"From the beginning, the biggest benefit has been the education, inspiration and informal mentoring from fellow WBEs. Although intangible, these have been extremely valuable for my professional development and the long-term success of my business."  -Tracy Southers-Parker

Tracy Southers-Parker is the President of Wordplay PR & Marketing, a full-service public relations firm based out of Grapevine, Texas, that has been certified since 2015. She is currently a member of the WBCS marketing committee, and is a 2018 recipient of a Lillie Knox Investment Award. We are catching up with her today to see how she has been able to use the award money, and also how she continues to benefit from her connections made through WBCS events.

The Lillie Knox Investment Awards are fully funded by donations from WBCS members. Please click here if you would like to learn more, or contribute to this year's fund.

What benefits have you seen from being involved with the Women's Business Council - Southwest (WBCS)? 
The benefits to my business are both tangible and intangible. As a recipient of a Lillie Knox Investment Award last year, I received cash from WBCS to invest in my business. But from the beginning, the biggest benefit has been the education, inspiration, and informal mentoring from fellow WBEs. Although intangible, these have been extremely valuable for my professional development and the long-term success of my business.


How have you been able to use the money you received through the Lillie Knox Investment Awards?
I sat down at my desk the day before the deadline and decided on a whim to complete the application. I feel that it was divine intervention! I have already used the grant to launch a new website for my agency, and purchase software to develop online courses, which will create an additional revenue source. 


What has been your favorite WBCS event to attend and why?
From a networking standpoint, I really enjoy the monthly Table Topics as it’s easier to meet fellow WBEs and share information. For business development, I like the events that allow me to get face-to-face with corporate members.

How did you make the most of your WBENC certification in your first year of membership? 
Ironically, I was attending the WBENC National Conference in Austin when I received notification that I was certified. As that was my first WBENC event to attend, I always compare the experience to drinking from a fire hose! To get the most from my membership, I attended nearly every event during my first year.


What is the best reason for another WBE to get certified? 
The access to personal and professional growth from amazing women in all types of industries.