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West Side Tractor Receives National Women's Business Enterprise Certification

LISLE, IL — West Side Tractor, a John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealership, has secured certification as a National Women’s Business Enterprise by the Midwest Women’s Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

West Side Tractor President Diane Benck (second generation) and nieces Jen Snow (third generation), Senior Vice President of Operations, and Lauren Coffaro (third generation), Senior Vice President of Marketing & Technology, represent the majority ownership stake of the 60-year-old family business.

WBENC Certification is the most widely recognized national certification for women-owned businesses in the U.S. The certification process is meticulous, including an in-depth review of the business, vetting interviews, and onsite inspection. The process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women.

“This certification will certainly be helpful for companies committed to supplier diversity, which includes many corporate and government agencies,” Benck said. “While this specific certification is new for our business, our efforts to support gender diversification in the construction industry is not. For decades, we have been a business that has provided a seat at the table for women. Studies conclude that diverse teams create more innovation and make better fact based, objective decisions. We’ve experienced that firsthand within our teams and has served us well.”

While the construction industry as a whole employs less than 10 percent of women, that has not been the experience at West Side Tractor. Currently, 28 percent of West Side Tractor’s senior management team is female, representing key leadership positions companywide, and 20 percent of all managers within the business are women. The business also supports and participates in many organizations and events, including Women Road Builders, Associated Equipment Distributor’s (AED) Women’s Round Table and Women in Equipment Conference, and John Deere’s first Women in Construction event at ConExpo 2023. The West Side Women’s Book Club launched this year, with over 20 female employees participating. All of these organizations and events provide opportunities for personal and professional development, as well as skills training and networking.

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Benck also served as AED’s 2018 Chairwoman, representing more than 800 suppliers, manufacturers, and service providers across the U.S. Benck was the first female Chairwoman in the 100-year history of the AED. She now serves on the AED Foundation’s Board of Directors, which focuses on workforce development and attracting skilled workers to the industry.

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