Women's Network is a Division of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce
The mission of Women's Network is to connect, empower and engage members through leadership development, educational opportunities and innovative outreach.

Chair's Corner

It is that time of year when we experience a change in leadership in our organization. In contemplating this change, I am mindful that change can be difficult. Many resist change, but others embrace it. Why is that? I suppose it is because some changes are exciting, like this one. While other changes create stress. I am excited about this new opportunity to work with all of you and to meet and make new friends... 



Upcoming Events

Women's Network events are a great way to challenge your comfort zone, meet new people, and get the most out of your WN membership. Make a point to attend one of our upcoming events this month! Visit our website for all events.
July Luncheon

Date: July 19, 2018
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Peach Tree 
(120 E Nifong Blvd # D)

From Drama to Determined
Steve Willoughby

July's luncheons aims to bring focus back to intentionality. Without intentionality, your life is not maximized, you aren't doing what you were put on this earth to do, and relationships may be taxed. Steve will remind us to live intentionally, encourage us to reevaluate, laugh, lean in, and question. 

Advance registration is appreciated.  Online pre-registration is $15 for members and $18 for guests until 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 .  After the pre-registration deadline, attendees can pay at the door.  Walk-in prices will be $18 for members and $21 for guests. 
Welcome Sponsor
Phoenix Home Care
August Luncheon

Date: August 16, 2018
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Peach Tree 
(120 E Nifong Blvd # D)

Networking with a Twist & WN Ribbon Cutting

The August luncheon will be the perfect opportunity to meet someone new. We will be participating in some activities that will help you to get to know others in the room a little better. Don’t forget to bring your business cards! We'll also be welcoming the Chamber Ambassadors for a ribbon cutting for our new website.

Advance registration is appreciated.  Online pre-registration is $15 for members and $18 for guests until 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 .  After the pre-registration deadline, attendees can pay at the door.  Walk-in prices will be $18 for members and $21 for guests.  
Welcome Sponsor
RE/MAX Boone Realty - Donna Neil
New Member Welcome 1

Date: August 9, 2018
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: University of Missouri, Jesse Hall

If you are a new member of Women’s Network in the last six months, the Women’s Network Membership Development Committee invites you to the New Member Welcome. Women’s Network New Member Welcome events are a great opportunity to meet and network with other professionals in the organization. You’ll learn basic Women’s Network information including how to get more involved, the mission and priorities as well as fun opportunities. You’ll also get an opportunity to talk about you and your business, so prepare your elevator speech!

Advance registration is appreciated.  Free for new members in the last six months, $10 for every one else. Online registration will close August 7th.
Gold Sponsors
Columbia Daily Tribune/Tribune Publishing Co.,
Johnston Painting and Decorating

Location Sponsor
University of Missouri

New Member Gift Sponsor
White Dog Promotions, LLC



Scholarships and Awards

Women's Network offers a number of scholarships and awards to it's members. Scholarship and award nomination windows vary; for a complete list of scholarships and awards, visit the Scholarships and Awards page of our website!
Leadership Visit Scholarship Awarded

The WN Leadership Visit Scholarship application period was open May through June, and received a number of deserving entries. The Past Chair's Committee met last week to choose the recipient. Nikki McGruder with Inclusive Impact Institute (formerly with Diversity Awareness Partnership - Columbia) was chosen as the recipient. Nikki will attend the Leadership Visit to Ann Arbor, MI with professionals across Columbia and report back to the Steering committee upon her return. Congratulations Nikki!
Debin Benish Scholarship Awarded

After arriving less than twelve hours prior from her long trip back from a vacation in Europe, Lindsay Young-Lopez graciously agreed to attend the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Membership Dinner to recap the 2018 ATHENA Award Winners… or so she thought. Instead, surrounded by 250 Columbia professionals, and some of her closest friends, Lindsay Young-Lopez was awarded the Debin Benish Oustanding Business Woman award. Lindsay is the Executive Director for The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri. She took over The Food Bank in fall of 2014 following a nearly 20-year career in higher education development and fundraising. In her time at The Food Bank, Lindsay has helped to foster relationships with outside organizations, most notably positioning The Food Bank as the first and only Official Charitable Partner of Mizzou Athletics. She was congratulated by past Debin Benish Oustanding Business Woman award winners and her loving family who hid behind closed doors to support her in this tremendous honor.

Thank you to Delta Systems and Dave Benish for making it possible for Women's Network to present this award.

Interested in receiving
committee email reminders?
Click below to get on
a specific list!
July Committee Meetings


Leadership Development Roundtable | Wednesday, July 25

Changing the Odds | Thursday, July 26
Mentor Committee Program Accepting Applications

The mentor committee is currently accepting applications for their 2018-2019 Mentor Program! The program pairs mentees with a mentor aligning with their goals, and profession to create a mutually beneficial mentee/mentor relationship. The program lasts from September 2018 to May 2019, with the mentor/mentee pairs being required to meet monthly.

Applications are open until
Friday, July 20!
July Leadership Development Roundtable

July 25, 2018 | 12 - 1 p.m.
The Walton Building (300 S. Providence

Topic: Intentionality
Discussion Leaders: Danielle Harrison, Landmark Bank, & Fran Muench, State Farm Insurance

Leadership Development Roundtable is a discussion forum for both members and non-members of Women's Network. Each month focuses on a different discussion topic, led by a professional in our community. They are free to attend and a great tool for professional and personal development, and networking!

Check out what's going on with our members and committees!
Welcome New Members

Starla Landers | Columbia College
Eva Anspach | Providence Bank
Elizabeth Stephens | The Columbia Missourian
Holly Casteel | Edward Jones - Columbia Advisors
Jody Frank | Edward Jones - Columbia Advisors
Kyla Dennison | Wilson's Fitness
Leeann Cravens | Manor Roofing and Restoration Services
Shannon Beck | Masonic Home of Missouri
Member Spotlight
Michele Curry, Commerce Bank

If you haven't seen Michele's name at Commerce Bank or Women's Network, maybe you've seen her on stage at a local theatre. On top of her already busy schedule, she performs many lead roles around Columbia including Ariel in The Little Mermaid , and Inga in Avenue Q. Michele’s likeability on stage follow her in to every aspect of her life; she said the three words that people use to describe her are outgoing, involved, and personable, and the minute you meet her you will absolutely understand why. Click the link below to read more, get to know her a little bit better, and stop her to introduce yourself next time you see her at an event or committee meeting; you won’t regret it, we promise!
Committee Spotlight
Marketing & Communications

If you've accessed our website in the past few days, you've likely noticed that it has a new look. For the past year, the Marketing & Communications Committee has been fast at work on the WN website redesign. They recognized a need for clear and concise communication to our members and sought a modern, timeless feel that would translate through the years. From meeting with designers, compiling member head shots, and strategically thinking through the content, site lay out and feel, they worked endlessly to provide our members the best platform possible, all while continuing to completing the newsletter, social media, and normal marketing duties. Check out the new website, and when you see one of the 2017-2018 co-chair's, Laura Kogut and Sara Humm, make sure and give them a pat on the back for their fearless leadership through such a massive project.
Non-Profit Spotlight
By the Changing the Odds Committee

In an effort to partner purposefully with other groups, in line with the first pillar of the Women's Network Strategic Plan, The Changing the Odds Committee will be doing a monthly spotlight on a non-profit in the Columbia area, shining light on their work and opportunities to get involved. Columbia is home to many non-profits that are consistently working behind the scenes to help make our city a better place. Stay tuned for the first spotlight coming in August!
Professional Development

While Women's Network offers a number of free or cheap professional development opportunities (Leadership Development Roundtable, Committee Meetings, mixers, etc.), we understand that tight budgets affect the ability for organizations to invest in professional development opportunities for employees every day; take a look at Forbe’s 5 ways to work on professional development on you own!
Member Milestones and Celebrations

Congratulations to Staci Bowlen on her new position as the Executive Director at Alternative Community Training (ACT) !

Congratulations to Ann Williams with JobFinders on being named Top CEO as well as Top Staffing Company for 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Casey Buckman owner of Casey Buckman Photography on being named Top Photographer for 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Ann Merrifield with Columbia College on being named Top Chamber Volunteer for 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Stephanie Wilmsmeyer owner of State Farm- Stephanie Wilmsmeyer on being named Top Insurance Business 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Cara Owings and Jennifer Schenck co-owners of The Connection Exchange for being named Top B2B Product or Services 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Valerie Zumwalt owner of Show Me Leaders for being named Top Business Speaker 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Brooke Berkley with Central Bank of Boone County for being named Top Sales Person 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Megan Meier-Walters, Camacho Coffee for being named Top Sales Person 2018 with House of Brokers Realty, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Amanda Quick owner of The Hatchery for being named Top Entrepreneur 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

Congratulations to Cara Ownings with The Connection Exchange for being named Second- Place Top Sales Person 2018, Top of the Town Awards!

If you have any milestones or celebrations to include next month, please send them to Sara Humm at sara.humm@como.gov.
Women's Network
a Division of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce

300 S Providence Rd
Columbia, MO 65203

(573) 874-1132