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President's Message 



Hello NAWBO Chicago,

Many of us strive for positive change in our lives and careers. Mentorship is one, less traveled, road to get there.


Just ask Farah.


At our law firm, we have the Advitam IP Mentor Program for law students and new graduates. Farah lives in New York where she found a job at a boutique law firm doing securities litigation. When she first entered our mentoring program, her vision was to work in private practice. Our sessions inspired some real soul searching and helped her think about what kind of life she wanted to lead and the kind of work she wanted to be doing. After several sessions, she realized her current path did not align with her long-term vision. She has since transitioned to an in-house counsel position doing securities due diligence and is now doing exactly the kind of work she wants to do. Farah is still a part of the program because, after all, mentoring is a continuous process. As she has told me, "Your program got me where I am today, certainly much quicker than if I had been on my own."


Mentoring nurtures many areas of personal and professional growth. For example, we talked with Disha, another mentee in the program, who lives in India, about networking strategies as she is helping grow the family-owned law firm there. When she first attended conferences, she attended them with her parents. We asked her: How are people going to see you? We talked about branching out. Now she attends events independently and even has her own networking group.  


Now, let's turn the tables and talk about those of us who are veteran Chicago businesswomen. Do we need mentoring? Absolutely. Regardless of where we are in our business, there's always something to learn. If we can find a shorter path to solving complex problems and growing as individuals with confidence (our theme for NAWBO this year!), why not take it?


Here are three ideas to tap into the power of mentoring with NAWBO:


1. Seek out people to mentor-like the students enrolled in NAWBO's YEA! program or members you meet at NAWBO events who could learn from your experience. Let's ask: What do we know, not what don't we know.


2. Expect more information on NAWBO's MentorCloud, a global mentoring network set to launch at the September National Women's Business Conference in San Antonio, Texas.


3. Come to NAWBO events like our elite networking event on Aug. 5 or the THRIVE Conference and connect with members who are exactly where you want to be in your business or who are accomplishing goals you want to accomplish. Consider asking that person to mentor you.


Mentoring is a different type of connection. Even traditional interviews are turning into mentoring-style information dialogues in the aftermath of a tight job market. Professionals are approaching growth and opportunity from a different angle as they ask for "just 10 minutes" or so of time. Even that little bit, though, can go a long way in changing an ordinary path into an extraordinary one. It did for Farah and Disha, and it can for you too.


I leave you with this challenge: Pay it forward and backward. Teach and learn. Grow and watch someone else blossom. Mentoring is a continuous flow that gives and takes.

Today is your day!



President, NAWBO Chicago
Founding Partner, AdvĂ­tam IP, LLC  



Mentoring is One Way Successful

Businesswomen Raise the Bar


For many women, life comes in different "pie" pieces: family, children, social and work, among others. That's why the best mentoring takes on the whole person. The benefits of being a mentee for professionals who are already capable in their area are impressive. Mentoring can help us make better business decisions, increase our confidence, improve employee retention, avoid contractual pitfalls, soften the lines between home and work, and even achieve milestones-from running a 5K to running a Kickstarter campaign to fund our next big idea.


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Diana Conley


A Conversation with NAWBO member Diana Conley on her #1 Mentoring Tip, a must-read book, and Why CEOs Should Practice Mentoring - But Don't

NAWBO Chicago Member Since: 1989

Executive Position:
President at
Advotek Inc. 

"I don't begin to have all the answers but I know that in listening and talking with someone I trust, things have a way of becoming very clear and working out"


- Diana Conley

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3 Ways to Get Involved with NAWBO Today



1. Attend a Higher Level Networking Event:

NAWBO-Think Big & Bigger Aug. 5


Go beyond what you think is possible Wed., August 5 at Blackbird. Sample an eclectic array of wines with hors d'oeuvres and beautiful sweet trays.   


2. Register for the One-day THRIVE Conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago October 5

Chicago's THRIVE Conference is a dynamic workshop for enterprising women who aspire to greater levels of achievement. You will learn from, and network with, influential industry leaders and peers, and choose from nine informative seminars that focus on relevant topics essential to growth. THRIVE 2015 is not to be missed. Seize this opportunity to gain valuable insights, education and inspiration for your business to thrive.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and includes: a breakfast keynote, a luncheon keynote, breakout sessions and a cocktail reception. Special exhibitors will also be on hand.


3. Be a Mentor in YEA!


NAWBO Chicago is proud to be launching the second year of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). NAWBO is focusing the program on females who are 12-18 years of age.


YEA! is a groundbreaking and exciting year-long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting behind-the-scenes trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based YEA! approach empowers students to take charge of their futures in a profound way.


Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in communities across America. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today's youth and tomorrow's future leaders.


We are looking for people to join the Next Generation Outreach Committee for the YEA! Program. If interested, please contact the program manager, Angelika Coghlan, at yea@nawbochicago.org 


NAWBO's Next Generation Outreach Committee meets the 4th Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m.  




NAWBO Chicago Inducts 2015-16 Board and Officers


NAWBO Chicago welcomed its new board of directors and member-elected executive officers at the Annual Meeting and Leadership Installation Breakfast at The University Club of Chicago.


NAWBO Chicago and the D ai ly Herald Business  Ledger Team Up for the 18th Annual Influential Women in Business Awards 

Nominations must be submitted online at www.dhbusinessledger.com by Friday, September 11, 2015, by 5 p.m. Nomination guidelines are posted on the website. Read the full press release.


Award recipients will be notified by October 1 and will be honored at an evening reception to be held on Thursday, November 5, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Danada House Conference Center in Wheaton. Honorees will be profiled in a special issue of the Daily Herald Business Ledger to be published Dec. 7, 2015.


For more information about the nominations or sponsorships contact Jim Elsener, Manager of Business Development, at 630-955-3593 or by email at jelsener@dailyherald.com.

Women's Busine ss Develop ment Center - 29th  Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference at McCormick Place - West is on September 2! 


New Report Finds More Than 70 Percent of Chicago Small Businesses Increase Revenue After Completion of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program




5 Reasons to Eat Cake in Texas 


1. NAWBO is hosting the National Women's Business Conference in San Antonio, Texas September 27 through the 29.


2. The conference includes a Leadership Boot Camp, our Annual Membership Meeting, and a 40th Anniversary Bash & Conference (this is the cake part!).


3. With 5,000 members in 60 chapters across the country, you'll grow as a thought leader by connecting with high profile women executives from around the country.


4. Hear two great speakers: Bonnie St. John, who, despite having her right leg amputated at age 5, became the first-ever African-American to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in ski racing. Bonnie is a best-selling author of six books, a highly sought-after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, a business owner and a Fortune 500 leadership consultant. Bonnie co-authored her most recent best-selling book How Great Women Lead with her teenage daughter. Leigh Anne Tuohy, who Michael Lewis dubbed a "warrior princess" in his best-selling book-turned-film The Blind Side, has since become a best-selling author with her husband Sean of In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving and Turn Around: Reach Out, Give Back, and Get Moving. The Tuohys are also founders of the Making It Happen Foundation, a charity devoted to improving the quality of life for the millions of American children who fight to survive in the invisible cracks in our society. 

5. Change of scenery is good. It helps us think. So, go and get inspired, and bring back blockbuster ideas to grow your company.
Questions? Call (800) 228-9290.



Signs of Change:
Streamlining  Chicago's Sign Permitting Process


In Chicago, small businesses employ nearly half of the city's workforce. Oftentimes, a small business first step when opening for business is to hang a sign or an awning with the business name, letting customers and neighbors know about the new addition to the local economy. Unfortunately, this initial step is slow, costly, and confusing in Chicago. While many businesses are negatively impacted by the onerous regulations associated with displaying a sign in Chicago, it is local establishments and aspiring entrepreneurs that are disproportionately affected by the process.

Governor Rauner Signs Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding Bill


NAWBO Chicago was one of the leading organizations to influence an intrastate crowdfunding bill to become law. Governor Rauner signed the bill that will take effect January 1, 2016. What does this mean for NAWBO members? The law creates a new vehicle for business owners and entrepreneurs to raise capital from a large number of people. In exchange, investors receive a small equity interest in the business. Specifically, the law allows companies to raise up to $1 million in a 12-month period from the public without audited financials; up to $4 million in a 12-month period with audited financials. Investors are capped at $5,000 per company per year.





See NAWBO Members Who Are Rocking It!

Helen Bloch was honored on  June 29th by the Decalogue Society of Lawyers with the Presidential Citation Award.

May 2015 - Best Practices for a Successful Business

NAWBO's 2015 Kickoff Video Earns Rave Reviews from Members ... 

Video Sponsor: Miller Cooper

Videographer: Victoria Legal + Corporate Services

Scriptwriter / Director: JJR

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View NAWBO's Celebration of Achievement Photo Gallery

Password: 2015NAWBO
(Password is case sensitive)

Photos are available for purchase! 

(Instructions on first image)
Photos by Stephen Serio of Serio Photography

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August 20, 2015  
9:30 am - 11:00 am  





August 21, 2015  
8:00 am - 9:30 am  
August 25, 2015  
8:30 am - 10:00 am  


Kendra Chaplin, FW: Chicago 

Lisa Dieter, Morgan Stanley
Wealth Management 

Deborah Jackson, Arrow Payments 

Michele Kehrer, LifeStyle Physical Therapy and Balance Center 

Natasha Robinson, Exceptional Building Services, Inc. 

Eileen Prus, Loop Brokerage

NAWBO Chicago
e-Bulletin Submissions:


NAWBO Chicago e-bulletins are published monthly. Submit all stories, ideas, comments and chapter events to the bulletin editor at info@NAWBOChicago.org.

September Bulletin submissions due Friday, Aug 14.


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NAWBO Chicago Area Chapter
3332 W. Foster Ave., #121
Chicago, Illinois 60625