The Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) celebrated a Summer Soirée outdoors at the Santa Barbara Club on Aug. 23.
More than 120 NAWBO board directors, members and business leaders enjoyed beverages and attractive hors d’oeuvres arranged and prepared by Santa Barbara Club special events manager Julie Steele and her crew, including Cipriano Mendoza, Tina Korisheli and Alejandra Perez. The club’s menu ranged from a taco station to paprika-infused watermelon for the event, the first time that NAWBO had convened at the historic Santa Barbara Club at Chapala and Figueroa streets.
NAWBO’s Santa Barbara chapter has more than 100 members and is the area’s fastest-growing business organization, according to board president Diana Bull. Local member Maeda Palius CPA has risen up the ranks and is now secretary of NAWBO California. In addition, Sandy Allan of Santa Barbara-based Technology & Operational Solutions (TOpS) is the administrator and IT director for the state organization.
“We have been really busy this year,” Bull said. “We are the fastest-growing chapter in California. We have monthly events — either a breakfast, lunch or social event, like this Soirée!.”
Bull will soon be passing the president’s gavel to president-elect Judy Pirkowitsch of Ameriprise.
The event gave members the chance to re-connect and toast their accomplishments throughout the year.
“This is also a great opportunity for those interested in learning about NAWBO-SB to do so in a fun, casual environment,” said Bull.
There was a youthful energy in the air as the organization selected Nebula Dance Lab and the Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy for entertainment. The Sozo Rock & Soul band provided live music; the young musicians included Joe Asuna, Selah Carr, Alanna Gonzalez, Benjamin Padillo and Alba Vargas. Getting into the “business” spirit of the evening, Carr said this was the first time the band had distributed its newly printed business cards!
A large table under the tall palms was the place to go for wine tasting from Consilience Winery, served by Shannon Tupper and Jodene Gomez. A raffle featured wine and jewelry prizes.
There was lots of talk about the national and local economy at the evening business networking event. NAWBO board member Catherine Dishion of Prospect Mortgage said the real estate market has been busy lately, home prices are stabilizing, and that her business is strong. Bull, a Realtor, concurred.
“What a difference a a year makes,” she exclaimed.
Other board members who supported the event included Ruth Ann Bowe, Melanie Doctors, Jeralyn Ehlers, , Chandra Fetter, Dawn Hampton, Joy Margolis, Teri Coffee McDuffie, Suzanne McNeely, Karen Mora, Mikki Reilly and Amber Wallace.
The Santa Barbara chapter of NAWBO is a nonprofit organization for women who own all or part of their businesses, and is dedicated to helping members interact with other women business owners to create economic strength, to grow their businesses, to create strategic alliances and to transform public policy. Regular meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of the month and feature education on timely topics that can be put to immediate use by members in their businesses and lives. NAWBO is the voice of the 10.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States and claims to be the only dues-based national organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries.