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Donna James: An instrumental leader for increasing opportunity for women business owners


 
Washington, D.C. - The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a leading independent voice for women entrepreneurs, announced today that Donna A. James will step down from her post as chairperson.
 
James was appointed by President Obama to serve as chair of NWBC in October of 2010.  In this role she helped build an engaged, informed group of women business owners to serve as a full council with the appetite and expertise to focus on finding solutions to the most pressing issues facing women entrepreneurs today.  The Council, under James’ strategic vision and operational aptitude, has developed a strong platform to advocate for smart, effective policies that work to increase opportunity for and access to resources for women to start, scale and achieve success in their businesses.  "Under Donna’s leadership, the National Women’s Business Counsel has played a vital role in helping women entrepreneurs and business owners realize their full potential,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Inclusive entrepreneurship is the driving force in growing our economy, and as an advocate for the millions of women-owned small businesses here in the United States, Donna has worked tirelessly to promote effective, concrete strategies to help them grow and create jobs.”
 
Through its investment in research, public-private engagement, and program analysis, NWBC has positioned itself as a leader in identifying and elevating key issues affecting entrepreneurs and has made sound recommendations to scale those programs that work, and find efficiencies in those that need improvement.   “In a challenging economic and political environment, Donna’s steady leadership helped guide the effectiveness of the Council in its recommendations as well as created frameworks for its continued growth and continuity,” said Anie Borja, the Council’s executive director.
 
James is an experienced business leader, rising through the ranks as an executive at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, and serving as President of Nationwide Strategic Investments, a division of Nationwide Insurance.  She is currently President and CEO of Lardon & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in advising business leaders on issues related to corporate governance, new business development, strategy, and financial and risk management.  James serves on the board of directors for several companies including Limited Brands, Time Warner Cable, and Marathon Petroleum Corporation.
 
Ms. James will continue to serve as Chair through May 31, 2013.  Magdalah Racine-Silva, current council member,  will serve as Acting Chair until a new Chair is appointed.
 
About National Women’s Business Council
 
The National Women’s Business Council is a non-partisan federal government council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women entrepreneurs. Members of the Council are prominent women business owners and leaders of women’s business organizations.  As the nation's advocate for the more than 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., the Council works to increase access to capital, access to markets, job creation and use of reliable data to help expand and improve opportunities for women entrepreneurs and business owners.