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You're in the Circle 
Hello NAWBO Chicago,
Inhale confidence. Exhale doubt.
Love that quote. Love that word. You will find it in both NAWBO Chicago's position statement and our theme this year . . . two good starting points as we talk about women in business.
Trust me when I say that the words in our position statement were not haphazardly strung together. After much discussion by the board, input from members, and a collaborative effort with our member-led marketing firm, JJR Marketing, we carefully thought about who we were as an organization and why we existed so we could be more relevant in serving our members. Here's what we crafted:
"For Chicago-area women business owners who lead highly competitive, sustainable, profitable businesses, NAWBO Chicago is an influential circle of thought leaders who stand together through servant leadership and long-term relationship building that empower members to grow their businesses confidently and create opportunities otherwise not possible."

Notice the word "circle." The shape evokes energy, progress, accomplishment. Whether you are a member, a corporate partner or a supporter, you are in NAWBO Chicago's circle. In fact, in a larger sense, the 300,000 women who own businesses throughout the Chicagoland area are in the circle too - a prestigious place to be according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015. Chicago holds the Stanley Cup spot for women-owned firms (see the chart on Advitam IP's LinkedIn page) leading other global cities with 30% of women-owned firms.
I'm part of the statistic. I started Advitam IP in March 2012. If you recall, the market was weak. It was the perfect time to venture out because flat was the new up and our client-centered approach to billing proved a welcome respite to the prodigious invoices of larger firms. They liked the value add behind it. By adapting, we set ourselves apart from the pack.
So, in keeping with our vow to deliver relevancy, here are three qualities unique to many women in business followed by a prompt to keep us energized for the future.
1) WE ADAPT TO STAY COMPETITIVE. There's an expectation that certain things fall on our plates as women. When my kids are sick, I am the default call from school. If someone is looking to have social plans, I'm figuring out the where and when. If the refrigerator contents are looking scarce, I'm the "go to" for what goes in it. So, more than just leading a business, I'm also leading a life. That's where lines blur and we adapt. Hence men's business conversations may be quite different than ours. Do: Embrace adaptation .
2) WE SEARCH FOR WAYS TO GET AHEAD BY ASKING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS. We've seen example after example (read the interview with Melinda Jacobson of Covenant Security) about how NAWBO members are fearless about asking for advice from colleagues while lending a hand to others. Through connections and mentoring, we thrive as business leaders. Do: Keep on asking.
3) WE GIVE THE VALUE ADD BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. When Advitam IP gets hired, we're connecting our clients with people who can help them in business. Our involvement outside of just legal matters casts a much wider net for answering client needs. Connections help everybody. Many law firms work in a vacuum. We look at the whole client and might suggest something when they mention a pain point. We try and help. We look at the whole person. I think that's what many women do in business. Do: Give extra value in ways that make a difference to others.
It feels good to be in the circle with you. Let's keep making it bigger, together.

President, NAWBO Chicago
Founding Partner, AdvĂ­tam IP, LLC  
Women-Owned Firms Generate
$1.5 Trillion; So . . . What Must We
Accomplish in 2016?

NAWBO Chicago took on a formidable theme this time: women-owned businesses. Never to back down from a challenge, this discussion starts up in the clouds and lands right where you are sitting, right here in Chicago. Let's begin.


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Melinda Jacobson
A Conversation with Melinda Jacobson of Covenant Security about the winding road from nursing to finance, how she won't lie about Jack Welch, and our daughters in the workplace of the future

NAWBO Chicago Member Since: 2013

Executive Position:
Chairman at
Covenant Security  

"Patience, determination, kindness and, at the end of the day, it never hurts to have the ability to delegate to your team"
- Melinda Jacobson

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3 Ways to Get Involved with NAWBO Today
1. Attend the NAWBO Holiday Party December 9

2. Inspire young women in business

Get involved in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). Contact program manager Angelika Coghlan at  yea@nawbochicago.org.

3. Connect locally!
Tap into a world of opportunity by arranging a one-on-one meeting with a fellow NAWBO member.


NAWBO Virtual Connect & Learn 
"Leadership Inside and Out" on Thursday, November 12 at 5 p.m. PST/ 8 p.m. EST. This month we will learn from Rosemary Bova past President of NAWBO NYC and owner of Bova Enterprises, Inc., Building Engaged Organizations. 

Join us the 2nd Thursday of every month at 5 p.m. PST/ 8 p.m. EST for Virtual Connect and Learn! 
Empowering Through Leadership  

"Empowering Through Leadership" is co-hosted with the Women's Bar Association of Illinois and the Linn Inns of Court on January 20. The event will take place at the offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP on LaSalle. (Contact NAWBO board member Lisa Dieter at Morgan Stanley for more information or visit the NAWBO Chicago events page.

SAVE THE DATE: NAWBO Chicago Achievement Luncheon is at Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park on May 2, 2016. 
NAWBO Chicago Cited in Article for Columbia Chronicle
Read NAWBO Chicago President Michele Katz' remarks in an article entitled "City of Chicago adds two new tools for greater transparency" published in the Columbia Chronicle.

See NAWBO Members Who Are Rocking It!
The Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, part of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, honored 20 local business people, including one of NAWBO's own: Lori Hilson Cioromski of TH Hilson Company based in Wheaton, Ill., Lori was among inductees recognized for building successful businesses and fostering a thriving economic engine in Chicago.


Nov 2015 - You're in the Circle

November 5, 2015  
4:30 pm - 7:30 am  
November 10, 2015  
9:00 am - 6:00 pm  
November 19, 2015  
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm  

The National Conversation on Board Diversity on Dearborn Street



Know of a young person who rocks the business world? Nominate them today. Sponsored by the Daily Herald Business Ledger. Due Date is November 13.



Linda Bergonia,
Andrea Brookins, Brookins Funeral Home Ltd.
Lariza Diaz, Sweeping Dimensions, Inc.
Sophie Evanoff, Vanille Patisserie
Cynthia Grazian, AXA-Advisors, LLC
Kelsey Hake, Reset MedSpa
Margo Jacquot, The Juniper Center  

Ashanti Johnson, 360.Mind.Body.Soul., LLC
Kristen Johnson, On Target Living
Mary Koonce, Cal's Electrical Service, Inc.
Mary Lastrapes, RTR Management and Consulting Services, LLC
Jody Lavoie, Arrowstream Inc.
Emily Lonigro Boylan, Lime Red Studio, Inc.
Dori Mages, North Shore Family Services 

Paul McKenna, Starship Catering

Lorrie Nash, J&L Uniforms, Inc.  

Brenda Nelson, Stitch Me
Kathryn Schutz, Kathryn Theodore Travel LLC
Patrice Shelton, Express Home Care
Kendra Thomas, KPK Construction and Cleaning Services
Athena Uslander, Silverland - Inc.

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.

December Blog submissions due Friday, Nov 20.


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