My Business Changes Lives, and NAWBO is Where I’m Meant to Be

Why did I join NAWBO Phoenix?  When I created my business in 2013, I was approached by a new BNI Chapter looking for 20 members to obtain a charter.  As a new business owner, my abundance in BNI was multifold: (1) Learning how to construct my 30-second commercial; (2) Reportability on the required scorecard requirements; and, (3) Leads-based referrals. Sadly, the men did not care about what I did nor understood what I did.  I made a conscious effort every week to do my 30-second commercial on men’s styling.  To no avail, I received no business from them.  After a year in BNI, I looked to join and connect with like-minded women.  I was seeking leadership and growth for my business.  Since I believe I have a business that changes women’s lives, I sought long-term relationships, support and referrals.

NAWBO Phoenix has always been known as that place, that group of entrepreneurs who understand that path I was traveling.  Upon joining I connected with so many NAWBO Sisters, who not only got me, but they got my business.  What I put into NAWBO, I certainly receive back.  My ROI has come in the form of:

  • Business threads of long-term relationships and support in the chapter’s culture.
  • Genuine women who share success and trials with their peers.
  • Increased my revenue potential and immediate cash flow/network.
  • A Graduate of the NAWBO Phoenix Business Mentoring Program, May, 2016.
  • A desire to be around successful, positive, strong women who believe in the potential in themselves and others.
  • My NAWBO Phoenix Sisters have provided referrals which consist of 40% of my business.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely path at times.  You face unique highs and lows and challenges and opportunities that others do not understand unless they have gone down that path before you or are going down it alongside you.  It’s a special connection – a community – of leaders, visionaries, innovators and trailblazers that, when tapped into, can power your business, lifestyle and community in a way like no other.  Please JOIN NAWBO if you are interested in:

  • The Power of Connecting and building long-term relationships with other women entrepreneurs with businesses of all sizes and from all demographics and business sectors who can motivate and inspire you, share resources and best practices and more. It’s a community of support, advice, recognition and celebration – with a 40-year history of excellence and progress – that you won’t experience anywhere else but with NAWBO.
  • The Power of Learning NAWBO is a powerful resource for learning. Through our quarterly e-learning webinars, public policy calls, leadership development trainings and National Women’s Business Conferences, as well as local chapter events and meetings, we provide quality education on today’s most important topics that impact your business and its bottom line.
  • The Power of Building Your Business NAWBO is a powerful resource for everything you need to grow your business into something bigger than you perhaps every imagined, from ideas, to connections, to resources from both NAWBO and our extensive network of affiliate, affinity and corporate partners who offer exclusive opportunities, programs and savings to support your business growth.
  • The Power of One Voice NAWBO is a powerful resource for having your voice amplified and heard. That’s because we speak as one voice on behalf of women entrepreneurs and business owners to influence the system and stakeholders in our nation’s capital and state capitals that set the rules of the game for the business community.  Together, we can make a difference in communities, states, the nation and, ultimately, the world – because your voice matters.

Right now is the best time to JOIN.  NAWBO is currently holding their Spring Membership Drive, March 1 through April 30, 2017.  New Members and Former Members SAVE $25.  There are several levels of memberships, Premier, Introductory, Virtual and Supporting as well as options to pay annually or monthly.  Please go to and click the JOIN NOW tab. 

Joining NAWBO was one of the best business decisions I made.  I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.  If you know of a woman business owner who would like to be part of our NAWBO Phoenix Chapter to grow and expand her business beyond her dreams, please share this opportunity with her to JOIN NAWBO NOW!

With Gratitude,

Clarisse Ringwald
Director of Membership
NAWBO Phoenix Chapter




Paid Sick Time is Coming. Are You Prepared?

Arizona has joined a handful of states in enacting a mandatory paid sick time law.  Under Arizona Proposition 206, nearly all employers in Arizona will be required to offer employees mandatory “paid sick time” (“PST”) by July 1, 2017.  Unlike Arizona’s minimum wage laws, which exempt “small businesses,” PST requirements apply to all businesses regardless of size.

The amount of required PST accrual varies depending on the number of employees in the employer’s workforce.  For employers with 15 or more employees, employees must accrue a minimum of one hour of earned PST for every 30 hours worked for a maximum of 40 PST hours per year.  Employers with fewer than 15 employees must still offer 1 hour PST for every 30 hours worked, but can cap the accrual and use of PST at 24 hours per year.

Part-time and temporary workers and salaried workers are also covered by the law. Salaried employees are presumed to work 40 hours in each work week for purposes of calculating PST accrual, unless their normal work week is less than 40 hours, in which case their earned PST will accrue based on actual hours worked.

Generally, unused earned PST must be carried forward to the following year consistent with the accrual limits of the Act. Employers may forego this requirement by following the requirements of the applicable statute, which includes paying out any unused PST.  The law does not require, however, that PST to be paid out upon termination of employment so long as an employer maintains clear written policies informing employees that it will not pay out accrued and unused PST upon termination of employment.

Employees can use their PST hours for a variety of reasons, including personal mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; the mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of a family member; abuse, stalking, sexual violence, or domestic violence of either the employee or the employee’s family member; and/or, when a public health emergency causes either the employee’s workplace to close, or the employee’s child’s school or daycare to close.

The Act also imposes notice and recordkeeping requirements.  Employers are required to notify employees of their right to paid sick leave in English, Spanish, and any other language “deemed appropriate” by the Industrial Commission of Arizona.  In addition, employers must keep records of an employees’ accrual and use of PST for a period of four years.

Arizona employers should consult counsel to ensure its policies are appropriately updated to comply with new laws.  Employers should also note that the new law makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for using accrued PST or exercising his or her rights under the Act.  Critically, if an employer takes any adverse action against an employee within 90 days of a person’s use of PST, the law provides a rebuttable presumption that the action was retaliatory.  Penalties for unlawful retaliation or discrimination are discretionary; however, the minimum penalty imposed will be $150 for each day the violation continued or until judgment is final.

Laura Pasqualone is an attorney at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. LLP. She ‎practices primarily in the areas of employment law and business litigation. She regularly advises ‎employers on compliance with a wide variety of federal, state and local employment laws. Her practice ‎also consists in litigating cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical ‎Leave Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination ‎in Employment Act. 

Reflections on the 2016 Women’s Business Conference

They say some are born leaders, and others become leaders…no matter the case, it was clear that every attendee at the National Women’s Business Conference hosted by NAWBO in Columbus, Ohio, exemplified leadership, which perfectly aligned with these year’s theme: Leading the Way.

Last month, women business owners from all over the country came together to gain insight and inspiration, to build powerful connections—both personal and professional—and to celebrate all the ways in which they are leading the way for women everywhere. From strong, empowering speakers to informational breakout sessions and local and national exhibitors, this year’s conference contained a multitude of channels for leading the way.

The busy and exciting exhibit hall was full of women business owners and corporate partners who have blazed the trails of business in fashion, technology, marketing, health, financial and more. Throughout the three days of exhibit hall exploration, these businesses led the way by sharing information, products and resources with attendees as well as with one another, forging new connections and expanding horizons.

Two keynote speakers embodied leadership and offered much insight and inspiration. Jenn Lim, Chief Happiness Officer and CEO of Delivering Happiness, led the first lunch session and lifted everyone up with her discussion of building a business based on the fundamentals that matter: “Happier employees = happier customers = more profitable company,” she says. Speaking about how many people feel disengaged from their jobs, she discovered that building up a comfortable and enjoyable company culture was the first step in increased profitability and higher overall success, and she shared this secret with avid listeners.

Conference goers were also treated to a truly unforgettable speech given by keynote speaker Dr. Tererai Trent, a trailblazer of social justice and beacon of light for women everywhere. From humble beginnings in rural Africa, she suffered due to cultural norms that kept her from pursuing an education. But due to her steadfast determination, hard work and sheer belief that anything is achievable, she has since earned multiple degrees and heads a global platform with world leaders, international businesses and audiences, where she advocates for universal access to quality education. All eyes were focused on Dr. Trent as she spoke of her past and the absolute importance of gaining freedom through education, the three powers of leadership and the power of mentorship, where she reminded everyone that real success is supporting and lifting each other up as women. “A successful woman is confident and empowered to see other women rise,” she says. “A successful woman knows that if another woman lights a candle, my light is not going to be diminished.”

This year, attendees also enjoyed an appropriate summation of the conference: A first-class Awards Gala, where NAWBO members from all walks of life were honored and recognized for their successes and for the ways in which they have led the way for all women business owners.

Mark your calendars and register now for WBC2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 15-17, 2017, featuring keynote speaker Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and most recently Big Magic!


Katherine Chrisman

Vice President, Park Lane Jewelry

“After 25 years in my industry, I’m really focused on who’s coming behind me in general and what I can do to support and encourage other women blazing the same trails I have. I strive to strengthen the importance of interpersonal connections in the workplace through coaching. I know this next generation is all absorbed in technology, so I want to help coach and mentor them to remember that while sending an e-mail is easy, tech will never replace interpersonal interactions.”

Anne Freedman

CEO, Speakout, Inc.

“I’m always involved in the community and always looking to recruit new NAWBO members. Professionally, I run a speech coaching company and very recently created a do-it-yourself public speaking program to help those lacking time or for those on-the-go to feel more confident when speaking. It’s a simple platform anyone can use as tools to build their confidence.”

Sheila Mixon

Executive Director, Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council

“I feel I help aid as a resource to women business owners through helping to provide training to women-owned businesses. I advocate for their growth and success, because we really want to lift every woman up and help her follow her dreams.”

Susana Fonticoba

Marketing Specialist, Right Click Advantage

“I’ve started to get a lot more involved—I’m on the board of NAWBO-Central Jersey and I’ve taken a very active role. By doing so, I feel I’m helping other women work together to build each other up and act as a role model for my children, which is very important to me.”

Tina Greenbaum

LCSW Optimal Performance Coach, Mastery Under Pressure

“I teach a program (Mastery Under Pressure) to business owners in which they learn and practice how to manage their emotions in high-pressure situations. I feel I’m helping to lead the way because I’m helping others find how to be comfortable when performing under pressure, and this helps them to do and be their best.”

Ranjani Mohana

President & CEO, R Mo Business Solutions

“My business helps other women get certifications as business owners. I want to lift other women up and help them achieve their dreams and grow their business. I know they will benefit greatly from it, so I always discount NAWBO members because it isn’t about the funds but about helping other women to succeed.”


Susana Fonticoba

“I will forever keep with me the leadership principles I learned this year. During the leadership sessions, we learned that any efforts, no matter how small, to help others in leading the way and through helping others will make a difference in the overall outcome. It’s a very powerful sentiment: If you help the other group up the hill first (help others first), you will achieve more together than we could alone.”

Ranjani Mohana

“Connecting with people from all over. I attended last year for my first time, and I was only a member for one month, so it really helped me see all of the great benefits of engagement and hearing the keynote speakers, so this year I knew how to be prepared. As a NAWBO board member, it truly helped me to see what information I can get from others through reaching out and networking. This year, during the leadership training, I learned how to better communicate and find good times to talk, and I was able to meet women from chapters all over. NAWBO is incredibly valuable as I travel—connecting with NAWBO members in the area that I’m in is a wonderful way to utilize the benefits of my membership. I love NAWBO, because it helps me be confident about who I am and where I’m going.”

Matina Zenios

President, Artina Promotional Products

“The fact that anything in achievable. Dr. Tererai Trent’s keynote speech this year was so powerful and inspiring, and it touched on the fact that anything is achievable. It was a really, really incredibly powerful speech, and I’ve seen a lot of speeches! She was uplifting, and many of us were tearing up.”

3 Keys to Building a Successful Business

Cindy GordonI’ve worked with a lot of small business owners over the year. I’ve seen businesses grow head over heels year after year and I’ve seen others struggle or completely fail. The statistics aren’t very encouraging. Only 4% of businesses survive past 10 years. I’ve wondered what makes one company thrive and another fail. Is it the industry? Is it the economy? Is it the level of risk the business owner is comfortable with? Yes – I believe these all play a factor; however, I believe the stronger factor is the level of buy-in an owner has for his or her business.

We don’t usually think of “buy-in” in terms of the business owners, but instead employees or investors. We know that every business owner has some level of buy-in. They have risked jobs, savings and personal time, but is that enough? I don’t think so.

Assess Your Buy-In

As I mentioned, there are certain traits that lead to different levels of buy-in. To assess your level of buy-in for your company, consider the following:

Are you completely to blame when your company does not achieve its goals?

Are you boldly telling people that your company provides the best service or product in your industry?

Do all your employees provide a minimum of 100% effort?

Do you give 200% effort and working evenly in and on your business?

Are you constantly learning new ways to work better and smarter in your company and be a more effective leader?

Do you regularly ask for customer feedback and refine your business model to improve?

Do you admit your weaknesses and hire specialists to help you in areas where you lack?

If you’ve quickly, confidently and honestly responded “yes” to these questions, then you have full buy-in to your business and your company is probably thriving because of it. If you had to think twice about any of your answers, then …. (you know where this is going).

The first question is a strong indicator. How many business owners do you know who are quick to blame others for the poor financial outcome of their business? They blame their employees; the economy, their competitors, but never themselves. The truth is, the outcome of your business is completely your responsibility. And that’s a heavy load to carry.

So, if you’re ready to admit you could be a bit more invested in your company, don’t worry – there’s hope for you. I know that you want your business to thrive and grow. You want to be known and revered in your industry – and you definitely want people to be calling you for business, instead of you having to chase them. So what’s your tipping point?

It’s not as hard as you might imagine. These three key elements will help you build a successful and sustainable business:

  • Don’t make the business about you. Think of your business as a separate entity from you. Market the products and services with confidence and pride. Tell people that you work for the greatest company in the world because you do. Many people aren’t comfortable tooting their own horn. They don’t want to come across egotistical or conceited. However, if you talk about your company as a separate entity, it’s easier to boast and rave about the amazing things it provides! (If you worked for an amazing company owned by someone else, raving about it would be easy. Why shouldn’t you do this for your own company. Don’t you believe it is the best?)
  • Know why you do your work. Simon Sinek’s powerful Ted Talk “Start with Why” is a fantastic way of looking at the meaningful reason for your business. Most people start a business because they believe in their concept – they have a deep belief that people need their service or product; They feel what they bring to the marketplace will help people in some fantastic way. As we build the business, we quickly get caught up in the day to day work. We lose touch with our “Why”. Ultimately it’s “Why” you are in your business that keeps you focused and driven.
  • Create accountability. One of the greatest challenges for small business owners is staying focused on the big picture. It’s so easy to get caught in the weeds of the daily business. This doesn’t help you get ahead! No one is going to call you out for not following through on your business plan or missing your goals. A strong accountability partner is the best resource to help you balance working in and on your business to guarantee your success. If you’re not held accountable, you’ll find lots of reasons why you are where you are (see how easy the blame game is?). This lackadaisical effort can snowball and turn you into one of the 96% that don’t make it.

Now I ask you – do these three steps feel like a stretch for you? Hopefully not. So, what are you going to doing next, what support do you need and how will I know? And that my friends, is accountability.

Cindy Gordon is the founder of Business Rescue Coaching ( a coaching service boutique that provides a unique experience to small business owners who feel that they are not in control of their business. Cindy helps to build strong systems, processes and strategies that leads to higher profits, more cash in the bank and more autonomous employees. Her clients feel less stress while achieving more success. Contact Cindy at (602) 423-7670 or