Whoever coined the phrase “time flies when you’re having fun” totally nailed it. This past year has been fun, challenging, exciting and incredibly rewarding. One of the best parts of being the president of NAWBO is getting to know our members and corporate partners better. They come from different backgrounds and different places, and whether they work for themselves or someone else they come together to connect, share and support each other in a way I have not seen in any other organization. NAWBO Phoenix is a special group of individuals. And we’ve been doing this in the Valley for 30 years.
One of the goals this past program year was to raise awareness of NAWBO in the business community, and we did. Earlier this year, we had three members as finalists for the BBB Ethics awards: Nancy Hetrick of Smarter Divorce Solutions, Roseann Higgins of SPIES Single Professional Introductions for the Especially Selective and Linda Stanfield of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, who won the title. We also had three members honored by the Phoenix Business Journal as Outstanding Women in Business: Hue Haslim, Lynda Bishop and Hope Ozer. Additionally, we had eight women recognized at the 2015 SparXX Fly event: Nancy Hetrick, J.R. Marriott, Connie Zimmerlich, Suzanne Lanctot, Paula Wittekind, Julie Heiland, Lynda Bishop and Carmella Dodge. So NAWBO members have been getting around … in a good way.
I’m particularly proud of a few technological advances we made as an organization by launching a new website and a new communications program with our partners Infusionsoft and Beaver Pond Enterprises. As we move to become a more sustainable organization and serve a larger membership, it’s essential we keep up with the times and find ways to reach more individuals. We now have the tools in place to do that.
We also reached out to strengthen our community relationships by working with One Community, Think Global Institute and ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Arizona Small Business Association, and the Maricopa Small Business Development Center. We will continue to reach out to other organizations to support the Phoenix business community because we are stronger together.
As my year concludes, I am not sad. The journey has been rewarding and fun. I would encourage anyone in a position to join an organization and volunteer to do just that. The leadership skills I’ve developed and the connections I’ve made have been invaluable. Whether you join NAWBO, a local chamber or association, make the most of your time and resources and get involved. You will not regret it.
I’m very excited about the direction of NAWBO Phoenix and confident that my friend and colleague Nancy Sanders will lead the organization to continued growth in 2015-16. I look forward to watching our members and corporate partners achieve their goals and create economic impact in our community.
Dorothy Wolden is the immediate past president of NAWBO Phoenix.