Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) held their annual Powerful Policy and Politics conference in Washington, DC in September
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Alex Fees: I’m Alex Fees for SBTV.com in our nation’s capital. Women Impacting Public Policy or WIPP, held this 2007 National Conference here in Washington. That organization’s bottom line is that government procedures, public policy and being politically savvy can affect your bottom line.
Terri McNally-Beals: Welcome all of you to the sixth annual WIPP Conference. Six years of WIPP successes and I think we can all call WIPP for success.
Alex Fees: After welcoming remarks from conference co-chairs Linda Coughlin and Terri McNally-Beals.
Linda Coughlin: I think I’ve tried over the last several days to say hello to as many of you as I know and meet some new friends and really thank you for taking the time out at your busy schedules and away from your business to come Washington.
Alex Fees: Organizers of the Women Impacting Public Policy 2007 National Conference presented that the Diversity Leadership Award.
Annette Taddeo: My posters all said, Annette Taddeo for secretary. But that morning the secretary portion was crossed out and set Annette Taddeo for deportation. To say the least, I lost that election. But that day changed my life and it didn’t change my life in a negative way. It really changed my life in a positive way.
Alex Fees: Members received their legislative regulatory and advocacy briefing, Tom Sullivan Chief Council for Advocacy for Small Business Administration discussed bringing down the cost of federal regulation.
Tom Sullivan: Really our challenge is to take a proposal that perhaps OSHA is doing. Insert your views I like to call that main street common sense and then hopefully at the end of the process you’ve filtered out bad stuff.
Alex Fees: Ann Sullivan WIPP’s government relations representative passed out copies of this letter, it is addressed to Karl Zinsmeister. Zinsmeister is the assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and the letter encourages him to the implement the Women Owned Small Business Federal Contract Assistance Program.
Ann Sullivan: 78% of our WIPP members that we surveyed said that they are not federal contractors, we have to change that. Of those that are federal contractors 50% are prime, 50% are subs.
Alex Fees: WIPP members reflect upon the organization’s value.
Nancy Zurbuchen: Our first meeting we have about 20 people in attendance, we met in a small room and the energy just grew from there like a drop in a pond to what you see today with all these wonderful women here.
Tammy Owens: I worked with small businesses, women on businesses and minority businesses, so the diversity that WIPP advocates and the policies that are impacting our small businesses today, that is what attracted me to this conference.
Dona Storey: I think for me it’s been a lot of good education. It also is an opportunity for me to give back in what I mean by that is the things that I’ve learned to doing business around the federal government, I’m now getting involved in a policy putting my 2 cents or 3 cents in, saying this they might experience and I think this particular item that is a being discuss should go in this direction because it would help others like me.
Alex Fees: Count-Me-In CEO and co-founder Nell Merlino rallied the troops.
Nell Merlino: And look at Garnet Neucom from California had a business of $600,000 from revenue couldn’t figure or stuck there for what, five years couldn’t get it moving, filled out the application for the first time thought of her self as a bigger business. Same two weeks later RFP comes across her computer for $800,000 contract, never would applied for it before had she not begun to thought of herself as a bigger business. She now is an $11 million-business, a year and a half later.
Alex Fees: A panel of economic forecaster provided a look into the future while another group of experts discussed the collective power of small business owners as a voting block. In business, women are no longer simply attending the meeting. Increasingly, they are setting the agenda.