Newsletter Archives

NAWBO Iowa April 2019 Newsletter 

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” 
Eleanor Roosevelt

A Message from the presidents 

What matters?

That’s a loaded question. It's a concept that can both stretch and calm the mind at the same time.

As business owners, the most immediate answers are  tangible — things like cash flow, revenue growth and    employee retention. And we all know there's more —      so much more.

It's no different for the leaders in our community. Those who are at the top of the leadership chain may think quickly about what matters, and they may reply with things like budgeting, time management, organizational structure and best practices. But there    really is so much more.

Going beyond the tangibles, and giving the mind a good, long stretch, it becomes clear what matters in almost every case is people. At NAWBO, we talk about being servant leaders. Robert K. Greenleaf first coined the phrase "servant leadership" back in 1970. Yet it wasn't a new concept then, and it's as relevant today as ever before. Simply stated, servant leaders focus on the needs of others.

Key elements of servant leadership include listening, empathy, foresight, stewardship and commitment to the growth of people ( It's this last point that makes NAWBO truly unique. It's our commitment to the growth of our members that drives every decision and goal.

To contribute to the growth of our members, we begin with you. We learn about you. We participate, we share, we praise, we inquire. It's how we roll. In serving there is honor. The honor is serving you.        Because you are what matters.

Need to know 


Business ownership among women of color has exploded in the past decade. From 2007 to 2018, firms owned by women of color grew 163%, nearly three times the rate of overall women-owned businesses (58%), according to the 2018 State of Women Owned Businesses Report.

In 2018, women of color accounted for 47% of all women-owned businesses, a total number of 5,824,300 businesses. But the gap is widening between the average revenue for businesses owned by women of color and those by non-minority women. The average revenue for a women-of-color-owned business was $66,400 in 2018, down from $84,100 in 2007. For non-minority-owned businesses, the average revenue was $212,300 in 2018, up from $181,000 in 2007.

Deshara Bohanna, owner of Design Fetish in Des Moines, said the disparity can be attributed to a few factors, the biggest being confidence. Click to read more.


Making the leap to entrepreneurship is hard. It’s starting a business from scratch. It’s maybe leaving a comfortable, well-compensated job. If you have a family, it’s asking for buy-in from more than just yourself.

But there are enormous benefits to starting a business. Working for yourself can be a hugely rewarding, and you can reap the benefits of your hard work by watching your business grow and thrive. For those just starting on the entrepreneurship track, here are three tips to help you begin. Click here to read more.


Claudia Schabel is the founder, owner and president of Schabel Solutions, a company focused on helping organizations build a more inclusive workplace. She’s a native of Brazil and speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English and some Japanese. A graduate of Drake University, Schabel has made Des Moines her home and continues to give back to the community through professional and volunteer service.

She’s a recipient of the 2008 Business Record Forty Under 40 award, the 2010 Robert D. Ray Iowa Latino Ambassador Award and the 2014 Iowa International Center Passport to Prosperity Award.Click here to read more.


            Member Shared Tips & Tricks

"Donald Miller is considered one of the top business/marketing experts. He has a new video series."         - Angela Cox    Watch the video here!

Mark your calendars 


May 02, 2019   |   7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Principal Agency
6701 Westown Parkway, Suite 200
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Venue website

Sponsored by Diana Hutson. Join us to hear about what Diana is doing with her business and learn more about succession planning. Nawbo Iowa's Coffee & Conversations are free, and no RSVP is required.

Open for Business!
A Legal Seminar for Women Business Owners

May 7, 2019   |   8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Wakonda Club
3915 Fleur Drive
Des Moines, Iowa
BrownWinick is excited to present a seminar designed specifically for women business owners. This practical half-day legal seminar will cover topics including: hiring and firing, appropriate company structure, data security and privacy, trademark selection and protection, trade secret strategies, succession planning, and more .... all with an eye toward the challenges faced by women business owners and managers. Bring your questions! Click here for more information.


May 07, 2019   |   4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
 Add to Calendar

Jasper Winery
2400 George Flagg Parkway
Des Moines, IA 50321
Venue website

Join NAWBO Iowa at Jasper Winery to meet and mingle with members, corporate partners and guests as we celebrate Iowa’s women business owners. You won’t want to miss this special event as we share with you our history and toast to the achievements of Iowa’s women business owners.

This special event is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Registration includes appetizers, one drink ticket and a complimentary glass of bubbly for the toast. More registration details to come. 


$15.00 Member Registration     |    $25.00 Non-Member Registration


May 31, 2019   |   4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
 Add to Calendar

Compass Financial
4801 Westown Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Venue website

Join NAWBO Iowa at Compass Financial Services on Friday, May 31 at 4:00 PM.
All women business owners and supporters are welcome! No RSVP necessary. No cost to attend.


June 11, 2019   |   4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Join us for an afternoon stroll through the East Village to visit the shops of some hardworking women business owners. We plan to visit 5 businesses and end the evening with some light bites and refreshments. The East Village Sip & Stroll is sponsored by:                             

 Sponsor Spotlight

McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith is a certified public accounting firm based in West Des Moines and Winterset. Founded in 1946, MHCS is one of the oldest accounting firms in Central Iowa. MHCS specializes in providing clients with accounting, auditing and business consulting expertise. 

We thank MHCS for being a NAWBO Iowa emerald level partner and for their support of women-owned businesses across the state. To learn more about MHCS, click here.  



NAWBO Iowa March Newsletter 




That means together, with more knowledge, experience, support and gifted voices, this amazing group of new and sustaining members of NAWBO Iowa will continue to thrive.
In March, our leadership team together, with the membership and programs teams, sponsored the first Sign-up Party for prospective members. The event was hugely successful, as we welcomed 13 new members that very day on March 1! 
Also in March, the programs team together, with the advocacy team, hosted the second annual Celebration of Women's History at Terrace Hill. Our members mingled and met with other members, female legislators and Gov. Kim Reynolds while enjoying happy hour at the Governor's Mansion. 
A week later, NAWBO Iowa together, with the local ABI chapter and local NFIB members, rallied together for the Iowa Business Day on capitol hill. More than a dozen of our members represented NAWBO Iowa at the Iowa State Capitol and met with local legislators to share concerns on small business issues. 
Later in March, NAWBO Iowa members together, with the National Women's Business Council, attended the first national roundtable on women's rural entrepreneurship. Our members from Pella were there with other Pella women business owners. Local Small Business Adminstration representatives and Sen. Joni Ernst also attended. The group was successful at moving the discussion forward, and many great connections were made.
Also in March, together, with members of the Des Moines Business Record and local community leaders, NAWBO Iowa sisters attended an event celebrating the 2019 Forty Under 40 honorees, including our own Co-President Kendra Erkamaa. At the microphone, Kendra acknowledged the women business owners in the room, expressed appreciation for all that we do and are doing and once again reminded us that..."Together we go far."



Anyone who operates a small business knows it’s essential to invest much of their time in day-to-day business operations. But have you thought about investing more time in growing your professional network?
Relationships can help expand your business — often through word-of-mouth marketing. But a strong social capital can also directly help you financially. Take, for example, the 2012 sale of Eloqua, a marketing automation and intelligence platform, to Oracle. The sale was completed for $871 million, more than 200 percent of Eloqua’s estimated public market value. Read more.



Throughout her schooling career, Ashley Mowery knew she was interested in numbers. But it took some guidance and advice from a longtime NAWBO Iowa member to choose her eventual career in accounting. 
Mowery grew up in Norwalk and attended Simpson College in Indianola — “I haven’t traveled far,” she joked. Mowery now works with the CPA firm McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith in West Des Moines. While attending Simpson, she began to catch an interest in accounting. Her mother was an office manager at a business that was a client of McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, where NAWBO Iowa member Kathi Koenig worked. Read more.



While the number of women-owned businesses has been sharply increasing in the past four decades — they now represent four of every 10 businesses in the United States — they still contribute a small part of the total revenue — just 4.3 percent in the private sector. Iowa boasts organizations and programs with goals to bridge the margin.
If you’re looking to grow or wanting to make the leap on your own, here are three places you can turn to for help — both financially and strategically. Read more.



NAWBO Iowa is launching a new program, the NAWBO Iowa Business Institute.
We are seeking a company to facilitate the Institute’s programming, which will be focused on business growth for women business owners. Proposals for a facilitator are being accepted through April 19, 2019. Read more.


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Spring Membership Drive Continues Through April!

April Membership Luncheon

  • April 4th  11:30 - 1:00 p.m. at Glen Oaks Country Club

Coffee Connections - Central Iowa

  •  April 16th from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. at Smokey Row  

Cocktails & Conversation - Central Iowa

  • April 26th from 4 - 6 p.m. at TBD


Bankers Trust is Iowa's largest privately-own banks and has services in personal and business banking, lending, wealth managament and more. Based in Des Moines, Bankers Trust is one of NAWBO Iowa's Ruby Level Sponsors. "As the #1 lender to women-owned businesses in Iowa, Bankers Trust is proud to play a role in helping many women business owners succeed. Whether they are just getting started or have been a business owner for many years, Bankers Trust understands the business banking needs of female entrepreneurs and is a trusted partner and resource for growth.With a workforce of over 65 percent women, Bankers Trust truly embodies NAWBO’s mission of 'women in business propelling other women in business.' Supporting NAWBO has been a great way for Bankers Trust to build relationships with local women business owners and female entrepreneurs."


NAWBO Iowa February Newsletter 

A Message from the presidents 

"You cannot move things by not moving.” - Suzy Kassem

More and more women own businesses in Iowa and more women are successful at business ownership in Iowa! Success most often results from the powerful combination of passion and community. One woman with a vision putting it to the test while intentionally surrounding herself with people willing and ready to support that vision.

Spring is the time of year we put our vision and our commitment to the local business community to the test. This is the season of advocacy. At NAWBO this commitment to a greater good draws hundreds of women business owners to our nation's capital, especially in June (NAWBO Advocacy Day June 4)

So as women, we understand that no successful woman business owner stands alone. We know that success in business is not an isolated incident. In Iowa and at NAWBO Iowa, it is an absolute truth that we are better together. 

Help Iowa move forward along the path of woman-friendly business ownership. Join fellow NAWBO Iowa members like Kim Augspurger, Lana Pol and Claudia Schabel just to name a few, who continue to advocate on behalf of all of us. 

Today women business owners involved in public policy are affecting what will happen tomorrow in our economy. We are shaping our business culture to help women thrive in business ownership. Through our advocacy in the coming months, together we are having an impact on the success of the women business owners of the future. 

Our time is now. Participate!

Need to know 

Women-owned businesses continue to trend positively, especially in Iowa

The state of women-owned businesses in Iowa is overwhelmingly strong, according to a new study released in January.

The annual State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express and conducted by Ventureneer, tabbed Iowa as one of the top 10 states in economic clout growth rate — which considers the growth of women-owned businesses in numbers, employment and revenue. Iowa and Georgia were ranked eighth. South Dakota was No. 1. Read more.


Roxanne Pals and her interest in change leads to business ownership 

It was in 2005 when Roxanne Pals sparked an interest in change — what it does, how it affects people and how to properly prepare for it. Pals, who has a nursing background, was working as a clinical nursing manager at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa, and the organization was implementing a dramatic initiative: replacing paper records with electronic medical records. Despite large-scale preparation, advice from consulting agencies and testing, the implementation went sideways. And Pals was left wondering: Why? Read more. 


Generations of women: Stories of business owners throughout the years

 Throughout the past few decades, the climate for women business ownership has dramatically improved, especially in Iowa.Before the Women’s Business Ownership Act passed in 1988, women couldn’t receive bank loans without a male co-signer. Just six years ago, in 2013, Iowa was ranked the worst state for women business ownership, according to the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. In 2018, after strong efforts from organizations across the state, Iowa jumped into the top-10 as one of the best states for women business ownership.

From struggling to receive a bank loan in the early 1980s to the troubles of finding a place to lease, it’s clear women business ownership has come a long way. Hear from three NAWBO Iowa members and their stories of starting their own businesses throughout the years. Read more. 

Mark your calendars 

New Member Sign Up Party

  • March 1 from 3 - 5 p.m. at Louie's Wine Dive Des Moines 

Celebration of Women's History

  • March 5 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at Historic Terrace Hill

Coffee Connections - Central Iowa

  • March 7 from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. at TigerLily STEM 

Iowa Business Day on the Hill

  • March 13 from 8:30 - 11:45 a.m. at the ABI Office

Cocktails & Conversation - Central Iowa

  • March 22 from 4 - 6 p.m. at Vino209


NAWBO January Newsletter 

A message from the presidents

NAWBO Iowa joins the nation in celebrating women’s history month in March

The women of Iowa’s 2019 legislature will join women business owners at NAWBO Iowa’s second annual Celebration of Women’s History event, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at the Governor’s Mansion, historic Terrace Hill.

In addition to women policy leaders, the NAWBO Iowa celebration will be attended exclusively by NAWBO members and the organization’s corporate partners.

“This event is an annual highlight for our members from across the state, as we continue to fulfill the NAWBO mission,” said NAWBO Iowa Co-President Kathryn Towner. “One part of our mission is connecting with legislative leaders and supporting policies aimed toward boosting small business and women business owners across Iowa. The Celebration of Women’s History is one of our favorite events on the calendar, and we look forward to a night of networking and fun.” 

Over the last century, women business owners have contributed to the growth and economic success of our country, and in Iowa the same. Most recently Iowa is among the top-10 states with the highest rate of growth in economic clout, according to the 2018 American Express State of Women Owned Businesses Report

The event will start at 4:30 p.m. with an hourlong networking session, followed by a short program and toast at 5:30 p.m., featuring speeches by NAWBO Iowa leaders. 


Kristen Hall Finds the bright side in family law disputes 

Kristen Hall, the founder of her own law practice, is in the business of problem-solving and mediation. But more importantly, she’s in the business of helping families heal — and that’s the way she wants it to be. Hall, the sole proprietor of Hall Mediation and Law, says she practices law with a “servant’s heart.” Focused primarily on collaborative divorce and estate planning, Hall knows how to manage conflicts and understands how emotions can get in the way of the decision-making processes. Read more. 

4 Easy-to-implement marketing tips for small businesses 

When owning a small business or operating as a sole proprietorship, having extra time to try something new is a rarity. And when business owners are jumping into something unfamiliar, it needs to be carefully planned and thought out. Marketing is often one of the toughest places for business operators to properly execute, especially if it’s not their area of expertise. Here are four marketing strategies you can implement now at little to no cost. Read more.

Mark your calendar

Coffee Connections - Central Iowa

  • February 7 from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m at New York Life 

Workforce Trends and Progressive Employment Practices 

  • February 21 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Glen Oaks Country Club

Cocktails & Conversation - Central Iowa 

  • February 22 from 4 - 6 p.m. at Vino209  

Celebration of Women's History

  • March 5 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at Historic Terrace Hill

Coffee Connections - Central Iowa

  • March 7 from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. at TigerLily STEM 


Digital & Social Media Fraud Luncheon co-hosted by NAWBO Iowa Member Michele Bjorkgren

  • February 7 from noon - 1 p.m. at Compass Financial


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Member News from NAWBO Iowa - JAN 5 2017

  • Calendar of Events
  • Message from Membership Team
Read Member News from NAWBO Iowa - JAN 5 2017