By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Professional Services | Issue: April 2010
Becky Swails and Diane Van Antwerp go over details for the 8th annual Business Extravaganza, to be held Tuesday, April 20.
It’s the ultimate venue for business women to help other business women achieve their goals: the 8th annual Business Extravaganza, presented by the Broken Arrow Business Women’s Association (BABWA). This year’s event will be held April 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tivoli Inn, 1401 W. Washington St.
“This is the perfect opportunity for women to show everyone what makes them unique,” says BABWA President Becky Swails. Judging from past turnouts, there will be no time to sit at booths. Instead, there will be 90 minutes of positive, infectious energy within the room overlooking the beautiful grounds of Tarp Chapel and Gardens.
All types of products and services will be showcased by entrepreneurs and other professional women who work in financial investing and advising, real estate, insurance, nutrition, chiropractic care, home and office organizations, gift stores, fitness, hospice, skin care and more.
For those considering a startup business, the City of Broken Arrow and the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce will be providing helpful information that day.
Diane Van Antwerp, public relations chair for the board, believes what makes the event and the organization so successful is that the women really care about each other. There is a collective commitment to become the best they can be in their chosen fields, and to help other women succeed as well. The feeling of sisterhood from deep within comes forth immediately. “I came for the first time,” Diane recalls, “and I knew I had to be a part of it.”
BABWA began in 1996, when four visionary ladies saw a need for a professional women’s organization. It has evolved into a major entity that provides opportunities to network, create greater visibility in the community through volunteer and leadership roles, and build lasting relationships.
The organization supports numerous nonprofits, including A New Leaf, Broken Arrow Neighbors, Broken Arrow Seniors and the Margaret Hudson Program. In addition to financial support, they donate requested items such as food baskets, and volunteer their time as Salvation Army red kettle bell ringers and for city beautification projects. BABWA also provides a college scholarship to a Margaret Hudson graduate.
The Business Extravaganza is literally open to everyone. In past years men have been known to make their way through the crowd. People from outside Broken Arrow have come, and many women have attended not because they have a business or want to start one, but because they wanted to find out who could help them with a specific situation. They found what they needed.
Admission, including lunch, is $12 per person. A wide variety of valuable door prizes will be awarded at the end of the show. Advance reservations are required. RSVP at www.babwa.org or call (918) 624-9333. Booth space may also be available on a first come, first served basis.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.