History 1964 ABWA-IE Tea
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ABWA Inland Empire


Inland Empire Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association was chartered on May 28, 1964, as the first chapter in the San Bernardino, California area.

Since the chapter began in 1964, it has sponsored six other chapters: Arrowhead Charter Chapter; Riverside Charter Chapter; Sundowners Chapter; Golden Vista Chapter; Valley Starlighters; and Hemacinto Charter Chapter.

In 1982, our chapter was one of nine Sponsoring Chapters of the 1982 Pacific Regional Meeting held in Palm Springs, California which had an attendance of over 1100. Again in 1987, our chapter was one of six Sponsoring Chapters of the 1987 Pacific Spring Conference Meeting held in Palm Springs, California which had over 900 in attendance.

The chapter has raised funds through “Ways and Means” Projects to give as local scholarships to women. From 1964 to 2015, the chapter has given $163,275 to 192 local scholarship recipients, $14,415 to the national Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund, and we have received $23,200 in seventeen grants from the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Funds for thirteen local scholarship recipients. The grand total of scholarships is $177,690.nd the country.


The American Business Women’s Association was founded in 1949 by Hilary A. Bufton, Jr., a Kansas City businessman who recognized the economic impact of the growing number of women in the workplace. He saw their great potential as well as the need for a professional organization to support them in meeting their career goals.

ABWA has dedicated over 60 years to women’s education, providing workplace skills and career development training. With 15,000 members in 450 chapters across the country, ABWA is the largest professional women’s organization in the United States. Its focus remains on professional development and leadership opportunities through education-based programming and chapter boards and committees. The ABWA community is diverse and rich in experience, and its members are eager to share their expertise and lessons learned with each other.

In 1983 and 1986, joint congressional resolutions were passed designating a national observance of Sept. 22, the anniversary of ABWA’s founding, as American Business Women’s Day. Following each resolution, President Ronald Reagan issued a presidential proclamation. September 22 is still observed today by ABWA members around the country.