Shine Your Light Post #4

I’d like to shine the 💡 on women business owners who recently gathered during the National Association of Women Business Owners Advocacy Days. 

NAWBO Advocacy Days
This mighty delegation of women shared their stories, learned from each other, snapped countless pics and listened to speakers talk about the challenges facing women business owners. We also had the opportunity to meet with our state legislators and present concerns of our members, including, but not limited to, broadening access to capital, how contracts are awarded at the state and federal levels, workforce incentives and addressing the digital divide which exists in rural and underserved communities.

Natalie Madeira Cofield leads the Office of Women's Business Ownership at the U.S. Small Business Administration; and, Thresette Briggs, National Association of Women Business Owners Board member and DEIB Strategist

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) and Jacqueline Hayes, NAWBO National Board Member

Angela Franco

Angela Franco, President and CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce

Presenters to the entire Advocacy group provided updates on legislation, resources which are available for businesses, recommendation on what we, as business owners, can do on the local as well as National level to build our businesses and honest conversation as to our challenges.

NAWBO Cleveland Chapter Advocacy Day delegation

Cleveland Advocacy Team (L to R): Bevan Evans, Megan Patton, Rachel Kabb-Effron, Janet Kendall White, Pat Bennett and Rose Malkin 

For me, it was a memorable experience to be part of this delegation from Ohio. I got to know these women better, enhanced our relationships about shared interests, and got to go up to the Hill together. 

Making our way to Representative Dave Joyce’s office

I love this photo of Bevan Evans, NAWBO Cleveland Chapters new Director of Advocacy, as we were escorted by Congressman Joyces intern.

We called upon the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman, Congresswoman Shontel Brown and Congressman Dave Joyce. Grateful to the NAWBO National Advocacy Leadership Team which scheduled our visits. 

Walking through the corridors of the Congressional and Senate office buildings, I was struck by their enormity of the buildings and the history. And, even though I’ve walked these corridors before advocating on behalf of other organizations, I’m still in awe. Glad I wore comfortable shoes as we were able to navigate underground through the tunnels—we were even able to ride the subway which took us to Senator Browns office. The legislative aides and interns escorted us so we could make our appointments on time. 

Rose Malkin, Pat Bennett and Bevan Evans

Rose Malkin, me and Bevan Evans outside Congressman Dave Joyce’s office. 

Pat Bennett, Elle Patout and Karen Bennetts

Elle Patout, NAWBO Director of Advocacy and Public Relations, Karen Bennetts, NAWBO National Board and me


One of the best occurrences that happened during the Advocacy Days was meeting Roslyn Rice (FL) and Victoria Stevens (TX) who have twin siblings, a brother and a sister , respectively. We were sitting at the same table, no less and didn't realize that we had twins in common! The world is truly small yet connected.


Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and collaborative lifestyle brand. Pat's Granola is sold online at and is also available at select Northeast Ohio businesses including:

Troubadour Coffee Roasters

Sports and Spine Physical Therapy

Locle Box

Made Cleveland

Nature's Oasis Lakewood

Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share 

Sweet Bean Candies Sweet Bean Candies

The Bake Shop and Cafe The Roaming Biscuit

Marketwagon NEO MarketWagon

The Corner The Corner at The Van Aken District 

NEW! Farmers Feast at BottleHouse Brewery & Meadery

NEW Heritage Coffee, Solon


Pat's October 29 appearance on New Day Cleveland

Learn Pats story:

Food Founders Podcast 

Launching a Granola Business at Age 61

Women's History Month Series curated by Made Cleveland


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