2023 Advocacy Days | NAWBO

2023 Advocacy Days


This year’s Advocacy Days will focus on 4 core policy areas. You can learn more about these policy areas by visiting the Advocacy Days Policy Agenda page.


Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) members represent more than 12 million women business owners across America. Our members are diverse in many ways, including the size of their business, the sectors, and communities they serve, the stage of business development, their race, ethnicity, geographic business areas, and political leanings that determine policy views. The NAWBO 2023 Advocacy Agenda embodies the ever-present need to represent all of our members while creating both the avenue and environment to build sustainable women-owned businesses:


  1. Addressing the Needs of the "Microbusiness" and Encouraging Emerging Entrepreneurs
  2. Workforce
  3. Accessing Capital through Increased Financial Education and Digital Tools
  4. Caring for the Business Owner and Caregiving Flexibilities for the Employee

registration fees

Note, there will be a $75 processing fee for Advocacy Days registration cancellation requests received beginning May 15, 2023. 


If you have significant dietary restrictions or need special accommodations at this event, please email events@nawbo.org and we will be glad to assist you.








Register Now

The Westin Washington D.C. City Center

1400 M Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: +1 202 429 1700

Room block ended on May 16, 2023. Email events@nawbo.org and check with The Westin for room availability.


Advocacy Days Sponsors

















Advocacy Days Reception Co-Sponsors





June 6, 2023
  • time
  • description
  • location
  • 9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. ET


    Agenda subject to change.


    Breakfast and Networking at The Westin - Sponsored by Wells Fargo

    Come and enjoy breakfast & networking with fellow attendees before we begin Day 1 Advocacy Days activities


    Remarks: Maryam Enders, Merchant Services Leader/Vice President, Wells Fargo Small Business Banking

    National Ballrooms A & B
  • 10:00 A.M - 10:30 A.M. ET

    Coffee Break and Informal Networking

  • 10:30 A.M. - 11:15 A.M. ET

    Policy Session #1 - Advertising Best Practices to Amplify Your Message - Sponsored by Meta



    Diana Doukas, Manager, Economic Impact for US Policy Programs, Meta

    Maddie Fumi, Partner Manager, GPN, Meta


    Meta offers numerous trainings, tools, and resources to help your business grow. Meta's advertising tools can play a key part in helping you achieve your business goals, like reaching more people who are interested in your product or service and prompting them to take action. In this session, you will hear from Maddie Fumi, a Partner Manager at Meta, about the various business tools we offer ranging from Ads Manager to Business Manager and Meta Business Suite. You will also hear about practical tips and best practices to refine your advertising objectives and create engaging content. Diana Doukas, Economic Opportunity & Advocacy manager at Meta, will provide opening remarks on the importance of digital tools for small businesses.


    National Ballrooms A & B
  • 11:15 A.M. - 11:45 PM ET

    Policy Session #2 - The Future of Benefits: Supporting the Health and Health Care of Women Business Owners - Sponsored by Public Private Strategies Institute



    Katherine Hempstead, Senior Policy Adviser of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    Lisa Coppola, NAWBO National Board Chair


    Join us for a fireside chat with Senior Policy Adviser Katherine Hempstead and NAWBO Board Member Lisa Coppola. This session will cover the landscape of healthcare benefits for small businesses, challenges and opportunities to providing coverage, and discuss the future of benefits, including the evolving link between benefits and employment.


    National Ballrooms A & B
  • 11:45 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. ET

    Lunch and Networking - Sponsored by Mastercard


    Remarks: Amanda Slater, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Head of Federal Affairs, Mastercard

    National Ballrooms A, B and Foyer
  • 1:00 P.M. - 1:45 P.M. ET

    Administration Briefing with National Women's Business Council Leadership



    Tené Dolphin, Executive Director, National Women’s Business Council (NWBC)

    Leslie Lynn Smith, NWBC Board Member and National Director of GET Cities

    Brandy Butler, NWBC Board Member and CEO of ADC Management Solutions

    Dr. Janis Shinkawa, NAWBO National Board Member


    The National Women’s Business Council was established 35 years ago with the passage of H.R. 5050, the Women’s Business Ownership Act. NAWBO helped secure the passage of this historic piece of legislation which connected the voices of diverse U.S. women entrepreneurs to policymakers in Washington, D.C. and ensured more of them have fair and equitable access to the entrepreneurial resources they need to help them launch and grow their businesses. This panel will feature leaders in women’s business enterprise who will come together to discuss how organizations can move in lockstep to create a brighter future for women entrepreneurs. Panelists will also consider where NWBC and NAWBO are on the same page and how the two organizations can collaborate to turn a new page for women in business. 


    National Ballrooms A & B
  • 1:45 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. ET


  • 2:00 P.M. - 2:45 P.M. ET

    Policy Session #3 - Supporting Small Business Success: How to Address the Challenges Through Products and Policy Changes - Sponsored by Gusto



    Steve Abbott Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Gusto 

    Liz Wilke, Principal Economist, Gusto


    During this session with Gusto, Steve Abbott and Liz Wilke will share their data and expertise as it relates to the barriers that micro-businesses face to providing workplace benefits, including healthcare plans to employees. The team at Gusto will discuss policy initiatives that support microbusiness's ability to provide benefits and will engage in a Q&A session with NAWBO members. 



    National Ballrooms A & B
  • 2:45 PM - 3:30 PM ET

    Break and Travel to 1:1 Capitol Hill Meetings 


  • 3:30 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. ET

    1:1 Congressional Meetings on Capitol Hill (Option for attendees)

    Capitol Hill
  • 5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. ET

    Advocacy Reception - UPS Townhouse on Capitol Hill - Sponsored by NAWBO Greater DC and UPS



    Please enjoy a 2-hour break to explore DC but join us starting at 5 p.m. ET for the Advocacy Day Reception. You can grab a Lyft, Uber, taxi or the Metro to get there. Light refreshments will be served.


    There will be time after the reception for you to grab dinner and explore more of DC with other attendees as well! Then you can head back to the hotel on your own when you are ready.


    UPS Townhouse
    421 New Jersey Ave SE
    Washington DC, 20003



    421 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
June 7, 2023
  • time
  • description
  • location
  • 9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. ET



    Breakfast and Advocate Training Session at The Westin 

    Come and enjoy breakfast and an interactive training session with fellow attendees before we head to Capitol Hill


    National Ballroom C & West Room
  • 10:30 A.M. ET

    Transportation to Capitol Hill

    The Westin Hotel Lobby
  • 11:00 - 11:30 A.M. ET

    Group Photo

    We are excited to continue one of our most popular Advocacy Days traditions of taking a group photo together on Capitol Hill!

    Capitol Hill
  • 11:30 A.M. ET

    Walk to Senate Hart Office Building on Capitol Hill

    120 Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002
  • 12:00 - 1:00 P.M. ET

    Luncheon Briefing on Capitol Hill with Small Business Committee and Closing Remarks - Sponsored by Intuit


    Remarks by:

    Senator Ben Cardin, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

    Senator Joni Ernst, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

    Erik Rettig, Senior Manager, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Intuit

    Senate Hart Office Building
  • 1:30 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. ET

    1:1 Congressional Meetings on Capitol Hill (Option for attendees)

    Capitol Hill



Steve Abbott

Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Gusto

Steve is the head of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Gusto. In his role, he leads a cross-functional team that designs and executes a public policy strategy that advocates for a robust ecosystem for small business formation and growth, and promotes employee financial health and wellness. Prior to Gusto, Steve spent 10 years at the Pew Charitable Trusts leading government relations for projects focused on promoting family economic stability. Steve also has experience working for Congress and was a consultant to Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations advising them on public policy.

Brandy R. Butler

NWBC Board Member & President & CEO, ADC Management Solutions (ADC-MS)

Brandy, president and CEO of ADC Management Solutions (ADC-MS), has more than 20 years of education and leadership experience in the human resources industry. An accomplished staffing professional and marketer, her vision and expertise have driven enterprise growth for the company since its inception in 2003. Additionally, her strategic approach to business development has won local and Federal government and commercial contracts for the company, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Census Bureau and ICF International. Prior to founding ADC-MS, Brandy honed her entrepreneurship and project management skills through a series of positions. In 2001, she launched AspenLegal, a division of the Aspen Group, Inc., which included legal staffing and training. She was also responsible for project management for a major facilities management contract with Lockheed Martin. Brandy also previously served as corporate operations manager for Silverlake Foods and president and owner of Berryland Foods, Inc. 

Senator Ben Cardin

Chair, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

A third-generation Marylander, Ben Cardin has been a member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee since arriving in the Senate in 2007. Currently serving as Chair, he does all he can to support Maryland’s strong small business sector and the large concentrations of minority, women- and veteran-owned small businesses in the state. Nationally, he continues to work to ensure America’s small businesses are at the forefront of a strong, equitable economy. Senator Cardin takes great pride in the role he and Senate Democrats played in helping small businesses weather the intense and sudden economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked across the aisle to provide unprecedented assistance to small businesses through the CARES Act and follow-on legislation that provided for an additional round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and special assistance for restaurants, non-profits, and shuttered venues. Cardin continues to prioritize the need to increase access to credit for small businesses and entrepreneurs. He consistently advocates for greater small businesses contracting within the federal government, urging federal agencies to meet or exceed their modest small business contracting goals. Senator Cardin’s top priority as Chair is to use federal policies and congressional action to achieve equity for underserved entrepreneurs in a holistic way. He fights for federal policies to improve our economy, create job opportunities and support small businesses, while bolstering our middle class and most vulnerable citizens. Senator Cardin also serves as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Environment & Public Works committees.

Tené Dolphin

Executive Director, National Women’s Business Council (NWBC)

Tené has served in both local and national positions with a primary focus on policies and programs that create opportunities for all. Currently, she is executive director for the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), providing leadership and advocacy around issues that impact America’s women business owners. Before joining NWBC, Tené served as strategy and operations lead for Wells Fargo’s Small Business Growth Philanthropy division. While there, she developed partnerships that provided direct support for women entrepreneurs through the “Connect to More” platform. Prior to Wells Fargo, Tené served as the first director for the Office of Business Diversity and Opportunity for the City of Birmingham, Alabama.

Diana Doukas

Manager, Economic Impact for US Policy Programs, Meta

Over the last 15 years, Diana has led teams, initiatives and campaigns in the public and private sectors. She currently leads Economic Impact for U.S. Policy Programs at Meta. In this role, Diana sits at the intersection of Meta’s policy priorities and how Meta and its family of apps can empower small businesses to create, build and grow their business. Diana previously served as the senior vice president of Social Responsibility and Government Affairs for the Libra Group, where she managed Libra’s philanthropic platforms. Prior to Libra, Diana served as director of the White House Business Council for President Obama where she worked closely with business leaders from Fortune 500 companies as well as small and medium enterprises to identify opportunities for collaboration on the Administration’s policy priorities. Diana also served as the White House Liaison at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Maryam Enders

Merchant Services Leader/Vice President Merchant Services, Wells Fargo Small Business Banking

Maryam is a National Sales Leader within Wells Fargo Merchant Services and helps to oversee the NAWBO-Wells Fargo Ambassador Program with Val Jones. She joined Wells Fargo in 2019, and in her role, manages Senior Business Consultants in partnership with other large teams to successful help premium small business clients succeed financially. Maryam has a 25-plus year track record as a sales and customer service leader. After moving to the United States, she joined American Express and held multiple roles over her 10-year tenure. In one of her most recent roles, Maryam served as an Executive Director and Site Leader for the American Express’ Outbound Sales Channel.  

Senator Joni Ernst

Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Senator Joni Ernst, native of Red Oak, Iowa, has dedicated her life to her state and country, having served in the military for over 23 years and now representing Iowans in the United States Senate. Joni is working to grow a strong economy; stand up for Iowa farmers, families, and small businesses; hold Washington accountable, ensure a strong national defense, and support our veterans. Born and raised on a farm in Montgomery County, Joni’s parents instilled in her the values important to Iowans: hard work, service, and sacrifice. After graduating top of her class at Stanton High School, Joni went on to Iowa State University where she joined the university’s ROTC program. After graduating from Iowa State, Joni joined the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2003, she served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joni retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after 23 years of military Known for her independent leadership and commitment to public service, Joni previously served as the Montgomery County Auditor where she worked to eliminate wasteful government spending and protect taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars, and was the local commissioner of elections. As a state senator, Joni fought to balance the state budget and helped turn Iowa’s $900 million budget deficit into a $1 billion surplus. In November 2014, Joni was elected as the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the State of Iowa and also became the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the United States Senate. Joni still lives in Red Oak, not far from the family farm where she grew up, and near her family. Her daughter Libby is a cadet at The United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Maddie Fumi

Partner Manager, GPN, Meta

Maddie works on Meta’s Government and Social Impact team managing partner relationships and delivering premium advertising support to state government officials, agencies and political candidates in the Midwest, Northeast and Pacific Northwest. Before her time at Meta, Maddie spent her career working in the digital agency space in Washington, DC. Most recently, Maddie managed digital marketing and advertising for the UN World Food Program USA.

Katherine Hempstead

Senior Policy Adviser, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Katherine is a senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She works on healthcare issues, mostly those related to health insurance, costs and access to care. In her work in the policy unit, she seeks to inform policy discussions at the federal and state level by making data and analyses widely available. Katherine joined the Foundation in 2011. Prior to that, she was director of the Center for Health Statistics in the New Jersey Department of Health. She also worked at New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General and served on the faculty at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy.

Erik Rettig

Senior Manager, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Intuit

Erik Rettig is the senior manager of policy and regulatory affairs at Intuit where he shapes the company's global policy priorities in the self-employed and small business space for QuickBooks. He also drives the company's small business philanthropic strategy and future-of-work engagement. Previously, he worked at Small Business Majority, a small business advocacy organization. Prior to that, he held various positions on political campaigns and Capitol Hill.  

Dr. Janis Shinkawa

Medical director & Partner, Ohana Pet Hospital

Dr. Jan is the medical director and partner of Ohana Pet Hospital, a small animal practice in Ventura, California. She trained as an audit manager, business consultant and CPA with Ernst & Young, LLP in health care, government, hospitality and retail. Her partnerships in three veterinary startups gross over $20M per year with 200 employees. Dr. Jan developed veterinary assistant programs for local high schools, Charter College and an associate’s degree at Ventura College. She has a passion for creating sustainable business strategies and compassionate management that enable companies to develop healthy and happy employees.

Amanda Slater

Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Head of Federal Affairs, Mastercard

Amanda joined Mastercard at Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Head of Federal Affairs in March 2022. In this role, Amanda represents Mastercard before the US government, partnering with U.S. policymakers to shape an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere.   Slater joined Mastercard from Rich Feuer Anderson, where she served as a Principal. Prior to RFA, she was Senior Director of Government Relations at Visa, leading Democratic strategy and advocacy. Slater has held senior roles in government, which include overseeing the financial services, payments, and trade portfolios in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.  Previously, she worked for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, advocating for the priorities of the credit union community at the federal level.

Leslie Lynn Smith

NWBC Board Member & National Director, GET Cities

Leslie is a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and business development leader and the national director for GET Cities (Gender Equality in Tech), where she works to build a national movement that will march with energy and intent toward the creation of a tech economy that recognizes, celebrates and elevates the gifts, talents and contributions of women, non-binary and trans people. GET Cities is led by SecondMuse and Break Through Tech in partnership with Pivotal Ventures, the investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates. Before joining GET Cities, Leslie was founding president and CEO of Epicenter, the nonprofit hub of the greater Memphis entrepreneurial movement. Using a systems approach, she led a team that drove strategy and measured impact among a network of economic development, academic, corporate and government partners to increase support to new and existing tech startups, creative and community-based businesses, student entrepreneurs and others across industries and stages of growth.

Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg (Event Emcee)

Principal, Public Private Strategies & President of the Business for America’s Future Fund

Katie is a small business advocate and political strategist with a track record of finding solutions to national policy and market challenges. She is a principal at Public Private Strategies and President of the Business for America’s Future Fund, where she works with governments and businesses across the country—from the White House to Fortune 50 corporations to Main Street businesses—to solve pressing policy challenges.

Liz Wilke

Principal Economist, Gusto

Liz is a principal economist at Gusto, researching the state of work and business in the modern economy. She is a veteran of both the technology and government sectors, where she directed research programs and public spending that supports dynamic, resilient companies and workers across the globe. Liz currently lives in Washington, DC.