President, NAWBO Chicago
Founding Partner, Advítam IP, LLC
Calling All Women-Owned Businesses in Chicago: We have 24 Days to Win it All!
I feel like the Cubs – before they won 97 games last season and beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series. Before the North Siders were sidelined on their march to the World Series. Before anybody thought they could be really good, but loved them all the same (thank you, Mr. Epstein, for moving to Chicago).
You’ll understand my underdog angst when you read the next sentence. The score stands at NAWBO Chicago: 7; NAWBO Columbus: 23.
Ladies, we are midseason in the spring membership drive for the National Association of Women Business Owners. This is an actual competition. Just like wrestling has different weight classes, chapters compete by size. As one of the largest chapters, we are up against 10 other big cities. The winner gets recognized at the National Women’s Business Conference in September held in – hold your breath – COLUMBUS, OHIO!
Now this is all in jest and it’s a friendly competition, but I would like to point out that NAWBO Chicago won this title in 2014. I remember the pride of Chicago taking top place. We all stood amidst applause from a thousand peers. It’s time to bring back the glory days.
Now, I don’t know what our colleagues to the east are doing to outrun us by 14 new members, but they are definitely the team to beat. Plus, wouldn’t it be sweet to tout our trophy on their home turf? We don’t want to be like the Cubs (historically speaking), loved but left behind. NAWBO Chicago won the title once and we want to do it again. This year.
Here are three new benefits to talk about with the women you do business with.
- 1. MemberClicks Community Forum. Thanks to the many, many hours invested by NAWBO Board Member Joanne Tica Steiger, managing director and consultant of Certified Impact, NAWBO Chicago is using robust technology to connect members. The MemberClicks Community Forum is a “members only” place to ask, share and network. Wrestling with a business dilemma? Searching for an administrative assistant or nanny? Need tips on negotiating a new lease deal? Looking for a referral? Post your question and get feedback from peers who already have tackled the issue. The new technology also streamlines tasks automatically like event registrations and membership renewals.
- 2. Executive-level Coaching. A monthly Executive Level Membership (ELM) program is an add-on to basic membership. This professionally facilitated program offers affordable, peer-led coaching/networking groups to members. Both personal development and business problem solving combined with support and an appropriate level of accountability provides a fertile ground for personal and business growth. NAWBO Board Member, Karyn Pettigrew, CEO of Beyond Blind Spots, has lead the charge in getting this high level program launched.
- 3. We’re Bringing NAWBO to You. Our new regional leadership committee brings local programming, sponsorship and networking opportunities to the following areas: Chicago, northern suburbs, northwest suburbs, western suburbs, Fox Valley corridor, and south suburbs (includes northern Indiana). Each region will host four events with educational programming (called “Connects” events) and two social events per year. President-Elect Susan Dawson, has spearheaded the execution of this Board approved programming plan.
Let’s be honest, we are all highly motivated people. Women-owned businesses don’t succeed without leaders who get the job done bigger, better and faster than the competition. NAWBO is the voice of over 300,000 women business owners in the Chicagoland area. So invite them into the circle.
Time is ticking. NAWBO Chicago’s Achievement Luncheon at the beautiful Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park on May 2 punctuates the membership drive competition. When I envision that day, here’s what I see. In the glint of crystal chandeliers and endless rows of tables filled with positive energy and high style, we are all posting one victory hashtag: #NAWBOChicagoBeatsColumbus.
Game on, ladies.
NAWBO Chicago President Michele Katz is a founding partner of Advitam IP, LLC. Michele was recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as an Illinois Rising Star in Intellectual Property Litigation for six consecutive years. Her expertise includes client counseling, strategic analysis, prosecution and litigation in all areas of intellectual property law. She has significant experience in the enforcement of trademarks and copyrights against counterfeiters and infringers. She is most passionate about giving back in a measurable way, whether through her firm’s scholarship fund, mentorship program, or her frequent talks to lawyer and nonlawyer groups.