Earlier this year, I was invited to join a group of women who were organizing a new group for busineswomen in Washtenaw County. The participants on the steering committee covered a wide variety of businesses, but the unifying characteristic was that everyone was committed to improving the business climate in our region, specifically for women-owned businesses. To do so, it was first important to figure out who was here! What busineses are owned or run by women? Who are the prominent women in our community? And who are the businesswomen who would enjoy getting together to exchange ideas, suggestions, business cards?
So, the first Women's Exchange of Washtenaw (WXW) event was organized. This involved quite a bit of planning, the securing of sponsors, and a lot of promotion. In response, over 200 women attended the first event, which was a learning/sharing event held at Kensington Court. Complete with prominent speakers from our community (Michelle Crumm, Marcie Brogan, Carol Goss, and Eileen Spring) as well as roundtable discussions, the event offered the opportunity to share ideas as well as business cards. If you would like to see a great promo video made from the event, you can view it on YouTube at http://youtube.com/watch?v=4Lb3xQ16r6k.
The second WXW event is scheduled for July 31 at the Ann Arbor Art Center, from 5-7 pm. Unlike the learning/sharing sessions of the first event, this is a pure networking event, but the exhibition titled "A PLACE AT THE TABLE" may provoke discussions between women business leaders. The difficulty that many women artists have had in a traditionally male-dominated art world may parallel the experience of many businesswomen.
If you would like to attend, sign up early, because attendance will be limited to 120 registrants. The cost of the event is $10/person and proceeds go to the Art Center. Wine and appetizers will be served.