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Jennifer Schenck Receives 2020 Debin Benish Outstanding Businesswoman Award


Jennifer Schenck Receives 2020 Debin Benish Outstanding Businesswoman Award

COLUMBIA, MO:  Jennifer Schenck, Co-Founder of The Connection Exchange, has been awarded the 16th Annual Debin Benish Outstanding Businesswoman Award on behalf of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network and Delta Systems Group. The award was presented at the Chamber’s Annual Membership Awards Celebration on November 19, 2020 at The Blue Note.

The Debin Benish Outstanding Businesswoman Award honors Schenck and also the inspiration of the award, the late Debin Benish. Benish founded Delta Systems and believed in the importance of small business. The award honors a Columbia businesswoman who demonstrates success in business, exhibits leadership in supporting small business, volunteers in the community and creates positive change, and mentors other businesswomen.

Schenck grew up in the Dallas, TX area, then attended William Jewell College in Liberty, MO earning a BA in International Business and Spanish. She started her career at IBM Dallas in the Global Marketing and Sales division, but shortly after became an entrepreneur. Schenck started a children’s bedding and accessory boutique that transitioned into a line of wholesale furniture and bedding, and also co-owned an ice cream franchise in Dallas. After moving to Missouri, she worked in marketing and operations before co-founding The Connection Exchange with Cara Owings.

The Connection Exchange is a welcome service that connects new businesses and residents with resources, products and services needed to excel within a new community. “Her business epitomizes leadership in supporting small business and business owners by welcoming them to our community and connecting them with resources to succeed. The city of Columbia becomes a community because of Jennifer’s passion and dedication to connecting people,” said Michele Curry, Treasury Management Officer at Commerce Bank and chair of Women’s Network. Curry nominated Schenck for the award and described her as an “entrepreneur at heart”. Michele Batye, owner of Dave Griggs Flooring America and Chamber of Commerce board member presented the award.

Schenck is also a business coach and advisor at the Missouri Women’s Business Center, an organizing member of 1 Million Cups Columbia, a past Women’s Network Steering Committee member, an active member and past President of P.E.O. Chapter GO (Boonville) and a founding member of the local Delta Zeta alumnae chapter.