Happy New Year!
As we start our new year, I believe it's important to reflect on some of the key milestones and accomplishments of 2017.
It was an amazing journey for many of us here at SSWBN. We could not have done as much as we did without the Board of Directors and other key people who volunteered to fill various committee chair positions. This model of utilizing committee chairs worked so well that the Board agreed to use it again in 2018. What a great help they've been! Members are more engaged in leadership roles and we know this will foster and encourage succession into Board positions for the future.
With Reiko Beach's help and guidance, we made many improvements to the website, easing new member registration, member profile updates, and membership renewal processes.
We grew our membership by 36 people. Nice job!
We sponsored four deserving local charities and raised $4,000 to donate. They were the Friends of Mel Foundation, Viv's Give, Calmer Choice, and Crossroads for Kids. Thank you all, for your support in our community outreach initiatives.
In 2017, we also brought back the Lunch and Learns and Coffee with the President, now called Focus Group Coffees and Lunches. This new format is an opportunity for members to discuss candidly what they want to gain from membership, offer feedback on what they like, and suggest topics for educational events. I've enjoyed the new format and listened to your input. The Board and I are incorporating your feedback into some of our key initiatives for 2018.
Our membership voted in our fabulous new 2018 Board, including a wonderful gentleman, Matt Vacher who serves as our Treasurer, Allison Guido as Vice President, Pam Cunningham as Secretary, and Juli Ford Aldaheff, also heading our Membership team. I appointed Sandi Childs and Stefanie Chiappetta as two additional Board members.
During our January 2nd Board planning session, we discussed what we each like best about our membership in SSWBN. Here is what your Board members said:
- "It offers a comfortable, warm and inviting atmosphere to network and build relationships." ~ Pam Cunningham
- "I've felt welcomed into a primarily women's organization." ~ Matt Vacher
- "This is such an amazing and great group of people." ~ Sandy Childs
- "I've made some really great connections and have gained valuable clients that have been long lasting." ~ Allison Guido
- "We always have great speakers at our Networking Breakfasts, whether they are extremely polished or salt of the earth, everyone is always lifted and inspired." ~ Nicole Perry
- "We remember how great the group was years and years ago, and that's why we came back." ~ Peggie Warner and Juli Ford Alhadeff
Here is a brief look into what our key 2018 goals are, including but not limited to the following:
- Member focus - Channel our great energy on "doing" for our members and building membership. Our goal is to add 83 new members this year.
- Education - Plan and publish a full year event calendar to include quarterly breakfasts and monthly Business After Hours, Lunch and Learns and Focus Group events.
- Modernize our public presence - Implement integrated social media. I'm happy to report Matt Vacher has already created a Linked In profile for SSWBN.
- Community - Determine our charitable focus.
- Bylaws - Review and revise bylaws by end of year.
- Processes - Streamline and document "back office" processes.
As your 2017-2018 President, I want to personally thank you for your support and your open mindedness, to my energy and my insight. I am proud to have had an amazing outgoing Board with Nancy OKeefe, Cheryl Terrill and Christy Kendrick, all who have poured many years of hard work and effort to keep our organization going strong. Thank you for guiding me during my first year as President.
I am beyond excited to build upon our relationships, and I look forward to a great year for all of us in 2018.
Happy New Year everyone!