By Angela D. Wagner
The Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce has announced that Jennifer Wilner, owner of Seeds Digital Marketing and Business Connects, is the recipient of this year’s Small Business Person of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the Chamber’s 59th Annual Chairman’s Awards Dinner on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at the Colonia Country Club in Colonia, New Jersey.
According to the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Person of the Year Award “recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit, vision, innovation, and drive required to run a successful small business.” At least one member of the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce had to nominate Wilner for the award in order to be considered as recipient of this year’s Small Business Person of the Year.
“They say that it’s later in life that you come into your own, but this came as a real surprise,” Wilner said. “It was an incredible surprise to get the phone call from Holly (at the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce) and hear that so many of my friends, peers, and fellow business owners found the work that I am doing is worthy of such recognition. I am so happy that the work I am doing is having such a positive impact on their lives and businesses.”
Wilner is an entrepreneur at heart who loves supporting small business owners, especially other women, as they grow their organizations. She launched her first business, a dog treat company called K9Confections, in 2006 with great success.
In 2012, Wilner started another business venture, Secretary Central, to support other business owners with virtual assistant services. This allowed her to tackle administrative tasks that other business owners simply didn’t have time for. She provided a decade of loyal service to helping other organizations grow.
After 10 years as a virtual assistant, Wilner realized her professional skills and experience with marketing and social media could also support others with their business growth. It was this epiphany that ultimately led to a rebrand of her business from Secretary Central to Seeds Digital Marketing in the spring of 2022. The evolution of Wilner’s skillset as a virtual assistant propagated her latest business venture which has blossomed into a full-service digital marketing agency based in Edison, New Jersey.
With years of business experience, Wilner has become an expert in brand development, online marketing strategy, copywriting, e-commerce, social media, and more. She enjoys training both entrepreneurs and business leaders on social media platforms and Wilner’s marketing initiatives have helped countless entrepreneurial clients expand their own organization’s reach.
The primary goal of Seeds Digital Marketing is to assist small to medium businesses with their digital marketing in an effort to germinate new business and promote consistent growth, which is only appropriate given her company is located in the Garden State! Wilner and the marketing professionals at Seeds Digital Marketing partner with business owners and leaders to help them achieve their goals for expansion.
In addition to Seeds Digital Marketing, Wilner is the genius behind Business Connects, a business networking organization first launched in 2016. Business Connects has chapter in Edison that meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The goal of Business Connects is to bring business leaders and owners together to build positive relationships with other entrepreneurs. Business Connects is a great place for business-minded professionals to network, learn about each other’s businesses, and make referrals that help others like themselves because the more we give, the more we get in return.
“There is such an incredible impact people can make by supporting small, local businesses,” Wilner added. “It is very touching that the town in which Mayor John McCormac introduced me and helped my business get off the ground is now recognizing my efforts to give back. This is the community that gave me my start so this is very special for me. It just goes to show that if you are open and take the time to talk to people, it can really make a profound impact on a business owner’s life, their family’s life, and the community itself.”
Through Business Connects and Seeds Digital, Wilner has met a multitude of wonderful business owners and community leaders. She supports them by patronizing their businesses, referring others to them, and volunteers her time. For example, she recently used her green thumb and love of gardening to turn a previously barren flowerbed into a beautiful garden for customers to enjoy at The Coffee House in Edison.
Wilner also volunteers with the Edison Kiwanis Club and recently joined the Edison Community Garden Initiative. Additionally, Business Connects makes a financial contribution to local food pantries annually and hosts food drives among its members. Seeds Digital Marketing makes a donation toward the community gardens that feed the hungry through local food pantries as well.
“I truly believe it’s so important that business owners connect, support one another, and work together,” Wilner said. “I saw the need for business networking in our community and launched Business Connects to meet that need. The lessons learned with K9Confections helped me to make it happen. The Business Connects logo reflects how I feel in that businesses all look different, but we need to help one another and feed each other. There needs to be a respectful collaboration among business owners.”
Wilner truly loves her community and is supporting it through investing in others with her entrepreneurial spirit, marketing innovation, and vision for a better future for businesses of all types.
For tickets to attend the 59th Annual Chairman’s Awards Dinner, contact the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce at (732) 636-4040 or email [email protected]. You may also visit the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce online at https://www.woodbridgechamber.com/ to learn more or register for the event.
To learn more about Seeds Digital Marketing, visit https://seedsdigital.co/ or call Jennifer Wilner at (848) 228-3693. You can also learn more about Business Connects at https://www.businessconnectsnj.com/.