About Women Business Owners of North FL

WBO is recognized as the premier women's entrepreneurial organization in North Florida, increasing recognition of women business owners and their successes and encouraging ownership by women in business. Our Mission is to inspire women business owners to grow through networking, education, and support.

Upcoming Events

3/10 Happy Hour

3/28 Dinner Meeting

4/7 Area Roundtable

4/14 Speakers Series

WBO March 2022 Insight Newsletter

President's Message

From Bonnie Vande Velde

Women’s History Month is here!  Historically speaking it is not very old.  It has only been observed since 1987.  However, the purpose of it is to reflect on the amazing contributions of women in United States History!  Let’s have a look at a few:

Betsy Ross:  Designer and manufacturer of our first United States of America Flag, “Old Glory.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott:  Organized the first Women’s Rights Convention held in 1848.  Declaration of Sentiments was signed at the convention which led to the to the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote (if they met the stringent requirements)

Elizabeth Blackwell:  First woman to graduate from medical school and become a doctor in the USA in 1849.

Sojourner Truth:  1951 She was a slave turned abolitionist and women’s rights activist.  She delivered her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech at the Women’s Rights Convention.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton:  In 1869 they founded the National Woman Suffrage Association and coordinated the national movement in 1890.  It eventually became the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Jeannett Rankin:  In 1917 she was sworn in as the first woman elected to Congress in the House of Representatives.

Susan B. Anthony:  Had a ratification of the 19th amendment nicknamed after her, due to her extensive work on women’s suffrage in 1920.

Amelia Earhart:  In 1932 was the first woman to pilot solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean.

Rosa Parks:  Was the infamous black woman who refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white male in Montgomery Alabama.  That was the beginning of the civil rights movement!

Sandra Day O’Connor:  Was sworn in as the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and served for 24 years!

Sally Ride:  Became the first American woman in space in 1983.

There are so many amazing women throughout our history!  I encourage you to learn about them and replicate their leadership, professionalism, intestinal fortitude, and determination to succeed despite all odds.  You will be amazed at what you learn and how you can apply it to your own life both personally and professionally. 

There is one piece of women’s history that still eludes us to this day:  On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act which prohibited sex-based wage discrimination for a job whether performed by a male or female.  It has been 59 years since that law became official and we are still battling this issue!  Ladies, it is time to truly put a foot down and start claiming what we are worth!  Our own self-worth depends on it, and our legacy should not be that we let the world get by with paying us less!  Whether you are an employee or business owner.  Examine yourself intensely and figure out what you should be making for the job you are doing!  It’s 59 years overdue!

You are valuable to your family, friends, colleagues, employees, and younger women who are watching you and modeling their careers after you.  Teach them all to value you in whatever form that may be.  But don’t bend on your pay or your revenue generation, your life and legacy depend on it!


    March Dinner Meeting

    Monday, March 28, 2022

    Dinner Program

    Topic:  Social Media Tips and Best Practices for 2022

    Mark Your Calendars!

    5:30 - 6:00 pm Networking  

    6:00 - 8:00 pm Dinner and Program

    WBO Members - $35
    WBO Guests - $40
    Visitors - $45

    Maggiano's Little Italy (Town Center) 

    10367 Midtown Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32246

    The dinner registration deadline is Wednesday, March 23rd


    Ceasar Salad

    Protein (Chicken Parmesan served with Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce)


    Vegetarian (Fettuccini Alfredo)

    Dessert (Chef's Choice)

    Rolls & Butter

    Water/Tea/Coffee Included

    Individually plated meals  *  Cash Bar until 7:15 pm *  No special orders

    Don't forget to bring your Door Prize!

    Keynote Speaker

    Rita Richa

    Jacksonville native Rita Richa is a renowned podcast host and producer who helps leaders (just like you!) achieve new levels of branding success. As a producer with Sweet Fish Media and host of the podcase, Bippity Boppity Business, Rita has an extensive background with the intricacies of B2B podcast development, content-based networking, and brand strength capitalization. She has worked with countless international B2B brands to help build, launch, and execute the production of their podcasts and has mastered the art of content-based networking, which enables her clients to transform leads into sales as well as make meaningful connections.

    Rita will share with us how to get the most out of LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Podcasting.

    Spotlight Speaker

    Elizabeth G. Bagan, APRN

    Precision Medicine & Wellness

    Area Roundtable Meetings

    Mark Your Calendars for the First Thursday of the Month!

    Thursday, April 7, 2022

    11:45 am - 1:00 pm

    TOPIC:  Changing Times & Changing Directions

    Seasons 52

    5092 Big Island Drive

    Jacksonville, FL 32246


    (includes lunch and non-alcoholic beverage)

    Join us as a WBO Panel discusses how they have and are changing their business structures. Discussion includes adding partners, talent, retiring, adding services, breaking away from partners. We have a panel of 4 that will share their process for change. Q&A to follow. You will not want to miss out on the new venue and this wonderful WBO panel willing to share their knowledge. 

    Bring Business Cards!

    Deadline to Register

    Sunday, April 3rd by 12Noon. Must pay online.

    (Distanced and Masks Encouraged)



    Happy Hours

    Mark Your Calendars for the Second Thursday of the Month!

    Thursday, March 10, 2022

    5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

    Bonefish Grill

    10950 San Jose Blvd.

    Jacksonville, FL 32223

    WBO Happy Hours are every second Thursday, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at different areas of Jacksonville every month!

    Our next WBO Happy Hour will be on Thursday, March 10th at the Bonefish Grill Restaurant. The agenda is simple - MAKE CONNECTIONS and get to know one another. There is no cost to register. 



    Speakers Series

    Spring Speakers Series 2022


    Welcome New Members!

    Toni Chrabot

    Risk Confidence Group

    Pam Gerrish Nelson

    Edward Jones

    Technology Tip

    Strategic Partnerships

    The Florida Small Business Development Center at UNF

    is now Hosting Pop-up Shops!

    To meet entrepreneurs out in the small business community, we are now offering pop up shops with our business consultants throughout North Florida! Think of it as an on-site, in-person help desk with one or more of our expert business advisors available to your customers, clients, members and guests to get their small business questions answered immediately.

    No appointment or registrations required! Just show up and speak with our staff at various sites around the region.

    CLICK HERE for flyer and more details on pop-up shops. To find a pop-up shop near you, visit the SBDC website.


    Time to Review our By-Laws

    It’s time to review our By-Laws! 

    If you are interested in policies and procedures and would like to be in on the action, email Laurie Lee at governancechair@wbonfl.org

    We will have a maximum of four meetings over the next 8 weeks to review and improve our By-laws.  

    Worth Mentioning

    Congratulations Elizabeth Bagan!

    Kilwins is in the News!

    CLICK HERE to read article

    Job Opening

    The Legal Department is hiring! We are looking for an experienced business attorney to join our team.  Our firm does not practice litigation. This position can be structured as in-office or remote. It can be designed as part-time or full-time depending on the applicant.  Applicants must be licensed by the Florida Bar and have at least three years experience drafting and reviewing business-related legal contracts and documents.  Experience with mergers and acquisitions is preferred. We value a balanced life-style so our office is closed on Fridays.  If interested, send inquiry to admin@thelegaldepartment.law for more information.

    Distinguished Member Award

    Did you know WBO honors one of our very own members for “The Distinguished Member Award” each spring?  Vicky Zelen was our 2021 Recipient of Distinguished Member Award.

    Submission will be requested in the near future and with so many new members we want to make sure you have the opportunity to suggest a nominee. 

    Since 1992, WBO has recognized a member with this prestigious award. The objective is to show our appreciation to a member (not a board member of that year) who’s gone above and beyond by providing an exemplary example of membership involvement by giving time, talent or treasure to support WBO events, and by helping further the mission of WBO both internally and externally.

    Volunteer Photographer Needed

    Do you like taking photos?

    WBO is in need of someone to take photos at our dinner meetings. 

    All you need is a good camera or an iPhone 11 version or newer.

    Please contact admin@wbonfl.org

    Member Birthdays

    Happy Birthday to You!

    3/3    Crystal Griffin

             Janice Donaldson

    3/14  Suzanne Lemen

    3/15  Janet Herrick

             Ellen Dyal

             Dr. Cat Baker

    3/18  Lesley McCormick

    3/21  Melissa Dietz

    3/22  Nancy Boyle

             Francine Smith

    3/23  Eunice Mathis

    3/29  Mari Ibañez

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    P.O. Box 16372, Jacksonville, FL 32245 | Phone: 904.701.2564