Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, embracing independence as an entrepreneur, or taking a hiatus from the business world to raise a family while yearning to keep business connections up to date, Peninsula Women’s Network (PWN) hopes to be part of your next chapter.
The business networking group was initially organized by Phyllis Albert, Karen Belding, Agnes Braganza, and Audrey Tyree, four Peninsula women who met for lunch in February 1979 to discuss the possibility of forming an organization for career women. Currently hovering at just over 100 members, the nonprofit offers a plethora of opportunities for members to exchange knowledge and resources while assisting one another with growing their businesses and advancing careers.
“Our focus is to empower women and their businesses,” said MaKenna Wood, president of PWN and chief marketing officer with Proximo Marketing Strategies. “We are the longest running women’s network in the United States. We’re really all about networking and helping each other with our businesses, to grow our businesses, and to be out in the community serving others.”
Members are offered the chance to network through monthly socials, group meetings, and member-led workshops in addition to advertising and marketing opportunities presented through the group’s newsletters, website, social media accounts, and events. Volunteer opportunities, member-to member discounts, and other perks are included with membership.
“While we do not have a headquarters, all of our meetings are held on the Peninsula,” said Wood. “For example, whoever is elected president for the year usually chooses the location where we have our annual board meetings, so they can be anywhere from Newport News to Hampton, Williamsburg, and Gloucester.”
PWN won the nonprofit category for the 2022 Retail Alliance’s Retailer of the Year Award.
“It’s been super amazing that we are getting a little bit more recognition out in the community and on the Peninsula,” said Wood. “We’re very grateful for that.”
Becky Mosbrucker, owner of Forward Safety Training LLC and former PWN board member, said she was introduced to the organization about six years ago by a friend who wanted to connect her with the group before she moved out of town.
“It was important to her that I met this group of ladies, so I attended a meeting with her and went back a few months later during a membership drive,” said Mosbrucker. “Everyone in the room was welcoming. They didn’t know me from Adam but were so friendly and engaging that I knew I wanted to be a part of this group. It was the best experience I’ve ever had with any type of networking group.”
PWN’s next evening social, a Potluck & Craft Night, will be held from 6pm to 8pm on Monday, December 12 at New Hope Pentecostal Church, 80 Groome Rd. in Newport News. After dinner, participants will work together to create fleece blankets that will benefit young patients in the cancer ward at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. The event is free of charge and open to women who are interested in learning more about the organization.
Individual membership options cost $12.99 monthly or $124.99 yearly. The group also offers a $199.99 yearly membership through its two-member company bundle.
For more information about PWN or to register for its Potluck & Craft Night, visit the organization’s website.