Sometimes we are the absolute perfect fit for a role we never expected to take on. As an expert in effective change management and this year’s NAWBO National Member of the Year Award winner, Angela Garmon has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to her role in NAWBO and to supporting a larger community of women business owners.
Angela launched her strategic change management business, ARG Coaching & Consulting Group LLC, in 2016 and was introduced to the NAWBO Phoenix chapter shortly after. After becoming a member and attending the National Women’s Business Conference (WBC), her perspective completely shifted.
“I realized we are a local experience to a national platform. It changed the way I looked at business and the organization as a whole,” she explains. “For my business, I’m focused on national growth, and the WBC exposed me to something I had never been exposed to before. NAWBO really expanded my platform, but also my knowledge.”
Soon after attending the WBC, Angela joined her chapter’s board in a membership capacity eager to spread awareness of the power of NAWBO. In 2018, she served as president-elect of the Phoenix chapter and then as chapter president in 2019-2020. At the same time, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
While some might buckle under the pressure of such a big change, Angela found her groove as a change management expert. “Whenever we are going through crazy, turbulent times of change, we have two options: Either give up and give in to the season or cultivate something new. I had to make a conscious choice—not only for myself, but for my daughter—to push through this with grace,” Angela says. “So, it wasn’t a matter of giving up, it was a matter of being able to conquer this because this is just a chapter in my life that is rewriting something new for me. I dug in deep.”
With careful planning and positioning, Angela was able to strengthen her business and take care of her recovery needs. Furthermore, she focused her NAWBO presidency on reconnecting the Phoenix chapter to the community and leveraging public policy changes. She found ways to better align with corporate sponsors and ensured her chapter was promoting their events and messaging.
In an effort to connect to the community as a whole, Angela launched the chapter’s inaugural Women With Vision conference, which brought together women business owners and key decision makers from across the state of Arizona to discuss challenges women business owners face. With more than 100 attendees, the conference ignited a spark within the community.
But a day later, the first wave of COVID lockdowns hit Phoenix. Again, Angela kept her focus and expertly led the chapter through unforeseen change. Within days, the chapter created a landing page with resources and knowledge for women business owners to glean from. She also helped create training and support for women business owners to take their business operations virtual and even apply for PPP loans. That commitment didn’t go unnoticed. For its enduring service to women business owners, the NAWBO Phoenix chapter was awarded National Chapter of the Year and achieved 5 Star status.
The NAWBO National Member of the Year Award recognizes a “champion” member who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to her chapter and the mission of the organization—and Angela certainly lives up to that. After learning she was this year’s recipient, Angela says she was humbled and honored. “As a member who has been devoted to the NAWBO organization for the past few years, we do the work without the expectation of a reward. Just to have my service highlighted—I appreciate that piece,” she says.