“Women Empowering Each Other”
The mission of Watauga Women in Leadership (WWIL) is to empower High Country women in business and leadership in all stages of their careers. This will be accomplished through:
- Quarterly events that support women through networking, social activities and educational speakers.
- Creating a networked organization to enable and grow business, support and mentoring opportunities among professional women in the High Country.
Background: The High Country has very disparate geographies and many small businesses with no major industry and no central way to for professional women to communicate with each other. The need was seen to help each other grow in business and on the professional front. Currently the only women’s organizations are charity and fundraising oriented.
History of Organization: WWIL is in its third year of existence and is in the process of planning its 9th quarterly event. The initial event was at the ASU Chancellors residence in November of 2014. At least two events have seen attendance above 150 people.
Structure/Operations: Part of the Boone Chamber of Commerce given the business focus of the organization and the ability to have non-profit status.
- Officers of WWIL: President, VP, Membership Chair, Sponsorship Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Board Members.
- Plan to contract for services to develop digital member directory, develop and manage website, social media, administrative activities.
Funding: Sponsorships, event tickets, membership fees, fundraising. Event tickets cover a portion of the events. To date additional funding has been obtained through 2 auctions at events and sponsorship (Carolina West Wireless).
Activities: Quarterly networking events. 2017 goal to move into a true membership with digital directory of members and ways for members and non-members to interact beyond quarterly events. Membership not required for event attendance.
Benefit to Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Members:
- WWIL will increase awareness among women of the benefits of joining their local Chamber of Commerce. Boone Chamber of Commerce materials can be provided at events and members are directed to the Boone Chamber site.
- WWIL will help women grow to potentially start and grow businesses of their own.
- Chamber members are welcome to sponsor any event or part of the WWIL operations. At events, sponsors can have tables, sign ups, hand out promotional items or materials.
Lauren Fontaine Byrd