Women’s network plans expansion
By Amber Hoffman
InternWomen’s Alliance Network is working to give women a place to build business and social connections.
Founded by three friends who wanted to create a networking group exclusively for women, the group has six San Diego chapters - including one in the La Jolla-Golden Triangle area - and plans to expand nationwide.
“The momentum has been huge for launching only (eight) months ago,” WAN co-founder Kim Horner said.
Horner is co-owner of C&H Gardens Artistic Landscape and Tree Service in Encinitas, Saundra Pelletier is an executive coach based in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Michelle Wilson is an independent fashion consultant. Gretchen Fleet, a La Costan, jumped in and started the La Jolla group, which generally meets on the first Tuesday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cozymel’s at UTC. It now has 13 members.
“It’s a great chance to support and promote ourselves personally and professionally,” she said.
A jewelry designer herself, Fleet said others in her group include a physical therapist, a singer and a telecommunications specialist. Some are stay-at-home moms. They range in age from their late 20s to their late 30s, she added.
The group is not only designed for women business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals, but for any women looking to meet other like-minded women. It was important to the founders that WAN included social and business members.
“It’s open to all women,” Pelletier said. “There’s no secret society or handshake. We have a lady who just moved to town and asked if she needed a referral to join. She loved the fact that it was for every woman.”
WAN founders wanted meetings to have three specific components: each member showcases her business at some point during the year, accelerated networking (think speed dating) and guest speakers each quarter.
Each chapter of WAN meets at a different time during the day in order to accommodate women with a variety of schedules.
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