President's Message
March is here, and it is women’s history month. Across the United States, Australia and the U.K. magazines, news media and television will tell the stories of women and our success. In this issue we will feature a few women that contributed significantly to the business world and how women have changed the world.

Recognition of International Women’s Day began in 1909, when a group of women began protesting inhumane working conditions, it was called National Women’s Day. But one day of recognition was not enough for the women of our great State. California women have led the charge in many movements, and our specific region presented the idea of a week-long women history recognition event, the goal was to help schools teach more on the impact women had on history. This movement began in Sonoma California in the late 1970’s. The voice of California women resonated with then President Jimmy Carter and he established a National Women's History Week beginning on March 8, 1980. 

After that, states started using the month of March to recognize and honor women throughout the whole month, and by 1987, Congress passed legislation officially establishing March as Women's History Month, according to the National Women's History Alliance.
Silvia Paz of Therman was appointed by Governor Newsom to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California. Paz has been Executive Director and Founder at Alianza Coachella Valley since 2019. She was Director at Building Healthy Communities Eastern Coachella Valley from 2013 to 2019. Paz was District Policy Director in the Office of Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez from 2010 to 2013. She was Project Coordinator at the Harvard University Planning Office from 2008 to 2009.

Paz was a Teacher at the Coachella Valley Unified School District from 2005 to 2007 and from 2009 to 2010. She is a Trustee at Coachella Valley Unified School District; Co-Chair at Salton Sea Management Plan Engagement Committee; and Director of Desert Recreation District. Paz earned a Master of Public Policy degree in economic development and transportation from Harvard University.

Maria Teresa Kumar, a national advocate for Latino Empowerment, will be recognized this month as a living honoree by the National Women’s History Alliance. According to her bio, Kumar also works as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, an Aspen Institute Scholar, a Hunt Alternative Fund Prime Mover, and a Council of Foreign Relations Lifetime Member. She serves on the national boards of EMILY’s List, the Latino Leaders Network, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Terry Ao Minnis is the Senior Director of Census and Voting Programs for Asian American Advancing Justice. As a living honoree, her work is critical to the sustainability of rights for all. According to her bio, Minnis utilizes her talents as a speaker and writer to bring attention to the importance of the U.S. Census and equal access to the ballot box in local and federal elections. She has also written several articles in support of voting rights including “When the Voting Rights Act Became Un-American: the Misguided Vilification of Section 203” published in the Alabama Law Review.
Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center (VRC). She received a B.S. in Biological Sciences, with a secondary major in Sociology, in 2008 from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and an NIH undergraduate scholar. She then enrolled at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014. A viral immunologist by training, Dr. Corbett uses her expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness. 

Dr. Corbett has nearly 10 years of research experience that entails elucidating mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and host immunity as they pertain to vaccine development. Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D., led her team toward the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccination and has worked tirelessly to respond to America’s health crisis.

Dates to Remember:
March 8th | International Women’s Day
International Women's Day (IWD) 2021 is March 8th. While we are still virtual in some areas, it’s still a day to celebrate women around the world, our achievements, raise awareness about women's equality, and more. 

This year's IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge, with the following shared on the official #IWD2021 website:

"A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. 

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge."

Here are the 2 challenges selected from the International Women’s Day Campaign:

#1 Show your support for women-owned small businesses

We all know it's not easy to start a business. And today, many women are breaking barriers and starting their own businesses, far up from what we've observed a decade ago. Show your support for these women-owned businesses - be it by signing up for a session if they're a fitness brand, purchasing items from them as an office gift, even giving them a shoutout online. A simple action goes a long way.

#2 Keep it classic with a thank-you note

Oftentimes, we tend to forget the impact a simple 'thank you' can have on someone. So, this upcoming IWD is one great way to show your appreciation with a thank-you note for your team or to your NAWBO-CA Sister. 

Be it a handwritten one, a printed-out one, or a digital one (once again, like almost everything these days), it's really the thought and sincerity that count. Use your chapters hashtags to celebrate International Women’s Day or chose one of the following:

Wishing you a Happy International Women's Day 2021!

2021 Upcoming Events
Member Mixer | March 9 | 4:00 - 5:30 | Via Zoom

Join NAWBO California and members of all 11 California chapters for our second California Member Mixer. Make connections with Golden State NAWBO members from San Diego to Sacramento and everywhere in between!

We will have a trivia game celebrating International Women's Day and the winning members will receive some prizes!

Art of Advocacy Session II | March 23 | 1:30 - 3:30 | Via Zoom

Navigating through the advocacy and public policy process can be challenging. Join us for the second part of the two-part series for the “Art of Advocacy” presented by SoCalGas. This session will equip you to become actively involved in the public policy process and increase your knowledge and awareness about advocacy issues affecting your business.

Session II includes:
• Legislative outreach 
• Best practices in advocacy (local, state, national)

Thank you SoCalGas for sponsorship of The Art of Advocacy and the portion of Session I led by Trisha Muse, Director of Community Relations, SoCalGas and Kent Kauss, Regional Vice President, External Relations, SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities
How can businesses get involved to educate policymakers about energy related matters?
Get involved with your local elected officials to let them know what your concerns right. Solar panel drives cost shifts due to rate distribution. One such issue where business owners may want to get involved, for example, we give 4x more rate credit than we do to low-income individuals because of rate distribution from solar users. 25% of our electric rates are driven by mandates. The market should determine the rates rather than passing the costs on to its customers.
SoCalGas Makes an Impact in Community Relations
We need diverse ways and multiple solutions to address environmental concerns including climate change that include, but are not limited to opportunities for green (hydrogen) and renewable gas creating greenhouse gas emission reduction.
SoCalGas is making a significant impact in partnering with the community in numerous ways. Community relations is in charge of charitable giving serving 12 counties. The employees are engaged in giving to the community.
SoCalGas has remained committed through COVID-19, social justice and other issues to relief funds - workforce development, bill assistance, etc. SoCalGas continues to support nonprofits in numerous ways. There have been organizational changes and initiatives in the diversity and inclusion space in SoCalGas including attracting, retaining and promoting black employees in the company. SoCalGas is making a significant impact in the 12 counties that are dedicated to supporting the community in our personal and professional lives, and in several ways that inform, educate and prosper communities.
Session II promises to be just as impactful as Session I. Join us as we discuss best practice in advocacy and legislative outreach and meeting dynamics. The recording of both sessions will be available at the conclusion of Session II
The panel will include:
  • Assemblymember Cristina Garcia
  • Senator Nancy Skinner, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus,
  • Assemblymember Chris Holden, 41 st Assembly District and author of AB 979;
  • Dr. Alisha Wilkins, Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls,
  • Soyla Fernandez, Principal of Fernandez Cervantes Government Affairs.
Propel 2021


April 28 and 29, 2021 | Virtual Experience

Join us for a two-day conference that implements and acknowledges the commitment to advance our businesses and communities by driving change that includes all, not just some.

We know nothing is impossible for women. We're already in the White House, NFL and MLB. The glass ceiling has been broken. As women we must continue to clear away the debris and keep moving forward.

Special announcement: Jennifer King is one of our Propel speakers!
Following a successful 12 year college basketball coaching career which included a National Championship and National Coach of the Year honors in 2017, King decided to step away from basketball to coach football full time. After attending the 2018 NFL Women in Football Forum, she obtained an internship with the Carolina Panthers where she worked
consecutive off-seasons and preseasons with the wide receivers and running backs.

King was the Assistant Wide Receivers Coach for the Arizona Hotshots in the Alliance of American Football and worked the 2019 season at Dartmouth College where she worked with the wide receivers and assisted with offensive quality control for the 2019 Ivy League Champions. While at Dartmouth, King became the first black female to coach in a NCAA Division I game.

In February of 2020, King became a full season intern Offensive Assistant with the Washington Football Team. Her duties included working with the running backs and assisting with offensive quality control. Following the 2020 season, King was promoted to Assistant
Running Backs coach, making her the first black female position coach in NFL history. King has also played women’s tackle football for 13 years as a quarterback, wide receiver and safety for the Carolina Phoenix, N.Y. Sharks and D.C. Divas. She has been named All American on 7 occasions and has won 2 National Championships.
National events:

June 7th and 8th: Virtual Advocacy Days

October 17th-19th: National Women's Business Conference – New Orleans

2021 Woman Business Owner of the Year: Nomination period is April 13th – June 1st

Diversity Matters:  As we work each day to pursue truth, we have the responsibility to challenge acts of intolerance and racial bias.

Remember the work you do today, builds a better tomorrow. Vikita Poindexter

Vikita Poindexter, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP, SHRM-CP
CA Insurance License #0K21140
Poindexter Consulting Group, LLC.  
2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Award Winner
2020 Women of Influence Awards Nominee, San Diego Woman’s Advocate Award
2019 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Award Winner
2019 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Finalist
Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce
2008 and 2009 Citizen of the Year Nominee
2008 and 2009 Sterling Business of the Year Nominee
951.926.9069 OFFICE  
866.608.5556 TOLL FREE
951.346.3581 FAX 
Schedule your consultation at: https://poindexterconsulting.youcanbook.me
President, NAWBO-CA
National Association of Women Business Owners, State of California
Past, President, NAWBO-IE
National Association of Women Business Owners, Inland Empire
Committee Member
Labor and Employment Issues/Workforce Skills and Education/Workers Compensation
California Small Business Association
California Department of Insurance
Insurance Commissioner Lara Appointed Diversity Task Force Member
Insurance Diversity Initiative (IDI)
NAWBO-CA is excited to announce our new partnership with the Inclusivity Project!!
NAWBO-CA Supports Racial and Gender Equity
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO- CA) propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by strengthening the wealth creating capacity of our members. NAWBO-CA promotes economic development within the entrepreneurial community, creates innovative and effective change in the business culture, builds strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations, and transforms public policy.
NAWBO- CA’s goal is to effectively represent the full diversity of the women business owner community and to expand access to leadership opportunities across the full spectrum of our membership. 
What is The Inclusivity Project?
The Inclusivity Project is program of the Northern California SBDC that invites black entrepreneurs and small business owners to take the challenge to launch a business, grow a business or cause a business to thrive.
How does this effort support women business owners?
This effort addresses both racial and gender inequity. There is much work to be done to improve equity across the nation’s businesses. SBDC recognizes the inequity and seeks to connect $100 million dollars in capital and provide lifetime business mentorship to 1000 black entrepreneurs and black-owned small businesses through The Inclusivity Project. NAWBO-CA is particularly excited about 50% of the equity efforts aimed at black, women-owned businesses.
How can NAWBO-CA help?
NAWBO-CA members, partners, affiliates and friends can lift up the voices of black entrepreneurs and black business owners. In addition to recognizing gender inequity that has hindered women business owners, now is the time to acknowledge and recognize the same hindrances that have occurred with black business owners. Our members, partners, affiliates and friends should direct aspiring black entrepreneurs and black business owners to the SBDC’s The Inclusivity Project for access to capital, mentorship, and other resources.
Is this program exclusive to Northern California?
Yes, currently this program is only operating in Northern California, but all business owners should inquire about the resources that SBDC will make available to each respective entrepreneur or business owner according to their needs by connecting him or her to a local SBDC.
When will this program launch?
The Inclusivity Project officially launched on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. 
Is there a cost associated to participate?
This program is complimentary, and paid for by tax dollars.
Where can we get more information or apply?
Further The Inclusivity Project information can be found at http://theinclusivityproject.com/.
The NorCal SBDC network consists of more than 500 experienced staff and advisors offering a suite of specialized skills spanning dozens of industries. The NorCal SBDC serves small businesses from Aptos to Crescent City. From Truckee to San Jose. The NorCal SBDC has services in multiple languages to meet the needs of this diverse, innovative region. The SBDC will meet you where you are in your business, walk as a trusted confidant, and advocate for your success.
Small Business Transition Grant For Early Career Scientists: To support early career academic scientists interested in transitioning to entrepreneurship while also supporting the transfer of technology from academic laboratories into small businesses. The deadline to apply is March 24 at 5:00pm; more information is here.

Adaptive Sports Grant Program: Up to 21 awards of $750,000 for a non-federal entity with significant experience in managing a largescale adaptive sports program. The last day to apply is March 31 at 12:00 pm; more information is here.

My LA2050 Grants Challenge: If you are in Los Angeles County, the My LA2050 grant opportunity may be of interest to you.

The grant program represents an open call for ideas to make LA the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live. Award levels will be determined via public vote. Voters will determine which organizations place first ($100,000), second ($50,000), third ($25,000), fourth ($15,000), and fifth ($10,000) in each goal category. The deadline to Apply is April 2, 2021; more information is here.
The Metropolitan Water District announces the following projects and contract opportunities:
Public Policy & Advocacy Committee Update

Legislation of Interest Introduced So Far | NAWBO-CA’s Art of Advocacy is Underway

The 2021-22 legislative session is in full swing. There have been a record number of bills introduced this year as many Members are re-introducing bills that were held due to the COVID-19 abbreviated session. Here, please find the full list of key bills of interest that were introduced as of the deadline on Friday, February 19th.  

AB 511 (Muratsuchi) Access to Capital: Crowdfunding - Sponsored by Small Business California, this bill allows start-up and emerging small businesses to find investors who can provide capital to help them grow and create jobs, while providing greater protections to California investors participating in crowdfunding. This bill would revise the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968 to allow securities offering in California that would be coordinated with amended SEC rules 147A and Rule 504 of Regulation D.

Small businesses, accounting for over two-thirds of new jobs nationally, often lack access to capital. As a result, owners of small businesses must rely heavily on credit card debt, home equity, and limited personal assets to start and grow businesses. Seed and later-stage growth capital enable entrepreneurs to prove a concept, build infrastructure necessary to support a business model and take other steps necessary to attract later-stage capital investment. For small businesses and start-ups, however, raising capital to get started can frequently be an overwhelming challenge.

In a move to help new businesses and start-ups, in 2012 Congress enacted the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). The JOBS Act modernized the rules for raising equity capital by establishing crowdfunding provisions. Although the JOBS Act has successfully facilitated capital access by larger later-stage enterprises, it has not been effective in providing small businesses with access to critical seed-stage capital (up to 500k).

For example, the cost associated with independent CPA reviews or audits, required by Regulation CF under Title III of the JOBS Act, is prohibitively expensive for startup businesses, and yet the reviews/audits do not provide meaningful information to investors, as startups do not have significant operations. CPA review of financial statements for offerings between $100,000 to $500,000 and audits for offerings over $500,000 cost between $15,000 to $75,000 or more.

The SEC recognized that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ regime to regulate capital formation may not be appropriate for smaller, earlier-stage companies. Accordingly, the SEC encourages states to adopt their own securities regulations to regulate smaller offerings. To further this goal, the SEC amended federal rules to enable states to regulate various securities offerings. Since enactment of the JOBS Act, thirty-five (35) states have adopted some form of “equity crowdfunding” exemptions, but California has not.

Assembly Bill 511 creates an exemption from qualification to enable a business in California to conduct an offering pursuant to SEC Regulation Crowdfunding, but be exempted from the requirement to provide reviewed financial statements for seed offerings of up to $300,000. However, companies would be required to adopt the investor protections afforded by AB 511, which presently are absent from the federal JOBS Act. The investor protections present in the bill are:
  • Attorneys’ fee provision for prevailing investors;
  • Prohibits class action waivers;
  • Prohibits jury trial waivers;
  • Prohibits choice of law provision other than California; and
  • Prohibits forum selection outside of California

This bill offers both entrepreneurs and investors a safer means of filling the “capital gap” that exists for smaller early-stage seed capital offerings while helping to jumpstart companies so that they can become candidates for larger rounds of financing. AB 511 includes all of the investor protections that were agreed upon in a previous version of this bill (AB 2527).

AB 915 (Chiu) 25% Goal to Increase Procurement Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses and Others - Sponsored by the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, this bill will establish a clear and consistent accountability process to ensure all State agencies, departments, boards, and commissions meet their 25 percent goal for minority, small business, and disabled veterans business participation in state procurements and contracts. This bill will also establish a definition of “Disadvantaged Business Enterprises” (DBEs) for state contracting purposes.

In California, small businesses account for 3.9 million, or 99.8% of all California businesses. Of these small businesses, 1.6 million are minority-owned. Small businesses not only contribute significantly to the economy but also account for 7 million employees across the state.

In 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed EO S-02-06, which generally directed all state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions to achieve a minimum goal of 25% for small business participation in state procurements and contracts. While this EO remains on the books, the enforcement of this EO has been lax. Of the 231 state agencies, departments, and commissions, only 12 have adopted a small business/disabled veterans business enterprise policy. In 2017, Governor Brown signed AB 657 (Cunningham).

This bill, among other things, initiated steps to establish a "small business liaison/advocate" for each agency that regularly interacts with small businesses. The primary responsibility of that position is to increase opportunities for small businesses and ensuring California meets its 25 percent goal. The bill also established a more formal line of communication between the Department of General Services (DGS) and the Office of the Small Business Advocate in GOBiz.

Ostensibly, DGS serves as the first point-of-contact for all small businesses looking to do business with the State. Yet currently "minority-owned" (as well as "women-owned" and "LGBT-owned") certification is only available through the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), whereas small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) certification are available through DGS. All these certifications are highly advantageous for businessowners seeking to do business with the State of California, but having no central point of contact is confusing and potentially disenfranchising for a minority, LGBT, and/or women-owned business.

Two bills of great concern to the employer and provider stakeholders in the workers’ compensation system are AB 399 and AB 404 introduced by Assemblymember Salas (D-Bakersfield). AB 399 is a reintroduction of AB 2294 that was held back in 2020, due to the strict bill limits placed on legislators. Bills dealing with COVID-19 response and wildfire mitigation were given priority and any other issue areas were not given a hearing date. 

Continue reading to learn about more bills of interest, an update on the PPP program for sole proprietors, the Art of Advocacy session on March 23, and more.
News from Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, Chair of the California Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy 

Insurance Diversity Task Force: Insurance Commissioner Lara announced appointment of a new chair and member of the Insurance Diversity Task Force. Mark Morales was appointed as Chair and will be the first LGBTQ+ person to lead the Diversity Task Force and Dr. Fabiola Cobarrubias was appointed as a new member of the Insurance Diversity Task Force.

“According to the latest California Insurance Diversity Survey data collected by the Department of Insurance – comprising the boards of over 250 insurance companies – diversity in the boardroom remains a critical issue. In 2019, board seats continue to be disproportionately represented by men, with an overwhelming 70% of seats occupied by men and only 15% of board seats occupied by directors from historically underrepresented communities. Meanwhile, fewer than 1% of board directors identified as LGBTQ+.” 

The first quarterly meeting of the Insurance Diversity Task Force is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, 2021.
Federal Stimulus Bill Passes House: The US House of the Representatives passed a $1.9 billion COVID-19 stimulus package on Saturday (2/27/21), with all but one Democrat voting yes, and every Republican voted no. Congress plans to pass a final bill by March 14, the day the current extended federal unemployment insurance benefits end. More information is here.

Continue reading about California Budget Update, Small Business Access to Capital and more.
NAWBO-VC is seeking nominations for six local, outstanding and fearless women for the 21st Annual BRAVA Awards. 

This year’s theme is "Diversity, Resilience, Transformation ~ Bold Women Creating Her-Story!" The BRAVA Awards shine the spotlight on outstanding business women of Ventura County, honoring them for their fearless pursuit of success, which is creating a brighter future for women business owners and women-led business ventures in our community.

Awards Categories:
  • Adaptability Award
  • Champion of Diversity
  • Resiliency Award
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Women Business Owner of the Year
  • Young Woman Entrepreneur Award

Nominations Open: March 9, 2021  Nominations close: April 19, 2021

SAVE the DATE for the BRAVA Awards Virtual Ceremony on Friday, June 11

NAWBO-IE member Elizabeth Ramirez-Hunt, owner of Dominica Mulatto Shapewear and new bestselling author launched her first book on Amazon, “No Necesitas Dinero, Necesitas Fe. If you believe that a life of abundance is reserved only for a few, you should read this book. Already, the book is a best seller in two categories: Religion in Spanish and Business & Economics in Spanish!

NAWBO-IE is extremely proud of Elizabeth and looks forward to celebrating more of her accomplishments. You can find a NAWBO-IE interview with Elizabeth here.
On March 4, grab your favorite morning drink and connect with your NAWBO-LA family for Rise and Shine Los Angeles! NAWBO-LA also invites members to their monthly meeting on March 12, and Virtual Connects Tuesday on March 30.

Silicon Valley invites you to two virtual events: Let's Talk about...Celebrating Women on March 4. Join a casual evening celebrating the past, present, and future of women around the world. And on March 16: Master Social Media for your Business. Come learn best practices on how to use social media for business, what to post, how to grow engagement, and more. 

On March 18, NAWBO-SAC is hosting: Million Dollar Panel: Featuring Sacramento Fempreneurs who will share their experiences, journeys, and insights to their success.
Register for Free & Attend Live for a Chance to Win Raffle Prizes!

Speaking has always been a great client-generation strategy, and with the massive move to virtual meetings, this opportunity has multiplied exponentially. Join NAWBO-IE on March 18
for Speaking Online for Free: A Surprisingly Profitable Way to Attract New Clients for an engaging conversation on creating opportunities through speaking.

Ventura County is hosting Small Business, BIG Contracts on March 9. Learn about strategies to help you gain contracts with local and statewide agencies.

Why is there so much interest and growing demand for purpose-driven companies and B Corporations? Join NAWBO-SFBA on March 23 for a B Corp Panel Discussion to hear first-hand from panelists whose companies are focused on the Triple Bottom Line.