Professional Women's Group Hosts Event To Support Troops
During the social networking event, members and guests created greeting cards for soldier overseas and heard from experts about how to survive in the event a natural disaster hits. NAPW Santa Clarita Local Chapter President Nicky “Dare” Eddy also announced that Actress and Animal Activist Tippi Hedren will be the guest speaker at the Chapter’s meeting in January.
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The Chapter President started the meeting by warmly welcoming members, guests, and the guest speaker, Stephanie English of the LA County Fire Department, to the event.
“This is your meeting, your success, your networking group. Share, learn, and grow together,” she enthusiastically said to the group of professional women.
She then revealed to the group who would be next month’s guest speaker.
“Our special guest speaker in January will be the actress Tippi Hedren, who starred in the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds” in 1963,” she said. “Ms. Hedren is also a founder of The Roar Foundation/Shambala Preserve. The meeting topic will be “Embracing the New Year with Health & Happiness.”
The next Santa Clarita Chapter meeting will be held at George’s Bistro on January 12th at 6:00 to 8:00pm.
The President then spoke on behalf of one of the guest speakers scheduled to talk at the December event, Sharon Ventrice of Prayer Angels for the Military of Santa Clarita. She told the crowd that Sharon was unable to make the meeting because she had to attend the Christmas Lighting for Gold Star families at City Hall.
She said that when asked how Chapter members could be part of the holiday packages that are sent to troops that are stationed overseas, the only items that stood out from the traditional requests of blankets, socks, granola bars, etc., were holiday cards and letters. To that end, Nicky brought holiday cards with her to the Chapter meeting and invited members and guests to write a message to the soldiers.
“Our hearts were touched as this was the only item our troops were looking for to light up their Christmas from afar.
We thank each one of them. God Bless our troops,” said the Chapter President.
“The evening was filled with an ambiance of holiday spirit and camaraderie. It was a great evening spent with everyone in the room.”
During dinner, the Chapter President, an Outdoor Enthusiast, Mentor, and Survival Strategist, shared survival tips and advice that tied into the evening’s meeting topic: ‘Natural Disasters and Emergency Preparedness: Strategizing Your Safety and Survival.’
“As we all know, it is not ‘if,’ it is rather ‘when’ it happens,” she reminded the crowd.
The meeting topic chosen was ideal since during hectic holidays such as Christmastime, people neglect to maintain their guards in their surroundings, and maintaining their “situational awareness. ” The Chapter President had invited Stephanie English, Community Liaison from the LA County Fire Department, to present some helpful tips and tools that could be used in preparation by members and guests in the event of natural disasters situation.
According to the Fire Department survey, the highest peak time for them to receive calls is during Christmas, simply due to Christmas trees. Everyone needs to be more responsible and careful in maintaining Christmas trees during the holiday season, as far as watering them, attending them, poor wiring, buying trees that are already dry, etc.
“Members and guests were delighted to receive the helpful information to better prepare themselves that can be applied not only to emergency situations, but also during the holiday season,” said the President. “The key is to maintain our ‘situational awareness’ and be vigilant.”
The presentation was filled with many interesting tips and useful ideas, and members and guests received helpful guides for families, children, and animals; pet emergency preparedness plans, and guides to preparing essential emergency tools and kits at home, such as ‘survival bins’ filled with related emergency items for 72-hour supplies. Stephanie English, from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, also gave a very insightful presentation on preparedness to all members and guests.
“The room was filled with lots of great information! We also shared important brochures and kits during the meeting, including special raffles of emergency kits and tools,” said the Chapter President.
The President encouraged members and guests to prepare, if they don’t have it yet, their own ‘survival bins’ at home. The group agreed to monitor each month their list of items, such as water bottles, canned foods, emergency kits and tools, etc., to ensure they will be good as 72-hour supplies. Many members were delighted to receive such new information, and wanted to start immediately on assembling their own ‘survival bins’ at home, and obtaining other emergency supplies.
The guest speaker thanked everyone and expressed her gratitude for being part of the Chapter’s special night during the holiday season.
“I am impressed by just how organized and structured this meeting has been; very well put together!” Ms. English told the crowd. “I appreciate you inviting me to speak tonight.”
Nicky Dare then asked everyone to take a few minutes to introduce themselves to the crowd and talk about their careers, professional goals, and interests. She asked the questions: “Why NAPW?”, “What would you like to gain from this experience?”, and “What are your goals for next year?”
Each member and their guests introduced themselves, and shared with the others their businesses and any topics and/or insights they wished to share. Some of the members thanked the President and guest speaker for their tips on emergency preparedness. Special raffles gifts of emergency kits and tools were nicely wrapped ready to be given to two lucky winners at the end of the meeting. These were provided by the Chapter President.
Nicky Dare acknowledged those members who have been consistently attending the meetings since the first month in October. The member retention for the Santa Clarita is estimated as high as 90 to95%. Many members bring guests to each meeting.
“So far, to date, ten nonmembers have attended meetings. We need to keep growing!” said the President. “We have consistently increased our attendance rather significantly every month, with a balance of members and guests or nonmembers.
The NAPW Mission and Brand Promise were read by Terese Anthony. The Chapter President then made a number of announcements including current news and updates: NAPW has reached its goals of 400 chapters, nationwide as of the month. Also, NAPW has announced its annual Conference will be held April 26th in New York City. Nicky suggested that the Chapter make its own T-shirts that could be worn by members during community activities to promote the NAPW Santa Clarita Local Chapter. Everyone agreed and liked the suggestion.
“We should be proactive and become part of the community in giving back; after all, this is part of our mission statement,” said the Chapter President.
In recognition of the holiday season, Chapter member Erica Bristol led the group in a White Elephant holiday gift exchange. Everyone brought small gifts, not more than $10, gift-wrapped and numbered, but without names on them. Each person who brought a gift was given a number, and when the number was called out, that person chose a gift. However, if any person wanted to ‘take away’ a gift that was already chosen, that was allowed, but for no more than two times.
“This was a brilliant idea suggested by Erica Bristol. It was the highlight of an evening that was filled with unforgettable great times that we all spent together! Everyone had such a blast; there was plenty of laughter and close camaraderie,” said the President. “I was pleased to see everyone in our group having such a great time that night and we all hugged, and wished everyone a joyful holiday. The entire evening went very well for all!”
During the meeting, the owners of George’s Bistro introduced themselves to the group of professional women, and thanked the Chapter President and members for their business and great patronage.
“We were pleasantly surprised by their appearance and warm welcome!” said Nicky Dare.
The group also started a new tradition at Chapter meetings: Birthday Acknowledgements. The President acknowledged members who were having birthdays that month and she also brought a special Tiramisu cake and birthday candles to celebrate. Everyone in the room sang Happy Birthday to Cynthia Kirby, Erica Bristol, Teri Hutchison (who was not able to attend, because she was celebrating her birthday with her husband in Las Vegas), and Nicky Dare.
“It was definitely a magical night that we spent together. As a group, we all had fun and the meeting topic was excellent!” said the President.
The Chapter President concluded the meeting by asking members for any suggestions for future projects or ideas. All members agreed and applauded.
"Let’s share, grow, inspire, and motivate,” said the President as she closed the meeting. “Let’s keep going, Santa Clarita!”
“It has been a very humbling experience to have started the Chapter with only eight or nine women in attendance, and now at our third meeting, there was a very positive turnout,” said the President. “We had 18 show up at this meeting and all the members who came to our first meeting are still coming to every meeting. I am humbled by their interest and enthusiasm. There are members who already have RSVP’d to our next meeting in January!”
The attendees who were at the Santa Clarita Local Chapter “Year-End Holiday Social Networking” were: Terese Anthony, Director of Marketing at Hero’s Pride, which specializes in products for the uniform industry. Her skills and areas of expertise include branding, online marketing, and strategic planning.
Cynthia K. Kirby, Director, Occupational Safety and Health of Vulcan Materials Company – West Region based in Glendale. Her areas of expertise include mining and construction materials.
Margarita Goldberg, a Realtor of Kaballa Enterprises, who specializes in residential sales. Margarita shared her hobby of making jewelry.
LeAnn Connell, Staffing Advisor of Southern California Gas Company, who is ultimately responsible for professional hiring for various organizations within Southern California Gas Company.
Laetitia “Tish” Dawson, Finance Manager of PPG Aerospace Transparencies plant in Sylmar. Tish is also a VIP “Woman of the Year.”
Jackie Anderson, Owner of A Royal LifeStyle, who also brought guest Dee Taylor. Jackie specializes in coaching and eliminating debt.
Jennifer Zilliox-Deras, CISR, Assistant Vice President, Commercial Lines at Leavitt Insurance. She brought guest Tina Reeve, an Associate to Leavitt Group.
Ninoshika Baca “Nina,” Owner and C.E.O. of Altha Private Security, Inc., which specializes in private security services; operates two locations in Newhall and Bakersfield areas.
Erica Bristol, Esq., Mediator, specializing in business and personal dispute resolution. Erica’s areas of expertise include commercial contracts and transactions, intellectual property, namely, copyright, trademark, and trade secret, and landlord tenant matters.
Ada Villanueva, AIM Star Network Business Owner. Ada has attended a previous meeting and is highly interested in becoming a NAPW member.
Carmen Chivu, a CPA at Bessolo Haworth & Vogel, LLP, works with a group of CPAs specializing in wealth management, estate planning, business and individual taxation, and auditing. As an auditor, Carmen handles various midsize companies in industries, namely, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, hospitality, advertising, and food industry. Carmen offered her services to anyone who needs her help with preparing their business taxes. The Chapter President asked Carmen to speak to members in preparation for upcoming tax season, possibly in February 2013.
The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is the largest and most recognized network of female professionals. NAPW provides a forum where women can interact, exchange ideas, educate, network, and empower. NAPW Local Chapters allow members to maximize their experience through meetings, networking opportunities, and professional events.
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