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June 2020: Letter from the President

June 2020: Letter from the President

Dear Berkshire BPW members and friends,

Celia Clancy
Celia Clancy

As protests over systemic racism continue in our country at the same time as many states are starting to reopen their economies, our world continues to be ever-changing and challenging. We as Berkshire Business and Professional Women absolutely stand with the protesters. Our mission is equality for women. That can ONLY happen when Black Lives Matter. It is my fervent hope that positive change in policing and social justice are on the horizon. That would make a better world for us all.

Updates for the month:

  1. June 1st meeting. Our June 1st meeting was terrific, led by our outgoing VP of Programs, Shela Levante. We thanked outgoing board members and welcomed new board members. We voted on several questions, with results on the spot. We networked in a new and different way. In some ways, it was better than in person, in a crowded setting. The feedback after the meeting was really positive! Outgoing Board Members, in addition to Shela, are Donna Collins (in September) and Gaye Weinberger (in September). Incoming Members are Karen Zink (Treasurer), Deborah Gallant (VP Membership) and Lynn Wallace (Programs). Thank you for engaging in our organization; we could not do this without you! We still have opportunities to engage, specifically a Committee Member in Membership and help with Woman of Achievement. Let me know if you would be interested. Board Members get their membership comped for the time served, as a thank you!
  2. July meeting, with our own Zoom. Invite friends! Our July meeting will be July 6th from 5:30-7:00. Bring your friends and raise a glass to friends and colleagues right after Independence Day. The topic is a happy hour and virtual networking. Look for our press release, FB and Instagram posts. The event is FREE to members and guests. AND, we will be using our own Berkshire BPW Zoom, which will be great.
  3. Calls to our members. The calls to our members went very well and we got lots of feedback to improve our organization. Connection and communication are so key during this tough time, even more than before the pandemic hit!
  4. Woman of Achievement and Scholarships. We are getting back to work on our Woman of Achievement fundraising effort this month, so stay tuned. We have a postponed date of September 21st, but don’t really know if we will be able to gather as planned even then. So we are getting to work in new and creative ways. Stay tuned and let us know if you can help! Our Scholarship program is critical to the Berkshire BPW and we would like to publicize it more this year and award more scholarships this year. With so many of us being out of work due to the pandemic, education and moving one’s career forward is more important than ever! The application will be out shortly.
  5. MEAF scholarships. MEAF, or the Massachusetts Educational Assistance Fund of the MA BPW, is a fund that is available to members of the BPW/MA. All Berkshire BPW members in good standing are members of the BPW/MA. The fund is specifically for:
    Refresher courses
    Seminars that advance member training in connection with their present positions
    Course that lead to new careers
    Other assistance to cover financial need in connection with education or upgrading of skills that will lead to advancement. MEAF makes grants throughout the year to applicants who are able to show they have definite plans for using their training and education, based on the criteria noted below. Applicants must submit proof of acceptance to or enrollment in the courses for which they seek funds. Receipted bill and/or copy of cancelled check(s) (both sides) or credit card statement must be attached to application. The amount to be granted a member shall not exceed $1,000 in a two-year period. The total amount to be granted a member shall not exceed $4,000. If you are interested in applying for a MEAF grant, please reach out to me at bbpwpresident@gmail.com and I will email you an application. These grants may assist our members as they re-enter the work force and may need to further their education for a new job or career.
  6. Mentorship Program. The Mentorship Program continues and we welcomed a new Mentee this month! Thank you to Karen Zink and Karen O’Donnell for leading this effort. And thanks to both our mentors and mentees for supporting the effort!
  7. Mission/Vision/Values. Then goals for the year 2020-2021. At our July Board meeting, we will be reviewing, refreshing and publishing our Mission/Vision/Values as an organization. From there, each Committee will adopt their goals for the year, 2020-2021. Our organization will continue to get better and better!
  8. Submit an article to our e-newsletter. Promote your business! Not enough members take advantage of this benefit of belonging to the Berkshire Business and Professional Women. Make it count for you!
  9. Member Spotlight. We have so many talented members. The Member Spotlight is the place to professionally brag about yourself and your business!! We would love to see you take the time to submit a spotlight on yourself, through the website.
  10. Member Portal. Check this new benefit out on the website! Input your profile so other members can get to know you and do business with you!

Thanks for your membership and connection. Thanks for being a part of Berkshire Business and Professional Women!

I look forward to seeing you again and networking on July 6th.

All my best,
Celia

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