Awards & Community Recognition

2019 fall



Twenty previous Enterprising Women of the Year Award Winners recognized for business growth, legacy, and give-back during the magazine’s 20th anniversary

Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women magazine, has announced the winners of a special recognition in honor of the 20th anniversary of Enterprising Women magazine.  Twenty previous winners of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award are being recognized for substantial business growth since the year they won the Enterprising Women of the Year Award, as well as the remarkable legacy they have built for themselves and their companies, and their engagement and support of the Enterprising Women community.

Honorees will be recognized at the 18th Annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference, to be held from Sunday, October 18 to Tuesday, October 20 at the Wyndham Grand in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

“All of these honorees have at least doubled the size of their companies since they were first recognized by Enterprising Women, and many have experienced explosive growth.  Each woman stands out for her leadership and give-back, and many have also been leaders within our Enterprising Women community in freely sharing their best practices and expertise through the pages of Enterprising Women magazine or in supporting our sister non-profit, the Enterprising Women Foundation’s Young Enterprising Women Mentoring Forum Program with a leadership role,” according to Smiley.



*To qualify for consideration a nominee must show financial strength and business success. prove they are a leader in their community and provide mentoring. A panel of judges reviews the nominations, conducts interviews and selects those who receive the award. The award can only be won once. There is no fee for the nomination or selection.



WIFS: Circle of Excellence Award, October 2019

Kathie is the recipient of The Ruby Award, once again, for 2019. This award demonstrates the achievement of significant income levels in both the financial and insurance services industry based upon production levels in the previous year. This is the sixth consecutive year that Kathie has received this award. 

(Kathie has received The Ruby Award annually since 2014).

Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS) is a professional 501(c)6 organization which attracts women in the financial services and insurance industry. WIFS develops businesswomen further by sharing resources, support, and tools to thrive in the workplace. Collaborative networks, mentorships, and constructive feedback build the foundation for the dynamic organization.


Five Star Wealth Manager Award 2019

Baltimore Magazine has named Kathie a Five Star Wealth Manager for the third year.  Kathie also received this accolade in 2014 and 2015.

To receive the Five Star Wealth Manager award, a wealth manager must satisfy 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria that are associated with wealth mangers who provide quality services to their clients.  Factors taken into account include assets under management and client retention rate.  Candidates also undergo a thorough regulatory and complaint review.

*The Five Star Wealth Manager Award is independently produced by Five Star Professional (FSP) and is based on data from financial advisors, regulatory disclosures, and FSP research.  Neither the advisors nor their parent firm pay a fee to FSP for the nomination or award.  Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager is no guarantee of investment success.  For more information go to


Blue Chip Advisor Award 2015

Kathie H. Okun, of the Okun Financial Group, Named First Woman to Earn the Blue Chip Award from Broker Dealer, Hornor, Townsend & Kent (HTK)


Press Release: March 23, 2016, Hunt Valley, Maryland:

At the Hornor, Townsend & Kent 2016 annual conference, Kathie H. Okun, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF was awarded the 2015 Blue Chip award.  Kathie is the first woman in the 169-year history of Hornor, Townsend & Kent (HTK) and Penn Mutual to receive this award.  Kathie is the founder of Okun Financial Group, now in Lutherville, Maryland.

The HTK Blue Chip Award is presented each year to the one individual who best exemplifies the principles of HTK and Penn Mutual. The advisor must be a top sales performer and demonstrate the highest level of integrity in meeting the needs of his or her clients. He or she must possess a strong sense of commitment to their clients and to Penn Mutual and its broker/dealer Hornor, Townsend & Kent. This prestigious, annual award recognizes an HTK advisor for high standards of integrity, ethics and performance in helping clients achieve financial security. 

"Our Blue Chip award is given to an advisor with a proven track record of excellent customer service and compliant business practices. I've had the pleasure of knowing Kathie for many years and she's always gone the extra mile for her clients. She's also the first female advisor in our company's history to receive this award from Hornor, Townsend & Kent," said Michael Williams, Assistant Vice President, Business Development and Agency Integration, Penn Mutual.

Kathie H. Okun, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF has been in the financial services industry for thirty years. Her success is attributed to building strong relationships with her clients while presenting effective ideas and strategies in a style that makes it easy for her clients to understand. Throughout her career, Kathie has maintained the highest level of professionalism, integrity and leadership. She holds multiple designations from The American College of Financial Services, attended UMBC and holds a Retirement Income Planning Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.

Over the course of her career she has received other awards for her outstanding service in her industry.

  • Enterprising Women of the Year award* in 2014
  • Smart CEO, Brava award* winner in 2013

Kathie said “Winning the Blue Chip award was an overwhelmingly emotional experience and completely unexpected. I am still in shock,” ...When asked about how she was feeling. “I'm not one to look for or seek out accolades for the work that I do with my clients. All I want is to help my clients take care of their families,” she added.

The HTK Blue Chip Award is presented each year to the one individual who best exemplifies the principles of HTK and Penn Mutual. In doing so, the advisor must be a top sales performer and demonstrate the highest level of integrity in meeting the needs of his or her clients.

In addition, he or she must possess a strong sense of commitment not only to their success, but also to the success of their clients and to both HTK and Penn Mutual.




Kathie Okun named 2013 Brava Award Winner by SmartCEO Magazine*

Kathie Okun was named a 2013 Brava Award Winner by SmartCEO Magazine in July. This award features top female entrepreneurs in the Baltimore area who not only achieve great things in the workplace, but who are giving back to their community as well.

The Brava Award is based on Kathie Okun's experience as a business leader in the community and is not related to the financial services she offers.

Baltimore Brava

*The BRAVA recognition is annual and based on an independent committee of local business leaders and selects winners based on company growth, community impact and mentoring.  Go to:


Kathie is a member of the Women's Presidents' Organization, Baltimore Chapter II

WPO is a collaborative network of women business leaders that seek to support and advise each other. A non-profit membership organization, members participate in specialized advisory groups in order to promote exceptional businesses. Baltimore Chapter II meets monthly and emphasizes in local opportunities for women and business leaders alike.




Kathie Herbst Okun Appointed to Board of Directors for WPO Organization

Kathie Herbst Okun, Founder and President of Okun Financial Group, has been appointed to the Board of Directors for The Women's President Organization (WPO).  

WPO is a premier membership organization for women presidents, CEOs, and managing directors of privately held multimillion-dollar companies and nonprofit organizations.  Through global, confidential, and collaborative peer-learning groups, the WPO accelerates business growth, enhances competitiveness, and promotes economic security.  It is the ultimate destination for successful women entrepreneurs.  WPO has over 120 chapters around the world learn more and find a chapter near you here.

Kathie has been a proud and active member of the WPO Baltimore Chapter since 2013.   Kathie has served on membership, the WPO annual conference and annual leadership retreats over the years.  Kathie was very instrumental in leading the mission to bring the WPO Global Conference to her home town of Baltimore in April, 2016.

The mission and purpose of the WPO is to improve business conditions for women entrepreneurs and to promote the acceptance and advancement of women entrepreneurs in all industries.  Kathie has a core focus in her financial advisory business for women in business.  Encouraging, educating and guiding women as successful stewards of their money, finances, insurance and investments.

Marsha Firestone, President of WPO announced the 5 new board members.  Over 30 applications were received and the field is competitive.   Kathie said in a statement “It is an honor to be selected among such incredible women, some of which are my peers, to sit on the board of WPO”.  Please meet the new board members here.