Advocacy Roundtable: How to Get a Seat at the Table

Advocacy Roundtable: How to Get a Seat at the Table

Have you ever wanted to be more involved with local professional, political or recreational organizations? Have you been to overwhelmed or unsure how to make your voice count? The best way to take part is by joining a board of directors or a volunteer committee.

NAWBO South Jersey and BCRCC invite you to a roundtable discussion about getting a seat at the table with local elected officials and advocates. Our panelists will share how they became engaged in the community and provide you with helpful tips to get started yourself. You’ll learn the value of volunteering and the best ways to join a committee or apply to a board of directors.

Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM
Location: Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce, 520 Fellowship Road, E502, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Price: $10 for NAWBO and BCRCC members; $15 for non-members

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT

Featured on the panel of elected officials and advocates:
The Honorable Linda Bobo, Councilwoman, Mount Laurel Township
The Honorable Kate Gibbs, Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Lynda L. Hinkle, Esq., Lead Attorney/CEO, Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle, and Managing Partner, Progress Ventures LLC

This event is hosted and moderated by Kristi Howell, CEO, Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

About our panelists:

Linda Bobo has lived in Burlington County for 23 years and has served on the Mount Laurel Governing Body for the last 8 years and has served as Mayor and Deputy Mayor. She is the Director of Business Engagement for Rowan College at Burlington County in the Workforce Development Institute Division. Linda works in a unified and coordinated manner with The Workforce Development Board, The American Job Center, The Burlington County Institute of Technology, Burlington County Library System and Burlington County Economic Development and Regional Planning and the Joint Base MDL.

 

Lynda Hinkle is a bar certified attorney in the State of New Jersey a and Principal/CEO of the Law Offices of Lynda Hinkle, a firm that focuses on family law, estates, elder law, immigration and governmental affairs. She holds a J. D. from Rutgers School of Law Camden, a Masters in English from Rutgers University, and a Masters in Teaching from Rowan University. She has published a book call Breaking Up: Finding and Working with a New Jersey Divorce Attorney available on Amazon.

 

Kate Gibbs was elected to the Burlington County Board of Freeholders in 2015, and serves as Deputy Director. Gibbs’ departmental duties include Public Works and Health.  She is responsible for overseeing Engineering/Highway and Buildings & Grounds, as well as capital improvement projects.  Additionally, Gibbs is a member of the Planning Board, Personnel Committee, and Water Quality Management Board. In her professional position, Gibbs currently heads up Business Development for the Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative, a collaborative trust that represents the interests of Local 825 Operating Engineers and the signatory contractors who employ them, and focuses on creating work opportunities.

 

When Kristi Howell joined the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) as its president and CEO in December 2002, she became only the second executive in its 27-year history. Since then, the Chamber has grown and evolved through her focus on membership, programming, annual budgeting, and staffing. An active member of the Burlington County community, Kristi serves on numerous boards and committees. Her most recent board appointments are with the American Cancer Society and the South Jersey Tourism Corporation. She also serves on the River Route Advisory Committee (appointed by Burlington County Board of Freeholders), Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT) District Advisory Council, BCIT Foundation Board, Soul Connect Advisory Board, and the Burlington County Sheriff’s Gang-Prevention Task Force.

Member Spotlight: LaNette Keeton

For November Member Spotlight, we are featuring LaNette Keeton, Owner and CEO of Serenity Home Healthcare & Nursing Solutions, and a member of NAWBO South Jersey’s Board of Directors.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business:

My name is LaNette Keeton, Owner/CEO of Serenity Home Healthcare & Nursing Solutions, L.L.C. and Serenity Home Infusion Solutions, Inc., located in Sewell, New Jersey.  My determined personality and proficient networking skills have enhanced my ability to be successful in the healthcare industry.  Owning multiple businesses is quite challenging and I have always been one to embrace challenge.  I have sustained a position in the healthcare field now for almost fifteen years and being a woman in business has certainly presented many obstacles.  I pride myself on the ability to conquer and overcome whatever is thrown into my path.  My agencies are quite successful and we are accredited through CHAP, Inc.  We have been serving many counties in the state of New Jersey and have earned our place as one of the most highly recommended home healthcare and home infusion providers in South Jersey.  I am a formidable woman with a vision to provide the best in qualitative care and I emphasize my staff to adhere to a completely patient-focused operational culture.  I am a firm believer in diversity and in fostering organizational harmony.  Professional integrity in any situations involving conflict have always been a strong suit with me and I go out of my way to become as knowledgeable as I possibly can on any and all circumstances.  If I were asked to describe myself I would say that I am trustworthy, affable, authentic, extremely meticulous, determined, and an incredibly strategic thinker.  My resilience to continue to expand my knowledge is inexorable and my determination to strive for continual improvement is relentless.  These qualities are the blood running through the veins of my businesses and it is these attributes that have led me down this rewarding path of helping people.

Do you have a business tip or tool that has helped you in your business to share?

My main tip or tool that I utilize all the time is listening constantly.  I listen to my clients and I listen to my employees.  I also communicate well in every sense of the word.  I believe that open and clear communication is essential in any business but in healthcare it is integral.  You have to be abreast of everything that is going on despite the fact that you have a staff that takes care of operations.  It is fundamental to have a solid system of communication at all times.

Do you have a quote to share and inspire other members?

The following quote very much inspired me.  It was not written by a successful business entrepreneur but instead by an actor and political activist named Bradley Whitford:

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs; honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”  Bradley Whitford

This is exactly the path I chose for my life.  I am a doer not a person that waits.  I get up and make that difference rather than just talking about it.  I am who I am through the grace of God and my trust and faith is always in Him.

What is your go to business, mindset or productivity book that has helped you in your life and business that you’d like to share?

If I were to pick a book that is truly inspiring to read for women in business and/or for any female that would like to start a successful business or to become a leading figure in her field, I would recommend, “Through the Labyrinth,” by Alice H. Eagly and Linda L. Carli.  These ladies gathered together scientific research in various fields like economics, sociology, psychology, and management and relay to the reader the challenges that women in business face every moment of the day.  The struggles of trying to become successful are wrought with so very many obstacles because of gender.  Yes we have come quite a long way but those aspects that may seem tiny to the male population are still astronomical to women that are attempting to be leaders or business owners.  This excellent read explains that these challenges are real and helps to empower women to overcome them and trail blaze a path to success.

12.05.17 Networking Mixer (Host: Brown & Connery)

Join NAWBO South Jersey at our monthly networking mixer.  These events are free for NAWBO members and a great way to learn more about each other and for non-members to to learn more about NAWBO.

DATE: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

TIME: 5:30 PM to 7:30PM

LOCATION: Treno Pizza Bar, 233 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township, NJ 08108

This month’s mixer is being sponsored by Kate Dohn and Brown and Connery, LLP.

NAWBO Circle

The 2018 Circle Program is Launching… Step into the Circle

 

An Exclusive Program for Members with Million Dollar and up Businesses

The NAWBO Circle is a specialized program exclusively for women who own businesses with more than $1 million in annual revenue — offering connections, access and learning opportunities above and beyond premier NAWBO membership. 

The Circle participants represent a critical voice of multi-million-dollar women-owned businesses. In the U.S. only three-percent of women owned businesses reach annual revenues over $1 million.

NAWBO has made it a top priority to ensure these women are supported in their accelerated business growth across all industries, as well as benefit from peer-to-peer personal connections.

Besides exclusivity, some of the other benefits of belonging include: 

·         Meet-and-greets with keynote speakers at the National Women’s Business Conference October 15-17 in Minneapolis

  • Private tours of woman-owned businesses and discussions with founders

·         Mastermind groups share ideas, offer support during challenges and move each other forward

·         Private receptions with National Sponsors

·         Two one-day retreats each year include workshops, premier speakers and excursions

·         Invitation to NAWBO Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2018

·         Virtual Business Book Club

·         And more…

For more information or to apply contact Lynda Bishop at lbishop@nawboinstitute.org

The annual Circle fee of $2,500 includes registration to the WBC, two retreats, and covers all Circle activities and benefits. Participants are responsible for their transportation and lodging.

The NAWBO Circle program is brought to you by the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development, a 501(c)(3) that has provided expert professional training for established women entrepreneurs resulting in positive growth outcomes for NAWBO members.

Q & A with Incoming President Anne Caruso

Q&A With Anne Caruso, Incoming President of NAWBO SJ

NAWBO SJ is excited to announce that Anne Caruso of Networks Plus will be the new President of our chapter beginning July of 2017. Since its inception in 2003, Anne Caruso and her husband, Jerry, have grown Networks Plus from a small IT business to one of the region’s most sought-after providers of digital services with expanded services including VoIP and website design and consulting. This past February, Networks Plus was awarded Company of the Year by NAWBO South Jersey at the annual Beyond the Glass Ceiling Awards Gala & Dinner.

Prior to becoming President, Anne served on the board as Director of Technology. Here we spoke to Anne about her new opportunity to serve NAWBO South Jersey and the women entrepreneurs in our region as well as why other women should get involved:

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a woman business owner?

Work-life balance is probably the biggest. The life of a woman can be quite the juggling act. We’re the CEOs of our home and business. We are 24/7.  This past year I cared for my newborn granddaughter full-time at my office while running my business. I knew Networks Plus could handle it because I knew the caliber of the team I had in place, but I didn’t tell anyone for fear we’d be passed over for opportunities because of how it would be perceived. Thanks to the support of the two young women on my team, I’ve had my most successful year yet. As they say, “never underestimate the power of a woman!”

What advice would you give to a woman entrepreneur launching her first business?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Make yourself visible in your business community.  You don’t always need to be the one talking – listen and learn from the leaders that surround you. Joining NAWBO offers many tools for a woman entrepreneur who’s just getting started.

Why did you decide to join NAWBO and why do you remain an active member today?

Women entrepreneurs encounter challenges that are unique and different from men. I became a member of NAWBO because I was seeking a group that served women and offered support for these unique challenges I was facing. NAWBO SJ has provided me with that support as well as the opportunity to surround myself with like-minded women who are truly a sisterhood. Because of this organization, I have been blessed with the good-fortune to learn from so many amazing women business leaders in this region. And we have a lot of fun!

What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs thinking about joining NAWBO leadership?

Jump in with both feet. Don’t worry about failing – your NAWBO sisters won’t let you. The mission of NAWBO is to help other women grow their businesses.

What do you hope to achieve during your tenure as President of NAWBO SJ?

First and foremost, I would like to change the perception of NAWBO SJ from just another “networking group” to what is really is: an elite sisterhood of women entrepreneurs who propel each other to greater success. The demographics of our chapter range from bankers to chefs to home healthcare owners, attorneys, marketing experts and even a Rita’s Water Ice woman-preneur. And there is absolutely no competition within the group. I want the women entrepreneurs of South Jersey to recognize the great value of this organization and to be lining up to join. I would also like to encourage younger women in our community to join through our partnerships with Girl Scouts of America and Alice Paul Institute.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” – Maya Angelou

People often say they’re going to do something but then don’t follow through. I feel my success stems from my actions; from participating and contributing for the greater good. It goes back to the NAWBO mission to be a servant leader. It comes back to you in abundance. I also feel that mentoring our young people is so important. We need to recognize not only that they are our future, but that they mentor us as well.

If you could change one thing to open more doors for women entrepreneurs, what would it be and why?   

If I could wave a magic wand and change one thing it would be wage equality, as well as increased funding for new businesses. Sadly, it all starts with money. I’ve known many potential women entrepreneurs who had great ideas but were unable to see them through to fruition because of lack in financial resources.

NAWBO South Jersey Announces New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners of South Jersey is pleased to announce that Fran Davis from Marlton, NJ has been named its first part-time Executive Director. Ms. Davis will lead the South Jersey chapter in its effort to propel New Jersey to be a leading state for women-owned businesses.

The appointment was inspired by the organization’s growing influence within the South Jersey business community and by the rise in woman-owned businesses in the state.

In New Jersey, a report released by American Express OPEN estimates the number of women-owned businesses grew 48 percent between 1997 and 2014. The state’s 230,000 women-owned businesses employ nearly 260,000 people and contribute $45 billion to the economy, according to American Express’s analysis of Census data.

Board President Katie Walsh said, “The NAWBO SJ Board is very excited to offer the role of Executive Director to Fran Davis. She is a talented woman with a deep passion for women-owned businesses. The board of directors looks forward to working with her to take NAWBO South Jersey to higher levels of impact and influence.”

Fran Davis comes uniquely qualified for the position. She is the owner of a personal chef service in the South Jersey region which she started in 2010. She has been a NAWBO member since 2010 as well, serving on the South Jersey board as Membership chair, Marketing chair and President of the organization. She has worked diligently to build and improve the NAWBO brand in South Jersey and has a passion for assisting other women business owners and strengthening the business community.

Ms. Davis received her B.A. in Psychology at Boston University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and received her M.S. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut. During her 15 years in the corporate Information Technology sector, she designed and maintained technology portals for mid-sized companies helping to improve the flow of information and streamline processes within the organizations. She transitioned from corporate employee to business owner in 2010 to allow her to fulfill her dream of working for herself and to have a more flexible schedule during her daughter’s early development years.

Over the past few years she has strived to connect the members of NAWBO to their local representatives and to build partnerships with other networking, non-profit, government and educational institutions. The NAWBO Board is pleased that through her role as Executive Director she will continue to assist with the strategic growth of the organization.

About NAWBO of South Jersey

Chartered in 2003, The National Association of Women Business Owners-South Jersey is a vibrant, professional group of women and men who come together to connect, learn and grow through networking and educational events.  NAWBO of South Jersey strives to help others grow in business by offering education and resource to women business owners in our region, and by providing exposure and promotion avenues for increasing member visibility.  They offer events and membership opportunities in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic, Cape May and portions of Mercer counties.   Website: http://nawbosouthjersey.org/

About NAWBO

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. The Indianapolis chapter, established in 1997, is the largest chapter in the country with over 200 members. NAWBO remains the only organization that solely represents the interest of women entrepreneurs in all industries. NAWBO’s mission is to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of its members and promote economic development; create innovative and effective change in the business culture; build strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and transform public policy and influence opinion makers. NAWBO-Indy’s vision is to impact, influence and propel Indiana to be a leading state for women-owned businesses by its advocacy efforts, economic impact, diversity, influence, membership size and power.

Media Contact
Kimberly Milnes, Director of Marketing NAWBO SJ
Owner/Family Travel Boutique
kim@familytravelboutique.com