About Us

ABOUT US

Women have always worked, whether it was in the home or in the business sector.  During the height of WWII, women were not only encouraged to enter the workforce, they were deluged with propaganda to join the workforce because it was their patriotic duty. When the war was over, many women lost their jobs, and were reminded that their first responsibility was to their home and their family.

On September 22, 1949, Shirley Cupp, Irma Beisel, Frances Stuckey and Mr. Hilary Bufton Jr.  met in a coffee shop in downtown Kansas City to incorporate the American Business Women’s Association at a time when it was considered socially unacceptable for women to pursue a full-time career, have a girls night out or even join an association.

A statement made by Mr. Bufton in the early 50s summarizes ABWA’s impact on societal norms: “In many ways, the first generation of ABWA members were the breaking tradition…Without even knowing it, I guess they were paving the way for today’s women.”

While women’s opportunities and pay in the business sector have evolved, there is still work to be done.  Breaking barriers for women and on behalf of women is nothing new in ABWA.   We’ve been doing so since 1949!  

 ABWA’S MISSION

The mission of the American Business Women’s Association is to bring together business women of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support and national recognition.

OPPORTUNITIES 

More than 5,000 business/networking meetings are hosted each year in hundreds of cities across the nation. Find a local ABWA community near you.  If an opportunity is not available, start a new Chapter in your city.  To get contact Angela at azuba@abwa.org .

PARTNERSHIPS AND OUTREACH

ABWA partners with other organizations to promote important dates and events that will have a positive impact on women’s lives including:

  • The American Cities Business Journal.  ACBJ hosts Biz Mentoring Monday Event in 43 different cities in the U.S..  The event attracts more than 10,000 women nationwide each year.  As an ABWA, you are eligible for a discounted registration.
  • A member of the Small Business Saturday Coalition sponsored by American Express and Women Impacting Public Policy.  Small Business Saturday promotes “shopping small.” Small Business Saturday, the first Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Starr Women’s Hall of Fame (Kansas City Based) recognizes women from the Kansas City area for their contributions to the community.
  • The American Business Women’s Foundation (ABWF) whose purpose is to educate women about issues and opportunities impacting parity in the workplace.

Executive Director, Rene’ Street

One of Rene’ Street’s favorite pieces of advice is “perfect practice makes for perfect performance,” a notion she took to heart very early in her working life and one she seeks to instill in other women who aspire to great things in their lives.

Rene’s career path began as a professional ballet dancer followed by her establishing two successful ballet schools in New York and Ohio, with some of her students advancing to professional ballet companies.

Following her first career, Rene’ returned to school earning her master’s degree in technical education. As an exercise physiologist, she taught college courses and developed strength, endurance and agility programs for both sick and well populations. One conditioning program she designed was for women who wanted to pursue careers in firefighting, a male-dominated industry.  The very first woman to be hired by the Cleveland Heights Fire Department participated in Rene’s program.

Rene’ continued her career in health care where she worked in hospital program management, administration, and marketing prior to coming to ABWA as a marketing manager. Rene’ has held leadership roles on a number of boards including the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Kansas University School of Management Board of Advisors, and Global Ties Kansas City.

René’s greatest satisfaction comes with seeing women practicing new skills and developing themselves as professionals and supporting each other to deliver their best performance.  As Executive Director, she collaborates with the Association’s leaders to ensure that membership in ABWA will help women know, grow, and show their value in business.

 

NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The National Board of Directors is a volunteer board that governs the national bylaws on behalf of the members of the American Business Women’s Association.
The National Board of Directors also serve as trustees for the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund (SBMEF).  Aside from fiduciary responsibilities, the Trustees determine the value and the eligibility criteria for each scholarship as well as the selection of the  scholarship recipients.

FELICIA JOHNSON

National President

Birmingham, Alabama

Member of the Birmingham Charter Chapter

CHARLOTTE OSBORNE

National Vice President

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Member of the Tu’Ya Chapter

CHERYL P. SCOTT

National Secretary – Treasurer

Olathe, Kansas

Member of the Mo-Kan Chapter

TRINA TOLLIVER NKHAZI

Vice President District I

Atlanta, Georgia

Member of the Airport Charter Chapter

REBECCA DOLLINGER

Vice President District II

DeSoto, Texas

Member of the Outlook Positive Express Network

KATHY MCBRIDE

Vice President District III

Urbandale, Iowa

Member of the Greater Des Moines Noon Chapter

JACKIE MORGAN

Vice President District IV

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Member of the Forsythe Chapter

MARILYN LASH

Vice President District V

Clarkston, Michigan

Member of the Greater Oakland Charter Chapter

ROBIN SAWAMURA

Vice President District VI

Newark, California

Member of the Pathfinder Chapter

TOP TEN BUSINESS WOMEN

Congratulations!

To this year’s American Business Woman and Top Ten Business Women

As a leading organization for working women, the American Business Women’s Association takes recognition to a national level with the prestigious Top Ten Business Women of ABWA program. The Top Ten is the highest honor awarded to a member in ABWA. These women are applauded for their career accomplishments, community involvement, and of course, their contribution to the American Business Women’s Association.

 

American Business Woman
Latorie Walker

Owner/Chief Executive Officer of the Aspire Learning Academy, LLC
Affiliated with the Midlands Chapter
Columbia, South Carolina
Member Since: 2011

 

 

Barbara Britt

President/Business Owner of B. Britt LLC, Business Coaching/Training Seminars & Coaching/Business Consultants
Affiliated with the Emerald Coast Chapter
Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
Member Since: 2013

 

Mary Ceccanese

Business Owner/Dynamic Connections LLC
Affiliated with the Maia Chapter
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Member Since: 2013

 

 

Marilyn Coulson

Founder/Owner of Marilyn Coulson, Attorney at Law
Affiliated with the Al-Lu-We Chapter
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Member Since: 1985

 

 

Alisa Griffin

Senior Analyst employed with Enterprise Benefit Administration
Affiliated with the Maryland Capital
Crofton, Maryland
Member Since: 1992

 

 

Arnedra Jordan

Political Science Professor, West Los Angeles College Business
Affiliated with the Diamonds of Southbay Chapter
Long Beach, California
Member Since: 2011

 

 

Amy Landry

CEO/Founder of Fuel for Success Academy, LLC
Crescent City Express Network
New Orleans, LA
Member Since: 2014

 

 

Robin McCoy

Robin McCoy Realty/Keller Williams
Affiliated with the Charisma Charter Chapter
Carrolton, Texas
Member Since: 2014

 

 

Robin Sawamura

Business Owner/Founder Bush Consulting Associates
Affiliated with the Pathfinder Chapter
Fremont, California
Member Since: 2012

 

 

Beth Zans

OneSIM Administrator for Black and Veatch
Affiliated with the Mo-Kan Chapter
Lenexa, Kansas
Member Since: 2011