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 STATEMENT
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 (cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, diabetes management, health and wellness) for more than a decade prior to joining the ABWA National Team. 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, Global Ties Kansas City and on the committee of women’s organizations supporting the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame .
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.
2023-2024 NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS & SBMEF TRUSTEES
Member of the EmpowerHer Chapter
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Vice President, District III
Member of the Dynamic Connections Chapter
Blue Springs, Missouri
Vice President, District V
Member of the Women of Magnitude Express Network
Fort Wayne, Indiana
American Business Woman and TOP TEN BUSINESS WOMEN
Congratulations to the 2024 American Business Woman and the Top Ten Business Women of ABWA, Class of 2024
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 annually to ten business women recognizing them for their career accomplishments, community involvement, and their contribution to the American Business Women’s Association.
2024 American business Woman and Top ten Business Woman, DIOR DAVIS
Dior Davis has earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Mass Communication through Business Management/Human Resource Management. She is also a certified business coach that supports entrepreneurs (like herself) in areas of marketing and branding.
In addition, Dior is the CEO of Truth Honey, an award-winning luxury honey brand that is known for its flavor infused profiles and elegant bottle designs. Since starting her business more than seven years ago, Dior’s brand has captured the interest of many including Forbes Magazine and the Weather Channel for being the first Urban Woman Beekeeper.
She has earned many accolades such as the Blue Ribbon Award from the Fulton County Government for helping area schools to create a blueprint on becoming an entrepreneur in a sustainable agriculture.
Dior Davis is an active member of ABWA’s Airport Charter Chapter, an award-winning Chapter located in Atlanta, Georgia. To meet Dior and learn more about the Airport Charter Chapter’s membership, meetings and events, CLICK HERE.
top ten business Woman, doris harrison
Doris Harrison has earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is employed as a National Board Certified License Professional Counselor and Therapist. She is also the founder and owner of Angels for Autism and Angel Mental Health Counseling Services LLC. Doris serves as a deacon in her church and in her spare time, she loves to travel, enjoys shopping and finds solitude in long nature walks.
Doris Harrison is an active member of the Columbia Triad Chapter, an award-winning Chapter located in Columbia, South Carolina. You can meet Doris and all of the members of the Columbia Triad Chapter by attending an upcoming meeting or event. For more information about membership, meetings and events, CLICK HERE.
top ten business Woman, phylLis deitz
Phyllis Deitz is the founder, owner and CEO of Deitz Consulting, a small firm that provides bookkeeping and consulting services. She is also the CFO of Fidelis Creative Agency and the CFO of United Roofing & Sheetmetal Inc. Her consulting business has been recognized for being one of the top ten fastest growing businesses in her area of Texas. Phyllis, she attributes her tenacity in managing multiple businesses to her parents who are also small business owners.
Phyllis donates her time and talent by providing bookkeeping and consulting services to several community-based organizations including the Down Syndrome of the Brazos County and the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley.
Her goal is to inspire women to be the masters of their own fate, and to know they are never alone because of wonderful organizations like the American Business Women’s Association.
Phyllis Deitz is an active member of the Leading Women Express Network (LWEN), and award-winning group located in Bryan, Texas. To learn more about membership, meetings and events hosted by LWEN, CLICK HERE.
top ten business Woman, shannon haas
Shannon Haas graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in legal studies from the Florida Gulf Coast University, and is currently employed as a Senior Trust and Estates Paralegal for the Florida law firm of Dentons, Cohen & Grigsby. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the SWFL Paralegal Association.
To increase efficiency and reduce costs for both the client and the firm, Shannon recently implemented a Lunch and Learn training program that focuses on a wide range of areas from best practices from client interaction to estate planning.
Shannon Haas is an active member of the Imperial River Chapter, an award-winning Chapter located in Fort Meyers, Florida. To learn more about membership, meetings and events hosted by the Imperial River Chapter, CLICK HERE.
TOP TEN BUSINESS WOMAN, SONYA SIMS
Sonya Sims has earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Education from South Carolina State University. She is currently employed as a Secondary Level Special Educator. She is committed to lifelong learning because “it’s been important to me to demonstrate knowledge and successful execution of learning strategies…”
Sonya is engaged with several community based organizations such as the Samaritan House of Orangeburg County, Edisto Habitat for Humanity, and Orangeburg Chapter of the Links, Incorporated.
Sonya Sims is also an active member of the award-winning EmpowerHer Chapter located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. CLICK HERE to learn more about membership, meetings and events hosted by the Chapter.
TOP TEN BUSINESS WOMAN, Stephanie Seberg
Stephanie Seberg is a graduate of Barnard College and is employed as a Critical Systems Support Manager with a company we all know and appreciate, FedEx Ground for the Southern Region. With her team, she developed an on-demand training program for employees to help them understand and master Critical System Support (CSS) processes that are vital to the success of daily operations.
Stephanie Seberg is an active member of the Coral Springs Charter Chapter, an award winning Chapter located in Coral Springs, Florida. To learn more about membership, meetings and events hosted by the Coral Springs Charter Chapter, CLICK HERE.
tOP TEN BUSINESS WOMAN, SHIRLEY NEW
Shirley New has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration. Shirley has been an accountant for over 50 years, first as an employee then as founder, owner and CEO of New Accounting. Her firm provides tax, payroll, accounting, and notary services to over 800 clients in the area.
Shirley is also committed to life long learning too and is a dedicated volunteer for the Madison Township Alumni Association, serving on the Education Committee. Her role on this committee is to define the eligibility criteria for the Association’s scholarships, and to review qualified applicants.
Shirley New is an active member of the Raintree Chapter, an award-winning Chapter located in New Castle, Indiana. For more information about membership, meetings and events hosted by the Raintree Chapter, CLICK HERE.
Top Ten Business Woman, Kristina Perez
Majoring in Educational Psychology, Kristina Perez has earned a Master’s of Education degree from Texas A & M University. Kristina is currently employed as the Director of Development for Houston Community College Foundation where she is responsible for cultivating major gifts for two esteemed colleges, Coleman College of Health Science and Southwest College, Digital and Information Technology.
Kristina is an active volunteer in her community; serving on the board for several organizations including Reach Unlimited, Inc., a provider of programs and services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Kristina Perez has also served on the Executive Board for ABWA’s Cy-Fair Express Network, an award-winning network located in Cypress, Texas. Meet Kristina and all of the members of the Cy-Fair Express Network. For more information about membership, meetings and/or events, CLICK HERE.
Top Ten Business Woman, Lori Stoltzfus
Lori Stoltzfus is the founder/CEO of her own business, The Rug Beater Cleaning Enterprises, Inc. Her company specializes in floor and furniture cleaning, and emergency restoration. As with most small business owners, she’s done it all; marketing, sales, human resources and operations management.
In addition to earning several industry specific certifications, Lori has successfully completed hundreds of hours of leadership training offered through reputable training organizations like Zig Ziglar.
She has served as a volunteer in several community organizations such as the Northern Chamber Women of Business and the Lancaster County Women for Good, and is a contributing member of ABWA’s Lancaster Area Express Network located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Meet Lori and all of the members affiliated with the Lancaster Area Express Network (LAEN). For more information about LAEN’s membership, meetings or events, CLICK HERE.
Top Ten Business Woman, Nancy Griffin
Nancy Griffin earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Kansas, and twenty-four years later, graduated with honors with an Executive MBA from Benedictine College. She is the founder, owner and CEO of Nancy’s Necessities, a boutique on-line company that offers in-home wine tastings, a job she loves! During the pandemic, Nancy continued to develop her clientele by finding ways to connect like creating a wine club and offering virtual wine-tastings.
Nancy is an active member of the American Business Women’s Association serving in leadership positions in her Chapter and as the ABWA National President during the 2014-2015 term. She is also an advocate of lifelong learning and as such, established an Endowment Fund for the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund that provides thousands of dollars in scholarships every year.
Nancy Griffin is affiliated with the award-winning Ad Astra Chapter, located in Topeka, Kansas. Meet Nancy and all of the members affiliated with the Ad Astra Chapter by attending an upcoming meeting or event. To learn more about membership in Ad Astra Chapter, CLICK HERE.