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Grow. Thrive. Lead.


NAWBO San Francisco Newsletter


March 2005 Newsletter

Join us on March 10th for "How to Do Space Age Work with a Stone Age Brain"

Grow Thrive Lead


Welcome to the March 2005 issue of NAWBO-SF's enewsletter.

Congratulations to our 2005 WEB Award winners! See feature article for more about WEB and these outstanding women.

You can read this newsletter online, by going to:

NAWBO Events Calendar

Featured Event:

The 21st Annual Women Entrepreneurs Benefit and NAWBO University

Join us on Friday, April 22nd! Always inspiring and uplifting, this year's event introduces an exciting new program for Bay Area women entrepreneurs—NAWBO University.
Find out more about this event


March 8 - Mastermind Series
The Mastermind series provides program members with an advisory board of NAWBO women who share business know-how, feedback, and insight from their own experience. (You must be enrolled to attend this event.)
Find out more about this event

March 10 - "How to Do Space Age Work with a Stone Age Brain", Dinner Event
We'll learn from our presenter, Eve Abbott, how to work at least 25 percent more effectively.
Find out more about this event

March 10 - "Increasing Your Self-Worth", Brown Bag Lunch
Maureen Simon will conduct "How Increasing Your Self-Worth and Value Increases Your Bottom Line", a program about how perceptions of your value influence your earning potential.
Find out more about this event

March 17 - Relationships and Referrals (Walnut Creek)
Business women and entrepreneurs to meet in this comfortable forum to exchange ideas and discuss challenges.
Find out more about this event

March 22 - 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

April 19 - Relationships and Referrals (Oakland)
This month only: After-dinner meeting instead of breakfast.
Join us in Oakland for regional networking where we explore just-in-time topics, and foster relationships that establish ever-widening circles of influence.
Find out more about this event

April 22 - The 21st Annual Women Entrepreneurs Benefit (WEB) and Introduction of NAWBO University
This is our chapter's premier event, celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit! Always inspiring and uplifting, this year's event introduces an exciting new program for Bay Area women entrepreneurs—NAWBO University.
Find out more about this event

April 28 - "Sandbox Rules: Managing the Legal Risk of a Multiple-Owner Small Business", Brown Bag Lunch
Felicia Vallera will share tips on how to avoid legal fees caused by misunderstandings among business owners.
Find out more about this event

President's Letter

Grow, Thrive, Lead

Whew! They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The weather has certainly been stormy, and so have the politics. There is good news from our San Francisco Chapter: we are growing, thriving, and leading.

Good news!

Our Women's Entrepreneur Benefit (WEB) winners have been chosen, and the planning is underway for our very best WEB ever. The winners are stars and role models we can all admire and identify with. Paula LeDuc and Loran May are living proof that women have the genes and the commitment to make it big in the business world! PS, Don't wear mascara to the WEB event, these stories are heart-felt. (See more below in feature article about these women.)

Plans are finalized for our first ever NAWBO-U classes, sponsored by Citibank. These seminars will be conducted by Golden Gate University professors, on the morning of our WEB event April 22, 2005. If you want information and ideas that will help you to survive and expand to the next level, don't miss these valuable seminars.

NAWBO-SF is continuing to grow membership, thanks to Leni Miller and Marcia Johnson and a large and very active membership committee. Walnut Creek has been added to our monthly breakfast meeting schedule, joining Oakland and Marin County.

NAWBO-SF members in IT have special opportunity. A business marketing meeting has been scheduled with the head of the City of San Francisco's Information Technology Department. NAWBO-SF members who specialize in IT and are headquartered in the Bay Area will be meeting with the decision-makers to talk about their businesses. This effort was supported by ex-NAWBO-SF President Sandy Sohcot, who currently serves as a Human Rights Commissioner for San Francisco.

Dinner programs are selling out on a regular basis. Thank you to Donna Bletzinger and her enthusiastic committee.

Unlike the Federal Budget, our NAWBO-SF accounts are balanced, despite that fact that Christine Chang and May Pon report that at this time of year it is a little challenging. We have started to spend money on our WEB event, and also on NAWBO-U, before Corporate partnership funds are normally received. So far we have managed not to need our line of credit.

Your dues help fund the National Women's Business Council, which keeps track of statistics on women-owned businesses. This research is extremely important, for advocating services and legislation for women-owned businesses, and for demonstrating our growth. When I was in Washington DC at the NAWBO Public Policy meeting, I participated in a special study they are conducting on Federal procurement, in order to identify obstacles to federal contracts for women business owners. You can see the latest statistics on the NWBC website.

Bad news!

Social Security and the Federal budget. Our US Senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, have sent me their opinions of two issues, Social Security and the Federal budget, before the legislature. Both of these huge pieces of legislation will have far-reaching and possibly devastating impact on your income now and later.

At the national NAWBO public policy meeting in Washington DC, we attended a White House briefing where the president's plans for Social Security were presented as a slide show by an earnest woman from Colorado who is a consultant to the White House. It only took about 15 minutes of questions by the savvy women business owners in the audience to pretty much unravel the whole position:

"If my employees get private accounts, they will probably spend them."

"What if nobody elects to start a private account?"

"I don't understand, you say Social Security is broke and private accounts will fix that. But private accounts will cost trillions of dollars to administer, and siphon money away from supporting seniors. How will they 'fix' Social Security?"

Honest answer from the consultant, "You're right, private accounts probably won't fix Social Security."

"Behind every successful woman is a man who is surprised." Harvard President Larry Summers has declared that women lack the genes and the commitment to excel in science. Either Dr. Summers, who is an economist, is unaware of all of the academic research demonstrating that bias and stereotypes are barriers to women's aspirations and success, or he has decided to dismiss it. From Dr. Summers' statement it is only a small step to conclude that women lack not only the "science gene" but also the "entrepreneur gene", which likewise requires math ability and commitment to a goal. Thirty years ago NAWBO got a bill passed that allowed women to get business loans without their husbands' signatures. These changes are hard-fought battles, and it is scary that an off-the-cuff remark by an irresponsible man with unwarranted power could easily send us back to those days. I hope this is a wake-up call for many of us to become more active in advocating for women's issues at every level.

Wal-Mart. In September's NAWBO-SF dinner meeting, we had the honor of hearing Irma Herrera, who received the NAWBO-SF President's Advocacy Award, describe the class action suit that her organization and others are bringing against Wal-Mart. Visualize the movie "Nine to Five" and imagine Wal-Mart! In addition to women employees who have been refused promotions because "men have a family to support," and who had to attend meetings in strip joints, small companies have also been victims of Wal-Mart. Small retailers have lost their customers to the humungous competition. Other small businesses have gone bankrupt trying to survive as vendors to Wal-Mart.

Imagine the shock when it was discovered that Wal-Mart had become a national corporate partner of NAWBO. Sandy Sohcot, past president of NAWBO, alerted us to the partnership, and there was an immediate response by our Board and past Presidents. We are still forming a committee whose task it will be to address values issues—not just with Corporate Partners but with members and WEB winners. If you want to serve on the committee, please contact me.

"Small Business" Contracts. Many women business owners have tried and failed to get Federal contracts. The experience has led many to feel the whole scene is rigged against us. After all, the percentage of women-owned businesses receiving Federal contracts has actually decreased from 2 per cent to 1.6 per cent, in the last couple of years! Now, we have factual proof of what "woman's instinct" (see genetics, above) has apparently sensed all along. Believe it or not, even the 1.6 per cent is probably a sham.

According to a NY Times article, "The Case of the Missing Set-Aside", one-third of the so-called small businesses that received government contracts were actually HUGE businesses (think Hewlett-Packard). How did this happen? (Read the article.) Note that Lloyd Chapman, the founder of the American Small Business League, is quoted in the article. Lloyd is from the Bay Area, and general manager of GC Micro Corp. in Novato. He ferreted out the corruption and has passed on the information to legislators such as Senator John Kerry and Representative Nydia Velasquez.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." — Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Featured: WEB and NAWBO-U 2005

Women Entrepreneurs Benefit and NAWBO-U
Save the date: April 22, 2005!

Join us in celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit as we recognize women business owners who exemplify entrepreneurial excellence at our 21st annual Women Entrepreneurs Benefit (WEB). This year, we honor Trailblazer Paula LeDuc, Rising Star Loran May, and President's Community Advocate Irma Hererra.

We also introduce an exciting new program for NAWBO members and Bay Area women entrepreneurs: NAWBO-University. NAWBO-U is inspired by NAWBO-LA's very successful daylong event and will provide a first-of-its-kind educational forum for women business owners in Northern California. Sponsored by Citibank, NAWBO-U is designed to create ongoing leadership support for women business owners and accelerate the growth of women-owned businesses in the Bay Area. Be sure to join us for this exciting event—first we educate you, then we inspire you!

More event info, costs, NAWBO-U details, and online registration now available on our website.


WEB Award Recipients

Congratulations to NAWBO-SF's 2005 WEB Award Recipients:

Loran May2005 Rising Star

Loran May

May & Associates, Inc.

Our 2005 Rising Star, Loran May, is an accomplished botanist and wetland ecologist with more than 18 years of experience conducting botanical and wetlands studies throughout California and the western states. A Bay Area native, Loran May is Owner and President of May & Associates, Inc., specializing in biological resource planning and environmental consulting. She has managed numerous large-scale and controversial projects, including the Golden Gate Park Lakes Rehabilitation Program, the Golden Gate Bridge's Mission Blue Butterfly Habitat Restoration Program, the San Francisco International Airport Runway Reconfiguration Project and many more. We are pleased to recognize Loran for her important work. — read full bio

Finalists in the category:

Margo Souza, Circle H Dairy Ranch, Inc.
Romena Jonas, Jonas and Associates, Inc.


Paula LeDuc2005 Trailblazer

Paula LeDuc

Paula LeDuc Fine Catering

We are proud to honor our 2005 Trailblazer, Paula LeDuc, a Bay Area native whose natural ability, creative flair and boundless energy have made her one of the premier caterers in the country. Paula LeDuc Fine Catering adheres to basic principles: commitment to excellence in food preparation, excitement in presentation and appreciation for both clients and staff. For Paula, these qualities are much more than words on a plaque; they are the immutable hallmarks of every project her company undertakes. Today, Paula's energy and enthusiasm continue to inspire her team of perfectionists, who dazzle partygoers throughout the Bay Area and beyond. — read full bio

Finalist in the category:

Kellyann Lamb, Visual Resource, Inc.


Irma Herrera2005 President's Advocate

Equal Rights Advocates

Irma D. Herrera, Executive Director

Since 1996, Irma D. Herrera has served as Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates. For close to 30 years, Equal Rights Advocates has led the legal fight for women's equality, with a mission to protect and secure equal rights and economic opportunities for women and girls through litigation and advocacy. — read full bio

NAWBO News & Events

March 10 Dinner Event:

How to Do Space Age Work with a Stone Age Brain

Eve AbbottWith the 'Organizer Extraordinaire',
Eve Abbott

Since 1988 Eve Abbott has taught thousands of clients—corporations, non-profits, government agencies, small businesses, and individuals—how to work at least 25 percent more effectively through her programs and consultations.

"If your mom handed you a milk crate and said, 'Put everything you love in here, we're moving tomorrow,' and if she did that 10 times before you were 12 years old, believe me you would have great prioritizing skills," Eve says with a laugh. Unlike many organizational specialists who help tidying up desks and closets, Abbott focuses on organizational tips that reflect her humorous, practical approach to finding stuff and saving time. As she wryly observes, "You can't teach someone better management skills if they can't find their car keys."

Find out more about this event.

Date: Thursday, March 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]


March's Brown Bag Lunch:

How Increasing Your Self-Worth and Value
Increases Your Bottom Line

Maureen SimonMaureen Simon will conduct a program about how perceptions of your value influence your earning potential. This session is designed to help you create abundant income by enabling you to gain others' appreciation for your true value. The laws of attraction—how you perceive and project yourself in the world through your thoughts, voice and behavior—will be revealed.

By exploring how you perceive your own value and self-worth in the world, you will gain greater awareness of the messages you often send to others unconsciously and specific strategies you can follow to increase your income. Ultimately, you'll have a better understanding of how you are perceived in the world and what specific steps you can take to project greater self-worth and improve your earning power.

Note - Bring your own brown bag lunch!

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2005

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Location: Law Offices of Carlton, DiSante, and Freudenberger, 260 California Street, Suite 500, San Francisco (map and directions)

Cost: $10/members, $15/guests

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


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

Walnut Creek

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2005
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Il Fornaio, 1430 Mt Diablo Blvd in Walnut Creek


Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Il Fornaio in the Corte Madera Town Center


Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 (NOTE: NO meeting in March)
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Verbena Café's Atrium in Oakland, 1111 Broadway
(the APL Office Building), in front of the 12th Street
BART Station at 11th


April's Brown Bag Lunch:

Sandbox Rules: Managing the Legal Risk of a Multiple-Owner Small Business

Felicia ValleraWith Felicia Vallera

Going into business with partners or other types of co-owners can be rewarding, even life-saving. It can also be one of the riskiest business and legal moves you ever make. Felicia Vallera, an attorney in private practice in the San Francisco Financial District will share tips on how to avoid legal fees caused by misunderstandings among business owners.

Disputes among co-owners of closely-held small businesses, whether partnerships, LLC's, or corporations, can strain your customer and supplier relationships, cripple your cash flow, taint your credit rating and business reputation, and otherwise irreparably harm the value of the business you have worked so hard to build. Even without disputes, how do you prevent one owner's death, medical disability, family leave, divorce and community property battle, personal financial woes, or decision to leave the business from shutting you down?

Attend this session and learn from an expert how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls entrepreneurs who share business ownership face.

Note - Bring your own brown bag lunch!

Date: Thursday, April 28, 2005

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Location: Law Offices of Carlton, DiSante, and Freudenberger, 260 California Street, Suite 500, San Francisco (map and directions)

Cost: $10/members, $15/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 most recent Mastermind Series began in January. Those interested in participating in the next Mastermind series beginning in mid-year should contact Rhoda Singer at 415.333.2130 or email: [email protected] to be placed on the waiting list. Cost for the series is $100.



February's "Flying with Eagles" Dinner Event

Attendees were rewarded three-fold with insights shared by our panel of CEOs—Sylvia Kwan, Cindy Wilson and Karen Neuburger—whose entrepreneurial ventures created companies listed among San Francisco's 100 top women owned businesses by the San Francisco Business Times.

Although their businesses (architectural design, event management and sleepwear, respectively) are extremely different, these accomplished, genuine women share much in common: the desire to balance family and work life, the courage to take risks, the ability to learn through mistakes, the creativity to branch out with new ideas, and the wisdom to recognize when to get help.

Moderator Clothilde Hewlett added her own experiences and helped elicit interesting stories from the speakers that illustrated, with humor and modesty, some of the many challenges that accompanied their rise to success.

New Members

Welcome to our new members:

• Suzie Parkinson, Space Design

• Marcella De La Cruz, Colonial Supplemental Insurance

• Joyce Sigman, Sterling Construction Management

• Kim Wright, Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking

We look forward to meeting you all at our March event!

Community Events

Honouring Our Wisdom and Power: A Retreat for Women Leaders

March 16-20, 2005
Lassalle-Institut, Switzerland
Led by Karen Buckley, NAWBO member

Join this global community of women to envision the legacy we want to leave society and develop practical strategies for integrating our feminine wisdom into institutions and communities.

The Wisdom Leadership Initiative has been invited to co-lead The Lassalle Women's Retreat in Switzerland. With the dedicated founders of Lassalle Institute we created a 4-day experience that will anchor feminine wisdom through Zen meditation, provocative exchanges with like-minded colleagues, deep listening, surfacing tricky issues, and engaging in thought-provoking discussions.

We are actively building a sponsorship fund for women leaders who could not afford the full fee and welcome your participation.

Contact Karen Buckley, [email protected] for more information, or visit www.wisdomleadership.org.


Business Woman/Sportswoman Networking Night

What do women in business & women in sport have in common?


You're invited to attend the first annual Business Woman/Sportswoman Networking Night. Meet other women professionals from the Bay Area. Over 40 women's business groups have been invited.

Bring your employees to network and explore as our guest speaker Anne Warner Cribbs, President and CEO of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee discusses how women in sport and women in business can help each other sharpen their skills to compete at the highest level.

Continue networking as you watch the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Championship game where the top two teams compete for a berth in the NCAA Tournament. All this and more on Monday, March 7th beginning at 5:30 pm.

For more details: http://www.svse.net/businesswomen.pdf

Or please call:
Deborah A. Pratt/Sales Representative
Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment
phone: 408.999.6859


Enterprise for High School Students Open House

Do you need administrative or retail support or assistance at your home? Nationally recognized as a leading youth development/employment organization, Enterprise for High School Students has been successfully helping San Francisco high school students for 36 years with job readiness training, career exploration and job referrals. Our city-wide youth opportunities represent a broad spectrum of professions and careers. There is no fee to list your opportunities.

Find out more at our open house. All are welcome!

When: Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Time: 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: 200 Pine St., Suite 600, San Francisco, CA
RSVP: Contact Leonard Weingarten, Director of Business Partnerships, [email protected], or call 415.392.7600 x 304.

Member News & Views

Andrea Kelly Smethurst in the News

Attorney and NAWBO member Andrea Kelly Smethurst of Walnut Creek was was quoted in a Contra Costa Times article January 1, 2005 called "Working for themselves works for many moms" by Dan Laidman. You can read the article online (subscription required). Search article title here.

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

"I used to see politics as something bad. It's what caused our problems and made me a refugee for so long. But now I want to have a seat at the table."

~Athanasie Gahondogo, a member of Rwanda's Parliament, which has the highest percentage of women of any parliamentary body (find out more)

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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