Page 38 - BusinessWest December 7, 2020
P. 38

   The WBOA team with
a mural commissioned from member and artist Mary Kearney.
Women in Business
Knowledge Is Power Women Business Owners Alliance Helps
Members Grow Through Education
WBy Joseph Bednar
hen the Women Business Owners Alliance launched in 1982, there wasn’t anything quite like it, Anita Eliason said.
“Because there were so few women busi- ness owners in the Valley, they felt a need to
get together and kind of strengthen their bond and share the experiences they were having that, maybe, were different than the experiences of men in business,” said Eliason, WBOA’s presi- dent. “They kind of broke some barriers and did it with a sense of camaraderie with other women business owners.”
These days, business groups, including those focused on women, are much more prevalent, but she thinks the WBOA is still unique — because of its diligent focus on education.
When the alliance became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit recently, “the
38 DECEMBER 7, 2020 WOMEN IN BUSINESS BusinessWest
goal was to establish ourselves as an educational organization,” she said. “Some organizations exist to bring people together to be one another’s customers, like BNI; the whole point of getting together is so I can get to your six degrees, and you can get to my six degrees, and we can all create business.
“That’s not how we operate,” she went on. “We really come together to be enlightened, to be educated, to be inspired so go out and do the business of work. It’s not so much that your sis- ter’s going to be my client, and my mother’s going to be yours. It’s mutually getting together to up our skill level.”
Members of the WBOA say the organization has proven ben- eficial on many levels, offering inspiration and knowledge from other women’s experiences in a supportive and non-competitive atmosphere. There’s a comfort level many say they haven’t found elsewhere, and it’s helping them gain the confidence and connec- tions to succeed at business and in life.
The organization’s tagline is “going the extra mile for women

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