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04/30/2008 - Triangle Editor Wins 2008 Journalist-of-the-Year Award

Billie Shaw Moreland is the winner of the 2008 Small Business Administration (SBA) business journalist-of the-year champion award for the Pacific Northwest Region 10.. SBA’s Region 10 includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The award was presented in Seattle on Tuesday, April 29.

SBA spokesperson Patricia Jordan states that “as a small business owner of a technical writing service, Moreland combines the power of the pen with the reach of the information superhighway to share entrepreneurial topics in electronic newsletters, technical news articles, and magazine features. Billie Moreland focuses on enterprises that are challenging to explain and appreciate – such as high tech, unusual or extremely small companies. Her writing projects repeatedly raise awareness and contribute substantially to the success of its small businesses while also placing the city of Spokane on the national map.”

After obtaining bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from Kansas State University, Moreland moved to Spokane and started out as a food columnist for a weekly newspaper. In 1972, she opened her own “country French” lunch and dinner restaurant that also provided catering services and accommodated banquets. She sold the restaurant after 20 years of successful operation and launched her technical writing and consulting company, Billie Moreland & Associates (BMA). Serving “food for thought” within the culinary arts and food industry, she authored a regional magazine’s most popular series of articles featuring food sector businesses ranging from kitchen stores to gourmet delicatessens to ethnic markets. Business income increased at the establishments profiled.

According to the SBA, “Billie Moreland serves as a true advocate of small businesses. She is the only freelance technical writer in Spokane with extensive experience in business, technology, science and food writing. Her business-related articles expertly explain who might need the featured innovations and why.”

To further aide small business enhancement and growth, Moreland has counseled several hundred clients since she joined SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small Business -- in 2000. She is the current district director of the SCORE chapters that serve eastern Washington and north Idaho. She is an active member and corporate partner of the Inland Northwest Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She created a monthly newsletter for NAWBO and continues to produce, publish, circulate and post it on-line.

The SBA continues that she “was instrumental to the growth of the Terabyte Triangle - a distinct area of downtown Spokane characterized by commercial space with high-speed connectivity. The dynamic synergistic benefits of this downtown business district have drawn an alliance of businesses such as multimedia producers, graphic designers, attorneys, music producers, software developers, and other microenterprises. Now there are over 120 optical fiber buildings and 150 high-tech businesses located in the Terabyte Triangle.”

Moreland publishes the official Terabyte Triangle electronic newsletter covering technology businesses, bioscience businesses, educational institutions, and real estate and connectivity resources. Her articles featuring businesses within the Terabyte Triangle have increased community awareness of their core services or new product offerings, boosting customer demand. The e-newsletter also attracted a powerful business capital company that subsequently relocated to Spokane bringing with it a new potential source of funds for regional entrepreneurs.

Finally, SBA notes that “Moreland excels in integrating news articles into compelling master documents of all forms – including grant applications, civic award nominations, and summary articles for regional publications. She wrote the nomination document for the international Intelligent Community competition, putting the state of Washington on the worldwide map. For two years in a row, the city of Spokane obtained top honors as the “most intelligent community in the United States” for its technology foundations and use of optical fiber communications; and number two internationally only behind Glasgow, Scotland. Her nomination also helped earn Spokane a national “All-American City” award in 2006. Another nomination document resulted in a Spokane woman entrepreneur being named the national NAWBO/Verizon Business Owner of the Year.”

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