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WEN eNewsletter - February 2017


Luncheon Co-Chairs Angela Hurt, CEO and Founder of Veracity Consulting,Inc. and
Lisa Ginter, CEO of CommunityAmerica
Credit Union.

Join us for WEN's 2017 luncheon on Tuesday, April 4th from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center. Find out what makes our graduates STRONGER. Help us celebrate women overcoming adversity and charting new paths toward career success and financial independence. The Luncheon will be Co-Chaired by Lisa Ginter, Chief Executive Officer of CommunityAmerica Credit Union and Angela Hurt, CEO and Founder of Veracity Consulting, Inc. 

Now more than ever, WEN needs your support. Funds raised through our luncheon our vital to help ensure that women in our community receive the training and support services they need to gain self-sufficiency for themselves and the families that depend on them. Sponsorships begin at $1,500 and come with a table for ten and special recognition. Table Hosts ($1,000) are also welcome! Individual tickets are $100 and can be purchased here. 

For more information or to become a sponsor, please email Nicole Levy or call 816-595-1297.

2015-2016 WEN Annual Report

Women's Employment Network recently published our 2015-2016 Annual Report. This report details the full range of WEN's programming, communicates important outcomes, and gives an update on our financial standing. Thank you to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City for generously printing copies for us to provide to our donors and stakeholders. Click here to read and download. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Keri Westlund

Women's Employment Network is fortunate to have a network of volunteers that assist our small staff deliver crucial program curriculum using industry expertise. For the past several years, State Street has been instrumental in providing leadership among our volunteer corps. Keri Westlund, a member of the Talent Acquisition Team from State Street's downtown Kansas City office, has been volunteering with WEN since 2013.

"I am thoroughly impressed by WEN, the clients and the program," Keri states. "The impact on women is very inspirational. It’s incredibly rewarding for me to hear about WEN successes, and to see women succeed, and meet their goals. WEN provides so much for their clients, and many times, makes a life-long impact."

Keri presents quarterly at WEN's Job Club meetings. While topics somewhat vary, she is currently presenting both “Taking the Stress out of Interviewing” and “Creating an Elevator Pitch," each for an hour a session. In the first hour, Keri speaks to WEN clients about what are in the main stressors in the interview process, and reviews strategies that can mitigate the pressure. They spend time discussing the three P’s: plan, practice and preparation; and how these play a key role in alleviating stress. 

In the second hour the group studies the Elevator Pitch– what it is, when you can use it, and how it can be tailored to almost any situation. The participants pair up and create their own, using each other as practice. The morning concludes with participants presenting their Elevator Pitch to the full group.

"I always look forward to the Job Club sessions at WEN. I find the participants engaged, positive and ready to participate. Feedback on our sessions has been extremely positive. I’m thrilled to provide sessions that are valuable," says Keri.

WEN's programming relies heavily on community involvement and volunteers, and is lucky to benefit from strong partners in the business community. WEN is grateful to State Street for sharing their time and expertise.

Client Spotlight: Alumnae Holiday Party

WEN Alumnae from 1992-2016

In December almost 40 women attended WEN's annual Alumnae Holiday party. This year, the event was held at the WEN office and catered by Bomar Catering. Graduates from classes as far back as 1992 were represented at the party. 

For more information about WEN's Alumnae Program, contact Ashely Williamson at 816-595-1299 or email.

OneKC for Women Alliance Update

Upcoming Classes with the Women's Business Center:

LaunchU: This eight-week program will help you develop a start-up plan to not only begin, but succeed in business. This program is designed specifically for micro-entrepreneurs, business owners who will be starting up on a shoestring budget and employing five or fewer employees at the start of their business.

-Next Class Date: February 25, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 4747 Troost, Room 114, Kansas City, MO 64110.

To enroll in this course or receive more information, contact Judy Bumpus or call 913-492-5922.

FastTrac NewVenture: A program of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, this course helps you define and evaluate your business concept. Through research, in-class activities, guest speakers who are subject matter experts, peer-to-peer interaction, and facilitated discussions, each entrepreneur works on the key aspects of starting or refining her business venture.

-Next Class Date: February 21, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Women's Business Center, 4220 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Suite 350B, Fairway, Kansas 66205.

To sign up for this course, contact Brande Stitt or call 913-492-5922.

Primed for Growth: This course teaches business owners about basic business financial management in an easy-to-understand format. The goal is to provide you with necessary information and tools that will allow you to make strategic financial decisions so they are able to grow and expand your business into sustainable and profitable enterprises.

-Next Class Date: March 14, 8:30-10:30 a.m., at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110. Click here to register.

Upcoming Classes with the Women's Employment Network:

WEN’s signature program is uniquely structured to meet the varying needs and skill levels of women in all stages of employment: those who are unemployed, underemployed, laid off, new to the job market or seeking to re-enter the workplace. It is a five-week course where clients set personal goals, engage in mock interviews, write a new resume, conduct a custom job search, and receive financial coaching and education.

-WEN's next Signature Class will begin on Tuesday, February 21 at 9:00 a.m., at the WEN office, 920 Main, Ste. 100, Kansas City, MO 64105.

To sign up for this course, contact Lynnette Williams or call 816-822-8083.

WEN Welcomes New Staff Member Ashely Williamson

Ashley Williamson, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

Women's Employment Network is pleased to introduce Ashley Williamson, our new Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator. Ashley, a graduate student at University of Kansas' School of Social Welfare, began her tenure at WEN in August of 2016 in order to fulfill the practicum requirement for the Macro focus of her master's degree. After several months on the WEN team, our staff worked with KU faculty to expand Ashley's role to include an employment-based practicum. In her new role, Ashley will be responsible for coordinating volunteer, alumnae, and general outreach efforts.

Prior to coming to WEN, Ashley worked at Kansas City Kansas Community College in the Adult Education Department. There, she worked with students studying English as a Second Language as the Career and College Readiness Instructor. Upon taking the position at WEN, Ashley has moved to tutoring ESL students part-time. Ashley is also passionate about socio-economic research and works with Dr. Terri Friedline at The University of Kansas on an initiative called Mapping Financial Opportunities, which is designed to study financial inclusion and access —particularly for those living in poverty that may be at a competitive disadvantage. The research aims to study financial inclusion and access as a bridge to the economic world. WEN is thrilled to formally welcome Ashley to the WEN team.

Young Friends of WEN Volunteer Night

From Left to Right: Nicole Jones, Dana Wilson, Klassie Alcine, Courtney Karr (YFOW Chair), Julie Bunge, and Megan Whitman

Thank you to all of the Young Friends that came out to help create Jump Start Your Job Search bags for the next two classes of Women's Employment Network graduates. These bags help women celebrate the completion of five weeks of intense training and gives them the boost they need to find their careers. Stay tuned for more volunteering opportunities with Young Friends of WEN!

For more information on the YFOW group, click here for more information.

Angel Investment 101: A Lunch & Learn

Young Friends of WEN will be hosting a Lunch & Learn on February 23, 2017, at the Women's Business Center, from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM.

Join Kelly Sievers Pruneau as she discusses the equity funding arm of the OneKC for Women Alliance, Women’s Capital Connection (WCC). As Network Manager of the WCC, Pruneau works with over 40 female investors who provide equity investments in women-led, high growth ventures, and has invested over $3M in 16 companies over the past 9+ years. Learn more about the type of companies WCC has invested in and engage with her as she walks you through the angel investment process. 

RSVP to Sarah Fox or at 816-595-1298. Admission is $5 for YFOW members, and $15 for nonmembers.

Charity BINGO at Hamburger Mary's

Join the Young Friends of WEN in celebrating International Women's Day with Charity HAM-Bingo benefiting WEN.

The event will be held at Hamburger Mary's on Wendesday, March 8, from 7:00-8:30 PM, 3700 Broadway, #110, Kansas City, MO 64111.

100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Women's Employment Network.

RSVP to Sarah Fox or call at 816-595-1298.

Financial Coaching and the Alliance for Economic Inclusion

WEN's Client Services Manager, Erin Cole, participates in AEI panel discussion.

Financial coaching is gaining recognition as an effective strategy that can improve the financial capability and resiliency for clients and consumers. WEN participates in a community strategy as a LISC Financial Opportunity Center, with emphasis on financial coaching as a model improving sustainable outcomes for our clients. Erin Cole, WEN's Client Services Manager, contributed to a recent the discussion around these topics at a recent Kansas City Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) meeting.

AEI consists of 350 individuals representing 225 organizations in a broad-based coalition of financial institutions, community-based organizations, businesses, schools and other partners in several markets across the Kansas City metro area.  AEI focuses on bringing unbanked and underserved populations into the financial mainstream. During this AEI meeting, panelists discussed key elements of financial coaching, how it differs from other strategies, such as financial counseling, and critical factors organizations should consider when contemplating integration of financial coaching into their existing programs and services.  Erin offered a look at how WEN has incorporated quality financial coaching into WEN's programming since 2012. Other panelists included Jeremy Hegler, Senior Development Advisor - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Trese Robinson, Program Officer - LISC, and Starla Brennen, Operations Director - Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries.

For more information on WEN's financial coaching programs, click here.