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.”

Only 2 days left to save on boot camp registration!

BootCamp08_LogoAre you registered for the Women Entrepreneur’s Small Business Boot Camp yet? If not, get signed up now, because the registration price goes up after Friday, April 15th!

There are still a few exhibitor booths available as well, and those usually sell out, so if want an affordable way to get in front of hundreds of women business owners, don’t wait any longer to lock down your spot.

Here’s the link to sign up:

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Valley’s Premier Event for Women Entrepreneurs is Now Presented by NAWBO!

BootCamp08_LogoChange is one of the few constants in life and especially in business. That’s why it’s so important for entrepreneurs to invest regularly in their personal and professional growth. For busy women business owners, however, there’s no time for events that are full of fluff and non-stop sales pitches.

That’s why Susan Ratliff’s Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp is now in its twelfth year – it’s the hard-hitting, no-fluff, get-down-to-business event where women business owners can get practical tips they can use now to excel in marketing, selling, prospecting, networking and technology.

It’s also the place where phenomenal women come together forge powerful business relationships. There’s plenty of time for networking and browsing the exhibitor hall to discover new businesses and reconnect with old acquaintances.

And now, the Phoenix Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this one-of-a-kind event!

So mark your calendars now for the Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp on May 7th! You can register at The registration price goes up on April 15, so lock in your spot now if you want to save some dough. Exhibit space and sponsorships are also available; exhibit space usually sells out and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

We look forward to seeing you on May 7th!

Nancy Sanders
2015-2016 President
NAWBO Phoenix Chapter

Feb. Luncheon: Scaling Up Panel Speaker Bio’s

If you haven’t registered for the February NAWBO luncheon you need to do it now! We have put together some amazing women to share their experience and wisdom. These women are so amazing we had to create an entire blog just to cover their accomplishments. So take a look register and invite a friend.

Ilana Lowery, Phoenix Business Journal (Moderator)

Ilana Lowery was promoted to Editor-in-Chief of the Phoenix Business Journal in June after serving as editor since August 2001. Prior to that, she had served as managing editor of the paper since 1999.

Ilana first joined the publication as a reporter and projects editor in 1995. As a reporter she covered banking and finance, travel, aviation, tourism and sports business.

Prior to The Business Journal, she was an editor for Independent Newspapers Inc., a community newspaper chain based in Scottsdale. Before moving to the Valley in 1989, Ilana served as a reporter and editor for Pulitzer Newspapers in Chicago. An award-winning journalist, she also worked as a scriptwriter and associate producer for the NBC-TV affiliate in Chicago.

A 1986 graduate of the University of Illinois, Ilana earned BA degrees in Mass Communications and English.

Currently, Ilana is an associate professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She also serves on the executive board of Gabriel’s Angels and is a member of the Hon Kachina Board of Governors. In addition, Ilana is a member of the prestigious women’s professional associations Charter 100 and Central Phoenix Women.

Ilana was inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists Silver Key Society in September, 2015. In 2014, she was selected as a Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Athena Award finalist. She also was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council in 2005, and in 2008, Ilana was honored with a Woman of Distinction award by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America – Southwest.

Ilana is a long-time supporter of Debbie Gaby Charities, United Way, the Arizona Heart Association and the Southwest Autism Resource and Research Center.

Lauren Bailey { Upward Projects 

Lauren Bailey 2013Lauren Bailey is a co-founder of Upward Projects, a group of locally focused restaurateurs creating inspired restaurants that are connected to the communities they serve. Just this year, Inc. Magazine named Upward Projects to the “2015 Inc. 5000” list as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies.

Upward Projects places an emphasis on preparing high-quality food and adapting and reusing historically relevant buildings that are an integral part of local neighborhoods. To uphold this philosophy, Lauren focuses primarily on conceptualization, design and operations for five industrial wine cafes – Postino Arcadia, Postino Central, Postino East, Postino Annex, Postino LoHi (Denver, CO); Windsor, a pub-style neighborhood hangout; Churn, the adjoining nostalgic ice cream shop; Federal Pizza, an artisan pizza restaurant; and two Joyride Taco House’s, a scratch-kitchen Mexican concept.  Collectively, Lauren is responsible for growth and vision of the existing concepts as well as future projects.

Lauren is a board member of Local First Arizona, an organization determined to protect, strengthen and foster local business. She is also a Steering Committee Member for Devour Phoenix, a city-wide, non-profit coalition of independent restaurants that maintain a forum for sharing ideas, increasing Arizona’s visibility as a culinary destination, stressing the importance of sustainability and hosting culinary driven events. She is also a board member of the Entrepreneurs Organization, a group comprised of 12,000 entrepreneurs from all around the globe, is on the Grand Canyon University Colangelo College of Business Advisory Board and is also a proud “big sister” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. In 2013, Lauren was recognized by the Arizona Republic as “35 Entrepreneurs Under 35,” while in 2014, she was inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame as Restaurateur of the Year, honored as the 2014 Food Pioneer by the Arizona Restaurant Association, and selected by the Phoenix Business Journal as “40 Under 40 – Class of 2014.” In 2015, the Phoenix Business Journal selected Lauren as the 2015 Outstanding Women in Business honoree.

Lauren was raised in the state of Indiana and has inhabited a fair amount of cities up and down the East Coast, including New York City and Nantucket. She attended Arizona State University, graduating in 2002 with dual degrees in Communication and Fine Art. In 2006, Lauren married her husband and business partner, Wyatt Bailey, in Vernazza, Italy. In her spare time Lauren travels the world, hunts for vintage treasures, creates art, cooks up amazing flavors, and spends time with the most important people in her life.

Lisa VanBockern, Skin Script

VanBockern.jpgLisa VanBockern, a graduate of Arizona State University’s College of Business, began her career as a senior business analyst for Ernst & Young consulting, one of the world’s leading professional services organizations.

Years later, a business opportunity within the aesthetic field presented itself and VanBockern pursued.  Upon licensing as an aesthetician, she worked under two physicians in the aesthetic field since 2004 and gained a vast knowledge of skin care conditions and ingredients within topical treatments.  In 2008, her passion for skin care and desire to achieve real results for her clients led her into the research and development of her own skin care line, Skin Script. Skin Script is a professional product line that specializes in clinical-grade skin care products for all skin types and ethnicities. With over 8,000 accounts throughout the United States, the products are used in facials and retailed by spas, salons, med spas, and dermatologist offices.

Skin Script’s sales, training and distribution offices are located in Tempe, Arizona

Robin Orchard, Orchard Medical Consulting

Robin Orchard copyRobin Orchard is the President and Owner of Orchard Medical Consulting, a multi-state nurse case management firm. Her company provides workers compensation nurse case management and catastrophic injury management services to employers and insurance companies throughout the United States. Over the years, Orchard Medical has won numerous awards, including the Phoenix Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work”, AZ Business Magazine’s “Most Admired Companies” Award, and the “Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility” Award by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Community service is very important to Ms. Orchard; she is a strong supporter of Kids’ Chance of Arizona, the Young Entrepreneurs Association and Local First AZ.  She is cofounder of Canyon State Comp Partners, a nonprofit organization comprised of locally owned businesses dedicated to strengthening the Arizona economy. Ms. Orchard is Past President of the Phoenix Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and a past recipient of the “Woman in Business Champion” Award from the United States Small Business Association (SBA).  Robin was recently appointed (as the only woman) to the Industrial Commission by Governor Ducey, a term that requires 5 years of service.

Lorraine Bergman, President/CEO of Caliente Construction Inc

Lorraine Finished WebLorraine, an Arizona native, is owner and President of Caliente Construction Inc. She has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. While continuing to pursue a career at Arizona Public Service Company (APS), she and her husband Tom founded Caliente Construction in 1991. After 20 years with APS and retiring as the company’s East Valley Community Relations Manager in 1997, Lorraine started the consulting company Strategic Change Management.

In 2000, she became President of Caliente. Upon Tom’s untimely death in 2005, Lorraine assumed full leadership of the company. She was immediately faced with lack of confidence from both employees and clients who believed a woman could not run a construction company. Drawing on her immense strength, she brought new energy and vision to the company. Today, Caliente Construction is one of the top 50 largest general contractors in Arizona and the 5th largest woman-owned business in the state. Her leadership is based on simple principles; every client gets our full attention and we take care of the details by providing exceptional quality, and personalized, cost-conscious, timely and innovative construction solutions.

One of Lorraine’s great passions is serving the community. Just a few of her notable accomplishments include: recipient of the 2014 Commercial Real Estate Industry Leader award, past president of Arizona Builder’s Alliance, State of Arizona Director for Association of General Contractors of America, member of CEOs Against Cancer, co-founder of Advancing Women in Construction; she is a two-time Athena Award nominee; winner of the 2010 ACE Most Admired CEO and the 2009 ASU Spirit of Enterprise awards and was recently named as one of the top 50 most influential women in Arizona. In 2015, she was elected the incoming 2015 President for the Arizona Chapter of the Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence.

Lorraine has raised two successful children who are also actively involved in the family business and is a devoted grandmother of five! Committed to living an active and healthy life, she is up before dawn to work out, is an avid skier, hiker and a world traveler.


See, told you they where impressive! Register Now:

Scaling Up










Congratulations to the Winners of the 2015 Desert Diamonds Awards!

2015 Desert Diamond WinnersLast week, more than 100 NAWBO members and their guests celebrated the success of the past year and recognized the extraordinary contributions of its members. Congratulations to all the winners, as well as the finalists and nominees, who were recognized for their service. Here’s a look at the winners:

Corporate Partner of the Year: SRP was recognized for its work in supporting women business owners and NAWBO for the past 19 years.

Bridge Builder: Julie Heiland, J Heiland Interiors. This award recognizes a member who has been involved in community outreach activities, has identified and created new alliances, or developed new partnerships that promote NAWBO’s mission.

Unsung Hero: Jody Owen, Business Coach, Speaker and Trainer. This award is given for demonstrating extraordinary support for the chapter through participation within the organization and as a promoter of NAWBO’s mission through outreach in the community. Owen has been a tireless volunteer, leader, visionary and mentor to other members during her 10 years as a NAWBO member.

Spirit of NAWBO Sisterhood: Kristin Slice, Splash Printing and Marketing. This award is given for a member who exemplifies the spirit of NAWBO. She volunteers her time to support the organization’s initiatives, while also developing her own leadership and business skills.2015 Desert Diamond Winners selfie

Member of the Year: Paula Wittekind, CDQ Learning. Member of the Year Award is given to a woman who demonstrated extraordinary support of NAWBO or the chapter and has contributed “above and beyond” to see that the organization is successful in meeting its goals and member needs. Wittekind has strengthened the presence of NAWBO in the public and private sectors, created innovative programs and has fostered initiatives and policies for the betterment of the organization.

Business Owner of the Year: Nancy Hetrick, Smarter Divorce Solutions, LLC. This award is presented to the member who has built a successful and prosperous enterprise in spite of obstacles. This member demonstrates innovation in her industry, gives back to the community and creates jobs while contributing to the growth and mission of NAWBO through active participation.

In addition to the Desert Diamonds Awards, Dorothy Wolden gave Presidential Awards to three members who provided extra help and support to her through the year—Lori Brown of Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat, PC, Valerie Marbach of eSpark Marketing, and Tracie Rollins of The Rollins Advantage.

Congratulations to all our winners! And thank you to the major sponsors of this year’s Desert Diamonds Awards, CopperPoint and Southwest Airlines.


June Member-hosted Events

These events are hosted by members. For official NAWBO-sponsored events, visit Members may submit their events to Sara Korn 4 weeks before the month in which they occur.

Yes-NoUnpacking Yes & No

Learn how to say “yes” and “no” without guilt, confusion, or second-guessing.

When: Thursday, June 4 @ 7-9pm

Where: Southwest Herb, 148 N Center St., Mesa, AZ 85201

Register at

Hosted by: Jacqueline Freeman, Rites O’ Passage



victoria-traftonBooks, Brains and Business (A new group for NAWBO members only!)

Successful business people know reading and ongoing learning is essential for success. The challenge is so many books, so little time. This group offers a new format for Executive Book Summaries: Live presentations that share the best nuggets in the book followed by small group discussions. Participants will learn if the book would help them achieve their business goals. Kick off meeting features: Stiletto Networking by Pamela Ryckman, 2013.

When: Third Monday of each month from 4 – 6 PM, starting June 15

Where: Remington’s Restaurant, Scottsdale Plaza, 7200 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

Register now (space limited to 20) at event calendar.

Hosted by: Chief Bookworm Victoria Trafton, Founder of the Sisterhood of Happiness, Referral Specialist and Networking Expert


Why, as a woman business owner, would the Corp’s Conation Nation Symposium be of interest/benefit to me?

Why, as a woman business owner, would this Symposium be of interest/benefit to me?

1.) Learn to leverage your instinctive strengths.

Most successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common:  Their success is driven by their strengths.  Business owners who leverage their instinctive talents can build more productive teams and reduce stress in their lives.  Kolbe Corp’s Conation Nation Symposium on May 7th in Scottsdale, AZ, will give you strategies for using your conative strengths to grow your business and improve your life in ways that you about most.

2.) Keynote presentations by Kolbe Corp Founder Kathy Kolbe, and by Rich Vincent, Ph.D., most recently’s Vice President of Talent and Leader Development.  

Dr. Vincent will be speaking about the need for a more resilient work force that is:

  • less bureaucratic,
  • more responsive, and
  • “fit for purpose” with the right people in the right position”

3.) Breakout session featuring consulting experts Angelique Rewers and Phil Dyer

Angelique and Phil will share the latest research and key insights you must know to maximize the emerging opportunities in the $12 trillion+ corporate B2B marketplace and land high-paying corporate clients.

4.) Dynamic presentations on such topics as:

  • Business consulting best practices
  • Essential leadership qualities for tomorrow’s business owners
  • Personal productivity
  • Transforming a sales culture

5.) Awesome networking opportunities

Register Now:

Desert Ridge Nieghborhood NAWBO is BACK!

Don’t miss the kick off of a new Neighborhood NAWBO at Desert Ridge. Actually it is “re-opening under New Management”. Victoria Trafton and Cathy Lafee are hosting this lunch on the first Thursday of every month starting March 5. This is one more way to deepen relationships with NAWBO members AND build a referral business foundation!

Bring a friend that you would like to introduce to NAWBO and join us for this first meeting. You can count on a fun exercise that will build relationships faster than you would have thought! You might just meet someone who will change your life!

Desert Ridge

Desert Ridge

Date: March 5, 2015
Time: 11:30 – 1 PM
Location: Mimi’s at Desert Ridge
Questions? Contact
Victoria Trafton 
Catherine Lafee

NAWBO Member discount for Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp

WESBB-logoHey NAWBO members! Did you know that Susan Ratliff’s Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp is less than 2 weeks away?

And as a NAWBO member, you get a discount! Simply enter code bcspecial to get $10 off on your registration. To snag a $25 discount on one of the few remaining exhibitor spots, use code bcexpo.

Please join Susan, fellow NAWBO members, and women business owners from around the state to soak up the knowledge and experience of fantastically successful local business experts who will share relevant, valuable tricks, tips and tools to help your business grow and make money. Take control of your business destiny and enjoy:

  • A full day of education, motivation and celebration
  • Meet and network with hundreds of women in business
  • Select from 9 informative workshops
  • Enjoy 2 valuable keynote presentations
  • Don’t miss the Speed Brainstorming Session and Networking Mixer
  • Get resources from 50 sponsors and exhibitors
  • Continental breakfast, lunch and snack breaks provided
  • Charity raffle with valuable prizes benefiting Angels for Athletes

Learn more and register here.


Isha Cogborn: Five Rules to Win Being You

IshaCogbornWestern International University invites you to a networking event featuring Isha Cogborn—a sought-after speaker, trainer, author and media contributor—who will give you practical advice about identifying your personal “unfair competitive advantage” and how to put it to work for you.

After becoming a single mom at the age of 18, Isha realized that living in subsidized housing and driving a $500 car was not the life she wanted for her new son. So she set about creating a different life. Isha will share stories of her journey and help you forge your own path toward a more fulfilling, purposeful and successful life that celebrates the unique and talented YOU!

The evening will kick off with an hour of networking and refreshments, followed by Isha’s workshop. We look forward to seeing you there – bring a guest!

When:         Thursday, January 15, 2015

      Networking: 5–6 p.m. MST
       Complimentary drinks and appetizers will be served.

      Presentation: 6:15–7:15 p.m. MST
       Campus or online.

Presenter:   Isha Cogborn
Founder & President of Epiphany Institute
Author of 5 Rules To Win Being You

Location:     West Tempe Campus, 1601 W. Fountainhead Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85282

RSVP by January 12:

Online RSVP 
         Confirmation with webinar link will be emailed upon registration.

Questions:    Hue Haslim, 602-429-1078 or Laura Lee, 602-429-1110