BWGC Connect
July 2018 Newsletter
Message from the Chair

Happy Summer! There are mounds of data supporting that getting out of the office, even a weekend getaway, makes us more resilient, productive and engaged when back at work. Reason enough to enjoy!
The summer is also an important time to celebrate the success of this year’s grantees and the impact our investments had on the lives of girls and young women in Northern Virginia. As you’ll read in this issue of the Connect, our investments in innovative programs ranged from building rockets to applying emerging technologies to solve current problems. Other programs taught girls math through sewing and home improvement projects, as well as, coding skills preparing young women for today’s job market. We learned from panelists in this April’s Education Event, that confidence and skill building are key factors for success in a STEM career. All of the programs we supported gave young women the space to build confidence and allowed them to work collaboratively, test ideas but above all, left lasting impressions. Members can be proud of our strategic philanthropic investments.
We are connected by this shared mission to invest in innovative programs that empower girls and young women in Northern Virginia, connect meaningfully with members and grantees, and inspire others to join the power of collective philanthropy. 
BWGC’s investment impact and opportunities to connect are why our members renew and invite others on this journey. The success is contagious and we look forward to welcoming more women to the Circle. As new member, Diana Katz, Chief Catalyst of Second Wave Learning enthusiastically exclaimed after attending her first BWGC event, “I’m IN!” Thank you to all our new and renewed members who have already joined the 5 th  Anniversary grant pool which closes September 30th.
While you enjoy the rest of the summer with family, friends and colleagues, please consider who in your circle would like to learn more about our mission and invite them to our September Education Event- The Science to Joining a Board . We need more women to say, “I’m IN!” to continue making lasting impact.
Thank you for your continued support!
Tanya La Force
2018 Chair
One of the primary goals of the BWGC is to invest in innovative programs that empower girls and young women in Northern Virginia. Below are some BWGC program and investment highlights.
At the  2018 K-12 STEM Symposium  held in April, BWGC was recognized and awarded for our work in STEM.

This is the first year the symposium has featured an awards program.

A committee of Washington Exec members selected from among the nominees to honor businesses and individuals for their efforts to promote or develop K-12 science and technology programs that add value to the local community and inspire the next generation of STEM leaders.

Thank you to member, Leigh Chowdhary, Co-Founder Credence Management Solutions LLC, for accepting the award on our behalf. "The two little girls in the photos wanted to grow up to be engineers."

We are honored to receive such great recognition.

Hillsboro Girls in GEAR
 Launching STEM Futures

At the May 21 meeting of grantee Hillsboro Girls In GEAR, club members culminated their rocketry unit. They first reviewed model rocketry safety and completed the National Association of Rocketry’s model rocket safety quiz, covering issues such as proper construction and safe launch conditions. They next worked in teams assembling their model rockets, taking care to properly prepare the recovery system (including wrapping the shock cord and tucking the streamer into the fuselage of the rocket) and then affixing the nose cone. Finally, the girls built the engine using solid rocket fuel and an igniter that would be connected to circuit wires to start the launch process once outside and on the launch pad. Then it was off to the launch site! Most rockets launched correctly on the first try, with the one failure helping to create the growth mindset necessary to diagnose the problem, re-assemble, and re-launch successfully.

In other Girls in GEAR news, teams from the club excelled in the Pringles Challenge. For this year’s engineering design competition, 6 teams of club members sought to design and construct packaging for mailing a single Pringles potato chip to its recipient partner school --intact. With criteria including volume and mass of the container, design innovations of the Hillsboro girls included use of a VHS case with yoga mat insulation. Two of Hillsboro’s teams scored 100, while another team scored 95. There was a Pringles Party to celebrate success! :)
GMU - FOCUS Academy Camp

In late June, BWGC members Faith Boettger, Lauri Isbrandtsen and Amy Kay attended sessions of grantee FOCUS Academy Camp for high schoolers. The FOCUS (Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM) program is run by George Mason University, with help from GIRL (Girls Inspired and Ready to Lead), a past BWGC grantee.

Lauri and Amy participated in a session exploring virtual reality (VR), in which the campers learned about the neurological and engineering bases for VR and assembled their own VR headsets that allowed them to experience the technology with the help of a mobile phone app.

The girls were especially interested in how this technology (and that discussed in other sessions) can be applied to solve real-world problems – an observation that is consistent with the research on inspiring girls to pursue STEM. One participant explained, “In school, they really don’t show things like robotics club in a fun way. It would be better if they showed how it could be useful in real life.” With aspirations to help others through mental health counseling, this student was
moved by VR’s applications in assisting those with PTSD, and expressed a desire to figure out how science can help specific patients.

Faith joined other professionals and the girls in an interactive discussion on STEM skills in careers, in which each student had the opportunity to rotate through small group discussions led by panelists who shared their stories. Faith focused on math and discussed various jobs - from babysitting to marketing, banking, consulting and being a mom. The girls discussed the use of math in jobs, sparking more insights about real world application across lots of careers. They
shared their interests in STEM and non- STEM careers and how options had been expanded by the week-long camp’s activities.

Watch a video of the event HERE .
The BWGC connects meaningfully with members and grantees. The Network and Education Committee has planned two education events and two open house socials this year. One of the Education Events was held in April, and an Open House / Social was held in June. Read on for more details.
The Science Behind Joining a Board - The Secret is in the Sauce, or is it?

Thursday, September 6th, 6 - 8 pm
Mason Enterprise Center
First Floor, Training Room A
4031 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030

Please join us as our panel of speakers explore how to find and vet Board opportunities. Our panel will offer candid feedback about: 
  • What it means to serve on a Board both personally and professionally
  • Thoughtful questions to ask other Board members
  • Advantages and disadvantages of Board service 
  • How to best evaluate and respond to an opportunity to join a Board

Panelists include:
  • Cindy K. Andreotti, President and CEO of The Andreotti Group
  • Jennifer Dalton, CEO and Founder of BrandMirror
  • Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
  • Eleanor Weis, Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations, School of Business, George Mason University

August   – Pop Up
September 6 – Education event
September 30 - Grant pool cut-off
October 25 – 2019 Annual Planning Meeting- All members invited
November 1 – Grant review meeting
November 14 – Presentations by finalists
November 29 – Holiday Open House

BWGC members are needed as subject matter experts to speak at Capacity Building programs for our grantees throughout the year. Current topics of interest include volunteer management, board governance, mission pitch and grants development; however, we're open to your ideas, too. For more information and to discuss topics, please contact Ashleigh Dorfman, ) or Faith Boettger ( ), Capacity Building Initiative co-chairs.
Women, Work, and Technology: Closing the Gap
On April 26th, 34 BWGC members and guests came together for a panel and group discussion of the the scarcity of women in male-dominated STEM fields and the challenges and opportunities the current work and technology environment presents to women. Many great ideas were presented and the recognition of "unconscious bias" was a common theme of the night.

Thank you to Credence Management Solutions for donating their space for the event.
BWGC Kicks of Summer with June Networking Event
O n June 7, 20 BWGC members and 10 guests gathered at the home of Networking and Education Committee (NEC) Co-Chair, Sheila Murphy, for a fun and relaxing evening of socializing and networking. Highlights of the evening included:

  • Spotlight of our 2018 grantee, Year Up!, and their efforts to increase the number of minority women participating in their intensive, year-long technology training program. 
  • Small group networking that allowed members and guests to more authentically connect with each other in a low-key, supportive environment.
  • Delicious, fresh, and healthy food (and sangria too!) provided by Good to Go Cafe, a local catering company with a clean eating philosophy.

Thank you to all of the members of the NEC for making this event a success. A special thank you to Judy Redpath of  Vista Wealth Strategies , who did a great job organizing our networking activity. What would you be or do if you could be or do anything?
The BWGC inspires others to join the power of collective philanthropy. An individual gift of $1,000 to any organization is helpful but our collective grants have impact! As we enter our 5th year of grant making our goal is to grow this year's grant pool to over $55,000. Thanks to our new and renewing members, we are on our way.
We Welcome our New Members
Mary Albanese
Anja Allen
Debrah Aly
Cerasela Cristei
Jen Dalton
Diana Katz
Rita Goodroe
Marlissa Hudson
Stephanie Marshall
Christina O’Connell
Nina Un
Helaine Weissman
Thank you to our Members
who have renewed
Grace Anton
Sharon Aylward
Faith Boettger
Kristina Bouweiri
Leigh Chowdhary
Nancy Eberhardt
Eileen Ellsworth
Robin Finnell
Lilly Harris
Lauri Isbrandtsen
Tina Johnson
Tanya La Force
Kim Luu-Tu
Kim Mason
Erin Norman
Susan Pierce
Judy Redpath
Catherine Schott Murray
Carol Shapiro
Julie Simmons
Susan Snell
Pat Timbrook
Karen Tovey
Anne Marie Wemmlinger
Tessie Wilson
Stefanie Zeldin Sigel
Join BWGC in celebrating and congratulating the following members for their wonderful accomplishments!

Catherine Schott Murray, of Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C., was recently elected as President of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for the next fiscal year.

Jennifer W. Siciliano , Vice President of Government Relations at Inova, was recently named Chair of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Tanya La Force , Mission Focused Consulting, was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Potomac School.

Karen Tovey , Managing Director at SBSB, was nominated for the Washington Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business.

Melinda Merk, Partner at SageTrust Law Group, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Stefanie Zeldin Sigal, Co-Founder of In2green, was awarded Entrepreneur Award at The Women's Center's 32nd Annual Leadership Conference.

Faith Gabriel Boettger, Senior Consultant with The Giving Collaborative LLC, was invited to speak at #Sisterhood with Hub Dot.
We encourage you to help grow our circle by bringing a friend or colleague to one of our upcoming events. Find the calendar here.
Kim Luu Tu for securing a company match from Ameritrade!

Catherine Schott Murray and her firm Odin, Feldman, & Pittleman for hosting the Strategic Planning Committee with office space and lunch
The mission of the Business Women’s Giving Circle is to invest in innovative programs that empower girls and young women in Northern Virginia, connect meaningfully with members and grantees, and inspire others to join the power of collective philanthropy.

The vision of the Business Women’s Giving Circle is a community where all young women are empowered to make lasting impact through our legacy of collective philanthropy.

The Business Women's Giving Circle brings together engaged women who want to support positive change for girls and young women in our community. Launched in 2014 by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, the Business Women's Giving Circle (BWGC) invests in innovative programs, connects meaningfully with members and grantees, and inspires others to join the power of collective philanthropy. BWGC has awarded $178,000 to organizations providing exciting experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Leadership and Entrepreneurship with measurable impact on the lives of over 1,300 girls and young women in Northern Virginia. Learn more at .