Atlanta Business Women Receive Public Policy Awards on Capitol Hill

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Largest women's business group in the US presented global honors to fourteen women in recognition of their advocacy for and on behalf of women and minorities in business. Owners of Advantage Building Contractors, Inc. clenched two awards in Public Policy.

Amidst the federal government shutdown, two Atlanta business women and co-founders of Advantage Building Contractors, Inc., a federal government and Department of Defense general construction firm, received Public Policy Awards from the largest women’s business group in the United States while attending the organization’s Annual Leadership Conference in Washington, DC on October 9 and 10, 2013. Lynn Sutton and Trish Summers were awarded for their significant accomplishments in Public Policy while supporting the mission of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), a nonpartisan public policy organization that advocates for and on behalf of women and minorities in business in the legislative process of the United States.

Sutton is CEO of Advantage Building Contractors, Inc. She led her company to the award of the first federal construction contract set-aside for Woman Owned Small Businesses. She continues to inspire and help women and other socially and economically disadvantaged groups as Editor of “Hattie’s Hammer.” “Hattie’s Hammer” is a tool, resource and guide to help disadvantaged groups navigate the federal market by providing information regarding current events, programs, opportunities, and legislation. Sutton’s dedication and respect for diversity and opportunity for all began in the ‘90s as an activist while working in development at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, DC. In 1993, Sutton worked for the National Organization for Women and was responsible for mobilizing the local community in DC to rally support for the Violence Against Women Act. Within a year, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 was passed. Sutton currently serves as a WIPP Procurement Committee member; Leadership Council member for the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and Regional Safety Chair for the National Association of Women in Construction.

Summers is President of Advantage Building Contractors, Inc. She is a distinguished and decorated veteran with extensive training and background in DOD regulatory compliance. She was formerly recognized as a US Military Academy Preparatory School candidate while serving as an enlisted soldier and her military honors include the National Defense Service Ribbon, multiple Army Commendation medals and Achievement Awards; and the Commandant’s Award for Outstanding Leadership. Summers strategically led her company’s efforts to secure numerous federal small business certifications. Her direct efforts and negotiations have led to award of DOD contracts at over half a dozen military installations throughout Georgia and South Carolina to include Naval Submarine Base – Kings Bay, GA; Ft Stewart, GA; Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, GA; Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, GA; 165th Airlift Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, Pooler, GA; Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC; and McEntire Joint National Guard Base, SC. Summers is a WIPP Procurement Committee member; Panelist for ChallengeHer (sponsored by WIPP, US Small Business Administration, and American Express OPEN); and Regional Chair for National Association of Women in Construction, leading the award winning Block Kids Program that introduces children to the countless facets of the construction industry.

During the conference, both Sutton and Summers met with legislative staff of Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isaakson to discuss WIPP policy priorities. Georgia Congressman John Lewis and his legislative staff were unavailable during the shutdown. Ms. Summers commented, “’I hope that every woman who can write will not be silent.’ That was our call to action over a century ago from Harriett Beecher Stowe. Women and minorities must participate in the legislative process to achieve economic equality. We are all ambassadors of Public Policy. WIPP provides us with a platform to have a loud, resonating, and unified voice.”

For more information on advocacy efforts by Sutton and Summers, visit

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Dominique Turnage
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