurs for Afghanistan’s Development (LEAD), a predecessor organization for the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI).
She earned her MBA from the American University of Afghanistan in 2017.
Enterprising Women is a partner in the new Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative.
The initiative supports the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentors — women and men — to increase the interest and confidence of young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.