March 2020 newsletter
President's Message
Greetings all.

I wanted to address the current situation around the novel coronavirus. As you may have seen in the news, Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency on Thursday, March 5. However, public health officials are emphasizing that the immediate health risk from the virus for the general public in California remains low.


We know that the situation is rapidly changing and can be unsettling. Our board and admin team are monitoring daily developments locally, nationally and internationally.

I am pleased to share that the our NAWBO-CA events remain as planned and we will proceed with our scheduled events: Advocacy in Action (on April 17 at the Discovery OC) and Propel (on May 4 & 5 in Sacramento). See below to register for both events.

Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our members, guests, staff and event attendees. We want to assure you that, in light of these current health concerns, we are doing everything we can to provide a clean and safe environment at our events. In addition to encouraging general hygiene practices, we will be adding hand sanitizing stations and will increase the frequency of cleaning surfaces as an extra measure of precaution.

We will keep you informed of any changes should they occur. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact us at .

I am so appreciative of your shared enthusiasm for NAWBO and our #NAWBOcommunity. Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate this challenging situation.

Now for the impact the virus may have on our businesses — only time will tell. Early data (and my own experience) shows that some of us are already feeling the affects of a contracting economy. In the coming weeks, we will circulate a quick survey about how the virus is affecting your businesses. It will be  helpful to know as we advocate on behalf of all of our members, so thanking you in advance for responding.

SB 873

Last month, I traveled to Sacramento along with our President-Elect Vikita Poindexter to testify at an informational hearing about Senator Jackson’s (Santa Barbara) bill SB 873. Below is a summary of our testimony before the assembly members.

Data gathered by the  Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency & Economic Development  shows that gender discrimination in pricing results in each adult woman in California paying a gender tax of approximately $2,381 every year. Multiply that out across a woman’s working lifetime (conservatively estimated from age 20 - age 65) and the total is over  $100,000 dollars per female consumer

To describe this amount as significant is an understatement. This, combined with the gender pay gap, creates discriminatory pricing that  systematically  AND  systemically  deprives women of an equal opportunity to succeed.

This directly impacts women entrepreneurs in terms of funding their own businesses. Multiple studies show that women receive only 2.2% of venture capital and angel funding. As well, the average loan for women-owned businesses is  31 percent less  than for male-owned businesses. Women entrepreneurs must often fund their nascent businesses out of their own pockets. 40% of women entrepreneurs pull from their personal savings and 46% use their personal credit cards to fund their businesses. 

The bottom line is, any form of gender-based tax undermines the ability of women business owners to compete at a level of parity. We are pleased to be involved in the conversation to rectify this; and (ideally) in the implementation of a solution.   

Stay tuned as we follow this bill’s progress through the capital. More news to come!


As always, stay brilliant, successful, and supportive of your #NAWBOcommunty colleagues. And I’ll see you all at the upcoming Tri-Anything Multi-Chapter Event on March 27!


- President, NAWBO-CA
- Past President, NAWBO-LA
- Founder & Creative Director, Lentini Design & Marketing, Inc.; DBE, WBE, SBE, SB, SLB, EBE, VSBE
- Governor-Appointed Board Member, California Workforce Development Board
Propel News
Registration is open!

Please join us at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento on May 4 & 5, 2020. Learn how:

Women in Power… Succeed
When a woman understands her power, barriers fall and opportunities are limitless. Propel 2020 will include programs and experiences to take attendees out of their comfort zone to foster learning and growing. 

For more information, please visit See you there!
Important Member Survey
When it comes to telling our story, data is critical. Potential sponsors and partners want to know about our businesses, and to better serve you as a member, NAWBO would like to better understand your needs. To help gather this data, please complete this survey by March 31.
Multi-Chapter Retreat on March 27
Four California chapters - Ventura, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, and Bakersfield - are planning a “Tri-Anything Retreat” for Friday, March 27 and all NAWBO members are welcome!

The half-day retreat will be an opportunity to meet, network and learn with NAWBO sisters and features informative panels, networking, wine, and relaxation. Read more here and register below!

Brick Barn Wine Estate
795 West Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427
Advocacy in Action on April 17
Come learn best practices in advocacy, how to connect and build effective relationships with your elected officials, and how to advocate when you’re already busy running your own business. Early bird rate : $25 for ANY NAWBO chapter member! Includes lunch.

Sponsored by NAWBO-CA, NAWBO-LA and NAWBO-OC and presented by SoCalGas.

Discovery Cube OC
2500 N Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Chapter News
2020 NAWBO-IE Amazing Women Event Finalists

NAWBO-IE was pleased to announce their 2020 AWE Finalists for the chapter's signature event, Amazing Women Event. These women were selected for their exemplary achievements and contribution to the communities they serve. Check out the full press release here .
Kristi Yamaguchi and Brandi Chastain Headline NAWBO-SV Event

From NBC Bay Area

Superstars from sports and business took the stage at a women’s conference at the SAP Center in San Jose just before the Sharks took the ice Monday. Olympic gold medalist ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi as well as 2-time Olympic gold medal winner and 2-time Women’s World Cup champion Brandi Chastain headlined a group at the event put on by NAWBO-SV .

The conference theme was “Women In Sports: Changing The Game” which applied not only on the athletes’ experiences but also how to broaden skills to expand into other endeavors.

Member News
Schenae Rourk of NAWBO-LA and President of Redwood Resources, was recently sworn in as 2020-2021 Advocacy Co-Chair of BizF ed . With more than 180 business organizations representing 400,000 employers with 3.5 million employees throughout LA County, BizFed is a massive, diverse grassroots alliance that advocates for policies and projects that strengthen our regional economy. The Advocacy Co-Chair is a senior executive committee leadership is a role that addresses initiatives brought forward by the member organizations. 

Ms. Rourk is Board Affiliate Director of NAWBO-CA and Co-Executive Director of the NAWBO-CA Corporate Board Pathways Program. She serves the NAWBO-LA Board as Immediate Past President. Ms. Rourk is also Chair of the Transportation Business Advisory Council at Metro, member of the Business Advisory Council at BART and advisory member of the Independent Office of Audits and Investigations at Caltrans. 
Chapter Events

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