May 2017  

President's Report

Welcome to May, ladies! Much change is in the air. Children/ grandchildren are graduating in our families, flowers are beginning to bloom and our NAWBO membership is growing. What a wonderful time of year, with great promise of things to come.

In April we did so many things! A shout out to our seasoned members Pat Drake, Barb Senn, Pat Hagenbuch and DonnaJeanne Rodine who met with some of our new members this month. They answered questions, offered mentoring support and just had a fun time together! Thank you, ladies. It is so important for our organization to have a varied membership to provide ALL these opportunities with each other. This is exactly what we are all about - sharing, supporting and encouraging each other in business no matter what you do or how long you have been at it. We each have something to give and we each have something we can learn.

Looking ahead, our monthly meeting will teach us about the Changing Face of Business. We all know the only thing that is constant IS change (oh, and taxes, but let’s not talk about that right now-lol). Change can be uncomfortable so let’s find out the best way to deal with it. Can’t wait to chat and learn together.

Also, on May 3rd at Blue Margarita we heard about leadership! In our Information and Libation series we had Liz Pollack to give us some pointers and answer questions. These gatherings are open to ANYONE and we will keep you posted on upcoming events.

The biggest change coming is our new board!! Much work has gone into giving you a fabulous group who is willing to serve you and NAWBO. Thank you to Susie, who is Nominating Chair, for all your hard work.

I give a deep and sincere thank you for letting me serve as your president. What a complete and amazing honor it was to have this chapter, with it’s rich history and accomplished members, let me lead us. We have accomplished so much this year from additional Information and Libation meetings to a Mayoral Proclamation for bringing Dream, Girl to our community. We should be proud of our growth, engagement and community reach out this year. Thank you again and I look forward to supporting our president-elect and all of you moving forward with our new board in July.

Thank you again,


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Calendar of Events

May 17, 2017 The Changing Face of Business

Image result for business change photos

SPEAKER: Becky Wood, Managment and Leadership, Bradley University

BIOGRAPHY:  Becky Wood joined the Management and Leadership Department at Bradley University in 2015.  She received her MBA degree in Business from Bradley University and attended Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana where she studied Business. As a proud graduate of Bradley University, Becky is passionate about continuing Bradley’s commitment to excellence in teaching our future leaders. Becky specializes in building interpersonal effectiveness in organizations and helping leaders develop the skills to manage for results. Becky believes that the students are our future, and is committed to making every day an opportunity to contribute to society by engaging as an efficient and interesting instructor. Her goal is to offer “tools” that every student can add to their toolbox and use not only today, but in their career. She values the uniqueness of her students and strives to bring her real-world corporate experiences into the classroom.

MEETINGS: Our meetings are open to members and guests. Social/networking time begins at 5:30 pm and dinner begins at 6:00 pm with the program following. The Central IL Chapter of NAWBO® meets the 3rd Wednesday each month.

COST: $30 for members and $35 for non-members. 

REGISTRATION:  You may pay at the time of registration or at the door. Registration fee must be paid by the meeting date or a $5 monthly administration fee will be assessed.

LOCATION:  Mt. Hawley Country Club

For more information, please contact  or call 309.692-2225 and leave a message.

June 21, 2017 The Magic of Change

What an exciting change-over event we have planned for you!  Mitch Williams, internationally renowed magician, will be presenting our program.  For over 25 years, he's wowed audiences from Beverly Hills to New York City, from Europe to Japan, and beyond. Mitch's magic entertainment and speaking programs will leave a lasting impression on you.  Come and be entertained as you enjoy the magic that will be in the air.  New officers will be installed and our President, Michelle Rouland, will turn the reins of our chapter over to Liz Pollack. 

MEETINGS: Our meetings are open to members and guests. Social/networking time begins at 5:30 pm and dinner begins at 6:00 pm with the program following. The Central IL Chapter of NAWBO® meets the 3rd Wednesday each month.

COST: $30 for members and $35 for non-members. 

REGISTRATION:  You may pay at the time of registration or at the door. Registration fee must be paid by the meeting date or a $5 monthly administration fee will be assessed.

LOCATION:  Mt. Hawley Country Club

For more information, please contact  or call 309.692-2225 and leave a message.


Pathways to Success - "The Courage to Lead"

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, East Peoria, Illinois

This conference will give you the courage to lead in all aspects of your life. It is filled with courageous and inspiring women from diverse backgrounds.

"If there is one conference to attend this year, it is Pathways to Success," says business owner Pat Drake.  "The caliber of speakers, networking opportunities and inspirational women is something you won't find anywhere else!"

Keynote Speaker:

Iron Jen, aka Jen McDonough
Author, Motivational Storyteller, Olympian, Firefighter, Ironman Triathlete, & more!

Courageous women leaders are in high demand and short supply.  As history has shown, women who have the guts to step forward, take some risks, and lead with courage during times of turnoil and times of prosperity will be winners.

While this sounds great on paper, in all reality, how does this work in our busy world today?

Join us in this engaging, motivating and empowering keynote where will look at the 3 tips to becoming courageous women leaders both at work and at home. 

Iron Jen is the perfect pick for our 2017 Pathways Conference.  In her roles as a motivational storyteller, engaging Amazon Top 100 author and founder of GRIT (Growing Resilient Individuals & Teams), Jen will inspire you.  She is an 8-time national weightlifter, Minnesota Hall of Fame inductee, two-time Olympic Festival medal winner, Ironman triathlete AND volunteer firefighter!

Breakout Sessions:

  • What's Your Leadership Style - Presented by Chris Laible, On Track with Chris
  • Transformation Leadership - Presdent by Dr. Leslie McKnight, McKnight and Associates
  • The Courage to Crash Through Your Control Issues - Presented by Liz Pollack, Leg Up Services


Ticket Prices: - Individual conference tickets include Keynote Speaker, Breakout Learning Sessions, Exhibits/Vendors plus Social/Networking Opportunities - $65 for NAWBO and WIL members/$75 for non-members and guests


Full conference details will follow in next issue of NAWBO Updates!



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Pathways to Success

On Thursday, September 21 Central Illinois NAWBO and Women in Leadership (WIL) of Central Illinois will host Pathways to Success: The Courage To Lead.  This synamic conference will be at the Par-a-dice Hotel. 

As in the past, we will have exhibitors and booth space is limited.  Please see the attached information sheet and, if you are interested in participating, now is the time to reserve your space!

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Member News

On Saturday, April 29, several NAWBO members met at Pat Drake's office for a new member welcome.  Attending that meeting:  Pat Hagenbuch, DonnaJeanne Rodine, Barb Senn, Pat Drake and new members Jennifer Lindsey and Chloé Rose Jackson.  Everyone enjoyed their time together and our senior members shared a lot with our new members.  We are going to continue this as we all saw the value of our meeting.  Here are Chloé Rose's comments:

Per our awesome meeting, here are some things I have to share:

"I am truly grateful to the welcoming experience with the NAWBO ladies! I gained so much knowledge in so little time and am excited that I took the step to become a member! I feel supported and encouraged to be successful already! Thanks so much and I look forward to our future together!"

P413 Dance Academy will host our first recital on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 6p-8p. Doors will open at 5:30pm. Tickets are on sale now at for $13. 

We also need financial support to aid us in putting on the show and providing uniforms to those who can't provide the cost. I have started a GoFundMe Page. You can either google GoFundMe and search P413 Dance Academy, or follow this link can donate as much as you want and there is no deadline..anything helps!

Thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to be a part of your life. You have truly been a blessing to me. Talk to you soon! 

 - Chloé Rose

P413 is a non-profit. Chloé Rose is teaching and training youth who would not have that opportunity without someone like her.  She not only teaches dance, but students are provided a meal, transportation and mentoring to ensure they meet certain scholastic levels. At the Saturday meeting, we decided we would like to put together a NAWBO group to see Chloe Rosé's event.  If you would like to go, please advise Pat Drake at 309-657-9134 or

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Liz's Observations

Lincoln on Leadership Workbook

(Concepts by Donald T. Phillips, Questions by Liz Pollack)

 1. Lincoln spent most of his time with his troops – the people who were going to get the job done. 

  • How much time do you spend with your employees?

  • How much time should your company leaders spend with their direct reports? Are they dedicated leaders or tasked with multiple responsibilities?

  • What should leaders be doing while with their employees?

2. Lincoln realized that this contact gave him the first hand knowledge he needed to make informed, accurate decisions without having to rely solely on the word of others.

  • Do you get the information second hand or straight from your direct reports?

  • Are you in the “trenches” and able to pitch in to help when your employees need extra hands or some direction?

3. Lincoln wrote a letter to General David Hunter shortly before relieving General John C. Freemont from command of the Department of the West. In the letter he explained his problem with Fremont and offered Hunter advice on how to solve the problem and avoid making the same “cardinal mistake”.   He also revealed the cornerstone of his own leadership philosophy later dubbed, “Management by Wandering Around”.

  • What is the benefit of explaining issues with another’s performance and then indicating the expectation?

  • What might the disadvantages be?

  • MBWA can facilitate innovation and provides for the teaching of an organization’s values and culture. How can leaders support innovation and company values simply by walking around?

4. President, Lincoln reportedly spent 75% of his time meeting people, refused to be a prisoner in his own office and ignored Presidential etiquette.  He preferred to meet with people casually and individually in settings where they were more relaxed and less pressured and not bound by schedules. 

  • What are the benefits for leaders to meet with people in less formal settings at work?

  • Are there any boundaries that would make this less likely to happen?

5. When Lincoln could not leave the White House he let people “wander” to him.  He was probably the most accessible chief executive the U.S. has even known.  This supports the idea that a leader should be seen as someone who wants to listen, to know what is really going on (understands the reality at hand) and is committed to making things work. 

  • What are some of the ways leaders in today’s businesses can convey this message?

  • What does knowing this about a leader do in regard to production, to innovation, to overall job satisfaction?

6. Another key element of Lincoln success was that he was amiable.  He was said to embody good temper and affability.  He afforded others a kind word, an encouraging smile and a humorous remark.

  • It is difficult to stay in a good mood at work sometimes when things are stressful and when customer needs sometimes push capacity. What can leaders do to remain friendly and to keep their senses of humor?

  • What happens if leaders are negative, surly or aloof?

7. Lincoln’s personal contact helped him show the troops that the government appreciated their efforts.  He wanted them to know how important they were in achieving victory in the cause for which they were fighting.  It was the troops who should be given the greatest credit.  He also showed great compassion and caring when he visited the wounded and attended funerals.  This display inspired trust, loyalty and admiration from the soldiers and his subordinates. 

  • What are some ways that leaders could give credit where credit is due and let employees know how valuable they are?

  • Many believe that showing compassion and caring to others would make them seem weak and ineffective. What do you believe about demonstrating these openly in the workplace?

  • How could leaders show more compassion and caring on a daily basis and not get “sucked” into possible manipulations?

8. Lincoln spent hours at the War Department’s Telegraph Office waiting on information concerning the War efforts.  This allowed Lincoln to get accurate information and make solid, quick decisions with virtually no delay and win battles where countless lives were saved.

  • Gathering and acting on current information rather relying on messengers was Lincoln’s preference. What kind of information can leaders attain directly that would help them make quick, timely and effective decisions?

  • Do you have solid advisors who can bring you important information when you are not able to receive it directly? How do you know they can be trusted or are giving you information without prejudice?

9. Lincoln was a hand’s on leader who was known to decisively take charge when appropriate, to influence, and to teach.  He was also a leader who recognized that he could learn from others as well.  He consistently acquired new skills from his followers.

  • How much time should a leader spend influencing, teaching and taking charge in a given day?

  • What have you learned from your direct reports that have helped make you a more informed and effective leader?

10. One of the most effective ways to gain acceptance of a philosophy is to show it in your daily actions. By entering your employees’ environment and by creating respectful relationships, a leader can create commitment, collaboration and improve communication. 

  • What is your leadership philosophy? Is it similar to the one described above?

  • What behaviors do you display that are consistent with your leadership philosophy?

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Image Potential Shares

The Mindful Work Day©, by Cindy Byrd, image potential

If you’re like me, some days (or maybe most days!) seem to go by in a flurry of activity, where you’re operating on auto-pilot and wondering at the end of the day where the time went and what you may have even accomplished. It’s easy to get caught up in our “to-do” lists, while neglecting down time to “just be.”  This isn’t that moment at the end of the day when you collapse into your comfy chair with your favorite libation.  It’s intentionally taking time throughout your work day to slow the pace, be in the moment, and regain the ability to focus and concentrate – all critical to overall well-being and success.

As business owners, leaders, and managers, our ability to focus and concentrate has become challenged by increased demands to deal with growing amounts of data and information, while still being expected to function in proactive vs. reactive ways in order to make sound judgments and deliver results. Add to this the responsibilities and onslaught of information experienced in other parts of life, and it’s no wonder we often feel distracted, stressed, and overwhelmed.

And when we feel this way, there are several negative outcomes. The ability to “just be” is diminished along with creativity, judgment, problem-solving skills, and even civility – we may react in negative or inappropriate ways towards others, even when we know better or don’t intend to do so.  That’s because we’re naturally wired that way - the primitive part of the brain is reactionary.  Regular mindfulness practice, however, redirects brain activity to the rational part of the brain, improving executive functioning.  Practicing mindfulness throughout your work day builds the social and emotional skills needed to reduce stress and anxiety, be fully engaged in work and life, and effectively deal with adversity vs. reacting in a knee-jerk fashion. Here are some practical tips I’ve learned from several experts to easily integrate mindfulness into your work day:

Before work:

Start your day by NOT thinking about your day; instead, spend a few minutes just “being” – focus on your breath and let any thoughts go; picture them as taxis that you let pass by and don’t get in. Do the same during your commute to work.  Also, avoid the urge to check emails or social media first thing in the morning. If possible, take time for a mindful walk before you leave for work and/or park your car so that you will naturally have a short time for a walk into the building.  Notice all the sensations around you and continue focusing on your breathing and letting go of negative thoughts.

At work:

Be focused and aware in everything you do; avoid multi-tasking! Focus on the task at hand, acknowledge and release distractions. Be mindful of your inbox (email and otherwise) – focus on priority items and be aware of those that are distractions. Take 2-3 minutes before meetings to quiet your mind; end meetings to allow everyone a 4-5 minute mindful transition before the next task.  To stay focused as the day goes on, set reminders to stop what you’re doing and take a minute or two for mindfulness practice.  There are several helpful apps to explore for this purpose, such as Headspace and Zazen.

After work:

Use 10 minutes of your commute home for mindfulness practice; no radio, no phone – let go of the day and the temptation to ruminate over what happened or start planning tomorrow’s to-do list in your head. Instead, just be!  You’ll return home already refreshed, relaxed, and able to be fully present in that part of your life, too.

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Partner News

The Neighborhood House's 3rd Annual George Jacob Gut Buster 5k and Fun Run is May 6.  Still not too late to participate.

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Public Policy Topics


Taxpayers across Illinois pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. And in a state with a widespread property tax problem, residents of Chicago’s collar counties bear an especially heavy burden. Homeowners in these areas pay the highest property taxes in the state, and among the highest in the country, according to data from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. The rankings are calculated based on median effective property tax rates. Residents in Lake and DuPage counties pay the highest and second-highest property taxes in Illinois, respectively, and the 21st- and 27th-highest in the country. McHenry, Kane and Will counties rank fourth-, fifth- and sixth-highest in the state, respectively, and all are among the country’s top 35 counties for the highest median property taxes. A median property tax bill for Lake County residents is close to $7,000, while in DuPage County, it exceeds $6,200. Residents of McHenry, Kane and Will pay nearly $6,000 on a median property tax bill.

In response, taxpayers in the collar counties have said goodbye to the area – and the state – in large numbers. More than 9,000 people left DuPage County, on net, from July 2015 to July 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, causing the county’s population to drop by more than 2,400 people. More than 5,000 people left Lake County in that same time period, on net, causing Lake’s population to shrink by nearly 400 people, and a net of more than 1,000 people left each of McHenry, Kane and Will counties between July 2015 and July 2016.

With property tax rates this high and residents fleeing the state, lawmakers representing these areas should seek to ease their constituents’ tax burden. But that hasn’t been the case. The closest thing to property tax relief Illinois lawmakers brought forward in 2016 was House Bill 696, which would have frozen property taxes, but only for non-home rule taxing districts. And that’s a significant exception: Approximately 7.8 million Illinoisans, or roughly 60 percent of all state residents, live in home rule communities. Several of HB 696’s co-sponsors represent home rule communities in the collar counties, including state Reps. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, who represents home rule municipality Glendale Heights in DuPage County; Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, whose district includes a home rule city in Will County; and Ron Sandack, a former Republican state representative who represented Downers Grove, a home rule village in DuPage County. The bill passed the House 71-31, but never made it to the Senate floor. A property tax freeze that excludes more than half the state’s population is not real reform. But a true, permanent property tax freeze for the entire state would be a positive step, especially for residents in the overtaxed collar counties. Unfortunately, so far in 2017, state senators have tinkered with only a watered-down, two-year property tax freeze, attached to multibillion-dollar tax hikes. Lawmakers should know their constituents are looking for relief, and barring that, the exits. This is true across the state, but particularly in the collar counties, where the overwhelming property tax rates are pushing families out of their homes and out of the state.

National Small Business Week, Let’s Remember Who Creates Jobs


National Small Business Week (April 30 - May 6) is an appropriate time to remind our elected officials that, as Governor Rauner fights for change in Springfield, the small-business community must be part of the conversation.

While the governor pushes for reforms such as a freeze on property taxes and improvements to the state’s workers’ compensation system, legislative leaders continue to call for higher taxes and seek to spend money that our bankrupt state simply doesn’t have.

Springfield must remember that small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. Small businesses account for 99.6 percent of all businesses in Illinois and employ nearly half of the state’s private-sector workforce, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small businesses, though, are under siege in Illinois. Property taxes are through the roof, and runaway tax-and-spend policies from Springfield have given us one of the highest overall tax burdens in the nation.

And now the legislature is seriously considering a $15 per hour minimum wage statewide. How many of our local small businesses can afford that?  Look at the swelling number of businesses failing or fleeing the large cities that have adopted government mandated wage hikes.

Despite the legislative headwinds, we’ve seen steps in the right direction.

Last year, Governor Rauner signed an executive order directing the state to cut the red tape and costly regulations burdening small businesses. He’s said that for every new regulation, three existing ones must be taken away.

The governor is also pushing for policies in Springfield to help small businesses control costs. Everyone knows brutally high property taxes hurt families—but they also hurt small business owners just as much. Small businesses also pay exorbitant workers compensation fees compared to neighboring states. Getting these costs under control is vital to stop the bleeding of businesses out of Illinois.

While Governor Rauner is sending the right message to the small business community, too many politicians are doing the exact opposite. They’re advocating for higher spending, billions in tax increases, and even more job-killing regulations. In a race to appeal to the special interests and insiders that run Springfield, they propose policies that would devastate small businesses in Illinois.

If we’re going to fix Illinois’ economy, we need to focus on ways to help small businesses expand and create jobs. That’s the only way to have rising wages and a thriving economy in the long run, and that’s why the reforms proposed by Governor Rauner are so critical to Illinois’ success.

This small business week, let’s remember who creates jobs.

Mark Grant is the Illinois state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the state’s leading small-business association.



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