About | NAWBO



  • “NAWBO is a great organization for women entrepreneurs that provides an outlet for women business owners across the country to share their creativity an inspire and support each other in their pursuits.”

    Katrina Markoff

    Founder, CEO and Chocolatier of Vosges Haut Chocolat and Wild Ophelia

  • "I am fortunate to be a woman in America who was given the opportunity to achieve her dream. I want women everywhere to have that same opportunity and am pleased to work with the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development to increase opportunities for women entrepreneurs."

    Sara Blakely

    Spanx founder and head of The Sara Blakely Foundation

  • "...We worked hard to position the emergence of women business owners as a growing segment of the women's movement and to develop the organizational base and structural guidelines for a national association. "

    Susan Hager

    Founding NAWBO National President


National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is the voice of America's 10.6 million women-owned businesses. Since 1975, NAWBO has helped women evolve their businesses by sharing resources and providing a single voice to shape economic and public policy. NAWBO is the only dues-based national organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs in all types of businesses. There are chapters of NAWBO in almost every metropolitan area. NAWBO is represented in 33 countries across the world through its affiliation with Les Femmes Chefs d' Enterprises Mondiales (World Association of Women Entrepreneurs). NAWBO's strength comes from the diversity of its membership – all sizes from sole proprietorship to hundreds of employees; every industry from construction, importers, retailers to service providers - and in all areas of the country. Membership is open to sole proprietors, partners and corporate owners with day-to-day management responsibility. Active members who live in a chapter area automatically join both chapter and national. There is an At-Large Chapter for the women business owners outside the chapter areas. NAWBO National website.


Timeline:  Events in Women’s History and the NAWBO Phoenix Chapter

Click here to view NAWBO's 40 Year Timeline.

2016 Phaedra Earhart becomes President

2015 Nancy Sanders becomes President


2014 Dorothy Wolden becomes President

Lynda Bishop is chosen by NAWBO National as co-chair elect of the President's Assembly Steering Committee (PASC) and Kristin Slice is elected as a PASC committee member.


2013 Jackie Wszalek becomes President

NAWBO Phoenix launches the first Young Entrepreneur's Academy in Arizona serving a class of 18 High School students. Over the 30 week program, this class of new CEO's launches 9 new businesses and NAWBO Phoenix receives recognition and by the Latino Giving Circle at the 2014 Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Power of the Purse event. Phoenix NAWBO was recognized at the NAWBO annual Women's Business Conference in Miami, Florida as a YEA Program leading chapter and Lynda Bishop, YEA Program Director, spoke on stage with YEA founder, Gayle Jagle at the conference. Lynda Bishop joins the National NAWBO President's Assembly Steering Committee and serves as the Western Region representative for Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii. Melanie Dunlap and Lynda Bishop are both selected to present at the NAWBO National Leadership Bootcamp in Las Vegas, Nevada.


2012 Lynda Bishop becomes President

NAWBO Phoenix receives the Excellence in Membership Award from the Arizona Society of Association Executives! Lynda Bishop and Kristin Slice (both of NAWBO Phoenix) are honored to participate in the NAWBO National Conference as panelist speakers in Louisville, Kentucky.


2011 Kristine Kassel becomes President

NAWBO Phoenix wins the National Membership Drive competition for mid-size NAWBO chapters! The Arizona NAWBO Collaborative begins with Phoenix, Tucson and Sedona chapter leaders meeting quarterly to share information and help support all NAWBO chapters and NAWBO members across the state.


2010 Cindy Hynes becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.



2009 Loretta Love-Huff becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which allows victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck. Previously, victims (most often women) were only allowed 180 days from the date of the first unfair paycheck. This Act is named after a former employee of Goodyear who alleged that she was paid 15–40% less than her male counterparts, which was later found to be accurate. 


2008 Robin Orchard becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

Robin Orchard focused her term on fulfilling the organization mission to STRENGTHEN the wealth-creating capacity of our members and promote economic development; CREATE innovative and effective changes in the business culture; BUILD strategic alliances, coalitions, and affiliations; and TRANSFORM public policy and influence opinion. 

NAWBO Phoenix Chapter hosted the 2008 NAWBO National Women’s Business chaired by National Board of Director and Conference Chair Choo Tay. The Phoenix Chapter also hosted the Welcome Reception. The event brought in approximation 800 women from across the United States and globally and was well attended by local government officials.


2007 Choo becomes the President in 2007/2008 after serving on the Phoenix Board of Directors from 2004 – 2009.

"Making Real Connections" is her theme. Under her leadership, NAWBO Phoenix has grown its membership to more than 300 members and increased net income by 30 percent. Arizona Woman Magazine recognizes NAWBO Phoenix as the number 1 place to network in the Valley.

Choo has also been elected to the NAWBO National Board of Directors from 2006 - 2008 providing strategic direction to grow NAWBO at the national level. NAWBO has grown to 90 chapters and 9,000 members and has established affiliation with 40 women's entrepreneur organizations globally. Choo was the Chair of NAWBO International Committee (2006-2007) and 2008 National Women's Business Conference Chair.


2006 Cynthia Wrasman becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix to continue to expanded programs and growth achieved in the chapter.

Her theme was "Pass It On".


2005 Carolyn J. Brown, charter member of NAWBO Phoenix became President of NAWBO Phoenix after serving in several valuable Board of Director positions in 1985-86 and then again in from 1999 through 2007.

NAWBO Phoenix passed its first Public Policy Guidelines.

NAWBO Phoenix, Tucson and Sedona Chapters hosted the most successful and well attended NAWBO Day at the Capital. Governor Janet Napolitano spoke at the event which was attended by 65 legislators, 5 Governors office employees and 100 NAWBO members and guests.

At the NAWBO National Convention, NAWBO Phoenix is recognized with the Healthy Chapter Award!

In Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, the Supreme Court rules that Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, also inherently prohibits disciplining someone for complaining about sex-based discrimination. It further holds that this is the case even when the person complaining is not among those being discriminated against.


2004 Donna Davis becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.


2003 Cammi Bailey takes the helm as President of NAWBO Phoenix and participates in a highly productive year with the Board of Directors – adding the Red Affair, finalizing NAWBO U into a viable program and starting the “Desert Diamond” Award theme.

NAWBO Phoenix introduces the Red Affair holiday luncheon!

Phoenix NAWBO U is finalized into an official program.

The “Desert Diamond” Award theme launches at Phoenix NAWBO

NAWBO National formed the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development, a non-profit educational foundation that seeks to provide opportunities for capacity building and organizational development for emerging and established women entrepreneurs. Through the Institute, NAWBO aims to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of women business owners and to promote economic development within the entrepreneurial community so that we can build a legacy of success for the next generation of women entrepreneurs

In Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, the Supreme Court rules that states can be sued in federal court for violations of the Family Leave Medical Act.


2002 Becky Jackson becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.


2001 Annette Alvarez becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.


2000 Charlotte Hodel becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

CBS Broadcasting agrees to pay $8 million to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit by the E.E.O.C. on behalf of 200 women.

United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000). The U.S. Supreme Court invalidates those portions of the Violence Against Women Act permitting victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. to sue their attackers in federal court.


1999 Patricia Drain is the new President of NAWBO Phoenix and starts the NAWBO 

Women Doing Business With NAWBO Women theme (NWDBWNW), designed to encourage NAWBO members to use their directory and support each other professionally and personally.


1998 Rebecca Winterscheidt becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America agrees to pay $34 million to settle an E.E.O.C. lawsuit contending that hundreds of women were sexually harassed.

Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998) and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 742 (1998): The Supreme Court balances employee and employer rights. It rules that employers are liable for sexual harassment even in instances when a supervisor’s threats are not carried out. But the employer can defend itself by showing that it took steps to prevent or promptly correct any sexually harassing behavior and the employee did not take advantage of available opportunities to stop the behavior or complain of the behavior.


1997 Ann Owens becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

Elaborating on Title IX, the Supreme Court rules that college athletics programs must actively involve roughly equal numbers of men and women to qualify for federal support.


1996 Mary Lou Bessette becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

US women's spectacular success in the Summer Olympics (19 gold medals, 10 silver, 9 bronze) is the result of large numbers of girls and women active in sports since the passage of Title IX

United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), affirms that the male-only admissions policy of the state-supported Virginia Military Institute violates the Fourteenth Amendment.


1995 Debi Baldwin becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.


1994 M.J. Gilbert becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

Congress adopts the Gender Equity in Education Act to train teachers in gender equity, promote math and science learning by girls, counsel pregnant teens, and prevent sexual harassment.

The Violence Against Women Act funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, allows women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes, provides training to increase police and court officials’ sensitivity and a national 24-hour hotline for battered women.


1993 Patsy Bakunin becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

Take Our Daughters to Work Day debuts, designed to build girls self-esteem and open their eyes to a variety of careers. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes the second female member of the Supreme Court.

Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 510 U.S. 17 (1993) The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the victim did not need to show that she suffered physical or serious psychological injury as a result of sexual harassment.

The Family and Medical Leave Act goes into effect.


1992 Linda Thrasher becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

Women are now paid 71 cents for every dollar paid to men. The range is from 64 cents for working-class women to 77 cents for professional women with doctorates. Black women earned 65 cents, Latinas 54 cents. 

Mae Jemison becomes the first woman of color to go into space.

The Center for Women's Business Research, founded as the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO), was created by NAWBO members and women entrepreneurs who were frustrated by the common belief that women ran very trivial, immaterial businesses. These women knew that they and many others were running sizeable, emerging businesses, and they realized that if women-owned businesses were to be taken seriously, there needed to be the same kind of serious data about women's entrepreneurship as that which existed for other parts of the economy. Since 1992, the Center has used its research to create the environment in which women worldwide fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams.


1991 Barbara Lambesis becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.


1990 B.J. Tatro become the new President of NAWBO Phoenix and focuses on getting the infrastructure for growth in place.

The number of Black women in elective office has increased from 131 in 1970 to 1,950 in 1990.

Darlene M. Iskra becomes the first woman to take command of a U.S. Navy ship. 


1988 Virginia Mayer becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

NAWBO National’s political involvement is instrumental in the passing of HR 5050, also known as the Women's Business Ownership Act of 1988. This legislation was key in boosting women entrepreneurs’ access to capital. This directly led to a 30 percent surge in the number of women-owned businesses in the country in the past two decades, and led to the creation of the National Women's Business Council, SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership and the Women's Business Center Program.


1987 Gretta Boshara becomes President of NAWBO Phoenix.

Johnson v. Santa Clara County, 480 U.S. 616 (1987): The U.S. Supreme Court rules that it is permissible to take sex and race into account in employment decisions even where there is no proven history of discrimination but when evidence of a manifest imbalance exists in the number of women or minorities holding the position in question.


1986 Jacki Bowers takes her term as President of NAWBO Phoenix Chapter.

In Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a hostile or abusive work environment can prove discrimination based on sex.


1985 The Phoenix Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners is chartered. Sandra Sandblom is named as the chapter’s first President.