To close out our celebration of Women's History Month, we got to sit down and hear from the founders behind each of our WBE of the Year Award Winners for some words of wisdom, and a little dose of inspiration from the women behind it all! 

The WBE of the Year Award allows peers throughout the WBCS Network to recognize three woman-owned businesses that exemplify outstanding business acumen, industry leadership and community service! Over the last year, these WBEs demonstrated a strong commitment to doing business with fellow women-owned businesses. Three awards are given in this category; one with annual sales under $5 million, one with annual sales $5 million to $20 million and one with annual sales over $20 million. 

Next up, we are honored to recognize Ricochet Fuel Distributors! Standing out from their competition means offering a carrier network spread across 25 states. They are a “one stop shop” for all of a company’s fuel needs by delivering millions of gallons of diesel, gasoline, lubricants, biodiesel, and diesel exhaust fluid annually to customers across the United States. They utilize certification in all facets of the company – marketing, hiring, and selling. Having been in business since the 80s, they’re here to keep you moving.

Here is what Kelly had to say: 

What inspired you to start your business?

I began my career at Texaco in the Marketing department. After a few years of corporate life, I decided I wanted a little more control of my career steps. Starting my business allowed me to make decisions and execute them quickly - at my own pace.

What has your journey to entrepreneurship looked like for you?

I started the company with me as the only employee. As the company grew and we added great people, we experienced tremendous changes rapidly. The ride has been filled with many lessons learned, family support, many friends sharing knowledge and great networking opportunities. The WBCS has been a major factor in the development of not only my company, but also my personal development.

How has WBCS helped you connect to other WBEs for mutually beneficial partnerships/business deals?

I have made many friends in throughout this network. Regularly attending events and working on committees allows the opportunity to get to better get to know each other. As you learn about each other trust develops and you are eager to assist with connections and referrals. This becomes a two-way street. As I need additional vendors, the WBCS membership is the first place I look for resources.

What advice would you give to female founders just starting their business?

You do not have to reinvent the wheel. When I joined WBCS back in the ‘90s I was feeling isolated as a new entrepreneur. Working way too hard to figure everything out. I found WBCS to be a great resource for education, support and people of like minds. I do not think I would have survived without them.

Anything new or exciting on the horizon for you and your business?

After 36 years of building my business I am ready to delegate some responsibility and not work as hard all the time. My daughter has been heavily involved in the business for many years. She has many strengths that I do not have and brings a fresh perspective to the company. She was promoted to President last year and is leading our growth. I have stepped into a more solid CEO role. Working together is amazing.

Learn more about Ricochet Fuel Distributors at