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August 8, 2022

In July 2022, I found out that I was selected as one of NAWBO‘s 2022 Woman Business Owner of the Year Award Top 10 Class. The award is sponsored by Bank of America.

It’s such an honor to be included on this list of women business owners, particularly since I know the high caliber of all of these women. I don’t know all of them personally, but I do know most of their reputations.

The Top 10 Class

The Top 10 Class has a diverse list of WBOs from across the country.

  • Christina Reger, Law Offices of Christina Reger, LLC – NAWBO Philly
  • Christine EB Howard, E.B. Howard Consulting – NAWBO Buffalo Niagara
  • Diana Dibble, Design To Delivery Inc. – NAWBO Greater DC
  • Jacqueline Baly, BalyProjects – NAWBO Houston
  • Kathy Durfee, TechHouse – NAWBO Virtual
  • Kimberly Groves, KCW Engineering Technologies, Inc- NAWBO Greater DC
  • Laura McHolm, NorthStar Moving Company – NAWBO Los Angeles
  • Moira Vetter, Modo Modo Agency – NAWBO Atlanta
  • Sandy Heard, Prime Waste Solutions – NAWBO Houston
  • Shital Daftari, SNT Biotech & Saris and Things – NAWBO Chicago

NAWBO has a link with more information about the WBO of the Year Top 10 Class here.

Nomination criteria

The nomination criteria is:

  • Be an active Premier or Virtual NAWBO member in good-standing
  • Participate in the day-to-day operations of the company
  • Own a minimum of 25% of the company
  • Be able to attend the virtual panel breakout session and award presentation during the 2022 National Women’s Business Conference to accept the award
  • Not be a member of the NAWBO National Board of Director

There were also the following nomination questions:

  • Briefly describe the nominee’s business and its history
  • Describe the company’s growth and how nominee affected/participated in that growth. (Please indicate growth by % or $)
  • Describe how the nominee participates in the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • What community organizations has the nominee supported and/or participated in?
  • Why did the nominee become an entrepreneur?

What happens next?

The Top 10 list will be narrowed down to the Top 3 sometime in August 2022, and then the top winner is announced during this year’s awards gala on October 11th at the National Women’s Business Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. If you’re not a NAWBO member, I highly recommend looking into the WBC conference. I’ve attended before and the presentations and keynotes are fantastic. You don’t have to be a business owner, or a woman business owner to attend. You can still register and you can join NAWBO as a supporting member. Membership info is available here.

Prizes for the Top 3 Finalists

The Top 3 finalists receive prizes, which are really awesome. They include:

  • A profile in NAWBO One
  • Customized local press release announcing selection as a nominee
  • Complimentary WBC registration
  • A seat on a WBC panel discussion on October 11, 2022, hosted by Bank of America
  • National exposure on NAWBO’s social media and communication channels
  • Recognition as a finalist during the Awards Gala, and a headshot and bio in the WBC program

I don’t know if I’ll be selected as a Top 3 finalist, and I won’t know until sometime in August.  If I am selected, while the prizes are really wonderful, what I want to do is use the platform as a way to discuss the importance of solid business operations policies and procedures, how to prepare a business in case the biz owner experiences a life changing event like I did, and why purchasing medical and life insurance coverage is so important BEFORE you need it. Money saved may mean more money spent in the long run.

As I said, I’ve spoke with business owners of the things they should do so their business can continue running in the case of a serious medical diagnosis or if they become a caregiver that requires a lot of time and energy. I also want to bring more awareness to brain tumors and raise additional money for research. It’s astounding how many people are joining the support groups I am a member of on a daily basis. I also found that by going public, I’ve had friends and business associates reach out about how they can help a recently diagnosed family member. I also have had people reach out to talk about their personal brain tumor diagnosis and treatment journey or that of a family member.

Prizes for the Winner

The prizes for the 2022 WBO of the Year award winner are also great. The winner will be announced and honored at the WBC Awards Gala, in communications and social media posts, and a customized local press release. All of this is wonderful, and as I said above, if selected I want to use the award as a platform to help people/business owners.

Even if I’m selected as a Top 3 Finalist, I don’t know if I’ll ultimately be selected as the winner. I do know that regardless of the outcome, I will still be talking to people about business operations (my passion) and brain tumors. I didn’t chose the medical path I’m on, but I’m determined that something good will come from it.

There is a stigma about business owners having chronic illnesses. We don’t talk about our diagnosis not because they are private issues, but because of how we think people will perceive us. As a result, many people go through it on their own and without outside support. I want to change this attitude by business owners and by business associates and clients.

As people have said (and I’m paraphrasing and making it my own): “My story and journey of what I overcame and went through may become someone’s roadmap and survival guide.”


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