Letter from the President 

by Dorothy Wolden

Dorothy Wolden President NAWBO-Phoenix 2014-2015 Gravity Web + Design 130 N. Central Avenue, Ste. 301 Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-258-1300 phone 480-220-7293 cell dwolden@gravityphx.com www.gravityphx.com Years in Business: 12 Years in NAWBO: 5

Dorothy Wolden
NAWBO-Phoenix 2014-2015
GateWay Community College
108 N. 40th Street, South Bldg (SO)
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Years in Business: 13
Years in NAWBO: 6

How to make it last: Business Longevity

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the National Association of Women Business Owners, national association and the 30th anniversary of NAWBO Phoenix.

The National Association of Women Business Owners came into existence in the early 1970s when two women, Dottie Grandy and Denise Cavanaugh, realized that if they got together with other professional women, they could learn more as a group and their businesses would benefit. At the time women weren’t allowed to be members of the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce or The United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees). Access to capital was non-existent without a male cosigner. It was truly an unequal playing field, far worse than what we know now.

Gandy and Cavanaugh reached out to a handful of other businesswomen they knew, and started meeting in the back room of their office in an old brick row house in Washington, D.C. Word of these meetings spread quickly, and a network started to emerge. NAWBO has become a national organization with more than 5,000 members and 60 chapters across the country, with the Phoenix Chapter being 5th largest in the network.

These women who started NAWBO knew the importance of building a network and creating a place for resources, mentoring and advice to start and build stronger businesses. Today, NAWBO still stands by that mission, and locally we are striving to bring even more support to women business owners.

In 30 years, the NAWBO Phoenix leaders and members have risen to great heights. Past President Donna Davis was appointed by the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to be the Regional Administrator, Region 9 of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Past President Kristine Kassel, owner of Benefits By Design, is an award-winning business owner and was recently appointed to the SBA’s Office of National Ombudsman, Region 9 Regulatory Advisory Board.

Our membership, past and present, has seen many award winners and influential businesswomen from our community, such as Barbara Barrett, former President of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and Nancy Sanders, the current Regional Center Director of the Maricopa Small Business Development Center. In recent years, several members, including Past President Lynda Bishop, Hope Ozer, Hue Haslim, Pam Gaber, Past President Kristine Kassel and I, were honored as Outstanding Women in Business by the Phoenix Business Journal. The list goes on with countless other award winners.

You might say that NAWBO Phoenix can attribute its longevity to having the right people on the bus in the right seats at the right time. As we continue to grow our membership and expand the resources we provide to women business owners of all sizes and business types, we can’t help but look back and have sincere gratitude for the women who came before us and paved the way.

I can personally attest that if it were not for my NAWBO membership I would not have lasted 13 years as a business owner. What I have learned about business ownership and leadership is not something taught in a classroom. And the friendship and positive financial gains have been well worth my annual membership dues.

I invite you to read through the pages of this supplement and gain insight from subject matter experts, who are NAWBO members, about how to “make it last.” Also visit the NAWBO Phoenix website (www.nawbophx.org) and register for an upcoming event. Both men and women are welcome to visit and learn how NAWBO can support your business growth goals.

Here’s to another 40 years …


Dorothy Wolden
2014/15 President NAWBO Phoenix

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