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  Join us on
  Dec. 11 for
  Party & Gift

Grow Thrive Lead

Welcome to NAWBO-SF's December 2003 e-newsletter.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.


Come Join in the Holiday Cheer
at NAWBO's Annual Holiday Party

hollyJewelry - Accessories - Other Fine Gifts

Come celebrate with your friends at the NAWBO Holiday Party on Thursday evening, December 11, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. This year's party will be in the elegant surroundings of First Bank and Trust's Penthouse in San Francisco.

The party includes a buffet dinner (wine included) prepared by First Bank's top chef, and as a special treat, a Gift Bazaar.

The Gift Bazaar features artisans from our NAWBO membership and craftswomen from the Renaissance Entrepreneur Center. Choose from from a unique collection jewelry, silk scarves, greeting cards, amazing lip gloss and facial products, felt hats, glamorous belt buckles, and other fine gifts, just in time for the holidays!

Buffet dinner is $40 for members; $50 for guests. Make your reservations early! Sign up through Rhoda Singer at [email protected]; telephone 415.333.2130.

Date: Thursday, December 11, 2003
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: First Bank and Trust Penthouse
550 Montgomery (at Clay), San Francisco, CA

Bring a friend, significant other, or spouse to join the festivities.

Sharon Gadberry

by Sharon Gadberry
of Power Transitions

Thoughts for the Season . . .

1. Give yourself a break: Good bosses know that taking time out to celebrate holidays is not only a good thing to do for employees, but it is also good in the long run for business. Employees strengthen their relationships with each other, and businesses take the time to thank their clients for their support throughout the year. In 2003's fast-paced, 24-7 environment it may be difficult to make time in your schedule and in your thoughts for personal enjoyment, family sharing, and expressions of caring and gratitude. As our own bosses, we may provide these occasions for our employees and not for ourselves. So in addition to taking advantage of holiday parties to network and market your business, be sure to give yourself a holiday.

2. Enjoy your holiday with NAWBO: We hope you will spend part of your holiday with NAWBO members at our wonderful party on December 11. My husband and business associates look forward to joining me at "my" NAWBO holiday party. And at last year's event we both had the pleasure of meeting Claudia Viek's warm and gracious parents. So please, bring a guest! Your spouses, partners, parents, children, and employees are welcome.

Message from Laura Schulte: "You Are More Important Than You Think You Are"

Laura SchulteIn November our chapter hosted a sold-out luncheon at the Rex Hotel for NAWBO-California. Women business owners from all over the state came together to meet and greet, and to hear our luncheon speaker, Laura Schulte. Laura is President of Wells Fargo's Nevada, California, and Border banking operations. She oversees 900 banks with $75 million in deposits. Laura was introduced by Lisa Stevens, Regional President and Executive Vice President of Wells' San Francisco Bay Region.

Laura described her 20-year career with Wells, where she started out with a BA in Accounting from the University of Nebraska. She confessed an envy of women who own their own businesses, and expressed her admiration for women business owners: "Seeing so many accomplished, talented, successful women here today makes it easy to understand why women-owned businesses are the engine for economic growth in California—not to mention in the United States."

She reminded us that Wells Fargo started their Women's Business Services Program in 1995, and since then has revised their original lending goal of $10 billion upward three times. In fact, this year they upped their ten-year goal for lending to women-owned businesses from $15 billion to $20 billion.

Wells helps sponsor NAWBO's Center for Women in Business Research. Laura cited encouraging statistics from that research, such as:

Laura indicated that California is the only western state that had not expanded at the higher rate. She proposed that the high cost of doing business in our state holds down the overall success of small business, including women-owned businesses, and inspired us to continue our involvement with legislators to protect our interests.

Laura's last message for women business owners: "YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE."

Leadership Circle

As you know, our Chapter's theme this year is Member Value. In August we issued a survey requesting ways we could better serve our current members. One of this year's Board initiatives is to increase the proportion of large woman-owned businesses in our organization. A healthy and vibrant NAWBO is composed of a diverse membership, including a variety of ethnicity, type of business, and size of business. Currently we are reaching out to the Bay Area's top 100 women business owners to inform them about the advantages of belonging to our group and to learn more about how we can introduce programs that will meet their needs. If you want to help with this effort, contact Claudia Viek [email protected], Diana Kimbrell [email protected], or myself [email protected].

Call for Nominations: Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

As most of you know, NAWBO-SF sponsors our signature award event—WEB—every spring. This year we expect a throng of 500-plus attendees for a luncheon on May 12. The awards are: "Trail Blazer" (a woman who has established a large, successful, and unique business) and "Rising Star" (a new business owner). We are also considering a new category, "Against All Odds", for a woman who has been successful "in spite of everything."

Please take a moment to think of a woman business owner that you think should win an award. You may self-nominate, and you do not need to know the individual to nominate her. Please submit your nominations by January 22, 2004. Fax, email, or mail the nomination form to the addresses or fax number on the nomination form. For more information, please contact Claudia Viek at 415.824.5228 or email: [email protected].

Download Nomination Form [doc file]

Mark Ridley-ThomasNAWBO Members to Testify at Special Legislative Hearing

Assemblymember Mark Ridley Thomas will be hold a special hearing on small business issues in the State of California, on December 11 from 10am to 12am in Los Angeles. We need women to testify about their businesses, especially if you are an independent contractor or engage independent contractors to help you in your business. This is our chance to make an impact on state policy! Email me at [email protected] for more information. P.S. You can testify at the hearing and still fly back in time for our Holiday Party.

Gubernatorial Appointments

The new Governor is now in the process of making appointments to important policy-making positions and commissions. Would you like to serve in a position, or on a commission? Women business owners are needed to represent our interests in such areas as employment policy, insurance, taxes, and procurement practices.

Governor SchwartzeneggerNAWBO-CA will be meeting with a member of the Governor's team to submit nominees for various positions. If you are interested, or want to nominate someone, please email the information to me ([email protected]). To find out more about the literally hundreds of openings, go to the website You can actually submit your application right on the website.


NAWBO has Clout

On the November ballot NAWBO took positions on one state issue and one local issue. In both cases, our position prevailed. We opposed Proposition 54, which was soundly defeated after NAWBO and hundreds of other concerned groups informed their members about the true impact of this attempt to destroy civil rights laws in California. We supported the San Francisco ballot Proposition D, which was passed to allow the current Small Business Commission to have a larger say in issues confronting small businesses in San Francisco. This proposition was proposed by the Small Business Network (SBN). NAWBO is part of this 21-member group of organizations, where we are represented by Syndi Seid.

Latest Developments in Workers' Comp Legislation

NAWBO-CA's lobbyists, The Advocacy Group, are watching the Sacramento action. Read their latest report.

Sharon Gadberry, Ph.D.
President, NAWBO-SF



Last year's most popular event is back! The Progressive Networking Dinner is a great opportunity to meet and have close discussions with a lot of different business people. They may be people you can sell to, buy from, partner or build an alliance with, recommend to others, or learn from. You'll be assigned to different tables for each course, and a facilitator at each table will lead networking.

Come for fun, to meet others, and to share ideas that will help our businesses grow. Bring at least three dozen business cards!

WHEN: Thursday, January 8, 2004

TIME: 6:00 PM 9:00 PM

WHERE: The City Club, 155 Sansome Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco

COST: $40 NAWBO members, $50 guests

RSVP: Rhoda Singer, Chapter Administrator, 415.333.2130;
email: [email protected]


Each month we present an award for "Member of the Month," who is selected by the NAWBO-SF Board of Directors. The purpose of the award is to express appreciation for volunteers who have helped NAWBO to Grow, Thrive, Lead.


Jackie ReimannWe would like to congratulate Jackie Reimann, NAWBO-SF's December member of the month.

About Jackie

The oldest of 13, Jackie was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and was graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with one degree in business and another degree in English.

Her first job after college was managing director of a TV station in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she coordinated commercials with programs.

After a couple of years in Texas, she and her husband Jerry moved to New York City, where she was employed by Praeger Publishers as managing editor of Praeger Special Studies economics textbooks. After 5 years in New York, she and Jerry journeyed to San Francisco via the road nearest the water to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River to Minneapolis, across the northwestern U.S. to Seattle, and then down the coast to San Francisco - 10,000 miles and three months.

Jackie soon found employment at Fireman's Fund, heading up its technical-writing group. She then joined Crocker Bank, managing its technical-writing group. Her next stop was Bank of America, starting with a technical-writing group and ending up in IT sales and services.

Tired of the corporate run-around, she started her own business in 1989 as a founder of The Brandon Group, a financial-planning company, which merged with Secure Futures in 1994.

A Certified Financial Planner, Jackie is also a Registered Representative, stockbroker, fee-based financial planner and insurance agent. Her business includes financial planning and investment management for families and small businesses, and she enjoys a very loyal client base.

Jackie joined NAWBO in 1990, three years after the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter was formed, when it had a total of 50 members. She's done about everything in NAWBO: marketing, PR, newsletter editor, membership, programs, fund-raising, WEB chair—all very important, and she loved them all. She was co-President along with Lats Latvis in 1999-2000.

She became a member of NAWBO-CA in 1998 (which is composed of current and past NAWBO presidents), and enjoyed working with that group through 2002. NAWBO-CA is a great group, she says, and an excellent advocate for NAWBO in our state legislature and local communities.

Jackie has been "NAWBOized," as Syndi Seid describes it. Says Jackie: "NAWBO will always be important to me because it brings so much to us as business owners and as people."

Currently, Jackie is active in several organizations and industry associations and on the Board of Directors of a local credit union.

On a personal note, she enjoys being a great aunt and family counselor, travels the world with her husband, loves to cross-country ski and hike, and will never turn down a gourmet dinner or a fine wine.

Jackie can be reached at:
Jacquelyn P. Reimann, CFP
Certified Financial Planner Professional
Secure Futures
3150 Clearview Way
San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: 650.227.0345
Fax: 650.341.1449
E-mail: [email protected]



NAWBO-SF's Mastermind Group works like your own personal advisory board. Mastermind is a group of 12-16 NAWBO-SF members who meet every month in San Francisco to discuss business challenges and brainstorm solutions. It works like this: At each meeting two members each share a business challenge they are currently experiencing. The rest of the group asks clarifying questions and then breaks into small groups to discuss your challenge, brainstorm solutions, and identify leads and opportunities for you. Then they report back to you, and you make a commitment to follow up on some of the suggestions before the next meeting.

One member had been struggling with hiring her first employee for over a year. She presented this challenge at the Mastermind Group and received excellent advice, concrete ideas, leads, and encouragement from other women business owners. She left the meeting committed to hiring her employee. By the next meeting, she had posted her job description and was reviewing over 100 applications. Her new Program Assistant started in November and is already helping her bring in new business by assisting with her marketing plan!

This could be you! Mastermind is now accepting new members for 2004. Space is limited, so please contact Co-Chair Kristen Putnam (Putnam Community Investment Consulting) at 510.339.7078 or [email protected]



New business is the lifeblood of any company and networking is always a good idea. To help expand your business contacts, NAWBO is starting up monthly regional breakfast networking groups for NAWBO members and friends, beginning in Marin County.

Save the date! We will kick off this new program on January 27th at Il Fornaio in Corte Madera, 223 Corte Madera Town Center, at 7:30 a.m.

Contact Janet Campbell of JL Campbell Financial at 415.339.8944 or [email protected] for more information.



Do you have a seminar topic of educational value for your fellow NAWBO members? Our Brown Bag Lunch Series was created to provide a venue in which NAWBO members showcase their expertise while providing an educational experience for fellow members.

Conveniently held at a downtown San Francisco location over the lunch hour, and open to both members and non-NAWBO attendees, the seminars are 45-60 minutes long, with additional time for lunch and questions.

If you have a topic you believe other members would like to hear, contact Susan Grant at 415.283.1970 or [email protected] for details on how to get on the 2004 seminar series.



WEB takes place on May 12 as a luncheon event that, in addition to our traditional WEB awards, will include a mini tradeshow and expo of women-owned businesses. We are also featuring two fabulous business makeovers to be drawn from our chapter membership.

Please start thinking about nominating women business owners for next year's WEB Awards. Attached is the Nomination form so please print out a few and scan your rolodex for good candidates.

Please submit your nominations by January 22, 2004. Fax, email, or mail the nomination form to the addresses or fax number on the nomination form. For more information, please contact Claudia Viek at 415.824.5228 or email: [email protected].

Download Nomination Form [doc file]


Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire
President, NAWBO-CA

Betsy BerkhemerElection of our new Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, brings a new administration with changes that will affect Presidents and members of all nine NAWBO-CA chapters. Legislative Action Day, April 21 and 22, 2004 at the Sheraton Sacramento will help us learn about this new political landscape and build new contacts.

We are working now to secure a meeting with Gov. Schwarzenegger to discuss the importance of women business owners to the California economy. We anticipate many more women business owners will come to the State Capitol for this year's meeting. So mark your calendars! All women business owners are invited.

Meanwhile, Assembly Bill 1643, our proposal to create a new labor classification—Contract Service Provider—could benefit from the change in administration. The bill has life on two fronts:

AB 1643 would better define independent businesses. It would enable small business owners to engage other small business owners without risk that the EDD will classify one an "employee" of the other. Although in its previous review the EDD concluded that our requested changes could not be made, a new administration could change that conclusion.

But if the EDD again does not side with us, AB 1643 will go back to the Assembly Committee for legislative consideration this spring. That's why YOU are invited to come to the December hearing in Los Angeles and to our next Legislative Action Day, April 21 and 22, 2004, in Sacramento.

Please visit our NAWBO-CA website, for legislative updates, business advice, and PR opportunities.

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire
President, NAWBO-CA, the statewide consortium of all nine
   NAWBO chapters
President/CEO, California Communications Inc.
Founder, Co-Chair, Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search

Ellen Looyen Communications

We would like to welcome our new member:

Ellen Looyen
Ellen Looyen Communications
7315 Snake Road
Oakland 94611
email: [email protected]

Founded in 1988, Ellen Looyen Communications helps organizations of all sizes develop compelling marketing messages and a unique and memorable market presence through logo, brochures, website creation, sales training, and motivational keynote talks.

We look forward to getting to know you.


by Diana Kimbrell, Corporate Sponsor Chair
of Kimbrell & Company


Laura Schulte, President of California, Nevada and Border Banking at Wells Fargo Bank, was our keynote speaker at the November 7th NAWBO luncheon. NAWBO-SF hosted the NAWBO-CA group, as well as members from all eight other NAWBO chapters throughout California.

Laura's presentation, "Why Women Business Owners Are the Engine for Economic Growth in California," quoted statistics on the growth of women-owned businesses opening at twice the rate of men-owned businesses. Schulte stated, "Wells Fargo's support of women business owners reflects our philosophy that we are only as successful as the communities in which we live and work."

Schulte announced Wells' re-commitment to women-owned businesses by designating a lending goal of $20 billion over 10 years, after surpassing their last goal to loan $15 billion. Says Schulte, "The success of women-owned businesses has been amazing, and we hope our latest lending goal sends a strong message that Wells Fargo is unwavering in its commitment to women business owners."

Reiterating the importance of women's role in business today, Laura assured the NAWBO group, "You are more important that you think you are." This quickly became the mantra for the following NAWBO roundtables and board meetings that took place that weekend.

Wells Fargo has maintained a very close partnership with NAWBO-SF for the last five years, thanks in large part to Brenda Wright, Senior VP, Regional Manager of Community Development. Wright says of NAWBO: "We are proud to be a partner of NAWBO's and be able to help women business owners achieve their goals and dreams."



WHEN: December 11, 2003, 10:00 AM to noon

WHERE: California Science Center in Los Angeles (near USC), 700 State Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037

WHY: To provide testimony and support for AB 1643—NAWBO's first sponsored bill.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? BE THERE! It is criticial for NAWBO to show our legislature how important workers' compensation reform, health care and AB 1643 are to the success of our businesses. The media will be there. We need to show them that women business owners mean business.

1. Mark your calendar!

2. Review the list of committee members below and let us know if you live and/or work in one of these districts. It is always helpful to have constituents of the members' districts present. (Don't know? Go to and click on "Find My District".)

3. RSVP your attendance and your district(s) to [email protected].

4. Be there! We need a minimum of 40 NAWBO members to make sure we convey the importance of this bill.

5. If you have your NAWBO scarf from this spring's Legislative Action Day, WEAR IT with a dark suit. (We will try to have more available at the hearings.)

THE COMMITTEE: Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and The Economy Committee Members:

THE FORMAT: The hearing format will consist of various panel discussions on issues identified by the Jobs Committee that create a barrier to the success of small businesses in California. According to the Committee's Chief Consultant, topics being considered include the impact of increased workers' compensation premiums on small businesses, the new healthcare requirements for businesses under SB 2 (Burton), and global competition.

The hearing will also include a panel discussion on the challenges small businesses face when contracting with other businesses for services in the context of our sponsored legislation AB 1643 (Ridley-Thomas). NAWBO-CA has been asked to provide three witnesses to testify at the hearing.

Members will have the opportunity to address the committee during the "open mike" portion of the hearing.

HEARING RECORDINGS: Audio tapes of the hearing will be available upon request from the Committee.



To celebrate her fourth appearance on Oprah, NAWBO member and 2001 WEB winner Karen Neuburger threw a pajama party at her home. All attendees were given PJ's to wear and, true to slumber party style, Karen served popcorn, pizza, and desserts to her guests while they watched the Oprah show.

Karen, who launched her business in 1994 making sleepwear out of surplus sportswear material, was first featured on Oprah in 1996 after sending a pair of her comfortable and whimsical PJ's to Oprah herself. Karen was surprised to receive a personal telephone call from Oprah asking her to be a part of the "Oprah's Favorite Things" show. After that, women fell in love with her soft, brushed cotton knit sleepwear, Karen's business skyrocketed, and her company now ranks #5 in the San Francisco Business Times' list of the Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses in the Bay Area.

Karen Neuburger Pajama PartyOprah's October 30th show, "The Million-Dollar Idea Challenge," featured businesses that started with an original thought or need and became a million-dollar business. Oprah had Karen tell her story of how, at a point when she was ready to retire, she made the loungewear just for herself, while she was home bonding with her second child, simply to be presentable when somebody came to the door. Her tale of a retirement gone awry offers inspiration to other women entrepreneurs, and Oprah's show provides the perfect vehicle to share her story and success.

Congratulations Karen!


by Susan Shargel, CLU, ChFC
Shargel & Co. Insurance Services

Two of the most popular New Year's resolutions are taking better care of our health and finances. Healthcare coverage is where the two goals overlap. By getting started on a health benefits review now, you can get a head start on both for 2004.

Each new year brings changes in deductibles, co-payments and/or rates for health plans. Here are seven key points for considering changes to your medical coverage:

  1. Rates are rising everywhere. Health premiums for group and individual plans continue to increase at double-digit rates.
  2. The cost divide between brand and generic prescription drugs is growing. Plans are fighting against high-brand name drug costs by promoting the use of generic alternatives; adding brand name deductibles (generally $150-$250); increasing brand drug co-payments; and requiring members to pay the cost difference between generic and brand versions. Be prepared for sticker shock at the pharmacy if you use brand drugs. Using generics can save you hundreds of dollars.
  3. New plans designs are decidedly different. Insurers are adding new plan designs with the "first-dollar coverage" that consumers have been requesting. Watch out for limitations on coverage. Some plans don't cover maternity, for example. For major claims such as surgery or hospitalization, you could end up paying more than with a similarly-priced deductible plan.
  4. You may be able to save money without changing plans. Insurance companies determine individual plan members' premiums based on underwriting guidelines. People with current or previous medical conditions at the time of application may pay more for coverage. If you've had coverage for some time and your condition is under control or hasn't re-occurred, request a tier or rate review. If approved, you could lower your premiums substantially.
  5. Tax savings have increased for self-employed professionals. Self-employed taxpayers can deduct 100% of the health insurance premium paid for by their business on behalf of themselves, their spouse and their dependents as an adjustment to gross income (line 30 of Form 1040).
  6. The right broker makes a difference. Health insurance is confusing and changeable. A good broker will help you define your needs, compare suitable options, provide tailored recommendations, and offer ongoing service. You'll pay the same premium whether you purchase through a broker or directly from the insurance company. If you're not satisfied with your current level of service, you can change brokers easily.
  7. Be proactive. The choices you make about healthcare coverage and healthcare dollars are your own. Seek out the information and advice you need to make the best decision for your benefits and your budget.

Shargel & Co. Insurance Services is a benefits specialist firm located in San Francisco and Santa Rosa. Owner Susan Shargel was recently named Small Business Owner of the Year 2003 by the San Francisco Small Business Network, thanks to NAWBO's nomination. Shargel & Co. provides benefits planning services for businesses with one to two hundred employees. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 415.543.8949 or e-mail Susan at [email protected]. Shargel publishes e-newsletters for executives on benefits issues. Request a copy of the latest issue ([email protected]) or find Shargel & Co. on the web at


"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get them, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."
—Leo Burnett


If you would like to submit stories, news, events, or happenings for the next issue of NAWBO-SF's e-news, please send to: Anastasia Fuller - [email protected] ( Copy submission deadline is the 22nd of the current month for the next month's newsletter (e-mailed out the first week of the month).

We invite anyone who is not already a member to join NAWBO-SF. Take advantage of a growing package of member benefits and activities. To find out more, visit our website: