SIFE team recognizes Women in Business

April 10, 2012

The Wayland Baptist University Students in Free Enterprise team will once again recognize local women who are leaders in business. Three honorees — Deliece Harrison, DeLynn Wardlow and Cindy Wieland — will be recognized during the annual Women in Business banquet, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 19 at the McClung Center, room 211.

Keynote speaker for the event is Janice Payne and tickets to the banquet are $20 per person. They may be purchased from SIFE members at Wayland, or from Debbie Lane (291-1020) or Dr. Sam VanHoose (291-1029.

Payne is a native of Memphis, Tenn. and spent much of her life in Fort Worth, where she owned a successful database management and business mail service business. During her 21 years as a business owner, she received the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year award, the Better Business Bureau’s Golden Torch Award for Ethics in the Marketplace and the City of Fort Worth Business Assistance Center’s Entrepreneur Expo award.

After retiring to Plainview with her husband, Dale, in 2007, she has continued her service in Rotary and currently is on the boards of the Plainview Chamber of Commerce, The Hale County Literacy Council, the Crisis Center of the Plains and Main Street. She also is the coordinator of the SCORE office in Plainview which offers counseling and mention to new and emerging businesses.

Harrison is the owner of Hale County Abstract Company, which she purchased in 2008.

Born in Plainview, she was raised on a farm at Cedar Hill and attended school in Floydada.

She graduated from Merriman Business College in Lubbock in 1965 and lived in Lubbock until 1982. There, she was the clerk for the 137th District Court under Judges Robert Wright and Madison Sowder. She moved to Houston in 1986 where she worked for Marker’s Business Records before moving to Plainview in 1988 and to Hale Center in 1997.

Harrison began working for Tommie Johnson at Hale County Abstract Company in August, 1988 and was the closer and escrow officer until 1993 when the law firm of Miller & Gutzmer purchased the company. Harrison served as manager from 1993-2005 before purchasing the company herself in 2008. She has six employees.

Harrison is married to JT Harrison, who is retired, and the couple has two daughters, Cassandra Harrison and Christi Redden, and a seven-year-old grandson, Tucker Redden.

Wardlow is the founder and owner of It’s A Girl Thing which now has two locations in Plainview — the original store is located in the front of Coffey Seed on South Date Street and It’s A Girl Thing Too, is located on Broadway and Seventh Streets.

She began her first business by partnering with Robyn Nance, the daughter of Lee and Sunny Coffey who own Coffey Forage Seed and Wilhite Seed Company. The business, named Cotton Pick-in-Bags, manufactured a line of clothing made from seed sacks used by Coffey-Wilhite Seed Company.

From there, she began another line of clothing and bags, using the seed bags, under the name of Suzanna Cerissa — a name derived from her first name and the name of her oldest daughter, Cerissa. Through this business, she also manufactured and sold soft luggage, purses and “little girl items,” and at the time the soft luggage, which was made from oil cloth, was very popular.

Ultimately, Wardlow changed the name of her business to It’s A Girl Thing and as her daughters grew, so did the type of merchandise she carried. She even added gifts which appealed to the mothers.

To expand the scope of her business, Wardlow began attending fall Junior League shows in Jackson, Miss., Austin and Lubbock and the Nutcracker Show in Houston. She still attends the show in Houston and has added Holiday Happening in Lubbock.

Wardlow’s success encouraged her to open the retail store at Coffey Seed, and continued success led to the opening of the second location.

Wardlow, who is a member of First Baptist Church in Plainview, is married to Karl Wardlow and the couple has two daughters, Cerissa Stockdale — mother of Tess and Elle Stockdale — and Kailey Wardlow who is a senior at Texas Tech University. Both currently work alongside their mother in the business.

Wieland is the assistant vice president of operations and accounting at Hale County State Bank.

She is a native of Plainview who began her career at HCSB in 1993 as a teller and shortly thereafter became a customer service representative.

When the bank opened its west branch in 1996, she was transferred to the new location where she soon became a lending officer. She later was promoted to assistant branch manager.

In 2003, Wieland was promoted to branch manager of HCSB West and she served in that capacity until being promoted to her current position at the downtown location of the bank.

Wieland is a graduate of Plainview High School and attended West Texas State University. She received a general banking diploma from the American Institute of Banking in Lubbock in 1997 and is a graduate of Leadership Plainview.

She has used her leadership skills in civic work, serving as campaign chair for the Plainview Area United Way, as well as division chair for four years and budget chair for a couple of years. Currently, she is the president of the local United Way board.

Wieland also served on the board of directors for the Salvation Army for nine years and as a member of the Plainview Main Street Board of Directors for six. She held the office of president on that board this past year.

Through the past eight years, Wieland has been active in PTA and has served in officer positions for seven of those years. She was awarded the distinguished Life PTA Membership in 2010 from the College Hill PTA for her outstanding work.

Wieland is a member of First Baptist Church, where she taught Bible Buddies for five years and coached Upward Basketball and Cheerleading this past year. She also has coached both indoor and outdoor soccer for the local YMCA and has been a Read First volunteer for three years.

She joined Soroptimist International of Plainview in 1997 and was named president of that organization in 2000-01.

Wieland and her husband, Keith, have two daughters: Kenzie, who is a freshman at Plainview High School, and Kaitlyn, who is a fifth grader at Lakeside.

Students in Free Enterprise is an international student organization dedicated to six principles: Ethics, market economics, free enterprise, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

The Wayland SIFE team developed the Women in Business program to further those goals. The program honors women who have contributed to the local business environment.