What began as a “small group” gathering in 1990 has grown into an amazing network of professional women who love where they live and love the endless possibilities they see in each other every single day.
Founded on the principles of believing in yourself, honoring commitment, and creating inspiration wherever possible, the Professional Women of Winston-Salem (PWWS) welcomes women from all areas and professions and has truly created a community of its own – within the larger Forsyth County community. From knowing when it’s time to switch gears in your profession, to adjusting your career goals to better suit where you are in life at the moment (Need more flexibility? Facing job burnout? Feeling the call to become a mentor?), the support members feel from PWWS can be life-changing.
The organization begins each new year with a rich and inspiring slate of themes geared towards helping members’ growth both professionally and personally. And each attendee writes a letter to herself detailing goals for the upcoming year, and the letters are re-read the following January. The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Flow Club at BB&T Ballpark.
For 2019, following the 2018 theme of “Your Year of Transformation” and this year’s vision of “Your Professional Journey’s Next Level,” this dynamic group of women will be focusing on topics that will include the following, to better their own lives and to nurture future generations of women in Forsyth County:
- Being a culture carrier: Are you modeling professionalism?
- Embracing life in transition
- Dressing for Success: This is the group’s philanthropic focus for the first quarter of 2019, and they will be collecting clothing donations in partnership with winstonsalem.dressforsuccess.org
- Body language, attitude, and personal presentation
- Focusing on philanthropy
- Mentoring – recognizing what you have to share with others and finding your own mentor as well
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Networking activity that allows you to open doors for others, as well as yourself
- Building stamina and discipline for a healthy mind and body
- Impacting your own finances with a “side hustle”
- Impacting the community with a focus on non-profits
- Achieving work/life balance, setting goals, and keeping it all in perspective
Besides inviting a diverse group of guest speakers from within the Forsyth County community to further their “living and learning” strategies, the camaraderie within PWWS also regularly encourages the sharing of inspirational quotes, book recommendations (these are women with likely several good selections on their nightstands!) and advice on continually inspiring each other to step out of everyday comfort zones. Growth is what PWWS is all about!
Since 2000, PWWS has also given annual scholarships to assist single, employed mothers in Forsyth County who are working towards the completion of a college degree. Recognizing the personal sacrifice of these women is a shining example of giving back to inspire women to keep moving forward towards success, rather than focusing on past defeats.
Current President Barb Smith leads this year’s dynamic board, along with Andrea Kimura, Vice President, Julie Bell, Secretary, Rebecca Brummel, Treasurer, Suzanne Traub, Membership Chair, Erika Mielke, Programs Chair, Shandi Foster, Marketing Chair, Peg Weir, Scholarship Chair, Cassandra Elliott, Special Events Chair, Rita Bottoms, Programs Co-Chair, Michelle Harris, Marketing Co-Chair/Photography, and Karen Gerber, Special Events Co-Chair. Without a doubt, it is the entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to the families and careers that molds PWWS into such an engaging group of community leaders!
For more information on becoming a member of the Professional Women of Winston-Salem and updates on their ongoing programs, visit pwws.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also encouraged to donate to their scholarship fund throughout the year by visiting the website.