Agents of Change: Comments from the Public Policy Chair Wendy Anderton

Women business owners are agents of change.  Each of you is in business for yourself, and each of you probably has experience working for someone else.  Your choice to move into the world of entrepreneurship is proof that you are willing to face your fears and make a change for yourselves, your families, and your future.  In doing so, you are blazing a trail for others, reaching down and pulling them up to stand with you.
This is the time to step into the world of Civic Engagement – politics – policy – change.  No matter your stand on an issue, women business owners hold power and weight in the world of politics.  Your representatives will listen to you.  No matter the issue you have, rather than sitting back and saying “That’s just how it is”, it is time for us to engage and ask for help changing things the we just don’t like, things that don’t serve us well, and to reach out and make Arizona a better place for US to do business.
In the coming months, women’s issues will take a forefront in the national dialogue.  I encourage each of you to take advantage of the day today and learn HOW to be a part of that dialogue, how to be a leader in the realm of Civil Discourse.  It’s time to no longer politely decline the political discussion, but to contemplate your opinion, educate yourselves about the issues, and stand for what you believe in by getting involved.  We are poised to be change-agents.  All we have to do is flip the switch and turn on our power!
Don’t Forget to check out our Public Policy Toolbox
Written by Phoenix Chapter Public Policy Chair, Wendy Anderton.

Public Policy Toolbox 2015
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NAWBO Takes Civil Action in Arizona to Improve Our State

Did you know that the membership of NAWBO Phoenix, combined with the membership of Valley of the Sun United Way Women’s Leadership Council has the power and numbers to affect the future of Arizona, it’s policies, and its elected officials?  Our memberships alone, if they are engaged in the political process, can be influential at every single level.
On Wednesday, March 12, Dr. Lattie Coor of The Center for Arizona’s Future and Sarah Suggs of O’Connor House shared the importance of engaging in Civil Action with NAWBO members at the Annual Public Policy Day.  Dr. Coor explained that as little as 4% of the eligible voters in any election in Arizona can, and often do, determine who our elected leaders will be and the outcome of important ballot propositions.  That means as few as 600-900 people can determine the future of Arizona.  Mrs. Suggs explained the history of O’Connor House and how that relates to public policy issues, together with the background of Arizona’s own, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court.
NAWBO members and VSUW WLC members have been given the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive Gallup Poll commissioned by The Center for Arizona’s Future.  This poll was designed to understand the will of Arizonans and help to develop a vision, which will drive Public Policy, keeping the focus on what matters to Arizonans, rather than on pet-projects or fringe issues.  Additionally, we are able to pull anonymous data from our membership and find out where WE stand as a body, as well.  This information could pave the way for NAWBO to advocate or advise on issues important to Arizona’s Women Business Owners.
We encourage you to participate in the poll at, and use the group code NAWBOPHX when you register to take the poll.  Your input is important, listened to, and acted upon.



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What You Need to Know for NAWBO Phoenix Public Policy Day

At the NAWBO Public Policy Day you will get the chance to be in front of real decision makers. They want to know your insights. This year many key issues will be coming up for vote that will shape Arizona, your family and your business for years to come.

We asked Wendy Anderton, the NAWBO Phoenix Public Policy chair, what we need to know BEFORE the event. So we can do our own research and think about how it will affect our families.

Here are the three main issues that she said will be coming up in the next several months. She also included 3 informational (not politically motivated) links to help you get the facts.

Common Core:
Child Protective Services

So check them out! Do a little research, then join us for NAWBO Public Policy Day to share your thoughts on how these topics.

Any questions? Email Wendy at

NAWBO Public Policy Day

NAWBO Public Policy Day

How to get involved in Arizona Public Policy to protect your business.

As stakeholders and leaders in our communities, we have a vital role in the outcome of the political process. As women, we are conditioned by society to not engage in controversial issues. However, we should be the change-agents in that thinking.

Women Small Business Owners with at the 2013 Day at the Capital talking to local politicians.

Women Small Business Owners at the 2013 Day at the Capital talking to local politicians.

Being politically active no longer requires you to take time out of your day and be present at the capital. The aim on Public Policy Day is to teach you how to use the many resources available at your fingertips to change the world…without putting on pants.

We must understand the issues, register to vote, and encourage others to do the same; taking responsibility for creating a future that encourages our children and talent to stay in Arizona, strengthening our business environment and leading to a successful Arizona. We must create a legacy.

[Read more…]

Solution to all of Phoenix’s Economic Development Challenges: Women.

Last Friday, I was invited to attend the In Business Annual Guest Editor Economic Symposium & Be In Business EXPO 2013 (that is a mouth full). It was a panel of business professionals discussing the future of Phoenix. I was invited by the wonderful Susan Ratliff who this year is holding the 10th Annual Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp. I was also asked to help work the booth for the National Association of Women Business Owners, whose board I serve on. At lunch I sat at the table next to Nancy Sanders my business partner extraordinaire and Dena Paton one of the great women business leaders in Phoenix who also launched a highly successful non-profit that empowers young women.

And I sat there and listened to five middle-aged white men talk about what Phoenix needs to do. There were two women on the panel, Deborah Batemen and Candace Wiest, both of whom are bankers.

[Read more…]

Mark Your Calendars! Public Policy Primer Call Tues., Oct. 22

Please plan to join our NAWBO Public Policy Primer Call next Tuesday, October 22.  The call will take place at Noon ET and feature remarks from Virginia Littlejohn and Julie Weeks. If you cannot make the call but have a question, please email

As you may know, Virginia Littlejohn is the CEO and Co-founder of Quantum Leaps. Virginia has worked on women’s economic empowerment for several decades. She is a past National President of NAWBO, and an architect of HR 5050, the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988.  She is also a former Vice President of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, and co-founder of TradeBuilders. Virginia has organized three global best practice conferences on women’s entrepreneurship, and catalyzed creation of the Global Banking Alliance for Women and the Roadmap to 2020. She is currently CEO and co-founder of Quantum Leaps, a global accelerator for women’s enterprise development, which incubated WEConnect International. She also serves as the UN International Trade Centre’s Lead International Consultant on getting women entrepreneurs into the global supply chain.

Julie Weeks is the President and CEO of Womenable, a for-profit social enterprise that works to enable women’s entrepreneurship worldwide by improving the laws, policies and programs that support women’s enterprise creation and growth. Weeks is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of women’s enterprise development, with experience in both the private and public sectors in the areas of research, public policy and program management.

Prior to launching Womenable in 2005, she served as Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council, a federally-funded policy advisory body which serves as an independent voice and advisor to the President, U.S. Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on women’s entrepreneurship issues. Weeks has also served as Managing Director of the Center for Women’s Business Research, the Deputy Chief Counsel for Statistics and Research at the U.S. Small Business Administration, and as Vice President for Research and Public Policy for two market research firms.  Weeks has a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Michigan. She serves on the board of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, and is the chair of the board of the Association of Women’s Business Centers. 

Click here to register for the webinar.

The Public Policy Primer calls will take place the fourth Tuesday of every month at Noon ET and are designed to keep the chapters up to speed on the latest public policy information in Washington, D.C.

Please see below an outline agenda for our call.

  • Welcome from Joy Lutes
  • Brief Discussion Among Participants of Public Policy Issues
  • Introduction of Guest Speaker & Remarks
  • Q&A for Guest Speaker (time permitting, up to 5 questions)
  • Wrap-up with Guest Speaker (NAWBO members only)
  • Concluding Thoughts/Plans for Next Public Policy Primer Call

Arizona Capitol Times Women in Public Policy – Reserve your tickets now!

In the western US, and especially in Arizona, women have been and are incredibly influential in politics and public policy.  Arizona boasts one of the highest percentages of women legislators in the country, and that doesn’t take into account the many powerful business owners and principals who are influencing public policy, legislation, and governance behind the scenes.  Every woman business owner should be involved in public policy and understand who to reach out to when something needs done, when she has an idea, or when she has a need for help.  The Arizona Capitol Times Women in Public Policy program is your opportunity to get to know the players, the influencers, and become one yourself. Visit (Link) to learn more.  I’ll see you there!
-Wendy Anderton, Public Policy Committee Chair
Women In Politics Ad

Why Women Business Owners Should Care About Public Policy

You, the woman business owner and executive, have enormous clout when it comes to our laws and law-makers.  Every day, elected officials seek out, read, listen, and talk to small business owners to learn more about what is and isn’t working for them.  If you aren’t taking advantage of your influence in public policy, you’re missing out on the opportunity to truly ‘do something’ about issues you care about and issues that effect your business and bottom-line.  You might feel intimidated or like your opinion doesn’t matter, but it does.  Often, elected officials vote on bills solely based on the input from their constituents.  You could be that voice.  It’s time to get involved and build relationships with your elected officials, just as you do your customers, your peers, and more.  Your NAWBO Public Policy Committee is here to help you take that next step toward becoming an influencer that makes doing business in Arizona easy, friendly, and efficient.  So, let’s get our feet wet!  NAWBO National hosts a Public Policy Primer Call every month.  It’s free and easy to listen in, or join in the conversation.  Last month, David Mark, editor-in-chief of Politix ( was the guest. Click here to listen to the recording. The next call will be on September 24, 2013 at noon ET. Email and she’ll keep you informed with the details when they are available.