Notes from the NAWBO National Conference

Several of our board members attended the NAWBO national conference in Jacksonville, Florida in October. This is from Susana Fonticoba, now serving as our chapter secretary, about her experience there.

I recently returned from my 4th NAWBO National Women’s Business Conference. As anticipated, it was a wonderful and energizing experience. You’re probably wondering what makes me want to attend year after year? The answer comes the split second I walk into the meeting room on the day of the Members’ Annual Meeting on Sunday.

When I pushed open the door of this huge hotel ballroom, I beheld a sea of women. From corner to corner, there were women of every age and every stage of business. Solopreneurs, doctors, companies who employed hundreds of people, service providers, restauranteurs, franchise owners, East Coast, Midwest, West Coast, 20-somethings to 70-somethings, if you can think it, that woman was represented in the room. The wave of emotion that comes over you when you are greeted with this sight almost knocks you over. The most powerful thought is, “I’m not alone.”

At the member meeting, we heard from the National Team on all the NAWBO initiatives: NAWBO University, international alliances, corporate partners, advocacy, and so many more. Speaking of international alliances, did you know that the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (Femmes Chefs D’Enterprises Mondiales – FCEM) allows only one women’s organization per country—and that NAWBO is THE member representing the United States? We were honored to have our FCEM sisters from Mexico with us again, and members from Peru.

The WBC has a treasure trove of breakout sessions, networking time, rows of awesome vendors, and our spectacular keynote speakers. And at night? Well, NAWBO likes to party. Dinner, wine, music and dancing while we take in the local flavor—what a wonderful time!

If you don’t believe your business is “right” for NAWBO, think again! Chances are there is someone just like you who is already a member. It’s a special treat to speak with a NAWBO sister from another state; you can share similar experiences, celebrations and challenges. There is no competitive spirit here; rather, there’s an overwhelming atmosphere of support. And as expected, I’ll be registering for WBC 2020 in Austin, Texas.