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.
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.