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Empowering Women in Business – Bank of America Supports NAWBO’s Women Business Owner Conference for the 11th Year

This fall, Bank of America was once again proud to support the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as the presenting sponsor for its annual Women’s Business Conference for the 11th consecutive year. In celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month, entrepreneurs, experts and industry leaders gathered from October 15 to October 17 in Austin, Texas for an impactful experience focused on connectivity, inspiration, learning and resources for women business owners at all levels.

NAWBO’s mission is to uplift women business owners and advocate for change in both business culture and public policy. NAWBO has sought to address the many challenges that women business owners face, even assisting in the passage of The Women’s Business Ownership Act (HR 5050) in 1988 to eliminate barriers to entry for business ownership. Thanks to the efforts led by organizations like NAWBO to create a better environment for women in business, there are now more than 12 million thriving women-owned businesses in the U.S. as of 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This year’s conference featured a variety of notable attendees and speakers, including a keynote presentation from Dr. Martha Beck, New York Times bestselling author and writer for O, The Oprah Magazine, along with other leaders in industries ranging from sports media to food and beverage. Attendees also took part in educational workshops, networking socials, breakout sessions and motivational panels aimed to empower women on their entrepreneurial journey.

Man talking into microphone

With the theme of “Power Your Dream,” day one of the conference went off with a bang, headlined by a leadership reception hosted by David Bader, Austin President, and Jill Calabrese Bain, Managing Director, Small Business.

Lady speaking on stage

To kick off the second day of the conference, Calabrese Bain delivered opening remarks to attendees, highlighting the importance of women business owners’ contributions to the economy, as well as the bank’s commitment to supporting the growth of women business owners. In her remarks, Calabrese Bain encouraged women business owners and leaders to work together to build a better and stronger future for the next generation of women entrepreneurs.

Two ladies smiling speaking on a panel

Later that day, Sharon Miller, President of Small Business, shared the stage with small business client Mei Xu for the “Make Every Move Matter” panel. Xu discussed her journey that has led to her becoming the successful founder and CEO of notable businesses, including Pacific Trade International, Chesapeake Bay Candle and Concord Fragrances. Xu highlighted her challenges, struggles and successes as a first-generation Asian American and Pacific Islander businesswoman, chronicling her journey to becoming a successful multi-million-dollar business owner.

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The third and final day of the conference wrapped up with NAWBO’s Annual National Awards Gala, presented by Bank of America, awarding the Susan Hagar Legacy Award, the Gillian Rudd Business Leadership Award and the Woman Business Owner of the Year Award. The awards recognize businesswomen who are committed to the empowerment of women worldwide. Congratulations are in order to the three winners of the 2023 awards: Ana Fernandez Parmet, Carnela Renee Hill and Rebecca Geller, respectively.

Group of ladies posing for a photo

Bank of America also hosted a variety of interactive resources for women business owners to utilize throughout the conference, including the Bank of America Lounge, where bankers and clients connected to discuss their business’ financial goals, and a NextGen partnership session to empower the next generation of business owners, which featured Bank of America client, Chica Beauty.

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At Bank of America, we know that women entrepreneurs play a vital role in the economy, their communities and the world at large. That’s why we were proud to support yet another successful Women’s Business Conference and show our support year-round for women entrepreneurs. Bank of America leaders who had the opportunity to address the business owners in attendance include Beth Hoving, East Division Business Support Executive for Small Business; Angela Antonio, Small Business Region Executive for Los Angeles; Melissa Phan, National Client Outreach & Integration Manager; Roxana Borges, East Performance Executive for Small Business; Jennifer Dooling, Greater Texas Market Executive for Business Banking; Nikki Diaz-Loachamin, East Division Small Business Production Manager and Katherine Lockhart, SBA East Division Market Executive.

Whether you’ve been in business for decades or are just starting out, Bank of America is committed to helping provide you with the resources necessary to build, sustain and grow your business.

To learn more about how we support women business owners, please visit


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