New Executive Director Marks Milestone for NAWBO Chicago

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The Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners has named Wendy Bensley Jaehn as executive director. NAWBO Chicago is the Midwest’s premiere group devoted to advancing the economic, social and political interests of women-owned firms.

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Wendy and NAWBO Chicago are coming together at this critical juncture to continue NAWBO's legendary reputation of moving the needle forward for women business owners.

The Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners has named Wendy Bensley Jaehn as executive director. NAWBO Chicago is the Midwest’s premiere group devoted to advancing the economic, social and political interests of women-owned firms. The appointment marks NAWBO Chicago’s first full-time executive-level position and was inspired by the organization’s growing influence within the greater Chicago business community, which includes more than 300,000 women business owners.

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Jaehn has lived in Chicago for the past 15 years. “I was impressed with the board members during the interview process,” commented Jaehn. “There’s a lot of potential to take NAWBO to the next level by expanding our membership, advocacy, education and programming.”

Following a comprehensive search of well over 100 candidates that lasted nearly six months, NAWBO chose Jaehn for her impeccable background in turning not-for-profit initiatives into action. Through a regional membership plan, Jaehn will carry forth NAWBO’s vision to expand member engagement throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Jaehn will also focus on short and long-term strategic planning, increasing partnerships with organizations that support women business leaders, and greater sustainability through innovative programming that creates collaborative forums for women business owners.

Accomplishment runs swiftly through Jaehn’s personal and business track record – literally. She is a nine-time marathon runner, including three stints in the Boston Marathon. On the business side, she served as vice president, Midwest energy efficiency line of business leader for ICF International, a publicly held technology, policy and management consultancy. There, Jaehn bolstered revenue and expanded reach. Prior to that, she served as executive director of the 8,000-member Chicago Area Runners Association where she re-engaged members and increased sponsorships. One of her signature achievements was growing the Road Scholars program, which benefits at-risk youth, by 300 percent. Jaehn earned a master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

“Wendy and NAWBO Chicago are coming together at this critical juncture to continue NAWBO's legendary reputation of moving the needle forward for women business owners,” said NAWBO Chicago President Michele Katz, founder of Advitam IP, an intellectual property law firm.

NAWBO Chicago consists of Chicago-area women who lead highly competitive and profitable businesses. Members are thought leaders who practice servant leadership and long-term relationship building that empower members to grow businesses confidently. NAWBO Chicago is headquartered at 500 Davis St., Suite 812, Evanston, IL 60201; info(at)nawbochicago(dot)org

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