NAWBO Chapter Presidents Share Greatest Achievements

Dec 10, 2015 | Uncategorized

As we say goodbye to 2015 and welcome the New Year, it’s a time to reflect on successes and opportunities. Where have you seen the most growth in your business this year? Or what personal milestone did you recently achieve? How did you develop your network?

Join these NAWBO chapter presidents in taking a moment to reflect on this year’s biggest accomplishments and key stepping stones that will lead you well into next year.


Reflecting on your year, what was your greatest business or personal achievement in 2015, and how do you plan to build on this success in 2016?

“My greatest achievement this year has been accomplished as president of the new board team of NAWBO-New York City. Starting in June, we ramped up fast, crafting and rolling out strategic plans. Board meetings were intense. We are now finally in operating mode! In five months, thanks to everyone’s incredible efforts, we launched great new programming and an expanded mentoring program; we upgraded our newsletter and website by adding features and tools; and produced a tote and community offers booklet to promote intra-member trade. It has been rewarding to get positive feedback. Building on these initiatives, we are planning to introduce Mastermind groups and plan cultural excursions for members in the New Year.”

—Sophie Wade, founder and Future of Work Strategist for Flexcel Network and president of NAWBO-New York City 


“2015 was a great year, and I was privileged to have two amazing NAWBO experiences! In May, NAWBO-Charlotte held its annual gala celebrating women business owners in our area. This year, I was thrilled to be a finalist as I attended our lovely event at the Charlotte City Club. My family joined me, which provided me with the opportunity to have my teenage girls interact and mingle with a room full of successful women business owners. It was a surprise when I was selected as the Woman Business Owner of the Year for my work with families who have a loved one with special needs. I have developed this work over the past few years, and I have been honored to serve these families. It is because of the importance of this work that I was recognized. On the heels of that recognition, in July, I took over the reins as president of NAWBO-Charlotte. These two NAWBO-centric events have allowed me to continue educating the families I serve and providing valuable information to the general public. I am able to better inform others as well as these amazing families. I am excited about the prospects that lie ahead for 2016.”

—Ellen Linares, chartered special needs consultant with A Special Needs Plan and president of NAWBO-Charlotte


“My biggest personal achievement was maintaining the 100-pound weight loss from last year, and I plan to keep that in check for the rest of my life! My greatest professional achievement was definitely putting an ‘integrator’ in place so that I could balance my life better. Letting go was hard, but so incredibly worth it, and I will continue to delegate to him and allow him to work his magic!” 

—Billie Gaura, principal at Rainmaker Creative and president of NAWBO-Inland Northwest/Spokane


“My biggest achievement this year is taking time for myself. I’ve needed to do this for many years, yet, because I enjoy being of service, I volunteer for various organizations I feel aligned with. Being a business owner, president of NAWBO-Sedona-Verde Valley and a sole-supporter can be overwhelming. Yet, even with all the things that need to get done, if I don’t take time for myself, I’m not as clear, motivated and productive as I’d be otherwise. Now, I’m again doing things I truly enjoy, like yoga, hiking and spending time with friends. I plan to build on this success in 2016 by being very clear about how I spend my time and how it serves me. In addition to continuing to do what I enjoy, my priorities will shift from extending time outwardly to reflecting inwardly and sharing what I receive. I’m also following up on a long-held desire to explore the healing arts, specifically energy work, and then sharing the gift of healing. I also love to travel and want to treat myself to a vacation!”

—Laura Schappert, owner at Sedona Virtual Assistant and president of NAWBO-Sedona-Verde Valley


“Transformation Consultants’ greatest business achievement for 2015 was to reach our goal to diversify our client base and increase our offerings of professional services to a variety of corporate and public sector clients. Our company is approaching its 20th year in operation. We continue to customize solutions, research and recommendations to assist each client meet their needs through evaluating performance, increasing productivity and opening minority women business enterprise supply chains connections. During 2015, we expanded our client base and increased profits approximately by 16 percent. Equally important, we have increased the spend with women-owned businesses and minority women business enterprises by our client base to 12 percent, thereby creating opportunities for growth for more women-owned businesses and minority women business enterprises.”

—Lee Brazzell, president & CEO of Transformation Consulting and president of NAWBO-Richmond


“My greatest achievement for 2015 was assuming the role as president of NAWBO-Memphis! I have built a wonderful architectural practice over the past 30 years, and this is my chance to really become a leader in my community with a strong voice. Being a successful business owner requires skills that don’t always translate into great leadership skills. NAWBO helps each of us grow in so many ways over the life of our businesses. For me today, NAWBO-Memphis is the opportunity to learn how to lead among strong, determined women! This is a challenge I have embraced for my own benefit, but also, more importantly, for my chapter. I want to become the kind of leader who inspires other women to want to follow me into an organization that I feel is and can be an effective advocate and resource for women business owners! Together, everyone achieves more! I’m privileged to serve. My goal for 2016 is to take our chapter to the next level using the resources, best practices and support of our sisters across the nation!”

—Dianne Dixon, owner/majority partner at Clark/Dixon Architects and president of NAWBO-Memphis


“In 2015, our company, Noozhawk, an online news website, now in its eighth year, reached 1 million monthly page views! Noozhawk was also recognized as ‘Small Business of the Year’ by The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and was recognized for our growth and innovation at the Annual Goleta’s Finest Awards Dinner in November. Our plan for 2016 is to continue being known as the go-to source for local breaking news and information for Santa Barbara County. We plan on strengthening our community partnerships by continuing to focus on non-profits, K-12 education, business and local government and crime. We launched new ‘Your Health’ and ‘Shop Local’ sections this year, and we will be adding other new exciting features to the website in 2016!”

—Kim Clark, VP business development, partner with Noozhawk and president of NAWBO-Santa Barbara


“I am a broker with Export Import (Exim) Bank of the U.S. Exim’s authority to process new business has been suspended for the past six months. While my receivables as an Exim broker did not diminish, my ability to increase that part of my business did. I needed to find different options for my clients to insure their foreign receivables. Now, I am a broker with several private insurers and have broadened my portfolio of services. I will continue to expand my view and look for additional opportunities in 2016. It’s a big world out there, and I love helping U.S. exporters access every part of it.”

—Kay Carrico, CEO of In-Compasse International, Exim registered broker and president of NAWBO-New Mexico

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