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A small number of women in the United States own manufacturing businesses. Stephanie Acri is one of them. She is the owner of Evans Premium Manufacturing in Rock Island.

Stephanie has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Iowa. She bought the business in 2004 at a time when it was struggling. She was willing to take a risk in order to pursue a dream, investing all of her personal money into the purchase of the company.

Evans manufactures cylindrical parts for the agricultural and construction industries. The business has thirty three employees. Stephanie is involved in the hiring process and says that is the most important decision she makes.

The business increased revenue significantly over the first four years of her ownership. Last year, the company did more than five million dollars in sales. Evans ships product to Brazil, Mexico, China and Canada.

Stephanie has received a number of awards, recognizing her excellence as a business owner. Recently, she was a panelist for a Women's Connection event in Davenport.

Women's Connection is a non profit organization which educates and empowers women to make informed, intelligent choices. Stephanie is a member of that organization. Colleen Rafferty of Women's Connection says Stephanie is a terrific example of what the organization is all about; it is to learn, to grow, and to understand that it is possible to change your life. To make life better and go after your dreams.