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SBA 2007 Small Business Person of the Year

Dana Receives the 2007 Maryland SBA Small Business Person of the Year Award

Left to right: US Senator Benjamin Cardin, Steve Umberger, District Director – SBA Baltimore District Office, Dana, and Allan Stephenson, Chairman of the MD Small Business Week Awards Program, Inc.

On May 11th, 2007 at Baltimore’s Martin’s West, Thomases and other Maryland award winners were honored at the 23rd Annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards Breakfast. Each awardee was introduced with highlights from their career and company. Download a PDF file of Thomases introductory presentation. In her acceptance speech, Thomases acknowledged her family, friends, business community and Web Ad.vantage team for helping her to achieve professional success.The annual SBA Business Person of the Year Award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs for their contributions to the nation’s economy and for their personal achievements based upon staying power, employee growth, sales increases, current and past financial performance, product or service innovation, response to adversity, and contributions to community-oriented projects.

Web Ad.vantage & Dana White

Dana WhiteThomases founded Web Ad.vantage in 1998, when the Internet was in its infancy and most businesses were primarily focused on building websites. Realizing that if we build it, they will come was not enough, Thomases recognized the secret to success was in generating qualified website traffic and converting those leads into sales.

Thomases pioneered innovative programs that consistently enhanced her clients’ image and bottom line, spearheading her agency’s impressive growth well after the Internet boom and subsequent bust. Thomases started her firm by hiring female professionals who temporarily or permanently left the workforce to have and/or raise children. She developed flexible, family-friendly policies and procedures for in-house employees and telecommuters, building an organisation that has grown to 13 employees currently based in Maryland and across the nation. The Web Ad.vantage team is 75 percent female and women hold three of the four senior positions.

Dana and the Web Ad.vantage TeamThomases credits a portion of her agency’s success to the growing acceptance of and demand for online marketing and advertising. A 2007 research survey by Forrester and Evalueserve indicate that more than half the corporate marketing executives (CMOs) prefer creative boutique agencies that are proficient in emerging digital media over traditional, larger agencies who “have difficulty thinking beyond traditional print and TV media models, which no longer are effective ways of engaging consumers who now get their information and influence one another primarily through digital channels.”

Thomases has cultivated an impressive client roster and reputation as one of the online marketing industry’s brightest marketing visionaries and gurus. She has actively participated in development and advisory boards for industry, trade, charitable and business organisations, including: Harford County’s Small Business Development Center; Harford County Economic Development Advisory Board; co-founding Australian Science Technology and Engineering Council’s Digital Bridge Initiative; Maryland Business Roundtable for Education’s Teen Web Project, and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Information Technology Steering Committee. Consequently, Thomases and her firm, Web Ad.vantage have garnered numerous awards and accolades over the years, including: Aetna’s Smart Solutions Award for female entrepreneurs; Australian Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award; and Harford County’s Bush Declaration Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit. A renowned ClickZ columnist on the topic of agency media buying strategies and Digital Marketing and ecommerce expert, Thomases frequently speaks at business and trade conferences and with local, business and marketing media.

Read more about Dana’ “Local Success Story” on the SBA web site.

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Web Ad.vantage, Inc. was very responsive during the entire process, kept me on track, and was more than happy to complete any task that I requested. 

-Nancy Dysard, Director for Marketing & Public Relations
Harford Community College

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