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April 2012

President’s Message – April 2012

Success: Powered by Women

By Gail Zelitzky
President, NAWBO Chicago
[You’re in Business…I’m Your Coach!]

You have registered for NAWBO’s Annual Celebration of Achievement Luncheon on April 19, haven’t you? Sent the information to all your colleagues and friends? Invited your best clients to join you? Congratulated Lori Hilson, Vickie Rock and Emily Smith on their awards? Read Connie Lindsey’s bio and know how inspired you will be by her leadership?

I’m not usually so direct. However, this year we need your support more than ever. We need you to stand up and say, “I am NAWBO and proud of it!” Your NAWBO Chicago Chapter is at a turning point – the best kept secret, the only organization in Chicago of Woman Business Owners, is about to explode.

“How is it possible”, you say, and “that every woman business owner does not already belong to NAWBO?”  “How can this be?” NAWBO’s women mean business. We exemplify the power of connections, resources and opportunities that ONLY an organization of women business owners can bring to you. Help us spread the word and see for yourself. If you have not already registered, please go directly to your computer and do it now. You will wonder why you hesitated after the first hour there.

Also, April is the last month of our annual membership drive. Sign up today and save $25. There IS power in numbers. A larger membership brings added benefits in the form of corporate partners who want what you have; in the form of sponsors who want to get in front of you; and, most importantly, in the form of even stronger connections, resources and opportunities to help you get more of what you want.

In this year of my Presidency I have come to understand the power that is ours. Being NAWBO opens doors, offers introductions, and builds lasting relationships. Our Advisory Board is equal to none. The opportunity to present your business to a panel of experts, for FREE, and gain the benefit of their wisdom to solve your challenges, exists nowhere else because these experts understand your pain. They have all been there.

April is also the month for 2 other main events: 1) Badge for Business – a NAWBO/Girl Scouts Tradition on April 14 and 2) Women in Business Helping Women in Crisis – a joint venture of the Emergency Fund and NAWBO. This family benefit concert and dinner on April 29 is a first for us and we hope it won’t be the last. Bring out your family and friends and enjoy a social afternoon of fun while benefiting other women who are less fortunate. See our event calendar for all the details on both events.

I look forward to seeing you on the 19th. Be sure to come over and say hello. Let me know what you are thinking and how NAWBO can be the best organization for you. As we explode, we are anxious to take all of you with us.

Yours for Strategic Growth,


NAWBO Chicago's 2012 Annual Celebration of Achievement:
Success: Powered by Women

By Sylvia Alston
Director of Communications, NAWBO Chicago
Owner, Write2Win Communications

The annual Achievement Luncheon of the National Association of Women Business Owners' Chicago chapter is equal parts Celebration and Inspiration.

Don't miss this opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most successful women who are:
• Making their small and mid-sized businesses soar;
• Directing key functions and inspiring employees within corporate America;
• Leading rich personal lives; and
• Strengthening our communities through their volunteerism.

Keynote Speaker
Connie L. Lindsey
Northern Trust
Girl Scouts USA

An enriching day in so many ways
In addition to the keynote, luncheon and awards ceremony, attendees will be able to:
• Meet and mingle in the morning with leading public officials.
• Savor the sweet taste of Success: Powered by Women at NAWBO Chicago's signature Chocolate Hour.

Book your ticket or table early.  This year's luncheon entitled "Success: Powered by Women" - will sell out fast.

Thursday, April 19
9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Chicago Hilton and Towers Hotel
720 S Michigan Ave - Chicago

Click here to register.

NAWBO Honors Women of Achievement

By Gillian Schultz
Interim Director of Corporate Affairs, NAWBO Chicago
Owner, Metronet Integration, Inc

Members networked with each other and Corporate Partners while enjoying delicious food and cocktails, all in the fun setting of the Girl Scouts Gathering Place on March 7.

The focal point of the evening was the Awards program, honoring the Chapter's Corporate Women of Achievement. Each year we recognize the women within our Corporate Partner organizations who are achieving success. These are women who have overcome obstacles to climb to extraordinary heights in their firms, while also bringing along and paving the way for other women. We were inspired as we heard how they have grown in their industries, jumped over hurdles, broken glass ceilings, achieved success in the face of challenges and contributed to their communities. Each of the women made a point of expressing their appreciation for their experience within NAWBO Chicago, sharing how it has helped them in some way.

Awards were presented to the following Corporate Women of Achievement.

Ann Benschoter, Vice President of Personal & Commercial, BMO Harris
Vickie Bowman, Financial Service Representative, The Principal Financial Group
Katherine Boyd, Wells Fargo
Christine Harmon, Voltage
Kathy Karaboyas Malamis, Tressler LLP
Sandra McCraren, President, Highland Park Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank
Victoria Rock, Victoria Court Reporting Service, Inc

Regrettably Ann Benschoter and Kathy Karaboyas Malamis were unable to be present due to business commitments. Nick Farina Sr of Voltage accepted the award on behalf of Christine Harmon, who was injured. We congratulate all these women for their achievements.

(photo) Presenting the awards were Gail Zelitzky, Chapter President & Gillian Schultz, a Past President and Interim Director of Corporate Affairs (far left and right). Award recipients (from the left) Vickie Bowman, Katherine Boyd, Sandra McCreren, Victoria Rock, Nick Farina Sr for Christine Harmon.

The program included several announcements regarding the upcoming Celebration of Achievement Luncheon on April 19, when these women will be recognized again. So if you missed the opportunity to meet and network with them on March 7, don't miss this next great occasion.

Myrna Ordower, a Past President and Chair of this year's Celebration of Achievement Luncheon let us in on the Keynote Speaker. Connie Lindsey is an Executive Vice President at Northern Trust and President of Girls Scouts of the USA. How fitting that we were in the Girl Scouts Gathering Place to hear this! Following on from the awards presentation and this announcement, the energy in the room was electric as Myrna asked who would like to purchase tables at the luncheon. Within a period of five minutes, fifteen tables were purchased. These are people who do not want to miss the luncheon and the opportunity to be inspired, learn, bring business colleagues and connect with dynamic people in the Chicago business community.
The Connecting Over Cocktails programs put on by NAWBO Chicago are a wonderful way to catch up and make new friends, network and make worth while business connections. Business transactions frequently result from the connections that are made. Make sure you are at the next one.

Special thanks to our March 7 sponsors:
 Location sponsor:                Girl Scouts of the USA
 Refreshment sponsors:      Food for Thought, Gnarly Head, Anheuser Busch
 Marketing:                               Big Buzz

“Women in Business Helping Women in Crisis”—a benefit dinner and concert.

NAWBO is excited to partner with the Emergency Fund to bring you “Women in Business Helping Women in Crisis”—a benefit dinner and concert. Now more than ever people in our community need help to stay in their homes, keep food on their tables and handle life’s unexpected needs. The Emergency Fund is there for people when they have nowhere else to turn.

Date:     Sunday, April 29
Time:    3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (dinner and concert)
Place:   Viper Alley
               275 Parkway Dr – Lincolnshire
Cost:     $45

Entertainment by Blue Road and Chicago Women in the Blues
Featuring: Peaches Staten, Vivian Vance Kelly, Shirley King, Liz Mandeville and Donna Herula

To purchase tickets, click here
For sponsorship information, click here

Chapter Briefs

Get Connected with NAWBO Chicago Lincoln Park BDG
By Sharon Egan
NAWBO Chicago Member
Asset Financial Services, Inc.

The Lincoln Park Business Development Group is hosting a Prospective Member Event and we’d love to see you there!
If you are a business owner who seeks the advice, company, support, feedback and wisdom of others, this is for you!!!

Our group is composed of women in various industries and stages of growth, who are keen to grow their businesses and use this group as a source of:

  • Leads for new clients
  • Leads for a network of people who work with/advise our target markets and can help us find new clients
  • Education on business  topics
  • Advice from others who may have experience in the things we need to learn
  • Support
  • Camaraderie

If any points above sound good to you, come over to our group, share coffee and a snack, and meet our group of fantastic women!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
We meet at 8:15 to network a bit before the meeting
College Nannies and Tutors
1000 W. Diversey (cross street is Sheffield, very near the CTA “L” stop at Diversey)
Street parking is available in the area • Coffee and muffins provided

Cost: FREE


  •  Individual Introductions and passing of Business Cards
  •  Member thanks and referrals
  •  Updates on Member projects
  •  Presentation:  How Social Media Can Help You Grow Your Business

Come and see how NAWBO and our Business Development Group can be a partner in your success!!

Please RSVP to Sharon Egan at or 312-440-5028.

By Holly Kahan
NAWBO Chicago Member
President, HollyBarry House Ltd. Of Chicago

Connecting Points is a "think tank" format based on open expression and sharing between successful, empowered businesswomen.

April Topic: TBD (but it's always a good conversation)

Connecting Points was created to provide an opportunity to learn from one another and about one another.  Unlike a typical networking event where we learn about what we do, at Connecting Points we learn about who we are, how we think, and what our experiences have been.  Relationships will develop; and from relationships, comes business development.  We are all a contribution to one another in a format that is comfortable and casual.

Thursday, April 12
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
The Viti Companies
445 Sheridan Rd - Highwood
This is a BYOB (bring your own breakfast) event. Coffee will be provided. There is no cost to attend.

Please RSVP to Holly Kahan: or phone (847) 432-4580.

Connecting Points is complimentary to NAWBO member women business owners who want to make a difference. Invite friends and business associates who aren't a NAWBO member yet. Have them come as our guest and check it out (limit 2 guest visits per person).

*We meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month - location may vary so be sure to look at the Additional Events calendar.

By Michele Katz
Chair-Member Benefits, NAWBO Chicago Member
Founding Partner, Advitam IP LLC

NAWBO members are making business generating connections every day. Find out who’s making connections at NAWBO’s Connections Corner.

Help propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social, and political spheres of power and shop NAWBO first!  These members did.  Read this recent example of shopping NAWBO first!

Sylvia Alston, founder and principal of Write2Win Communications offers marketing and public relations seminars to attract and qualify new business prospects. To help attendees remember Write2Win when they have a PR or marketing need, she gives away specially imprinted pens. 

When it came time to order pens for the Spring seminar season, a non-NAWBO supplier sent Sylvia the perfect pen, hoping to win her business. But Sylvia prefers to shop NAWBO first. Based on the recommendations of several NAWBO members, she contacted Barb Flanagin of Proforma North Shore Marketing, and Barb sourced the exact same pens, imprinted them to Sylvia’s specifications and delivered the goods for a better price too!

Take advantage of this free PR and share your NAWBO connections!  To submit your story, please contact NAWBO member and Chair of Member Benefits, Michele Katz at

Enterprising Women
has named NAWBO Chicago Member, Mary Harrell-Paul of Crown Chauffeured Transpostation, one the 2012 winners of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award in the 1-5 million dollar category.

Winners were recognized at a gala dinner held at the 10th Annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration, March 12-13 at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

By Michele Katz
Chair-Member Benefits, NAWBO Chicago Member
Founding Partner, Advitam IP LLC

Did you know…

…NAWBO’s offering discounts to new members?  The Power NAWBO® Annual Membership Drive is in full force through April.  It is time to review your “virtual rolodex” and get your “not yet member” contacts signed up for $25 off the annual membership fee.  You will have done them a great service!  Click here  for more details.

…about NAWBO’s best kept secret? The NAWBO Chicago Advisory Board provides a FREE consultation designed to help members address specific business issues they are facing in a confidential setting. Upon receipt of an application, the Advisory Board — comprised of seasoned business women and professionals in different fields — offers a two-hour brainstorming session focusing on 1-2 issues that the NAWBO member client wishes to have addressed.  Instructions to sign up can be found here.

Any questions about NAWBO Benefits, please do not hesitate to contact Michele Katz at

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