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Grow. Thrive. Lead.
NAWBO San Francisco Newsletter


January 2005 Newsletter

Join us on January 13th for our annual Networking Dinner!

Grow Thrive Lead


Welcome to the first issue with our new look, and the first issue of 2005, of NAWBO-SF's e-newsletter.

Our thanks to NAWBO-SF's Marketing Committee—Leslie Waltzer of Crowfoot Design, Anastasia Fuller of Juxtaprose, and Valerie Camarda of Marketing Sense—for their work on the new e-newsletter. And thanks to all the NAWBO members whose contributions make our newsletter interesting.

Remember, if you are a NAWBO-SF member, you can send news items, articles, or events for inclusion in upcoming issues. See "The Fine Print" section at the bottom of this newsletter for more information and submission deadlines.

NAWBO Events Calendar

Join us at these upcoming NAWBO events:

  • January 13 - "The Power of Connections!", Networking Dinner
    Don't miss this one! Mark your calendar to attend NAWBO-SF's most popular program where we'll guarantee that you will have a chance to promote your business to at least twenty other business owners and entrepreneurs.
    Find out more about this event
  • January 18 - Relationships and Referrals (Oakland)
    Join us in Oakland for our regional networking breakfast where we explore just-in-time topics, and foster relationships that establish ever-widening circles of influence.
    Find out more about this event
  • NEW! January 20 - Relationships and Referrals (Walnut Creek)
    Join us in Walnut Creek for the first of our regional networking breakfast meetings here.
    Find out more about this event
  • January 25 - Relationships and Referrals (Marin)
    Build business, grow relationships, and meet and discuss important topics at our regional networking breakfast in Marin.
    Find out more about this event
  • February 10 - "Flying with Eagles", Dinner Event
    Join us to learn how successful women business owners market their business for profit and strategic growth. Speaker panel features Sylvia Kwan, Karen Neuburger, and Cindy Wilson; moderated by
    Clothilde Hewlett.
    Find out more about this event


President's Letter

Grow, Thrive, Lead

The New Year is another chance to revive our good intentions . . . like losing that 5 or 10 pounds, balancing work and life, getting more market share, or sticking to a budget. For busy women some of those goals might remain stubbornly unfulfilled year after year. But we keep on hoping that this will be the year to realize our dreams!

As does any well-run organization, our NAWBO-SF chapter sets goals every year. Membership Diversity has been "on our list" for as long as I can remember. Yet each year, we have fallen short of reaching our goal.

We thought we were doing all the right things, but clearly whatever we were doing was not working. Then last April, CitiBank offered us a partnership grant specifically designated toward helping us recruit more women of color as members. This opportunity came at a critical moment. According to NAWBO's research association, over the last five years, the number of firms owned by women of color grew six times the rate of all US firms. In California, 25% of women business owners are "minorities." We recognized that without a more diverse membership our Chapter was in danger of being marginalized from the group we represent: all women business owners.

Here are some of the bold and aggressive actions we have taken:

  • Created a new Board position, Chair of Diversity. Eleanor Pickron, owner of cSoftGroup, Inc. spearheads this committee. From the beginning, Eleanor has sparkled with new and bold ideas. She envisions us going well beyond the traditional definition of "diversity" to include age and a greater variety of industries and professions.
  • Increased the minority representation on our Board from 10 percent to 50 per cent. In my own practice of Organizational Development, I constantly urge corporate clients who want to achieve change to "start at the top," something they are always reluctant to do. Now our leadership looks more like the community of women business owners we represent.
  • Started holding monthly "relationship and referral" breakfast meetings in Oakland, where many minority business owners are headquartered. We have had eight successful meetings, thanks to the efforts of former NAWBO-SF President Susan Grant.
  • Expanded our monthly programs (thanks to Donna Bletzinger, Programs Chair) to include panels which represent women of color. I am sure that those of you who have attended these programs agree that they are more fun, relevant, and interesting.
  • Recognizing distinguished individuals who are leading advocates of rights for women and for other minorities, with the monthly President's Award for Advocacy. These people (mostly but not all women) are national and international icons and pioneers of diversity, and their words of encouragement and deeds of courage are a continuing inspiration.
  • Continued and expanded our mutually supportive relationship with affiliate "identity" groups such as the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the San Francisco National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Women's Initiative for Self-Employment, and the Asian Business League.

We are proud of these efforts. Membership overall had increased by 40%, and we believe that our diversity is increasing. The diversity seems to heighten energy, enthusiasm, and creativity as well.

In the coming month we will be sending you a Diversity Survey which will request information about your ethnicity, type and size of business. These statistics are critically important to describe the Chapter and to track the results of the Diversity effort, so we hope you will each take time to put down the information.

In the meantime, I and the NAWBO-SF Board offer you good wishes and support toward achieving all of your goals and dreams for growing, thriving, and leading in 2005.

Happy New Year,
Sharon Gadberry, Ph.D.
President, NAWBO-SF

President's Community Advocacy Award

We are proud to present Julie Abrams with this month's President's Community Advocacy award. Join us at January's Dinner event to honor Julie's accomplishments for the community.

Julie Abrams

Julie AbramsJulie Abrams joined Women's Initiative as Executive Director in January 2002. During her first two years Women's Initiative for Self Employment has nearly doubled the number of women served, expanded offerings to contribute to the success of entrepreneurs and has helped Women's Initiative transition from a founder-led organization.

Despite being new to San Francisco, Julie has recruited an entirely new Board of Directors of successful business women who are a distinct competitive advantage. Julie has established an organizational culture that creates synergy and dialogue, encourages mutual accountability among board and staff, and provides avenues for all stakeholders to express opinions and challenge assumptions.

Prior to Women's Initiative Julie served as Deputy Director and Director of Development and Marketing at Chicago's Merit School of Music. Julie's previous positions include Director of Development at Community Christian Alternative Academy and principal at the Catalyst Group consulting firm. She has also held positions with the Illinois Pro-Choice Alliance, the Chicago Department of Health, and the Chicago Foundation for Women.

Julie has served on many boards and is currently on the board of the California Association for Microenterprise Opportunity, CAMEO.

Member of the Month

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.

Susan GrantSusan G. Grant

Congratulations to Susan Grant, NAWBO-SF's member of the month for January.

Susan is the epitome of the ideal NAWBO leader. While owning and managing her own business, she has been a mainstay of our activities for at least five years. Those of us who have worked with her note that she has the unusual ability to alternate effective leading with pitching in as a team member. She supports tradition and executes detail, and at the same time is a catalyst for creativity and change. We have Susan to thank for successful monthly programs and WEB events, before and after her term as President in 2002-2003. Currently Susan is sparking our diversity and membership efforts by leading the monthly "relationship and referral" meetings in Marin and Oakland.

In her business, Susan is the principal of Winguth, Grant & Company, an executive search firm based in San Francisco. For over 15 years, she has carried out senior and middle management searches for companies in transition—either in fast growth or in need of a turn around. Industries served include high technology, biotechnology, industrial and consumer manufacturing, and professional services. Her diverse client base includes such entities as PeopleSoft, Schwab, CSC Index, Namb�, and Cornnuts.

Susan began her career in executive search at Korn/Ferry International, in Palo Alto and San Francisco. Prior to entering the search world, Susan was an account manager for Sophia Computer Systems and conducted earth science research projects at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. In addition, early in her career, she taught high school math and chemistry at Star of the Sea Academy in San Francisco.

Susan can be reached at:
email: [email protected]
phone: 415.283.1970

Featured: WEB Award Nominations

Call for Nominations—
Women Entrepreneurs Benefit Awards

NAWBO-SF sponsors our signature event, the Women Entrepreneurs Benefit, every spring and this year it takes place April 22, 2005. In addition to the WEB awards luncheon, we are planning for a NAWBO University program featuring seminar sessions focused on business growth, leadership, and procurement.

We are looking for two outstanding women business owners to be honored: Trailblazer—a seasoned business owner (over ten years in business) who has learned how to compete, to change, to create a solid, well-balanced successful business, and to be a mentor and role model for others; and Rising Star—a new business owner with fewer than ten years in her current business and which is in the purest entrepreneurial stage on the fast track, growing, succeeding, prospering.

Please take a moment to think of a woman business owner that you would like to nominate for this year's WEB awards. Please complete and submit the online nomination form by January 31, 2005.

For more information, please contact May Pon, 415.864.3235 or email [email protected].

Go to Online Nomination Form

If you would rather print out and fax or mail the form, you can download the nomination form. [PDF format]


NAWBO News & Events

January 13 Dinner Event:

Progressive Networking Dinner—
Realizing the Power of Connections!

NAWBO-SF's most popular annual meeting is the Progressive Networking Dinner. It's a great way to switch on the power of networking and bring a bright beginning to the new year. Moving to different tables with each dinner course, you'll have the opportunity to promote your business.

Pre-registration insures that you'll meet at least 20 other dynamic women who are business owners/entrepreneurs offering a broad range of products and services. So practice your 'elevator speech,' and come with promotional information about your business as well as pockets filled with business cards! The energy level of this meeting literally raises the roof, and we're looking forward to amping up the power as NAWBO-SF launches its outstanding 2005 programs.

To help us seat you at tables for maximum networking results, please fill out our Networking Questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes.

Date: Thursday, January 13, 2005

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: The World Trade Club, behind the Ferry Building in San Francisco (map and directions)



Networking Breakfast Meetings:

Relationships and Referrals

East Bay Breakfast Networking MeetingThis series of breakfast meetings provide an efficient, comfortable forum for business women and entrepreneurs to meet monthly, exchange ideas and discuss challenges. While promoting networking, these meetings focus on just-in-time topics and encourage relationships that build ever-widening circles of influence. Unlike a leads group, these meetings concentrate on moving from casual contacts to trusted colleagues who bring a wealth of insight and know-how to motivated business women. Cost includes continental breakfast.

Registration Information

Cost: $12 for members and $15 for guests
RSVP: Register online at: www.middleastwomen.org/register.html, or with Rhoda at 415.333.2130; email: [email protected]

Dates & Locations


Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Verbena Caf� in Oakland, 1111 Broadway
(the APL Office Building), in front of the 12th Street
BART Station at 11th

Walnut Creek

Date: Thursday, January, 20, 2005
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Il Fornaio, 1430 Mt Diablo Blvd in Walnut Creek


Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Il Fornaio in the Corte Madera Town Center


February 10 Dinner Event:

Flying with Eagles

Eagles view the world from a strategic vantage point. They soar high and use their keen vision to see where they can move quickly, and capture their prey. Our panelists, all honored by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Top 100 Women Owned Businesses, will tell you what they did to build their single-woman owned businesses into the multi-million dollar enterprises they are today. Panelists include:

  • Sylvia Kwan, owner, Kwan Henmi architects
  • Karen Neuburger, owner, kn ltd
  • Cindy Wilson, owner, WilsonWest
  • Moderator: Clothilde Hewlett, attorney, Preston Gates

Whether your goal is to remain small, grow modestly or become a major industry player, the lessons learned from these exceptional "eagles" will introduce ideas and practices you can apply to your own business.
Register early. This one will be a sellout.

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2005

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: The World Trade Club, behind the Ferry Building in San Francisco (map and directions)

Cost: Pre-registration $40/members, $50/guests; or pay at the door $45/members, $55/guests

Register: Online at www.middleastwomen.org; with Rhoda at 415.333.2130; or email: [email protected]


Second Tuesday - Mastermind Series

Mastermind is an advisory board program for women leading businesses. Participants, who commit to attending the six-month cycle, meet on the second Tuesday of each month for continental breakfast.

Mastermind provides program members with an advisory board of NAWBO women who share business know-how, feedback, and insight from their own experience, and it's a great way to connect with other NAWBO members in a supportive environment.

The recent Mastermind Series finished in November. Those interested in participating in the next Mastermind series beginning in January should contact Rhoda Singer at 415.333.2130 or email: [email protected]. Cost for the series is $100. Call soon to join this group, or to be placed on the waiting list.



December's Holiday Fair

What a great way to end the year, share time with colleagues and friends and, best of all, SHOP!

This year's members' bazaar raised the bar and will set a standard hard to match. The variety and quality of gift items suited almost every pocketbook; many attendees found gifts for friends on their lists and for themselves. The house was packed, and the energy (had we have captured it) would have off-set any state energy shortages! Ending 2004 on such a high note sets the tone for 2005.


NAWBO Releases Second Book!

NAWBO is pleased to announce the completion of the book Tapping Your Inner Entrepreneur: Making the Move from Employee to Business Owner. Sponsored by OPEN: The Small Business Network from American Express, this book has the information entrepreneurs need to make the leap from corporate America to business ownership. From planning an exit strategy and developing a business plan to assembling a business team, Tapping Your Inner Entrepreneur has practical advice from experts and entrepreneurs who have been through the process. As a NAWBO member, you are able to pre-order your copy at the discounted member price by going to the NAWBO National website.


NAWBO/Wells Fargo Trailblazer Award

Application now Available!

Are you a trailblazing entrepreneur? If so, this could be your chance to gain national recognition and a cash award. Application deadline is March 4, 2005. For additional details download the nomination form.

Public Policy

NAWBO National Public Policy Days

You are invited to join our delegation of NAWBO-SF members who will participate in NAWBO National Public Policy Days on February 7-9 in 2005. To read more about this event, go to the NAWBO National website, and the event is listed on the home page. Let us know if you're planning on going, and we can help pair you with other NAWBO-SF members to cut costs.

New Members

Welcome to our new members:

We look forward to getting to know you all at our January Networking event!

Community Events

Small Business Expo 2005

Plans are underway for the SBA Expo 2005, scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on April 26-28, 2005. In recognition of the small business community's contribution to the American economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. Awards are presented in the categories of Small Business Person of the Year, Phoenix Awards (disaster recovery), Small Business Champion Awards (advocacy), and Federal Procurement Awards.

To find out more, or to fill out nomination forms, visit the SBA website: www.sba.gov/expo/.


Teleclass Training for Women Business Owners

Participate in a FREE, ongoing series of dynamic, 45 minute teleclasses, designed especially for women business owners, compliments of the Principal Financial Group�.

To see a list of archives pertaining to past classes and to register for future classes visit www.principal.com/women.


Plan for Your Success in 2005!

Special Offer for NAWBO Members

How often do we fail to achieve what's possible because we jump in and try to execute without a well-conceived plan? How many dollars and hours are spent on efforts that don't pan out? If you'd like to spend next year on a successful path that enables you to chart a course that's more successful—not to mention fun—Mike Van Horn, author of business books and leader of The Business Group, is conducting day-long planning workshops for business owners in convenient locations around the Bay Area. This workshop is for any owner-run business from 1 to 100 employees.

NAWBO members will only pay the discounted rate of $60 for this $125 program. You'll come away with Mike's Success in 2005 Workbook plus your own practical action plan on a single page. Upcoming program dates include January 10 in San Francisco, and January 28 in San Rafael. Visit our website for other dates and locations.

For more about the program and to enroll online, go to www.businessgroup.biz. For NAWBO members to get the discounted price, enter "nawbo" in the Promotion Code box when you go to the Workshop "Sign Up" page.

Member News & Views

No More Cold Calling!

No More Cold CallingJoanne Black's book, No More Cold Calling, will be published by Warner Books in early 2006. The book will bring her Referral Selling Methodology to sales teams around the world and will transform the way they work. Her clients typically:

  • Increase their qualified pipeline a minimum of 30 percent
  • Increase their referral business a minimum of 20 percent
  • Decrease business development time and get more sales leads
  • Obtain appointments with key decision-makers
  • Accelerate their growth in new markets and with new products

Joanne BlackJoanne is the country's leading expert on referral selling, and she has been a featured speaker at the NAWBO National Conference as well as at our San Francisco NAWBO Chapter. Her trademark topic is The Power of Referrals. Check her website for additional information and current Bay Area No More Cold Calling workshops at www.NoMoreColdCalling.com.


Congratulations to Stacey Lapuk

Stacey LapukStacey Lapuk, of Stacey Lapuk Interior Design Group, was recently honored with California Home and Design Magazine's Design Achievement Award for Showcase Space, and was also just published on the cover of the Dec/Jan issue of Idaho's Home By Design Magazine.

Great work, Stacey!

Stacey can be reached at:
email: [email protected]
phone: 415.499.1228


The Customized Business Contract—
A Recipe for Success

Despite the fact that we are surrounded by contracts in our daily lives (e.g., car leases, mortgage documents, insurance policies, etc.), many small business owners fail to recognize the importance of a well-crafted contract in their business operations. Perhaps it's the dizzying fine print and legalese of the aforementioned trio that makes people want to flee the room as soon as the "C" word is mentioned. Or perhaps it is simply a desire to demonstrate a more customer-friendly, laid-back approach that leads them to conduct business by means of oral promises, handshake deals, and memos jotted on cocktail napkins. Whatever the reason, the failure to commit one's agreement to a carefully crafted contract can lead to disaster.

Read full article on the NAWBO-SF website and find out more about:

  • Why Do I Need a Contract?
  • Managing Expectations
  • Proposal vs. Contract
  • Generic Forms
  • Customized Templates
  • Client Relations
  • An Investment in Your Business

Elizabeth SassanoM. Elizabeth Sassano is a partner with the firm of Roeca Haas Hager LLP (www.r2hlaw.com) where she specializes in providing outside general counsel services, including contract preparation and review, to business clients. She may be contacted at [email protected]. This article is intended for general informational purposes and is not to be considered legal advice.


Now's the Time to Really Beef Up
Your Marketing Efforts

As the New Year begins there's an opportunity to revitalize your company's marketing and make a difference to your bottom line. Here are some tips to help you kick-start your marketing for the new year.

  • Don't cut prices - reward loyal customers. Resist the temptation to cut your prices. Lowering your prices may do irreparable damage to your company image. Instead, focus on rewarding the most loyal customers—the ones that will support you through the tough times. For example, you might want to mail out targeted discount coupons, introduce a frequent-buyer program, send handwritten thank-you notes, or host a customer appreciation party.
  • Build value. Value means selling a selection of services or products, offering the utmost in quality of service or product and educating the customer as to why this is important.
  • Your best future customer is a past customer. It is amazing how many businesses ignore this great potential. They continually go out looking for new customers when they already have an existing supply of satisfied customers ready to buy more.

Read full article on the NAWBO-SF website for more great tips!

Valerie CamardaValerie Camarda is the owner of Marketing Sense, a full service marketing and public relations firm based in San Francisco and Emeryville. She has over twenty years of marketing and PR experience working in a variety of industries. She is a current member of the NAWBO Board of Directors and is vice president of marketing. She can be reached at 510.428.4077.

How To Get Involved

Join NAWBO, if you haven't already.

• Attend one of our networking breakfast meetings.

• Join a committee. You can contact the committee chairs directly. Go to our committees page online for more about the committees and for contact information.

• Take a guest or a client to the meeting. If each member recruits one new member, we will double our membership!

• Visit our evolving, and expanding website: www.middleastwomen.org.

• Let us know how you and your business are doing. Contact Donna Bletzinger: [email protected].

Quote of the Month

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
~Sir Winston Churchill

Corporate Partners

Thanks to all our corporate partners who help make NAWBO-SF's programs possible:

Citibank Wells Fargo
ChevronTexaco City National Bank
Union Bank of California American Express Open
California Bank and Trust Washington Mutual
Pacific Gas and Electric Company Mid-Peninsula Bank
Media Partner:

San Francisco Business Times


Subscription Info / The Fine Print

If you would like to submit stories, news, events, or happenings for the next issue of NAWBO-SF's e-news, please send to the newsletter editor,
Anastasia Fuller, at [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: www.middleastwomen.org/membership.html.

To subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) this newsletter, contact Rhoda Singer at 415.333.2130, or email: [email protected].


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