KeyBank has announced Kathleen Lerch Kelly, owner of Precision Landscaping, and Bonnie Jensen and Donna Sebastiano, owners of Tresses, received Key4Women Achieve Awards during the Northtowns and Southtowns fifth annual Key4Women Achieve Award receptions.
The Achieve Award is part of KeyBank's Key4Women program, which, since 2006, has lent more than $6 billion to women-owned businesses and is recognized by the Kauffman Foundation as a "best practice" for financial institutions serving women business owners.
"Key established the Key4Women program eight years ago to provide women business owners with the customized tools and resources they need to be successful," said Gary Quenneville, KeyBank president, Western New York market. "Kathleen, Bonnie and Donna have utilized these tools in growing their start-ups into successful businesses. They are all great role models and resources for other women business leaders, and the Achieve Award recognizes their many accomplishments and contributions to the community."
Lerch Kelly has owned Precision Landscaping for more than 20 years. While in college at the State University of New York at Cortland, she worked as a part-time landscaper. She seized the opportunity to make it something more when a commercial client approached her about maintaining and landscaping a property. Today, Precision Landscaping has more than 400 clients.
In addition to being an active, contributing member of the Erie County and Niagara County communities, where many of her clients are located, Lerch Kelly is an avid fan of the television show "Survivor," and hopes to one day compete as a participant on the program. She is married with five children.
Jensen and Sebastiano have been operating Tresses for 18 years. Located at 133 Pine St., in Hamburg, Tresses is a Gold Well Color Alliance Salon.
In addition to running the salon, Jensen and Sebastiano actively support the community by sponsoring fundraisers and supporting local nonprofits and events, including Special Olympics, Mud Run for Breast Cancer, Bald 4 Bucks, Locks of Love, Operation Good Neighbor, Polar Plunge for Special Olympics and Tough Mother for Wounded Warrior.
Key4Women, officially launched in 2005, is a unique KeyBank program grounded in research and dedicated to helping women business owners achieve success. The program began with a commitment to lend $1 billion to qualified women business owners and from 2005-09 Key surpassed that goal, lending $3 billion to women-owned businesses. In 2009, Key committed to lend another $3 billion to qualified women business owners by 2012, surpassing that goal as well.
In addition to access to capital, Key4Women offers customized solutions through Key4Women Champions in 21 districts, ongoing education to help women business owners build skills and knowledge and networking opportunities with local and national organizations, including the Women's President Organization, the Center for Women's Business Research and the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Key4Women is free to Key clients, who can join by visiting www.key.com/women. On the site, members can find business tips on topics such as SBA lending, marketing and business development, human resources, and information technology. In addition to the website, members have access to e-newsletters, teleconferences and podcasts. Non-Key clients can learn more about the program and how they can join by contacting Janine Clark, Key4Women Champion in Western New York, at 716-276-2030 or by email at [email protected].
For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is member FDIC.