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Personality: Lee Brazzell

Spotlight on local president of the National Association of Women Business Owners

3/11/2016, 11:23 a.m.
Lee Brazzell is on the front lines promoting the interests of women business owners as president of the Richmond/Southeast Virginia ...

Lee Brazzell is on the front lines promoting the interests of women business owners as president of the Richmond/Southeast Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She was elected to the post in 2015 and is committed to serving two more years.

Since 1982, NAWBO Richmond has “provided a strong voice and vision for a dynamic group of women business owners and corporate partners in Central Virginia,” Mrs. Brazzell proudly says.

The Richmond chapter has about 100 members and now could gain up to 100 more after adding Southeast Virginia women business owners to its membership during the past month. The chapter is one of two in Virginia. Nationally, the organization has more than 7,000 members in nearly 70 chapters in the United States and 35 other countries. Based in McLean, NAWBO is the only dues-based national organization that “represents the interests of all women entrepreneurs that own and operate businesses in a variety of areas,” Mrs. Brazzell says.

The organization was founded in 1975, Mrs. Brazzell says, when a group of women in Washington organized to fight a law barring women from getting loans or credit cards without a male co-signer. In 1988, Congress repealed the law. NAWBO is described on its website as “a one-stop resource to propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.”

According to national estimates, about 9 million women own businesses, with 2.9 million of those owned by minority women.

Mrs. Brazzell and the Richmond/Southeast Virginia NAWBO chapter will celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional local women entrepreneurs and community leaders at their 18th Annual Women of Excellence Awards Dinner.

Christie Garton, founder and CEO of Washington-based UChic will deliver the keynote address at the event 6 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump.

Lisa Schaffner, director of public relations and marketing at Richmond-based UNOS, will serve as emcee. Four women are to be honored as Entrepreneur of the Year, Rising Star, Community Leader and Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Proceeds will benefit the Richmond NAWBO Foundation, which supports the educational programs of the local NAWBO chapter.

For more information: www.nawborichmond.org.

In her professional capacity, Mrs. Brazzell is CEO of Richmond-based Transformation Consultants LLC, a diversified organizational development and research consulting firm.

This week’s Personality, Lee Brazzell, is all about business:

Date and place of birth: March 6 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degree, University of Georgia; graduate studies, Mississippi State University and Central Michigan University.

Family: Husband, Louis Brazzell; son, Austin.

Other top volunteer positions: Chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Portsmouth Division; Chair of the Chesterfield County Multicultural Advisory Commission.

The goal of NAWBO is: To fully represent the diverse makeup of female business owners through increased representation within ethnic and minority communities, while expanding access to leadership opportunities. NAWBO’s strength comes from its diversity.

Its mission: Strengthening the wealth-creating capacity of our members and promoting economic development; creating innovative and effective changes in the business culture; building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and transforming public policy and influencing opinion.