Blog: Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw

Concentrate gets in touch with its anima. We've invited five local women, all movers and shakers, to weigh in on what it means for them to do business in the new economy. It's in recognition of the Women's Exchange of Washtenaw's May 15th annual forum, "Now We're Talking".

Post 4: Debra Power - The POWER of Women

When I tell people the name of my company, and then they see that my last name is Power, they often make some type of comment. Usually it’s something like: "Boy are you lucky. You have the perfect name for a business."

I guess I never thought of it that way, it’s just my name. But lately I have been thinking about the word "power" and the power of women in this region.

Women Making Headlines

Just take a look at the lineup of amazing local women who are making headlines.  Maria Thompson of A123 Technologies, one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-power lithium-ion batteries; Bee Mayhew and her cool café Beezy’s in downtown Ypsilanti; and Debi Scroggins, founder and franchiser of Bearclaw Coffee. What do these women have in common? The power, drive, and energy to focus on growing their companies. They also found a unique niche, or a way to expand into new markets while maintaining their vision.

You Too Can Succeed

So how do you become a successful businesswoman like these ladies? Of course there’s lots of hard work involved, but here’s a little secret—ask for help! That’s right. Don’t be afraid to ask to admit that you need help in growing you business. When I’m facing a tough business issue, or want to talk about how to grow, I contact one of my friends and ask for advice. Sure, they ask me for advice too. But as an up-and-coming businesswoman just said to me: “That’s the great thing about Ann Arbor. We’re all willing to help each other.” They key is to turn the ideas into action.

A Call To Action

So yes, this is a call to action, women. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, do it now. Need to write your business plan? Set aside an hour every day to work on it. Do you want to add a new product or service to your lineup? Start figuring out how to add to your capacity. Looking for resources? Ask me, or anyone else affiliated with the Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw, for help. Our mission is to provide a confidential environment where we can help each other and improve our companies. We want you to prosper because of the connections you make with other women. Some people say our events are “talky” and that’s such a compliment. We want you to talk. Let’s solve problems together and figure out how to grow this region together! 

Now We’re Talking!

Debra Power is President of Power Marketing
, a marketing and research firm located in Ann Arbor. Before she became a business owner, she was the marketing director for the Washtenaw Development Council where she was responsible for marketing efforts to attract and retain business to the Washtenaw County region. Debra has served on numerous non-profit committees, including the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB; Wireless Washtenaw; Ann Arbor Public Schools Business Advisory Committee; Ann Arbor SPARK; Washtenaw United Way; was a board member of Recycle Ann Arbor; and is currently a board member of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce.  

She is the co-chair of the Washtenaw County Success Plan Marketing Initiative. This initiative brings together representatives from nonprofit, government, business, and education sectors to create a collaborative and coordinated marketing and public relations effort for the Ann Arbor region. The goal is to attract and retain talent, businesses, site selectors, and tourists to the region while enhancing our public image on a global scale. She is also the co-founder of the Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw