As a woman business owner, do you ever wonder how legislation impacts our businesses? Support from our local, state and federal policy makers is vital to the sustainability and success of our businesses. The NAWBO Chicago Advocacy Committee, currently serving Chicagoland, southeast Wisconsin and northwest Indiana, seeks to support nonpartisan advocacy efforts on behalf of our members. Melissa McAtee and Cathie Van Wert, committee co-chairs, will share with us how the committee is working to help amplify our collective voices, making impact on today’s relevant policy work.
About Melissa McAtee
Melissa McAtee is co-founder and managing partner leading business operations at elbē creative partners. With a background in interior architecture and nearly three decades combined working in design, management, higher education and business ownership, Melissa comes with a robust professional journey that led her to providing digital interactive design and development services to her company’s clients for trade shows, museums and permanent commercial spaces. Aside from managing elbē, Melissa is adjunct faculty in the Interior Architecture department at Columbia College Chicago. She is also a graduate of the Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses program, a member of The Society for Experiential Graphic Designers (SEGD), co-chair of programs and events for the Chicago Museum Exhibitors Group (CMEG) and advocacy committee co-chair for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Her work with NAWBO began in early 2020. She joined the committee curious about advocacy for small businesses, and is honored to have been co-chairing the committee with Cathie Van Wert since January 2023.
About Cathie Van Wert
Cathie Van Wert is co-founder and president, and heads up the creative team at DoubleTake Design. DoubleTake Design delivers smart, strategic creative solutions that build and revitalize brands. Problem solvers by design, we make brands shine brighter by instilling your brand personality with a powerful, multi-faceted visual identity that cuts through the clutter right to the people you need to talk to. Our goal is to get you noticed—and get you results. One of Cathie's passions is to support companies who are working towards environmental sustainability, as well as to support women in business. She is currently serving as President of the board of Women in Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), Chicago Chapter. She has been a NAWBO member for almost 20 years, and has served on several committees, as well as the NAWBO Chicago board. She won the NAWBO Chicago Member of the Year award in 2009. In 2020, she joined the NAWBO Chicago Advocacy committee, and worked with Melissa McAtee to launch the first Advocacy survey in 2022. She is honored to be partnering with Melissa now as co-chairs of the committee, which is currently developing the 2023 Advocacy survey.