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June 27 is a Moment of Truth. Will You Be There?

Jennifer Masi 

NAWBO President-Elect

Principal and Director of Creative Services for Torque Digital

 

It’s time. Time to push forward so hard we feel it. Time to face the truth.

Not your standard welcome-from-your-new-president-and-I’m-oh-so-excited-to-be-here opening line. I know. Honestly, that’s not me.

Nope. I’d rather you join me on the front porch for a cup of coffee. Maybe share a story or two. And – my favorite – work together on something big that helps all women in business. That’s why I’m so passionate and humbled and grateful to accept the honor of serving as your president at the June 27 NAWBO board installation.

I know what you’re thinking. Sometimes we all just want to skip the hubbub, the events, the clicks and apps, and slow down. One more thing on the calendar? Arg.

I feel that way some days. I get it.

People are busy. It seems like, for me, it gets harder and harder to get everything accomplished. But the only way to get the most out of any organization is to engage.

On June 27, we’re pushing forward with a new NAWBO board, a new year, a new moment of truth calling for total engagement across our membership. That’s you.

When I engage, I get inspired. There are lots of days I feel tired, and it’s tempting to say “I’m done” and go straight home. Sometimes I joke that I’m an “introvert in recovery.” Do you ever feel that way? It’s easier to fold inward. But that’s not how we expand our sense of wonder for the world.

In contrast, every time I go to something, I feel recharged inside – like one of those sparklers we used to set off as kids. I learn new things. I discover a different way to attack problems. My perspective shifts.

Case in point: the recent event “Creating Opportunity in Uncertain Times” hosted by NAWBO Chicago, BMO Harris Bank and the Women’s Business Development Center. One word: Wow. Media icon Nicole Lapin was an amazing speaker and CFA Chief Economist and Head of U.S. Economics Michael Gregory taught me that there are no “small” businesses, just “independent” businesses striving to do big things.

If I had caught the 5:00 train home, I would have missed all that.

Engagement expands the influence of women in business and lengthens our advocacy roots. Engagement leads to growth and retention of our most valuable people. You can’t grow your company or clients or staff if they, or you, are not engaged.

When business gets crazy busy, we sometimes revert to delivery mode and forget how important it is to connect with clients, new business prospects, and people we work with. As we engage, our collective knowledge, diversity and sense of inclusion flourish.

On June 27, it’s a moment of truth for each of us. Will we step forward? Will we take an active role in making NAWBO Chicago the voice of women entrepreneurs? Will we be all-in? Will we mentor, coach, contribute, learn, and lead?

As we close out the Year of You, we say hello to the Year of Engagement with more members (we’ve grown 23% since last year!), more programs, and more opportunities to be the best version of ourselves.

Let’s meet up at a NAWBO event. Call me, text me, send a carrier pigeon to my office on Racine. I’m available and would love to meet you. One thing: I don’t believe any of us ever stop growing and learning. Since joining NAWBO, I’ve learned a lot about connecting my business leadership with the kind of leader I aspire to be. I’ll never stop learning. I want that thrill for every NAWBO member. Engagement is the path.

With NAWBO, you have an entire village behind you. And maybe that’s the most important moment of truth right there, when we realize it takes all of us together to make a difference for women in business.

See you on the 27th! Let’s leave nothing on the table.

P.S. Advocacy update: Current NAWBO President Susan Dawson and Senator Tammy Duckworth are collaborating on NAWBO’s PAC efforts. Soon, we will be asking members to submit short videos about their legislative needs and opinions (federal, state and local). Look for a legislative summit in January 2018 to address these concerns.

 

2017 NAWBO BOARD INSTALLATION &

NAWBO CHICAGO NEW YEAR KICK-OFF

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Mars Gallery

1139 W. Fulton Market

Chicago, IL 60607

TICKETS

$30/member $55/member

 

LOOKING TO ENGAGE AND CAN'T WAIT? Contact Wendy Jaehn to talk about ways to support and connect our community. NAWBO Chicago can always use support on committees, new programs and initiatives and one-off events or needs!