Management Services Northwest

Women Business Owners Announces 2011 Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year

October 15, 2011

Janelle Bruland, CEO of Management Services Northwest wins prestigious award

SEATTLE – The Women Business Owners (WBO), Puget Sound’s leading organization for women entrepreneurs, has named Janelle Bruland of Management Services Northwest of Ferndale, Washington as the 2011 Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year. The award was announced at a gala awards banquet on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. The Nellie Cashman (‘The Nellie’) recognizes and honors women business owners who have enhanced the status of women entrepreneurs through their vision, perseverance, and fearless, relentless leadership in business and the community.

Candidates for The Nellie were evaluated by an independent panel of four judges based on their entrepreneurial spirit, ethics and community spirit, financial and management skills, and the difficulty and risk they have endured to achieve their success.  “Janelle is an extremely well-rounded, disciplined but very compassionate individual,” said Mary Marino, a principal at LarsonAllen LLP and one of the Nellie judges. “She had the whole package and was strong in every single area.”

Management Services Northwest began as a small janitorial company and had 10 employees when Bruland purchased it in 1995. It has since become a one-call source for complete facilities management, and is a now a regional employer in Washington, Oregon and Idaho with more than 240 employees, and 300 vendor partners.  Bruland oversees all aspects of her company with her principal focus on strategic planning and business development.  She is active both within her industry and within her community. Bruland serves on the board of Building Services Contractor’s Association International (BSCAI), the largest international facilities services trade organization and on the editorial committee for Services Magazine.  She is a board member of Peace Health, St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham and serves on the Community Benefit Committee which provides resources to increase the quality of life for disadvantaged members in the community. Among her recent recognitions are Fastest Growing Private Companies (Inc.  5000 Magazine and Puget Sound Business Journal), and the Washington State Small Business Person of the Year, 2010.

“What set Janelle apart was her acute clarity with the vision of her company, and her financial savvy and fearlessness in terms of growing her company,” said Susan Kaufman, CEO of Serafina and Cicchetti restaurants2010 Nellie winner and 2011 Nellie judge. “Janelle walks the walk more than many in relationship to her core values around community, teamwork and taking care of both her staff and her clients; she is a leader in the truest sense; a woman who listens to her own voice, trusts her decision making, and will not compromise her own life values.  These are not only qualities that Nellie herself would have been proud of, but, in my opinion, are paramount to the success of a business.”

About Women Business Owners

Women Business Owners ( is Puget Sound’s leading organization for women entrepreneurs. Our mission: to propel resolute women entrepreneurs to embrace their fullest vision of success. Beyond a great business referral network, WBO is a resource for inspiration, education, enduring relationships, and leadership development.

About the WBO Nellie

Since 1982, the Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year Award has recognized and honored Puget Sound area women entrepreneurs who have made outstanding contributions to the status of women business owners through their leadership in business and the community.

The award, also known as the WBO Nellie, is the most prestigious and longest running honor of its kind in the region. Presentation of the award brings together more than 300 prominent local business and community leaders in a professionally organized and hosted awards dinner banquet to share the inspiration of our most prominent women entrepreneurs and business owners.

To qualify a nominee must own at least 51% of the business, gross more than $1million in annual revenue and have three or more employees. Candidates for The Nellie are judged based on their entrepreneurial spirit, ethics and community spirit, financial and management skills, and the difficulty and risk they have endured to achieve their success.

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