Wayne Professional Women’s Network is getting a relaunch.
An organizational meeting will be held March 23 in the Wayne County Public Library auditorium from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. The library is located at 1001 E. Ash St.
Vanessa Spiron, founder and president of Spiron Solutions, is enthused about bringing back the networking opportunity for women in the community.
The first attempt was three years ago, she said.
“I started with another partner, who happened to also work at the library,” she said. “We had our first meeting in February 2020 and we had over 40 women attend the event, at The Firehouse.”
The basic premise was to meet others, talk about their professions and share what they would like to get out of such a group.
“It was such an engaging night, of just making connections and meeting people within our community and work together and support each other,” Spiron said. “It was a very successful event, and it was very energizing for everyone to move forward with the group.
“And then the pandemic hit.”
The interruption was definitely “disheartening,” she said.
An effort was made to offer a virtual version, but logistics prevented it from continuing.
In the time since, Spiron has been approached periodically about hitting reset and moving forward with WPWN.
When Heather Gray, who works at the library, stepped up to assist, Spiron set the wheels in motion. She began promoting the upcoming date on social media and through the email list of previous attendees.
“We’re looking at meeting quarterly,” Spiron said. “We would like to rotate (locations) if we can find a place.”
At the outset, there will be no formal dues charged. The initial session will focus more on gathering feedback for the direction of WPWN moving forward.
“At this point, at least for the first year was we would like to do is talk with the group, see who’s committed and what the interest is,” she said. “I think we kind of know what we were thinking about the purpose of the group would be but we’ve got to hear from the people who are there.”
Whether that turns out to be affiliating with another organization or remaining a grassroots group in Wayne County remains to be seen.
Other features being considered, she said, include educational opportunities, speakers, personal and professional development and resources for business owners and career-minded women.
For those unfamiliar with such an organization, Spiron fielded her own question.
“Why anyone would want to be a part of a women’s network group — men and women network differently,” she said. “And so it’ll give them an opportunity be in their natural, more safe space where they can network in a way that works well for them.
“And by safe, I don’t mean safe like they’d be hurt, but safe to speak however they want to and talk about their needs and what they hope to get out of their group.”
Reflecting on the initial gathering, Spiron said the potential was obvious almost immediately. She hopes that will be the case this go-round.
“It was really cool to watch people either in business or working for a business, talk about the services they offer and what their passions are, so that others could connect with them and utilize them as a resource,” she said. “And another thing is building relationships to serve either in a mentorship capacity or just someone to connect with and talk about issues that maybe no one else will understand.”
The goal is to bring together a diverse representation — ages, backgrounds, different types and sizes of businesses, especially small businesses, locally owned or family businesses.
“I’m really excited about getting professional and career-minded women together to build relationships and further their business,” Spiron said. “This is great for those of us who really take pride in our professional lives and careers and champion one another.”
RSVPs are requested for the March 23 meeting, since space is limited and refreshments will be served. Email email@example.com.
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