Chapter Spotlight: Nicky Dare in Santa Clarita, CA
As Santa Clarita Chapter President, Nicky Dare empowers more than 500 IAW members
Leadership, Collaboration, Empowerment
I feel it is important that women should collaborate (not compete) with other professional women in all vertical industries. Women should work together at every level and capacity of our ability. The Santa Clarita Chapter’s mantra is ‘Collaboration, Not Competition.’
I feel strongly that there are many ways to empower women, namely, through leadership, mentoring and networking. I believe that to achieve successful women empowerment, i.e., women empowering women, there has to be some kind of systematic change that ensures change across the base; we are still struggling to find that proper model where we all can navigate to successful women empowerment through networking. Nevertheless, I know and I have seen many times that there’s just so many dynamics when we put women together! We all can come up with so many solutions together, especially when we support each other. The key word is together.
With purpose and passion, we know we can achieve great things together. The role of Chapter President to me has been a humbling experience, allowing me to serve as giver to my community and others I have met. Social good and social responsibility have always been core tenets to me on both personal and professional level.
For these reasons, I took on the role back in 2012.
Over the last seven years, the Santa Clarita Chapter has accomplished many things of which we are all very proud. I can recall when we helped to host a few community events —among them, Habitat for Humanity, The Arthritis Foundation and the City of Santa Clarita (we are also huge supporters of our veteran community) — with other prominent, highly recognized organizations.
Our Chapter has connected with women leaders (including some local celebrities who live in Santa Clarita) and organizations in the community. Because of our commitment to the community, we have been prominently promoted at various local events in the past. We have hosted many highly recognized events, charity fundraisers and fashion shows that have been supported by local companies.
Since it was founded in 2012, our Chapter has grown from 12 members to over 500 members, My achievement as Chapter President is our Chapter’s achievement. All of our members who have participated have contributed to our success.
Our upcoming meeting on July 16 at the Winery Room at Mimi’s Café promises to be another fun networking event. We look forward to welcoming some new members!
This year, we plan to start leadership workshops in the fall. Our goal is to engage members and connect and grow together through networking programs and events.
In 2020, we are planning to expand opportunities to grow our Chapter by offering more leadership workshops and programs. We had done something like this before, and it was successfully. We need to tap into this opportunity again with the new brand and find some effective strategies to implement. Again, we can’t do this alone, we must collaborate and unite together as a team! We need everyone to participate in our chapter meetings and events!
Since 2012/2013 we started cultivating our brand (at the time, it was NAPW) in the local community by reaching out to prominent leaders and organizations (including our competitors: Soroptimist International, NAWBO, among other national networking organizations). We had lots of press, media and radio coverage because we were highly active with social events. People would know us by the brand name ‘NAPW’ I now I think it is important to strategically position ourselves in the momentum of this rebranding as IAW.
Never Stop Networking
I still believe in traditional networking, which is face to face. I am an old school. If you want to effectively network and empower others, the bottom line is to focus on building long-term relationships. Being a Chapter President means you have to lead others to become leaders themselves. I always believe in sincerity, core values and moral integrity, with the goal to help improve communities, establish stronger partnerships with businesses and better yourself while growing your Chapter. Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success.
Leading by Example
I do not promote my business ever since I become Chapter President simply because that has never been my goal. My goal is leading a group of professional women by motivating, inspiring and helping them grow to become leaders themselves. I hold tight with integrity my role as Chapter President through leading by example. Many who have attended our Chapter meetings would often hear me refer to myself as a ‘messenger’ and that this is ‘our Chapter.’ It does not belong to just a one person… but rather it is our chapter, our mission and our accomplishment. This is important.
The caveat is I’ve spent so many countless hours investing my personal time to grow this Chapter since its inception that it does affect my professional and career time on one hand. The support from IAW staff is incredibly important for any Chapter President seeking constant help navigating the issues she may face. Any Chapter President will unequivocally agree with this, that also we volunteer our time to ensure momentum and smooth sailing in our Chapter.
I started my own management consultant firm in my early 20’s, specializing in Change Management/BPR Business Process Re-Engineering. At the time, this topic was a huge trend in
businesses. Moving forward, after decades of corporate world experiences, I went back to entrepreneurship. (I am also a licensed Real Estate Agent, and P&E Insurance Agent but never liked being in the sales industry.) Because of my years of volunteering with nonprofits, I wanted to run my own nonprofit and founded iDARE in 2012/2013.
iDARE is an acronym for integrity, diversity, adaptation, resilience and empowerment. The iDARE grassroot concept started back in 1996, after the passing of my father, whom was a true humanitarian. He owned and supported several orphanages that are managed by our family. I continued and picked up the torch. That is when iDARE was born. Its mission is to educate and save lives, and to continue to promote disaster risk reduction and sustainability. iDARE has helped hundreds of families and businesses with staying prepared through mitigation lectures, community workshops and services. We focus both on natural and man-made disasters (such as active shooting preparedness).
I am grateful to have a seasoned team of board advisor members who are the best people to align the mission together. The concept was originally derived from my late father who has been a huge influence and an inspiration to run my own nonprofit. As the Founder and the image who represents the organization, I lead many community events, and teach at universities and local churches, hosting workshops about natural and man-made disasters. These lifesaving discussions are very important to promote disaster risk reduction.
Most of my skills are derived from an early age, from my management consulting business, including leadership, coaching and speaking. Throughout the last two and a half decades, I have been acquiring skills related to my personal hobbies in the outdoors, which eventually become skills that are relevant to life saving and survival. I have invested countless hours in trainings and licenses. More so, I have gained much hands-on training both as a student and instructor from many other seasoned professionals and experts in the field. Many of these programs may be found on DARE Education.
Women have come a long way and with collaboration at all levels. Since 49.6% of the total world’s population is women, we should continue to be the guiding force committed to shining a light on empowering female role models in an effort to inspire more women leaders. It is all about leaving our legacy in this world by educating, empowering, inspiring and leading the next generation to come. To leave this world a little bit better than you found it.
I think when it comes to ‘women empowerment’ we should collaborate more and not compete with one another. Of course there are still challenges and hurdles we women are overcoming in so many areas, whether in social or professional, local or worldwide. It is a continuous working progress that requires coordinated efforts by all women. If we are in the networking industry for ‘women empowerment’ we should look at how we build relationships not numbers.
In addition to continuing my work as Santa Clarita President, my personal goals are to write more books, share awareness about staying prepared for disasters, promote disaster risk reduction and educate the next generation.
This past Spring, I taught graduating students of Criminal Justice at La Sierra University, and will continue to offer my teaching lectures this Fall. I have an upcoming speaking engagement with NIGP Annual Forum 2019 in Austin, Texas.
My latest book, Safety and Survival – Personal Preparedness Assessment Guide, was recently released. The book tackles many topics such as contingency plans and I share insights about preparing for uncertainties that help foster confidence and fast decision-making when disaster arrives. If you want to read samples of my books, go to Amazon.com.