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July 2012

President's Message - July, 2012

By Charisse Witherspoon
President, NAWBO Chicago
President/CEO, Witherspoon Marketing Group, Inc.

Greetings, NAWBO Chicago!

I’ve been fired up before – and certainly since – my June 22 installation as your new President and the installation of your 2012 – 2013 Board of Directors. That breakfast event included a sold-out crowd, an address from Illinois Deputy Gov. Cristal Thomas, an encouraging letter from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, greetings from local dignitaries, and an opportunity for me to share a few of my economic, social and political priorities with you.

Also on June 22, new and prospective NAWBO Chicago members enjoyed opportunities to meet and network with one another, as well as with Past Presidents and with new, prospective and award-winning Corporate Partners, all in an event sponsored by new partner Goldman Sachs. Even more happened there than I can document here. If that was the Annual Meeting, the kickoff to our new year, how can we – how can you – be anything but excited about our coming activities and opportunities?

As a team of new and established NAWBO Chicago Board members, we stand on the mission to propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power. Look now for our leadership to help bring you economic information and opportunities that can place you closer to meaningful contacts and contracts. Look for fresh, inclusive, contemporary and creative collaborations that can enhance your networking circles, as people like to do business with people they already know. Look for inspiration from the motto of The 2012 Project for women: don’t get mad, get elected. We don’t all need to run for political office in this or any election year. But we all can get involved. We can work to evaluate and influence public policy when needed, and to promote or protect the interests of women business owners.

I thank and look forward to continuing to work with Past President Gail Zelitzky and everyone in the NAWBO Chicago family. We, your Board, welcome your enhanced engagement, participation, feedback, assistance, and referrals. This is your organization. These are your economic, social and political relationships, locally and nationally. This is your momentum. And this is our beginning of a wonderful year. See you soon!

All the best,

Ready to Grow Your Business? Goldman Sachs Wants to Help!

Deadline Extended: Apply by July 20

By Sylvia Alston
Director-Communications, NAWBO Chicago
Principal, Write2Win Communications

Would you like to gain access to capital, create more jobs and profitably grow your small business? Well NAWBO Chicago corporate partner Goldman Sachs wants to help you … for free!

So what are you waiting for? Apply today to enroll in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at the City Colleges of Chicago.

The next program cohort starts in September. In addition to practical business management education, as a program participant you will receive one-on-one business advising to help you develop a tailored growth plan.

And here’s the best part: Goldman Sachs is especially keen to enroll NAWBO members in the program.

To learn more:
•    Check out the program page here,
•    View participant testimonials in the video (at right), and
•    Contact NAWBO Chicago Membership Chair Melissa Lagowski ( today to get the inside scoop and add your name to the NAWBO Chicago applicant roster.

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity!

Meet Your Chapter Leaders

By Sylvia Alston
Director-Communications, NAWBO Chicago
Principal, Write2Win Communications

Here are the new and returning members of the NAWBO Chicago’s board of directors: We value your ideas and feedback, and each of us is committed to maximizing the value of your membership. Contact anyone of us and let us know how we can help you.

2012/2013 NAWBO Chicago Board of Directors

Charisse Witherspoon
Witherspoon Marketing Group, Inc.
(312) 541-0200
Lori Hilson Cioromski
TH Hilson Company
(630) 920-3470 
Immediate Past President
Gail Zelitzky
[You're in Business...I'm Your Coach!]™
(773) 957-8582 
Linda Forman, CPA
Linda Forman, C.P.A., P.C.
(847) 316-1040 
Sylvia Alston
Write2Win Communications
(847) 341-6846 
Corporate Affairs
Sue Chesler
Signs for Success, LLC
(847) 800-4870 
Liaison to Past Presidents
Hazel King
H.A. King & Associates, Inc.
(312) 664-8150 
Michele Kurlander
Kurlander & Associates, LLC
(312) 925-9416 
Strategic Forums
Linda McCabe
Optimal Level
(847) 419-9300 
Political and External Affairs
Carol Prygrosky
Schiff Hardin LLP
(312) 258-5556 
Emily Smith
Chicagoland Commercial Real Estate
(847) 385-1768 
Special Projects
Diane Valletta
Valletta Associates
(847) 425-1224 
Executive Director
Michael Chan
Bostrom Corporation
(312) 224-2605 

Member in the News

Jelmar, Inc., maker of the iconic CLR® and Tarn-X® brands of cleaning products, has received the 2012 Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award was presented on June 14 at the 49th Annual Small Business Awards Luncheon at the Union League Club of Chicago. Alison Gutterman, third-generation Jelmar president and granddaughter of the company founder, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

The Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business Award is awarded each year to family-owned businesses that have passed from one generation to another where the owner has responsibility for operating the business. Nominees must serve as the majority owner and operator for the small business for at least 15 years. Other criteria include evidence of success measured sales and profit; increased employment opportunities for family and non-family members; demonstrated potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth and voluntary efforts to strengthen family- owned businesses within the community.

Click here for Press Release.

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