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June 2012

President’s Message – June, 2012

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

In a blink of an eye, my year as your President draws to a close, only to pick up speed, without losing a moment’s breath, by your incoming 2012/13 President, Charisse Witherspoon. Join me at the Installation and Corporate Awards Breakfast on June 22nd as we pass the baton to your new leadership team.

NAWBO, in its collective wisdom, understands the importance of succession. Our 3-year term on the executive committee, as president-elect, President (with a capital T!) and immediate past-president assures a smooth transition and leadership that is committed to longevity and furtherance of NAWBO’s mission and Chicago’s 3-year plan.

I have found this year to be amazing. Do you know what it means to be President of NAWBO? We live in a city that values entrepreneurism, minority development and women business owners. It would take more than this article to name all of the individuals, organizations and educational institutions that are dedicated to the growth of small business. Every month of the year, NAWBO is invited to participate, and partner with, these groups; and I, as your President, am personally invited to represent our glorious organization. Because my work is exclusively centered on coaching owners of small business to grow faster and smarter, I thought I knew all of these movers and shakers, only to learn that there were so many more to meet. The Past Presidents of NAWBO are among them and I am grateful for their willingness to bring me into their circles and enable me to work to expand NAWBO’s influence.

Even though I have been a NAWBO member for 18 years and in leadership for most of these years, I still found this opportunity, of being your President, to be exciting and fulfilling in ways I never expected. Not the least of which was getting to know more of you! How inspiring our members are – all of you work so hard every day to grow your businesses, educate yourselves, do community outreach and, still, you find time to support NAWBO. Those of you, who love NAWBO the way I do, owe it to yourselves to get more deeply involved. Join a committee this year and work your way up to leadership. The relationships you build will far outweigh the time you invest. Never say you don’t have enough time. Look at all the people on the Board now. I ask myself all the time, how do they do it?

Speaking of the Board, you know that no organization is ever run by a single individual. Sure, I got to be the ‘face’ of NAWBO this year but it is the Board that creates the agenda, oversees planning of the events and insures that the membership receives value for its investment. I am deeply indebted to the entire 2011/12 Leadership Team, along with Michael Chan and Bostrom, for their ongoing commitment to NAWBO.

This year we made great strides towards bringing you more of what you love about NAWBO: FREE programming, opportunities to build relationships, educational events, procurement contracting and sales strategies, charitable outreach, cross-cultural networking and pure social get-togethers to connect across cocktails. Our Corporate Partners made themselves available to you and our strategic partners bent over backwards to include you.

As we look ahead, economic recovery is still in process. This has not been an easy few years for you and we know, in many instances, the future is unclear. Our goal continues to be to provide you with new opportunities to build relationships; identify new income streams; and, inspire you to stay the course and achieve the success you desire. In short, help you turn your dreams into realities. NAWBO is all about empowerment – help us to empower you through increased participation, communication and involvement.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you.


Monthly Membership Breakfast:  Developing a  Winning Culture

Sponsored by Wintrust

Join NAWBO Chicago as and a panel of 3 of Crain's 2012 best places to work as they discuss how they created their great work cultures and how we can learn and mimic what they are doing in our own businesses.

Ellen Harte - Tasty Catering
Sarah Neokum - Red Frog Events
Fiona Gill - Performics

Tuesday, June 12
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Red Frog Event Space
320 W Ohio - Chicago

Cost:  Members FREE (must register)
            Non Members - $30

Register now, space is limited!

June Gala Networking Breakfast

Women-owned businesses are the fastest-growing firms in America, and companies that promote women enhance their bottom line. Be on hand at this stellar networking breakfast to welcome incoming Chapter President Charisse Witherspoon, President and CEO of Witherspoon Marketing Group, Inc., and the rest of the 2012-2013 NAWBO Chicago Leadership Team, as our new fiscal year gets underway.

Celebrate the Power of NAWBO as Charisse's keynote outlines her vision for serving Chicago's women's business community in the coming year.

And don't miss this opportunity to mix and mingle with more than 30 of NAWBO's Corporate Partners -and most loyal supporters. Corporate Partners will be showcased and thanked for their ongoing commitment to NAWBO, and several corporate members will be honored for outstanding support during 2011/2012.

Friday, June 22
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

The Mid-America Club
200 E Randolph, 80th Fl, Chicago

Register now!

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