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WEN eNewsletter - May 2017


Honoring Beth Smith's Legacy

  WEN Co-Founder Beth K. Smith

On Wednesday, April 19th, the Kansas City community lost one of its most innovative and preeminent leaders. Beth K. Smith spent a lifetime championing causes across the KC metro area, leaving behind a legacy that will be felt for generations.

"We have lost a cherished asset to this community," says Sherry Turner, WEN President. "Beth was one of the most influential leaders for many decades. So many women and families have been profoundly impacted by her determination. Our community owes a great deal of gratitude to Beth and the legacy of her entire family."

Beth's philanthropic and professional legacy includes involvement in the areas of racial justice, gender equality, the Jewish Community, and nonprofit leadership. She was on numerous local and national boards, and established Women's Employment Network (WEN) with her friend and colleague Marjorie Powell Allen in 1986.

Our Best Luncheon Yet

Clockwise from top right: Rick Young, Sarah Rask, and Debbie Smith; Kim Jones; Millie Edwards performing; Co-Chairs Lisa Ginter and Angela Hurt; Luncheon program; and Debbie Smith, Cindy Farrow, Sherry Turner, Lisa Ginter, Angela Hurt, and Kim Jones.

The Women’s Employment Network's 2017 Luncheon, held April 4th, brought close to 1,100 business and community leaders together to celebrate the strength of women in our community. The Luncheon was co-chaired by Lisa Ginter, Chief Executive Officer, CommunityAmerica Credit Union and Angela Hurt, Founder and CEO, Veracity Consulting, Inc. State Street Kansas City was honored with the 2017 Beth K. Smith award due to their outstanding commitment to Women’s Employment Network and its mission.

Our clients stood up in front of the crowd and shared the challenges they have overcome to become stronger individuals, stronger mothers and stronger employees.  It was a powerful testimony not only to the strength and drive of the women we serve, but the community of supporters and organizations who help WEN persevere through the decades.

We sincerely thank everyone who was able to attend the event, sponsor a table or make a donation. If you were not able to attend and would like to contribute, please click here and make your donation today. 

To see additional event photos, courtesy of J Robert Schraeder Photography, click here.

Employers-- Sign Up for the May 23rd Kansas City Job Fair Today!

Make plans to join us for our Spring Job Fair on Tuesday, May 23rd from 1:00-4:00 PM at the Sheraton Crown Center. Our past events have been extremely successful, with dozens of local companies participating and hundreds of job seekers in attendance.

Our job fair is one of Kansas City's most successful and longest running Job Fairs. Proceeds from the event will go to support WEN's programming, and your company will receive a letter for their tax-deductible donation.

To sign up as an employer click here.

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with Young Friends of WEN

Join Young Friends of WEN Saturday, May 6th from 3:30 to 6:30 PM for the 1st Annual WEN Hats & Horses, a Kentucky Derby watch party! 

The event will be held at Ollie's Local in Martini Corner-- where you will be able to win fun prizes for best outfit, best hat, and best bow tie. Enter into a raffle for the winning horse. Enjoy appetizers and mint juleps! No cover charge, cash bar.

RSVP to Sarah Fox at sfox@kcwen.org or by calling 816-595-1298.

WEN Hats & Horses is an event powered by the Young Friends of WEN.

Mindfulness and Meditation

On Thursday, May 11th, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, Rebecca Martin of McDowell Rice Smith & Buchanan P.C. will introduce alumnae to the practices of meditation and mindfulness and the benefits of daily practice.

Networking and light snacks 6:00 to 6:30 PM. To ensure the integrity of the program, attendees are asked to arrive no later than 6:15 PM. The event will be held at Women's Employment Network, 920 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64105.

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

A Night at the Phoenix

Millie Edwards, the Kansas City legendary performer who kicked off the 2017 WEN Luncheon, will be hosting an evening of entertainment to benefit WEN.

The show will be held on Monday, June 5th, from 6:00-9:00 PM, at The Phoenix (302 W. 8th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105). Enjoy food and drink specials, prizes, and live music! Suggested $10 donation at the door. 

OneKC for Women Alliance Update

Sherry Turner speaks to guests at the April WE-Connect hosted at Lead Bank

WE-Connect: In 2017, the OneKC for Women alliance restarted WE-Connect series, a forum for women entrepreneurs to connect with their peers and identify resources to help them grow their businesses. These events are aimed at strengthening current connections and establishing new relationships, as well as celebrating the amazing success of women business leaders. 

There have been two WE-Connect events so far in 2017. The January event was hosted at the Women's Business Center, and more recently, an April event was hosted in downtown Kansas City at Lead Bank. Both events had over 100 business leaders attend, respectively, with many signing up as event sponsors. The success of these events show how robust and supportive women in business are in Kansas City, and OneKC hopes to continue them long into the future.

The next WE-Connect event will be held at CBIZ on the Plaza in July of this year, the exact date and time TBD. For more information on WE-Connect, or how the alliance can help strengthen your woman-led business, please contact Brande Stitt by email or phone at 913-492-5922.

STRONGER Together: Video

For our recent Luncheon, WEN was lucky enough to once again partner with Sprint to create a video to be shown to the event attendees. We were once again overwhelmed by the results-- not only by its compelling artistry, but also the way in which the video producers were able to convey the story of WEN Graduate Veronica Johnson. 

Special thanks to Sprint for making it possible for WEN to tell its story in such a unique way. Also, thank you to Veronica for letting us share it. To view this video, and past luncheon videos, click here.

Get Involved: WEN Volunteer Program

Since January, community volunteers have donated over 100 hours in mock interview and resume review time to WEN clients. Learn how you can get involved at our next Volunteer Orientation. You will hear more about WEN programs, additional volunteer opportunities and meet program staff. Large groups and individuals are welcome.

Upcoming Volunteer Orientation: May 18th, 12:30-1:30 PM at WEN's office, 920 Main Street, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64105.

WEN Welcomes Ashley Williamson in Full-Time Position

WEN is pleased to announce that Ashley Williamson joined our team as the new Community Engagement Coordinator on May 1st.  Ashley has been an integral part of our alumnae and volunteer program enhancements in the past several months and we are grateful she has chosen WEN to continue her career path.  

Ashley recently completed her graduate degree with the University of Kansas' School of Social Welfare. She 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. Now, Ashley is a full-time staff member that has taken over, and completely rejuvenated, our volunteer, alumnae, and outreach efforts. 

Becoming Marjorie: Book Lunch and Celebration

Save the Date!

Please join us for the book launch of Becoming Marjorie: The Life and Legacy of Marjorie Powell Allen.

2:00 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2017
at Unity Temple on the Plaza
707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

Reserve your Limited Edition book online at Rainy Day Books, call 913-384-3126, or
in-store at Rainy Day Books in Fairway Shops.

Upcoming Event with Sheryl Sandberg

Thinking Bigger Business Media has joined with Rainy Day Books for an upcoming author event featuring Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in conversation with Senator Claire McCaskill about Sheryl’s new hardcover book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (co-authored by Adam Grant). 

The event is Saturday, May 6th, 2017, at 7:00 PM at Unity Temple on the Plaza. Admission packages are $25.95 plus tax and include the hardcover book. Admission packages are available by clicking here.