25 years! That’s how long Mt. Diablo Business Women has been the East Bay’s premier business women’s networking organization.
The milestone was celebrated at the group’s April dinner event. There were close to 50 women who attended, including members who remember when the group was formed, those who’ve joined more recently, and those who were first-time attendees. Several of those first time attendees felt so welcomed and impressed with the business women they met, that they joined the group.
The evening began with a champagne toast by MDBW’s current president, Martha Alexander. She referred to the business support and business growth that women gain in the organization.
Martha was followed by the group’s founder and past president, Mary Schulze, who gave attendees a look back at the group’s beginnings, and talked about how she was able to reach out to women in the community and quickly grew the group to one where members were able to make strong connections and grow their businesses.
Other MDBW past presidents shared their memories of their leadership role in the group during a panel discussion moderated by MDBW member and Programs Chair, Joy Colino. In addition to Mary Schulze, panel members were Martha Alexander, Jill West, Trudy Triner, Manya Helgerson, Laura Lawrence, and Leslie Pfeiffer.
All echoed Mary’s sentiments about the positive networking experiences they’ve had in the group and how serving in the role of president truly made a difference in their business successes. The panelists shared their thoughts on: advice they’d give to future MDBW presidents; how they have seen the group change and grow over the years: and their favorite memories of serving as president. When asked what she envisioned for the group’s future, Jill West said her vision was that there would be a 50th anniversary celebration!
The featured speaker for the evening was Dr. Suzanne Wertheim, who inspired the group with her insights and comments on unconscious bias in the workplace and what we can all do to support inclusiveness, certainly a topic that resonates with women in many businesses.
The evening was a huge success with compliments heard all around, and many thanks go the the Lafayette Park Hotel for its staff who helped with every request and whose professionalism helped the event to run smoothly.
MDBW’s past 25 years have been a huge success, and we know that the group will continue to grow in the next 25 years as it reaches out to more women and provides them with the support and encouragement needed to grow and thrive in business.