Posted on January 23, by Jon Leujleu@nonpareilonline.com
Alisa Roth, owner of Bloom Works Floral in Council Bluffs, has been named the winner of the 2017 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneurial Award presented by America’s Small Business Development Centers Iowa. The award will be presented during a special ceremony on March 14 at the State Capitol in Des Moines.
America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations.
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance center located across the state. Since the programs inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable workshops.
Sue Pitts, regional director of the Iowa Western Community College Small Business Development Center in Council Bluffs, nominated Roth for the Deb Dalziel Award because, “Alisa has become a respected entrepreneur and is very involved in the Council Bluffs Community. She has been through many trying times with her business and in her personal life but has trudged through it all and has never stopped working her business and putting her heart and soul into making Council Bluffs the best place it can be.”
Pitts said Roth was the first client she worked with when she started the SBDC position at Iowa Western in 2004.
Pitts offered the following comments and insights in her nomination of Roth for the Dalziel award:
“Alisa had a dream to start and run her own business in 2004 and stopped into the SBDC to see how we could help her. She was in her early 20s with two very young children. Within six months, Alisa and her key employee, Susan Enewald, were gracing the 100 block in downtown Council Bluffs. They quickly became a household name in the community and a mainstay presence in downtown Council Bluffs.
“Alisa has become a respected entrepreneur in the community and is a top influencer in this region in her industry. She has participated in many mentor activities through the SBDC and other organizations to help and support other entrepreneurs as well as future entrepreneurs. She is not only passionate about her industry but is passionate about sharing her dream for running her own business with others.
“Alisa is also extremely involved in the community and uses her business as a means to raise awareness and dollars for issues important to her. One example of this is Bloom Works’ Annual Good Neighbor Day event. Every year on the designated national Good Neighbor Day, Bloom Works gives away 10,000 free roses. They open their doors at 8 a.m. and, while supplies last, give away 12 roses to each person. They ask that each person keeps one rose and give 11 roses away to 11 people to create many, many, random acts of kindness in Council Bluffs.
“Alisa has been through many trying times with her business and in her personal life – including the loss of her husband, Council Bluffs Police Lt. Ben Roth, to a short and devastating battle with cancer – but has trudged through it all and has never stopped working her business and putting her heart and soul into making Council Bluffs the best place it can be.”
“It’s been an honor to work with her and see her grow and become a part of the community,” Pitts said.
Roth, who had worked for other local florists before deciding to open her own shop in 2004, said she began working with Pitts before opening her shop.
“Working with the Sue at the SBDC made me feel comfortable with things,” Roth said. “You look at things realistically.”
Roth opened Bloom Works Floral in 2004 at 106 W. Broadway, now the home of Glory Days. She moved the shop to its current location at 138 W. Broadway eight years ago and currently employs four part-time designers with “lots of family help.”
“Changes in technology have been very influential,” she said. “It’s not like it was when I started 20 years ago. It’s really important to keep up with social media, current communication methods, to keep up with customers.
Roth is active in a variety of Chamber of Commerce activities as well as CB Business Connections. She’s also active in her kids’ school activities.
The Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award is awarded annually to women who have significantly improved or changed their own personal situation, thus having an impact on others around them. The award was established in 1999 by America’s SBDC Iowa to help highlight the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs in Iowa. Roth is the first winner from southwest Iowa in the award’s 18 year history.
The purpose of the Deb Dalziel award is not only to honor Dalziel, a long-time advocate of women entrepreneurs, but also to ensure that the groundwork is in place to assure women equal advantages in the business world.
As director of America’s SBDC Iowa at Southeastern Community College from 1987 to 1999, Dalziel served as a mentor for women developing business projects. Ron Manning, former state director of the Iowa SBDC, said Dalziel was a resourceful consultant and advisor who served as an excellent example for her clients, showing how women can achieve success in the business world. Dalziel died of cancer at the age of 44.
Read at the Daily Nonpareil.