Griffin wins Sam Walton Emerging Entrepreneurs Awards; Company will receive full package of Financial and Other Assistance Columbia, MD

Columbia, MD Diane Griffin, President and founder of Security First & Associates, was recently selected as one of 25 winners of the Sam Walton Emerging Entrepreneur Award, presented by Count Me In.

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence today announced the awards as part of a first of its kind joint initiative to champion women entrepreneurs nationwide.  In celebration of Sam’s Club 25th anniversary, the Wal-Mart Foundation will make a $580,000 donation to Count Me In, the leading national nonprofit provider of business resources and community support for women entrepreneurs building and growing their businesses.  In these tough economic times, Sam’s Club is joining with Count Me In to recognize the innovation and job creation potential of small businesses and heighten women entrepreneurs’ role in the nation’s economy.

Griffin and her fellow awardees were selected based on their business profiles, their commitment to community and their personal development.  Awardees will receive one-year of paid professional business coaching, free access to Count Me In’s educational resources and seminars (valued at over $7,000.00), and a Sam’s Club Business Membership, made through a separate donation from Sam’s Club.  The winners will also benefit from inclusion in the Count Me In organization’s community of like-minded women entrepreneurs who inspire and mentor each other.

“I am thrilled to be recognized by such an auspicious organization, particularly as part of the inaugural efforts in a partnership that I know will make a tremendous impact on the development of women-owned businesses across the country,” says Diane Griffin, President, Security First and Associates. “Looking around the room at the awards dinner, I realized what tremendous company I am in, and naturally, this renews my personal and professional commitment to grow my business into the thriving multi-million dollar concern I know it will be, while also continuing to give back to my community and to the causes I believe in.

“I look forward to taking full advantage of all the tools made available through this award and leveraging them for the successful expansion and outreach of my business. And it will be my privilege to use resources garnered through my further success to additionally mentor fledgling women business entrepreneurs through these tools to which I’ve been privileged to earn access.”

Security First & Associates assists government entities, and companies and contractors working with these entities, in fulfilling National Industrial Security Program (NISP) requirements and in cohering with other related federal guidelines. The company’s strengths include expertise in the following categories within the security arena:  JPAS Assistance, Applicant Prescreening; Personnel Security; Program Management; Audit Control; Computer Security; Policy and Procedural Development; Emergency Planning and Background Investigations. For more information on Security First & Associates, please contact Diane Griffin at (410) 381-8033 or via e-mail at

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