Introducing IBN’s New Local Directors!

I am pleased to announce INDIE Beauty Network's new Local Directors! Since IBN launched in 2000, it has expanded tremendously, and today there are nearly 800 Full and Supplier members in 50 states, Canada and the US Virgin Islands, and over 7,000 participants at Indie Beauty Social Networking site (which has closed since the publication of this post). Through the years, I have considered formalizing local branches, but the time never seemed to be quite right. Now, I know why: because the time is right now.

Grace, Susan and La Shonda

Meet IBN's first Local Directors, from left to right: Grace Antares, serving in Portland, Oregon; Susan Mann, serving in Boston, Massachusetts; and La Shonda Tyree, serving in Newark and Northern and Central New Jersey. I will tell you more about each of these amazing ladies in a minute, but first, I want to share why I am leading IBN in this new and exciting direction.

Mission Critical!

Consistent with my personal and business mission to empower and encourage women to maximize their potential through small business ownership, I structured IBN to facilitate enduring relationships and personal connections that are at the heart of a woman's life and her business. This has been possible through the consistent and focused use of technology.

I host regular webinars, Q&A teleseminars, and mentoring and coaching events featuring ways for my members to connect, learn, grown and share together.

Since launching IBN, I have hosted two Lifestyle CEO conferences, one outside New York City and the other outside Washington, DC. I have also hosted several smaller INDIE Business events nationwide, including in Portland, Oregon; Columbia, South Carolina; San Francisco, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina. This year, I added #INDIECruise, the premier “unplugged” event for women entrepreneurs and their families. These events allowed me to test the waters over a period of time, collecting feedback and ideas about creating local communities.

The Time Is Right For A Local Presence

Formalizing IBN's regional presence allows the organization to further solidify the virtual relationships we now enjoy so much. More importantly, it provides a unique leadership training ground for Local Directors, along with opportunities for them to grow their own businesses using IBN's well known and nationwide platform and social media resources.

Through our headquarters, which will remain here with me in Charlotte, the organization will provide resources to help Local Directors focus on the unique needs of the local communities they serve. This process will enhance and strengthen entrepreneurial ties and create new opportunities for IBN members to connect, collaborate and succeed on the ground, in the communities where it counts most.

For now, IBN's Local Leaders will meet at least bi-annually with members in their areas. Depending on a variety of factors, these local meetings will vary from small meetups at a coffee shop to networking luncheons or mini day-long conferences. Non-members will be welcome to attend, and will be encouraged to expand their entrepreneurial mindset by joining IBN and connecting with other like-minded, proactive women entrepreneurs nationwide.

I will announce additional Local Directors as they are added in the coming months. For now, please join me in welcoming Grace, Susan and La Shonda as IBN's New Local Directors in Portland, Oregon; Boston, Massachusetts; and Newark and Northern and Central New Jersey, respectively. You can connect with them as follows:

Grace Antares (Portland, OR): Grace is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative, Supervisory Principal for a national independent investment advisory firm. She has been a member of the financial services industry for 16 years and maintains two offices in the Portland, Oregon, area. Here beauty business is Pure Bliss Essentials, and she has been a member of IBN since October 2008. Follow Grace on Twitter and at her website.

Susan Mann (Boston, MA): Susan is the CEO of Manor Hall Soap Company, making olive oil soaps for sensitive skin, scented only with essential oils, herbs and botanicals. Susan has been a member of IBN since February 2006. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and at her website.

La Shonda Tyree (Northern NY): La Shonda is the Handmade Soap Coach, offering classes to help new and experienced soapmakers be successful at making and selling cold process and liquid soap, as well as lotions, creams and other bath and body products. La Shonda has been a member of IBN since February 2011, and was a member in IBN's early years as the leader of Nyah Skincare. Follow La Shonda on Twitter, FaceBook and at her website.

Would you like to learn more about becoming an INDIE Local Director in your area?

Do you like connecting people? Do you enjoy creating fun opportunities that help everyone succeed together? Are you proactive about your business, and welcome accountability and helping people grow on their terms as you grow on yours? If so, and you are interested in learning more about our new Local Directorships, please leave a comment below or email me via the contact page here. Someone will get back i touch with you to follow up quickly.

What do you think of our new Local Director Program? What suggestions and ideas do you have to help us make it as good as it can be?

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.