EO Thrive: Creating a Strategic EO Partnership

By Fred Johnson, an EO Utah  member and president of Eagle Environmental, Inc.

Looking for more women to join your EO chapter? Here is an effective approach we used to attract more women business owners to EO Utah, and make our chapter really thrive!

Back in September, during our strategic board summit, we set a goal to increase the diversity within our chapter and, more specifically, increase the percentage of women who join our chapter. After the meeting, I looked up groups of women-owned businesses in the area. I found our local National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) chapter, called the president and membership chair, and introduced myself and EO. I asked if we might be able to set up a lunch, where we could have a strategic meeting and create synergies between our organizations. Fortunately, they gladly accepted, and a week later I met with our Chapter President, Ron Nielson, as well as the president and membership chair of the NAWBO chapter.

Afterward, we had a “strategic summit” between our two organizations, and figured out how we might help each other. We were very clear that we would like to attract some of their members to join our chapter. We offered to share our resources, and if we have a chapter event where we attract an amazing speaker and our costs are fixed, we would extend an invitation to the NAWBO chapter, and they would e-mail all of their members to join the event. We estimated that we could include them in up to six of our events each year. We also offered to pull together a panel of EO members for a panel discussion on how we got our companies up and over the US$1 million mark, and how we then took it to the US$10 million mark. They asked us why we were so willing to share our resources with their chapter, and we replied that we love Utah, we think the business climate is great, and that, “We are trying to create the world’s most influential group of entrepreneurs.” We then shared the EO values: “Make a Mark,” “Trust and Respect,” “Cool,” “Boldly Go” and “Thirst for Learning.”

After talking, they gladly accepted our invitation, and we have invited their chapter to three events so far. We have had good attendance from the NAWBO membership, and we have even added two of their members to our chapter. One is currently the NAWBO president, and the other is the membership chair. They are incredible additions to our chapter, and they’re helping us recruit additional, qualified women business owners. Feel free to contact me with any questions or additional ideas on how we might better leverage this partnership!

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