Franchise Founder Gail Johnson Named Richmond NAWBO Entrepreneur of the Year

March 07, 2011 // // (RICHMOND, Va.) - The founder of the Rainbow Station franchise system was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Richmond Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners on March 3.

Rainbow Station is headquartered in Richmond and has nine locations across the nation. Rainbow Station serves children aged newborn to 14 and offers extended day nursery school and preschool programming with after-school and summer camp programs. Additionally, some of the campuses offer Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes.

One of the unique and highly popular features of the school is that it provides an on-site infirmary located in an architecturally separate building on the campus attended by a full-time pediatric nurse so that parents have emergency back-up care when their child is mildly ill. "The Get Well Place" has a dedicated HVAC system designed to prevent any cross contamination, and is additionally equipped with a room with reverse ventilation to further prevent the spread of respiratory illness within the infirmary. The infirmary is open to all children in the community regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in Rainbow Station.

The NAWBO Hirschler Fleischer Entrepreneur of the Year award is given to the woman who has demonstrated exceptional ability to overcome adversity, bring innovation to their business, and achieve goals.

Additional criteria for the award include:

  1. Candidates must be a current business owner, involved in the day to day operations, and a decision maker of the organization.
  2. Must have been in continuous active business at least five years with strong financial performance.
  3. Headquartered in the Metro Richmond area (City of Richmond, Tri-Cities and surrounding counties).
  4. The nominee shall support other women business owners when possible
  5. The nominee shall be perceived by the public in her community as a leader
  6. Not-for-profit and similar organizations do not qualify. NAWBO membership not required.
  7. You may nominate yourself or someone else.
  8. Women who have received this award within the last 5 years may not be nominated for this award.
  9. Personal commitment to community involvement.

Rainbow Station has received many accolades over its 20 year history. The Greater Richmond Better Business Bureau recognized Rainbow Station's marketplace integrity by awarding the Torch Award in 2006 - 2007, and, in a later competition, the International Better Business Bureau named it a top five finalist in 2008 for marketplace excellence. More recently, Rainbow Station was honored by being named to the Center for Companies That Care 2009 Honor Roll and by receiving the Richmond Human Resources Management Association Employer All Star Award in 2007 and 2008. Johnson has also been named the Virginia Small Business Person of the Year in 1997, the YWCA Outstanding Woman in Business in 2002, received the Innsbrook Rotary Business Leadership Award in 2003, was named Volunteer of the Year by the March of Dimes in 2006, and received the 2007 ECDC Lifetime Achievement Award.



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