Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Pacific (WBEC-Pacific), formally known as Astra Women’s Business Alliance (Astra), was founded in 1996 by Diane McClelland and Suzanne Lackman with a mission to eliminate barriers and promote equal opportunities for women business enterprises. Astra was an outgrowth of Gateway to Women’s Market – a women’s business development organization founded by Diane McClelland. With aligned mission and vision, Astra proceeded to becoming a regional partner organization of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in 1999. In 2018, Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Pacific became the official name for the organization.
As a regional partner organization of WBENC, WBEC-Pacific serves women business enterprises, corporations, and government agencies in its six-state region, including: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Northern California, Idaho, and Montana.
WBEC-Pacific provides WBENC and WOSB certifications for women business enterprises, facilitates contracting, provides education and tools for capacity building, and engages its constituents in valuable networking. Increasing the economic power of women is at the core of economic development.