Published November 16, 2004
Volume 12, Number 11

Express to Success Network Offers New Opportunity for Woman-to-Woman Business Networking

Individual relationships are a critical aspect to growing any organization. People are much more likely to refer an associate to someone they know and trust than to someone with whom they’ve had little contact.

That’s the key thought behind the newly formed American Business Women’s Association Express to Success Network, a Tri-Valley group which was formed in June and already has nearly 40 members.

According to Karen Pace, one of the founders of the group, there are two things that set the Network apart: a focus on creating individual relationships with other members and an emphasis on education.

“We meet once a month and it’s about more than business – it’s also dedicated to the education and growth of each woman, so each month we have a presentation on a different topic,” she explains. “Sometimes it’s a business topic – for instance, how to market your business – and then the next month it might be a personal growth topic or a financial topic, like ‘You’ve Made Money – How do you Manage It?’ It’s not just a social club and it’s not just hard-core business networking. There’s also an education component.”

The monthly meetings are structured to allow members to get to know each other personally and professionally. “From 6:00 to 6:30 p.m., we have what we call casual or informal networking and prospective member information time,” says Pace. “The meeting itself starts at 6:30 and from 6:30 to 7:00, we go around the room and introduce ourselves – who we are and what we do, that sort of thing – and then we hear from our speaker, who usually talks about half an hour, and then we spend a half an hour on more focused networking.”

Pace emphasizes the importance of the personal, focused networking period. “When we do our introductions, you might see one woman and say, ‘Ah! I want to get to know her.’ The final half hour allows our members to spend a little more focused time in getting to know each other and what our businesses are. The reason we do this is because we believe in the power of one-on-one referrals, and you really don’t want to refer somebody that you don’t know. For example, I may not have actually used someone’s financial services, but I may have spent a lot of time with her in these meetings getting to know who she is, finding out about her integrity, who her clients are, and I would feel confident in recommending this person because I got to know her on a one-on-one basis.”

The group meets on the third Thursday of every month at the Four Points Hotel at 5115 Hopyard Road in Hacienda. New and prospective members are welcome to attend two meetings before joining. The next meeting, on November 18, will feature a presentation on “Ways to Stay Healthy and Productive at Work,” conducted by group members Dr. Jennifer West of West Chiropractic and ergonomics expert Sharon Hebert.

For additional information, contact Karen Pace at (925) 426-0593 or kcpace@attglobal.net.   


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