Linda Galindo is a woman with a cause - she'd like women business owners to know just how much financial clout they really have.
Galindo, who heads Health-care Dyn-a-mix, will become the new president of the Salt Lake chapter of the National Asso-ci-a-tion of Women Business Owners in June. She is taking over from Jean Martin, owner of Wicker and Willow.One of Galindo's goals is to double the organization's membership, which is around 100 local business owners. However, she is not interested in merely adding names to a roster.
"The question is not how many businesses women own. The question is what happens when the economic base shifts," she said. "One of my goals is to really start to investigate and understand the economics of our numbers and con-tinually communicate that."
Referring only half-kiddingly to the so-called "Golden Rule" - "The one who has the gold makes the rules" - Galindo said a group that understands its economic base can make new rules, but in a different model and values than society has seen previously.
For example, Galindo said many women business owners are concerned about matters that seldom come up in corporate board discussions including day care, health insurance, caring for elderly parents and other employee-related matters.
That leads to another goal - getting more NAWBO members on influential boards and committees in the state. "You don't just show up and say, `I represent women.' You say, `I represent an economic base.' You can't say that unless you know what it is."
Galindo hopes to get economists or other resource people to quantify what economic leverage local women business owners really have.
"Another one of my goals is to capitalize on the strength of our current committees," Galindo said. "Jean Martin left a great legacy. She really shepherded NAWBO into an incredibly strong network of committees, and she did it by involvement. She went to committee meetings and knew what was going on. I'm going to model that."
Galindo also wants to personally visit each member's business.
Other goals include raising the group's profile and increasing its public relations outreach. One step includes creating a Web site in June; other plans are pending.
NAWBO has been a big help for Galindo, and she hopes it will be useful for other business owners. "Most women business owners in NAWBO are not looking for other women to get business from. They're looking for all that stuff you need emotionally that provides the comfort when you're asking yourself, `Why did I say this was a good idea to run my own business?' "
She said much of what she has gained from her membership is hard to articulate but has made a big difference in her work.
"One thing I've gotten is countless moments of inspiration to just keep going even though it doesn't look too bright in the future," she said.
A side benefit also has been many personal contacts, not only for friendship and support, but also for business transactions. "I have this tremendous network of talent I automatically call on for all kinds of services. One woman provides all my workbook design. Another is my financial planner. If I need a car for a client, another woman owns a car rental agency."
Galindo said she's intimidated by the idea of the presidency, even though leaders must serve as second vice president and then first vice president.
"In the process, you get an understanding of how to make volunteer organizations work. You really get your leadership skills pushed, because you have to make requests for people's time very inviting. You need that extra leadership skill to keep everyone enthusiastic," she said. "I'm getting handed a really strong organization. I appreciate all the confidence shown in me, but I'm also awed by what this can be."