Dr. Yamile Jackson, Owner of Zakeez, Inc. in Houston, Texas, Wins SCORE Award for Outstanding Woman-owned Business

Washington, D.C.–SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” honors Dr. Yamile Jackson, owner of Zakeez, Inc. in Houston, Texas, with the SCORE Award for Outstanding Woman-owned Business. She earned this honor for her contributions to her community, exemplary achievements in her field, and overall business success. Dr. Jackson will accept this award at the inaugural SCORE Awards and black-tie gala, which will be held at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 17.

Zakeez, Inc. is an ergonomics and human factors company that specializes in the research and development of innovative and unique products and services that not only improve the quality of life of children, but that help parents and babies feel closer to each other. The company was founded by Yamile Jackson, a Ph.D. in ergonomics and human factors engineering and licensed professional engineer, who used her personal experience, work and education to invent the award-winning “The Zaky®.” This product is used in hundreds of hospitals and thousands of homes and child-care facilities, and by preemies, ill, healthy and special-needs children around the world.

After giving birth prematurely to her son that weighed less than two pounds, Jackson invented The Zaky as a tool to provide her touch, warmth, scent and ability to comfort her fragile baby when she could not physically be present. He survived the most incredible odds while he was hospitalized for five months.

Once at home with her son, now a healthy, smart, funny and happy boy, Jackson started brainstorming about how to help babies. She did three years of research and improvement of the “homemade" Zaky that she made for her baby. The Zaky is appropriate for even with the most critically ill premature baby.

Just after starting her business, Jackson turned to Houston SCORE for advice and mentoring. SCORE Counselor Sam Dubinsky helped her plan and prepare for her first trade show. Other SCORE experts have helped her develop marketing materials, such as brochures, posters and a Web site, www.zakeez.com.

About The SCORE Foundation: The mission of The SCORE Foundation is to support and leverage the work of SCORE by soliciting, investing and managing resources for the benefit of SCORE. Learn more about The SCORE Foundation at www.scorefoundation.org.

About SCORE: Since 1964, SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 8.4 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 11,200 volunteer business counselors in 370 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE on the Web at www.score.org and www.score.org/women.