|Meet the KC-CWBO Executive Director, Nancy Zurbuchen |
Like most women business owners, Nancy is no stranger to wearing multiple hats in the course of any given day. A business owner herself for over 25 years, Nancy also serves as the Executive Director for KC-CWBO. She is totally dedicated to the goals of the organization, providing strategy, insight, and a collaborative mindset. In addition, input from each member is eagerly sought, as are possible solutions to each member's needs and interests.
The following is an overview of the many activities in which Nancy Zurbuchen has engaged to help, promote, educate, and mentor women business owners, on both a local, state and national level. In addition, Nancy recently earned a Masters in Communications degree from Kansas University. Not surprisingly, her Master's thesis research was on the subject of women business owners. Click here for a pdf copy of her thesis.
Selected Articles Authored by Nancy Zurbuchen
"What You Don't Know Won't Hurt You . . . Until It's Too Late" (about Obamacare)Awards and Recognition - State and Local
"Clear the Decks: Government can best help entrepreneurs by knocking down barriers to growth"
"The Feud: Are political stances rooted in core beliefs or knee-jerk reactions?"
"The False Battle Cry"
"Can Entrepreneurism Be Taught?"
"The Case for Women Business Owners"
"Communication is Good Business"
"Corporate Social Responsibility"
"Get Hooked on Business Advocacy"
"Change Labor Laws"
"Regulatory Fairness Board Cuts Through Red Tape"
Appointed to the Missouri Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board
Appointed by Governor Blunt. This Board is charged with the task of ensuring that Missouri state agency rules and regulations do not create an unfair burden on small business.
Selected as one of 12 "KU Women of Distinction" by Kansas University
Recognized by the Kansas City Magazine as one of the "51 Power Mavens," influential women who have "shaped and inspired Kansas City"
Appointed to Chair the Kansas City Fairness in City Contracts Board
2003 to 2009
The Mayor of Kansas City has appointed Nancy to chair the Fairness in City Contracts Board, a new city board created in 2003 to facilitate the city's utilization of women and minority-owned firms in awarding contracts for goods and services. Nancy spearheaded the effort to create the new board, bringing together a task force of representatives from all minority and women-oriented business organizations in the area.
U.S. Small Business Administration "Women in Business Advocate of the Year" Award, Kansas City area and Region VII
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) chose Nancy Zurbuchen as their "2003 Women in Business Advocate of the Year" for the Kansas City area and the 4-state Region VII (Missouri, Kansas Iowa and Nebraska). Nominated by Ms. Sandy Licata Bartow, Director of the Kansas Women's Business Center and the 2002 "Women in Business National Advocate," Nancy was selected for the high SBA honor based on her leadership in the business community and her continued advocacy for women in business. Nancy encourages women business owners to form alliances and build relationships with each other to create more business opportunities.
Appointed to serve on the Kansas City Fairness in Construction Board
2002 - Present
Nancy has been appointed by Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes to serve as an alternate on the Fairness in Construction Board, which oversees the minority and women's participation in construction projects undertaken by the city.
Governing Body, Athena Powerlink Program
2002 to Present
The Athena Powerlink program helps women-owned businesses expand profitably by matching them with professional advisory boards. It is a popular, competitive program that has gained recognition for making a difference in the business success of its recipients.
"Women Who Mean Business" Award Recipient
Nancy was honored as a recipient of the "Women Who Mean Business Award" in 2001. The award is sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and The Kansas City Business Journal. It is presented to noted area women in business "who have made significant contributions to their business or industry, have shown commitment to their community, and strive to better the business climate for other women."
Co-founder and Director of the Kansas City Council of Women Business Owners
KC-CWBO is a non-profit organization focused on improving the business climate in Kansas City for all women business owners. The membership is specifically for women who own and run the larger businesses in the area. The organization's activities focus on making changes to the system, such as public policy initiatives, improvements in certification and procurement, and getting women better represented on paid corporate boards. Nancy has volunteered literally hundreds of hours to found the Kansas City Council of Women Business Owners (KC-CWBO), and she currently serves as its Executive Director.
Small business outreach program for the State of KS
2001 - 2005
Nancy was the Chair of the outreach committee of the KWBC. As such, her role is to help devise a plan for disseminating support for small business to the underserved areas of Kansas (which is most of the state). The strategy is to first connect with organizations that already provide other services in those areas (for example, university satellite schools and agriculture extension offices), piggyback on their infrastructure for communication, and augment their service offerings. Nancy is also involved in writing the grant that will provide funding from the Kauffman Foundation.
Creation of the Women's Entrepreneurial Braintrust
2002 - 2004
Nancy is currently serving on the core planning team that is creating this initiative from the Kauffman Foundation. The goal is to "develop a shared understanding of the priorities that will serve to accelerate women's entrepreneurship in the Kansas City area."
Chair of the Policy and Infrastructure Task Force
Nancy has been working to raise the level of awareness by women in business of the importance that public policy advocacy has on the way they do business, and on their company's "bottom line." She was Chair of the Task Force on policy affecting women business owners at the Kauffman Foundation.
Frequent Panelist and Speaker
Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge, Women in Public Policy Forum, 2007;
Women's Small Business Summit, organized by the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee under the leadership of Senator Kit Bond and held in Kansas City and in Saint Louis, MO, 2001;
Women's Entrepreneurship Legislative Conference, organized by Rep. Catherine Hanaway, held in Jefferson City, MO, 2001
Founding Board member of the Kansas Women's Business Center
2000 - 2005
Nancy has provided direction and strategy for moving this very successful endeavor forward since its beginning. The KWBC has exceeded all projections for number of clients served through counseling, training, mentoring, and networking while also securing a solid financial base for the organization.
Lobbying for women business owners' interests on policy isues, Jefferson City, MO and Topeka, KS
Currently working with the State of KS to create a program for tracking and higher utilizaton of women and minority-owned firms, as well as all small businesses, as vendors to the state.
Successfully lobbied the State of MO to accept third-party WBE certification: In 2001-2003, Nancy has spearheaded the effort to convince the OEO at the State of Missouri to accept the WBE certification provided by the National Womens Business Corporation (NWBOC), in addition to the state's own certification program. Nancy was able to enlist key individuals in other areas of the State, and her dogged persistence has paid off. This is an important victory for women business owners because it results in a reduction in the number of different certifications required, and shortens the length of the process. Perhaps more importantly, it will also ensure that private business records and information, much of which must be revealed as part of the certification process, remains private. Nancy hopes that accepting third-party certification will be the beginning of a larger trend for government agencies; this is the first known agreement between a state and a national third party for WBE certification.
Board Member and Chapter President, Kansas City Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
Leadership and collaborative skills were honed when Nancy served as President of the local chapter of NAWBO ten years ago. The entire membership was comprised of other business owners who were also used to being "chief." The result was a successful year in which membership increased, participation at the national level was instigated for the first time, and most board members wanted to serve on the board for another year. Then, as the chapter's first "Association Liaison," Nancy recognized the need for the local chapter to interact with other business and women's groups, and worked to make that a reality. She was a dynamic Board member for many years, and remains active today.
Recognized local leader for women in business issuesNational Level
Because of Nancy's extensive activism, understanding, and personal experience (she has been a business owner herself for 24 years), she has become known as a knowledgeable authority on issues affecting women in business. She has been featured in print articles, interviewed on radio talk shows, or appeared on camera for: The Kansas City Star; Kansas City Business Journal; Northland Business Ledger; Kansas City Small Business Monthly; Kansas City Business Magazine, Flourish! Magazine, Radio Stations Mix 93 and KPHN; and television station KMBC TV, Channel 9.
National Women Business Owners Corporation, (NWBOC)
Serving as a site visitor since 1999, and currently serving on the Board of Directors.
Recipient of the NAWBO "National Bridge Builder Award"
This is one of National Association of Women Business Owner's top leadership awards. Called the BRIDGE BUILDER, it is given to the person who "clearly builds alliances and forms coalitions; and is involved in community outreach and is adept at pulling groups together. It is often a mystery how she has the energy to do everything she does. This person frequently helps resolve conflict. She perceives links for potential partnerships and pursues them. The Bridge Builder creates energy."
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
Recognizing the importance of women business owners need to become more politically aware and active, Nancy is a Founding Member of WIPP. She has served on the National Advisory Board of Directors, been a Coalition Partner, and been the Missouri WIPP Leader.
National Board of Directors Member, NAWBO
On the national level, Nancy has served in many capacities in the National Association of Women Business Owners, including being the Midwest Regional Director on the national board. She passionately worked with chapter presidents and boards, mentoring them in leadership and conflict resolution skills. She lobbied on Capitol Hill for NAWBO's issues; served on the nominating and election committees, and participated in strategic planning for the organization. One of her most visible accomplishments was in bringing another organization into the NAWBO fold, the Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs. The challenge was to build and sustain enough buy-in and momentum within WWE so that all parties could reach consensus. The seven chapters of WWE became NAWBO chapters in 2001.
Attended and participated in national conventions, conferences, and summits: Business Women's Network "Women and Diversity Leadership Summit," 2001; NAWBO National Conference, 1990-2002; NAWBO Public Policy Days, 1998-2000; WIPP National Conference, 2001-2004; National Women's Small Business Summit, Sen. Bond, 2000-2003