Bank of America invests $200,000 in Women’s Employment Network to advance employment opportunities and economic mobility for women in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (November 2, 2017) –
Bank of America announces the selection of Women’s Employment Network (WEN) as a 2017 Neighborhood Builder® in Kansas City. WEN is being recognized for its work to help local women achieve financial wellness and independence, which in turn, contributes to economic and social progress throughout the Kansas City area. Through Neighborhood Builders (#NeighborhoodBuilders), the bank provides nonprofits with a unique combination of leadership development (for the executive director and a developing leader in the organization), $200,000 in flexible funding, a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and the opportunity to access capital in order to expand their impact in the communities they serve.
For more than 30 years, WEN has positively impacted the lives of thousands of Kansas City women seeking better lives for themselves and their families. WEN promotes the long-term financial success of its clients, helping them secure sustainable and well-paying jobs, build credit and improve overall financial literacy. Offerings range from mock interviews and resume writing support to personal finance workshops and ongoing coaching services. WEN is a lead member of the OneKC for Women alliance, formed in 2009 to empower women to achieve financial independence regardless of their socio-economic background. WEN also serves on the Money Smart Kansas City (MSKC) Steering Committee and Partnership Committee to support larger community efforts to increase the financial resources of low-to-moderate-income Kansas City residents.
“Nonprofits like WEN are instrumental to address critical community needs and strengthen the economic health of Kansas City,” said Gary Jankowitz, Bank of America’s Kansas City Market President. “Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program is just one example of how we deploy capital in communities and build cross-sector partnerships in order to advance economic and social progress, as part of our approach to responsible growth. We’re proud to partner with WEN to help women across the Kansas City area achieve financial independence.”
Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders grant will allow WEN to launch its new WEN on the Road program, which will bring the expertise of WEN staff and additional resources to partner organizations within the community – resulting in an estimated 45 percent increase over two years in clients served. Funds will also be used to invest in the professional development of the next generation of WEN leadership to ensure the organization is well positioned to grow for years to come.
“At WEN, we believe in helping clients help themselves, and we know career and financial education resources are essential when it comes to achieving lasting financial stability,” said Sherry Turner, President of WEN. “We are honored to be named a 2017 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder, and we look forward to continuing to meet the needs of our clients where they are – beyond our traditional parameters – through collaboration with our community partners.”
Since 2004, through Neighborhood Builders, Bank of America has partnered with 22 nonprofits in Kansas City, investing more than $4 million to help them scale and improve services and programs serving the community. These partnerships are part of the broader program, through which the bank has invested $220 million in nearly 1,000 nonprofits and nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders across 45 U.S. communities. Neighborhood Builders is a signature demonstration of the bank’s efforts to build thriving communities by advancing economic mobility through a focus on workforce development, community development and basic needs. Through Neighborhood Builders, the bank has helped nonprofits create greater impact in communities and better prepare for the future by providing the tools and resources to develop stronger strategic plans, build cross-sector partnerships, and enhance funding opportunities.
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Kansas City Women in Technology to Partner with the OneKC for Women alliance
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (October 16, 2017) –
Kansas City Women in Technology is announcing a new partnership with OneKC for Women, an umbrella alliance that brings together several organizations, each with unique roles, all dedicated to providing resources, opportunities, and connections for women.
The alliance brings together the Women's Employment Network, Women's Business Center,
“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to partner with another organization as passionate about helping women as we are. We bring technical and coding skill development to the table, but it’s only one small piece of the helping diversity in the workforce puzzle,” said Jennifer Wadella, Founder of Kansas City Women in Technology. “We’re happy to work with OneKC to help better support the Kansas City community and bring opportunities to those who need them most.”
This partnership between Kansas City Women in Technology and the OneKC for Women alliance is another example of expanding options and providing additional resources and opportunities for women in our community.
Kansas City Women in Technology is a grassroots organization helping to grow the number of women in technology careers in Kansas City. The organization is unique to Kansas City, created to serve the local needs of the Kansas City technology community. For more information, please visit www.kcwomenintech.org.
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Deluxe Gives to WEN
WEN is pleased to be a recent recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Deluxe Corporation Foundation. Grant-making by the Deluxe Corporation Foundation has a focus on transitional programs such as those that promote self-sufficiency -- this focus is closely aligned with the services provided at WEN. The Deluxe Foundation Corporation has been a strong supporter of the work that WEN does for the women in our community, and with this recent award, our relationship grows even stronger.
Deluxe representatives Sue Peters and Sheila Huigens visited the WEN office on November 24, 2014 to present the check. They toured the facility and took time to speak with members of WEN Class 268. WEN is thrilled to be announced a recipient of these funds.
2013 Reach for the Stars: Thank You to our STARS!
Many thanks to our 2013 STARS, who close to $18,000 for WEN in over the course of this six-week summer campaign! From June 10-July 25, STARS committed to raising at least $500 for the Women's Employment Network. To achieve their goals, STARS hosted company jeans days, house parties, happy hours, and made many, many online requests for support.
Enjoy our photos from the celebration hosted by Kansas City Southern below.
Update from the Program: New Financial Coach
WEN is pleased to announce that Channa Navarro has joined our team as a Financial Coach. She started in this new role on March 25th, 2013 and has hit the ground running, working with clients to help them reach their financial goals. Financial coaching and credit counseling are services WEN has long hoped to offer, and we could not be more excited to welcome Channa.
Channa joined us from CommonBond Communities, a low income housing and services provider in Minnesota. In her role at CommonBond Communities, she served residents as a Financial and Employment Coach through the Financial Opportunity Center model which was developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Her role was to support residents as they achieved economic independence and wealth creation.
At WEN, Channa will be focusing on financial education and coaching. She will be an integral part of our five-week core training by providing the individualized coaching and workshops that will allow clients to make progress on their financial goals as they receive training for their employment goals. Channa will bring additional support to the clients served by the Women's Business Center and will be collaborating with the onsite staff from Justine Petersen to ensure that all OneKC for Women clients have access to an in-depth financial assessment process, a coach to guide them through the steps and the tools they need to make their financial success a reality.
WEN's 2013 Annual Luncheon was a huge success! Thanks to the generosity of all our event sponsors and guests, WEN was able to raise over $300,000 to support our programs and services that provide hope to women in need in Kansas City.
Highlights of the luncheon include the presentation of the Beth K. Smith award to UMB Bank, as well as the keynote address from WEN graduate Keisha Terrell and a moving appeal from Jon Darbyshire of the Archer Foundation asking for men to "Man Up" for WEN and do what they can to help women in Kansas City find sustainable employment.
WEN is grateful to the people who helped bring this luncheon together. Special thanks to our luncheon honorary chairs Tara & Jon Darbyshire and Dawn & Dave Baker, luncheon co-chairs Heather Anderson Feagans and Anita Bajaj Newton, the Digital Sound Systems, Inc. production team, and WEN's development committee.
Pictures from the 2013 luncheon:
Legacy Circle Celebration
WEN was happy to see so many of our friends and supporters at the 5th Annual Legacy Circle Event on September 19th. This is an important annual event for WEN, as it celebrates the circle of friends and supporters who are helping carry forward the legacy of WEN cofounders — Beth K. Smith and Marjorie Powell Allen. Legacy Circle donors commit to a contribution of $500, $1,000 or $3,000 for three years to support WEN’s training and support services. We are grateful that so many of you braved the rain to honor our cofounders and show your committment to the women of WEN.
Attendees got to hear from one of these exceptional women, Suzi, a 2013 WEN graduate who moved to Kansas City from Eritrea last year. Suzi was struggling with not only finding employment, but also was facing language and cultural barriers that made the job search process even more confusing. On top of those challenges, Suzi had a lack of emotional support, as she knew nobody in Kansas City other than her husband. WEN's five-week training program was a transformative experience for her professionally and emotionally; within three weeks of graduating she found employment and now knows there are many people here to support her.
Special thanks to our 2013 Event Co-Chairs Terry Anderson & Michael Henry and Victoria Kandt & Associates, and to J. Gilbert's-Wood Fired Steaks and Seafood, who generously provided the evening's catering.
2012 Legacy Circle Event
KANSAS CITY, MO, Sept. 7, 2012 — WEN would like to thank everyone who joined us yesterday at Global Prairie for our 4th Annual Legacy Circle Event. This is an important annual event for WEN, as it celebrates the circle of friends and supporters who are helping carry forward the legacy of WEN cofounders — Beth K. Smith and Marjorie Powell Allen.
We would like to thank the following individuals and companies for their generosity and support. Our 2012 Legacy Circle Event would not have been possible without your support — thank you!
Kate Ferrell Banks & Anne St. Peter
Jill Myers & Wes Gartner, Moxie Catering
Davy Hartman Campbell, Fulfillment Plus
Special thanks to:
Thank you to our gift bag donors:
Learn more about how you can contribute on our Legacy Circle page, which includes the full list of Legacy Circle Members.
All photos in the gallery below are courtesy of Thad Bell Photography.
2012 UMB Big Bash
KANSAS CITY, MO, June 21, 2012 — The Women’s Employment Network would like to thank UMB for their continued support and generosity. WEN was one of the two beneficiaries of the 2012 UMB Big Bash on June 21, 2012. The event featured Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers.
Sherry Turner, Women’s Employment Network president, was presented with a $50,000 check at the event. We were so thankful and honored to be a part of this year’s BIG show.
All photos in the gallery below are courtesy of Mark McDonald.
2012 Kansas City’s Got Talent — Corporate Talent Show
This was NOT your grade school talent show! The Women’s Employment Network would like to thank all of our 2012 sponsors, the acts who competed in the show, our volunteers who assisted during the November 7 event, and all of our individual ticket attendees and local supporters. It is because of you that this event was such a great success. Thank you!
We had over 200 attendees at this year’s event, we sold out of corporate sponsorships, we had 10 acts compete in the show, and the winner from our inaugural event performed as a special guest. It was a great night and an awesome fundraiser for the Women’s Employment Network. Click here to see all the photos from the event.
Our 2012 judges offered color commentary throughout the evening and after each performance.
Left to right: Chris Hernandez, Katie Van Luchene, Charles Bruffy and Millie Nottingham.
And the winners were.... (pictured below)
Jesus Butler, State Street
1st Place — People’s Choice
Selected by audience applause.
Prize: Sponsored by Boulevard Brewing Company
John Goolsby, DSS Inc.
2nd Place — Donor’s Choice
Awarded to the act that raised the most money; John raised $565!
Prize: Sponsored by Houlihan’s
BCQ, James B. Nutter & Company
3rd Place — Judge’s Choice
Our judges decided 3rd place.
Prize: Sponsored by Ink magazine
And, our emcee for the event was Darron Story .
People’s Choice Sponsors
Centerpieces Generously Provided By
2012 Reach for the STARS Campaign
Our 2012 Reach for the Stars Campaign was a record-breaking success. The campaign kicked off on June 14, and this year we had 29 people (Stars) connected to 21 local companies working to raise a minimum of $500 each by the end of the campaign, July 26. Over the course of the six-week campaign, there were company bake sales, house parties, happy hours, company jeans days, jewelry parties, company change jars, silent auctions and many, many online requests for support. Well, we are happy to report that all of these efforts not only helped us achieve our goal, but we exceeded it by $4,726!
That’s right! This year’s campaign raised the most to date: $22,726.
Shirley Cooper, our 2012 Top Fundraiser, brought in $4,100 in six weeks. For her efforts, she received the coveted prize, FREE Houlihan’s for a Year! Congratulations, Shirley!
Kayden Howard, Kansas City Southern: $1,199.12
Shelley Ericsson, Lathrop & Gage LLP: $500
Shannon Swift, J.P. Morgan: $815
Megan McCurdy, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP: $1,570
Catherine Kelly, Archer Foundation: $800
Amy Bagnall, Kendal King Group; Christy Wilson, Silpada Designs (independent representative): $500
Kelly Murphy, KCP&L: $596
Dawn Murphy, Saint Luke’s Health System: $500
Kim Winnett, Reece & Nichols; Angela Hurt, Veracity Solutions: $3,755
Lori McGroder, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP: $1,000
Shirley Cooper, Hallmark Cards: $4,100
Kim Klosak, Service Management Group: $510.12
Kassie Schlegel, Laura Castelluccio, PwC: $390
Sharon Holmes, Equity Bank: $770
Arlene Mockapetris, U.S. Bank: $700
Summer Interns, Global Prairie: $3,777
Joan Redhair, Erin Redhair, BRR Architecture / Community Volunteer: $500
Michelle “Mickey” Dixon, Kansas City Home Care Inc.: $500
Traci Daffer Martin, Husch Blackwell: $646
To learn more, email Nicole Levy, Director of Development or call (816) 595-1297.
Below are photos from our 2012 Reach for the Stars Campaign Victory Celebration. Special thanks to Kansas City Southern for hosting this event in their Grand Hall.
Photos courtesy of J. Robert Schraeder
WEN Graduate in the News
Last week Keisha Terrell moved the WEN luncheon audience with her story of triumph, recovering from incredible loss and unemployment to make a brighter future for herself and her two children. A news crew from KSHB was at the luncheon and profiled Keisha during the evening news.
Keisha's son, Martinous Woods, a Kauffman Scholar in the 8th grade, introduced her and shared the impact that his mother's career growth has had on him and his sister.
WEN Talent Show Spotlights Local Companies
Over 200 guests attended the 3rd Annual Kansas City's Got Talent-Corporate Talent Show November 5th at Boulevard Brewery which benefited Women’s Employment Network. Our judges all agreed that this was by far the most talent group of performers they've seen in the three years hosting this event!
Thank you to all of our 2013 Sponsors who helped make this event possible, all of our 2013 acts who helped put on an amazing show, all of those individuals who purchased individual tickets and helped cheer our performers on. Special thanks to DSS, Inc., The Jacobson, and Boulevard Brewery who were instrumental in making this year's event a success for WEN. And, many thanks to Katie Van Luchene, Charles Bruffy and Millie Nottingham, our 2013 judges and to Darron Story, KCGT’s emcee. Take a look at pictures from the event below.
1st Place Winner
2nd Place Winner
3rd Place Winner
LISC Announces Second Financial Opportunity Center: Women’s Employment Network and LISC Join Forces to Help Women Achieve Financial Stability
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (November 22, 2013) — Greater Kansas City LISC is pleased to announce that the Women’s Employment Network (WEN) has been selected to provide financial education and coaching services to its clients using the LISC Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) model. WEN will offer these services at its downtown location at 920 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., and at various partner locations including the Blue Hills Business Center at 5008 Prospect, which is located in a LISC NeighborhoodsNOW community.
“We are thrilled to join the Financial Opportunity Center network,” said Sherry Turner, WEN president. “The Women’s Employment Network has always seen the positive impact to our clients in providing the financial education in tandem with job search. It is incredibly empowering to be working on a plan that takes a client out of the downward spiral. The outcomes are amazing!”
The LISC FOC model provides services across three areas: employment placement and career improvement; financial education and coaching; and public benefits access. These core services are integrated and provided to clients in a bundled fashion in order to reinforce one another and to provide a comprehensive approach to income and wealth building. They are designed to help clients increase their net income, credit scores, long-term job retention and net worth over time.
“The LISC FOC model is particularly unique in that it is neighborhood-based and incorporates personalized coaching to help families and individuals develop a long-term plan for financial stability,” said Stephen Samuels, executive director for Greater Kansas City LISC. “By helping stabilize family income, we are helping to stabilize our urban neighborhoods, which will ultimately benefit the greater Kansas City region.”
As a trusted community development leader, LISC works with local stakeholders to select and fund FOC partnerships. The proven, outcomes-based model complements and enhances the career training, financial coaching and microloan programs that WEN currently provides its clients.
Each year, WEN works with approximately 500 underserved women, 75% of them live below the federal poverty level and 60% are minority. WEN’s program offerings are uniquely structured to meet the varying needs and skill levels of women in all stages of un- and under-employment.
WEN will join a nationwide network of more than 70 Financial Opportunity Centers, and a LISC program model that is successfully helping families and individuals achieve economic stability in 30 other cities. Bank of America was the lead funder helping LISC bring the FOC model to Kansas City. LISC’s first FOC - the Prosperity Center at Rockhurst University - opened in June 2013 at 5151 Troost Ave.; it is a collaborative partnership between Catholic Charities Kansas City-St. Joseph, Kansas City Full Employment Council, Greater Kansas City LISC, Rockhurst University, and United Way of Greater Kansas City.
Greater Kansas City LISC anticipates announcing a third FOC partnership by the end of 2014.
National data show that the LISC model changes lives. It has earned a track record as a proven program helping individuals move away from living paycheck to paycheck to achieving real economic stability. In 2012, for example, of the 18,000 individuals who received the core bundled services, 4,800 people got jobs and 7,800 established a budget.
Over 75% of the clients who have subsequent meetings with their financial coach achieve at least one key financial outcome:
Artist Lori Buntin Featured at WEN
The Women’s Employment Network office features artwork from local artist Lori Buntin. Lori has generously loaned 10 pieces of art from various bodies of work to WEN — filling our office walls with beauty, encouragement and life!
Below are a few of the pieces that are currently at WEN or have graced our walls in the past!
To set up a tour of the Women’s Employment Network — to learn more about our program and see Lori's work while you’re here — please contact us.
WEN Public Service Announcement
Mar. 31, 2010 — Thanks to the generosity of Global Prairie, the Women’s Employment Network has a beautiful 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) created for its use. In addition, this piece was featured at all local (and national) AMC Theatres prior to featured presentations during the month of March 2010. We would also like to thank AMC Entertainment Inc. for their generosity and support!
We won 2nd Place at the Philly Awards Luncheon on November 9, 2010 for excellence in nonprofit communications!
Lunch & Learn with Young Friends of WEN - May 19th
Tickets are almost sold out. To register, call Mark Halastik at 816-595-1298.