We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and wish you all a happy, healthy New Year! 2015 was a busy and productive year for the WLN! Our members networked, socialized and strengthened their commitment to our expanded mission: Supporting women in career crisis or transition through our signature career mentoring program WoMentoring as well as the JVSWorks (Job Training) Programs, Veterans First and A Girl's Place - serving job seekers, women veterans and at risk youth.
The year's activities culminated in our 3rd Annual Woman to Woman Conference, which took place September 17that the Skirball Cultural Center with well over 500 attendees, raising over $278,000 and resulting in dozens of new members. To see photos from the event, Click Here.
The day was topped off with a special shopping event hosted by conference donor Bloomingdale's Century City, featuring Heather Thomson and her designer line Yummie - all to benefit the WLN and the JVS programs we support.
We are thrilled to announce that the date has been set for our 4th Annual Woman to Woman Conference. We will be returning to the beautiful Skirball Cultural Center on Thursday, November 17.
We have lots of exciting plans for 2016 and will keep you updated about opportunities to volunteer, get involved and help us make difference!
In each of our quarterly E-Newsletters, we will be featuring one of the JVS programs supported by the WLN. This month we wanted to share the latest from our signature women's career mentoring program:
The 16 pairs of women who comprised the June to December WoMentoring cohort successfully completed the program. The mentees in this group pursued diverse and exciting career paths and we attracted a large number of new, highly accomplished mentors. Many thanks to our incredible friends at Cedars for connecting us with some outstanding women in both medical and non-medical fields. We also made some great connections in L.A. City government with District Directors from the offices of two L.A. City Councilmembers stepping in as first-time mentors.
As the program matures, we are attracting more mentees who are well educated with good employment histories who have either lost their jobs and/or made the decision to switch careers entirely. As a focused career development program, WoMentoring is unique among the many JVS programs offered throughout the agency. We are offering our mentees the opportunity for significant career growth, enabling them to reach higher than they could have imagined on their own. Thanks to each and every one of you who supports these efforts, whether as a mentor or donor.
We'd like to introduce you to Melissa and her mentor, Lori Underhill. Melissa worked for a number of years for the Olympic Games in the U.S. and internationally in the areas of Operations, PR and Marketing. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Japanese and Euskadi. While working for the Olympics, Melissa repeatedly heard of the need for modest exercise clothing which would enable women to participate in sports without violating their religious or cultural beliefs.
When Melissa decided to have a child, she settled in the U.S. and turned her interest to a new entrepreneurial venture: designing and making modest exercise clothing for women athletes and others. She had created a company and produced prototypes, but lacked the expertise to grow the company into a viable enterprise. Her goals included building a go-to-market strategy, learning how to build brand awareness, networking and creating the perfect sales pitch - which is challenging as Melissa is hearing impaired. Melissa was paired with Lori Jo Underhill, a successful entrepreneur who has brought several products to market. Last year, Lori Jo graduated from law school but rather than practice law, she is pursuing her passion in the entrepreneurial arena. They have met with much success and Melissa's company is on the verge of launching a new website and has begun to sell her products to modest women of many faiths.
A group of WLN Members and several potential members participated in a WLN Networking Event on July 30th.
Duffy's Cake Mix in West Hollywood was the scene for a great evening of fun and networking event for the WLN.
"The evening was adorable!! Great idea" said WLN longtime Executive Committee member, Linda Gach Ray. "I had a great time. What a lovely group. Thank you for inviting me." from guest Elizabeth Weinberg of Cedars Sinai.
"Great and very fun event! Kudos to all" said Jane Cohen, WLN Executive Committee Member. Participants networked for the first half hour with wine, champagne and cheese where they met each other, some for the first time. They then broke into groups and competed in a cake decorating competition. Imaginations went wild and several Girl Power, WLN or JVS themed cakes were created. Pictured below is the "JVS: the jewel of Southern California" cake and the team that created it. The WLN group will hold another networking event in the fall.
As a WLN Member, you are always welcome to attend the JVSWorks Program Graduations where you can see for yourself how your support is changing lives!
Next up is the JVS ApartmentWorks Graduation at 9:30 am on Wednesday, March 23rd.
And you will definitely want to SAVE THE DATE for our next Bloomingdale’s Shop for a Cause to benefit the WLN on April 20th at the Century City store. The evening will begin at 6pm with cocktails and lite bites, followed by an exclusive fashion/accessory presentation by Steve Cojocaru (Cojo)! But it gets even better because Bloomie’s is once again generously offering our guests the Private Sale special savings offer of $25 off every $100, though certain exclusions will apply.
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