Call it their fail-safe option.

If Joe Biden were to lose a critical Midwest battleground like Michigan or Wisconsin, Democrats are counting on Arizona to bail him out, acting as a potential replacement state with enough electoral power to prevent President Donald Trump’s re-election.

After Trump carried this emerging swing state by just over 91,000 votes four years ago, some Republicans are now already bracing for a defeat that could “cut deeply down the ballot,” as one GOP aide in state government put it.

With early voting now underway and Democrats consistently tracking Biden with a 3-to-4 point lead, the Trump campaign is planning additional visits here from the ticket as soon as this week, attempting to salvage a reliably red bastion as suburban women are turning away from the GOP in droves.

“It’s fairly close. If anybody has a slight polling advantage it would be Biden,” said Constantin Querard, a conservative political consultant in Phoenix, “but the Trump campaign is much stronger on the ground.”

While the Trump operation has maintained a vigorous door-knocking presence throughout most of the pandemic, a battery of Democratic groups have been working online to mobilize the two constituencies most crucial to their success: Latinos — which now make up 24 percent of eligible voters here — and moderate Republican women.

Bettina Nava, a former state director for Sen. John McCain, falls into both groups. The lifelong Republican welled up in tears during a recent zoom call with the Arizona Democratic Party as she spoke about her decision to endorse Biden due to Trump’s divisiveness.

“I’m following my conscience,” she said. “Under a Biden-Harris ticket, we can return to those civil conversations about the great debates of our time. That’s what we need to be doing. You notice I didn’t say agreement over

During your next night out (or Zoom call in) with your friends, break open the wine and talk about investments. It might sound weird at first, but that’s what Divya Gugnani, CEO and co-founder of Wander Beauty, advises women to start doing. 



a woman sitting at a table


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“Every time my husband goes out for a guy’s dinner, why do they discuss investments, why are they talking about the stock market, why are they talking about real estate?” Gugnani asks. It’s because it works. “They come home and they share ideas, and their wealth compounds,” she says.

It’s time women do the same.



a woman sitting at a table: Divya Gugnani attends Food & Wine Classic in June 2011 in Aspen, Colorado.


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Divya Gugnani attends Food & Wine Classic in June 2011 in Aspen, Colorado.

“We need to socialize the idea that it’s OK for us to talk about money. We need to share and build and help each other grow,” Gugnani said during a recent webinar as part of U.S. Bank’s Women & Wealth Summit.

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About 52% of women say they talk about money with friends, compared to 61% of men, according to U.S. Bank’s online survey of 3,000 people last year. 

Men build wealth, in part, because they are sharing their financial ideas and insights with a network of others, says Gugnani, who started her career at Goldman Sachs. They help, teach and support each other, she adds. 

Women can and should be doing the same thing, Gugnani says. Start with your own circle of friends and move past the taboos and hang-ups you may have about talking about money and finances in general. “Make this an OK thing to talk about at a girl’s dinner,” she says.  

“It’s about learning how to become financially fluent, financially literate,” she says.

When it comes to money advice, Gugnani says her No. 1 recommendation is

A kitchen table discussion spurred three women to found their own wine company, and now, the three of them are vying for the final prize of $100,000 seed money on the I Quit show on Discovery Channel this Saturday.

Esrever Wines was founded in 2011 by friends Jasmine Dunn, Tyshemia Ladson, and Ashanti Middleton, and they produced and bottled their first wine in 2018. “Esrever was started at Jasmine’s mother Cheryl’s kitchen table,” says Ladson. “Her home was our refuge from the world ever since we were in elementary school, and her kitchen table became our boardroom.”

One evening, the three friends were gathered around the table discussing the joys and pains of life. “We all share a love for wine and surprisingly, had ran out that evening,” Ladson says. “So then someone joked about wanting to ‘reverse’ to the previous weekend, and that turned into a conversation about creating our own wine to remind us of happier times.”

Their name “Esrever” is “reverse” spelled backward, but these women didn’t reverse their dreams – they kept going, even though it took them seven years to get their first wine into production. “During the early stages, Ashanti learned in a college course that a creative way to name your business is to take a word and reverse it. Reverse backwards is ‘Esrever,’ and so our journey began,” Ladson says.

Since their first appearance on the I Quit show on Discovery Channel show, this New York-based wine company has experienced an uptick in sales. The show has its finale this Saturday. “It has affected us positively,” Middleton says. “It has also increased

Earlier this month, WiNGS announced Tameka Cass as the organization’s new chief development officer. In January, Kate Rose Marquez became chief executive officer. The 112-year-old nonprofit provides a range critical resources for women in need, including those who are first-time mothers and small business owners. It focuses on vulnerable populations such as communities of color and those with limited English proficiency, single-income households, and women at risk of intimate-partner violence and financial insecurity.

With Cass new to the nonprofit and Marquez nearly nine months into her role — which has held challenges she didn’t bargain for — we asked the women a few questions about the ongoing impact WiNGS has on women in Dallas-Fort Worth, how it’s managed through the pandemic and what 2021 might hold.

FWD>DFW: Tameka, as the new chief development officer, what’s the first big thing you want to accomplish? What do you see as the biggest hurdle to accomplishing that?

TC: The first big thing I want to accomplish is increased awareness of WiNGS and the impact our services provide to women and families, specifically women of color, in our community. The global pandemic exposed the layers of inequities that exist for women and their families. My goal is to focus on ways to address the increased need for support and resources through our fund development strategies. Like many nonprofits, WiNGS has been impacted by the shift in funding from the philanthropic community, as they respond to the growing needs of nonprofits providing critical services to the community.

My biggest hurdle to accomplishing these goals is identifying creative ways to meet the growing needs of the women we serve with so much uncertainty about the future.

FWD>DFW: Give us a specific example of a woman whose life has been deeply impacted for the better in 2020.

Kate Danella, head of Strategic Planning and Consumer Bank Products and Origination Partnerships for Regions Bank, has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women to Watch in Banking and Finance by American Banker magazine. This is the second consecutive year that Danella has been recognized by the publication.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200930005534/en/

Kate Danella, Regions Bank (Photo: Business Wire)

“No matter the challenge, Kate maintains an unwavering focus on putting people first through her dedication to our customers, associates and the communities we serve,” said John Turner, president and CEO of Regions Financial. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kate and her team have continuously listened to our customers and reshaped our strategies and consumer products to address the urgent financial needs of individuals and families. I’m pleased that Kate has once again been recognized by the American Banker for her contributions to Regions and to the banking industry.”

The annual American Banker ranking recognizes the most influential female leaders in the banking industry, honoring their business acumen, professional achievements and personal tenacity. Honorees are featured in the October 2020 issue of American Banker magazine.

“For 18 years, this list has honored those who have achieved amazing things in the face of countless challenges — individuals who are bravely creating the change we need and driving the industry forward,” said Gemma Postlethwaite, CEO of Arizent, publisher of American Banker. “This year, our honorees have collectively succeeded in moving us forward despite unprecedented obstacles.”

The publication notes Danella’s leadership in expanding Regions’ focus on the unbanked and underbanked and her team’s efforts to introduce additional features and functionality throughout the bank’s deposit products and services to meet customer needs. Further, Kate and her team played a key role in the early days of the