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As a business owner, many of us belong to at least one association, and many of those associations are industry-related. My schedule is very busy so any association I join has to be worth my time. I have researched numerous associations over the last several decades, but most only catered to marketing, sales, and/or social media topics. I wanted to join a group that understands the challenges I face as an entrepreneur.

Attending an event as a guest gives one the opportunity to observe before committing to membership. It’s the equivalent of window shopping. I got a small peak into the window of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) when I started attending events years ago. In 2015, one of my businesses became a sponsor for the local NAWBO Greater DC (DC) Chapter, but I didn’t flip the switch to become a member. I finally joined in August 2016, and also joined the NAWBO Circle. The Circle is part of NAWBO, but has programming specific to multi-million dollar businesses.

My Circle sisters became close friends as well as business associates. So, I decided in the winter of 2018 that I would become more active in NAWBO DC to develop friendships closer to home.

Servant Leadership

My business partner, Molly Gimmel, has been involved with NAWBO going back to 2004 (or maybe earlier). I saw firsthand the benefit of NAWBO membership had on her; and from Molly I learned the concept of servant leadership. Over the years I watched her become more involved with NAWBO, and I watched her grown as a business leader.

In March 2019, I was approached by several NAWBO DC board members about being president of the board of directors…starting in July 1, 2019.

Starting on July 1? That’s not a lot of time to get prepared. My mind races. How do I do this?

After thinking about it, I accepted and then reached out to my NAWBO sisters for help. I’ve never had a leadership position on a non-profit board of directors. I knew it would challenge me and I knew it would change me.

If I have to name a superpower I have then it would be the ability to create and implement plans to get things done. My job is in operations, and as a result, I’m very methodical.  My plan would be to figure out what information we have, what holes need to be filled, and then fly by the seat of my pants until I figured out the rest. So stay tuned for updates about my year as a servant leader.

The picture above was taken during my installation as Board President.  The picture below is with Alicia Russman, NAWBO DC Immediate Past President.

BTW, my company put out a press release about the 2019-2020 NAWBO Greater DC Board of Directors installation. You can read about it here.

And if you’re interested in learning more about NAWBO, click here.

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