San Diego Business Journal

Women-Owned Businesses Are a Half Billion Dollar Force

ENTERPRISE: Firms Grow 2.8 Percent in 2011 And Support 3,200 Jobs By Stephanie Glidden Monday, May 7, 2012

If one of the goals for women who choose to start their own business is to live to see the day when there is a woman-owned business across all sectors of our economy, then that day is here.

The 47 companies on the 2012 San Diego Business Journal Women-Owned Businesses list are as diverse as fitness for No. 1 ranked Jazzercise Inc. to engineering for No. 2 ranked Coffman Specialties Inc. to printing for No. 7 ranked Neyenesch Printers Inc. There are no two companies in the same industry in 75 percent of the list. The two industries that make up the remaining 25 percent are staffing and marketing/public relations.

The companies on the list represent 28 industries and employ 3,200 people across the company with combined revenues of $530.5 million. Revenue for the group grew 2.8 percent from 2010 to 2011 — precisely the growth of the overall economy as reported recently by the U.S. Commerce Department.

The criterion used to rank the list is gross revenue in 2011.

Among the most established is No. 1 ranked Jazzercise Inc. with $97 million in revenue for 2011. Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO, started the fitness dance company 40 years ago and transformed the business into a franchise operation in the early 1980s. Jazzercise has 250 employees companywide. Missett, now in her 60s, continues to teach classes and to innovate through new products and alliances. In the tradition of businesses that are passed down through the generations, daughter Shanna Missett Nelson now serves as president.

Two Sides of a Coin

“It was just a natural progression,” Nelson said. “I was attending college in Arizona and became certified as an instructor to earn money; it was a great job.”

She then traveled to Japan on behalf of the company and became more involved in the business side, Nelson added. As president she is part of a management team that sets the direction for the company. “It’s a very creative job; I love the business side and the creative side.”

Twenty-one-year-old Coffman Specialties Inc. is No. 2 on the list with just under $97 million in revenue. Colleen Coffman is the president of the company that employs 130 people.

“Coffman is a general engineering contractor that is focused on structural concrete, roads, airfields and canals,” said John Palmer, CFO. “Coffman has offices in San Diego and Phoenix and works on domestic and international projects.”

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