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Monday, March 25, 2013

Women Helping Women in Business: FemCity Milwaukee

Off The Cuff with Michelle Bertholt

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New breeds of networking groups for professionals are cropping up everywhere. FemFessionals, serving only women, is a distinctive variety that has arrived on the local scene as FemCity Milwaukee. Michelle Bertholf, the founder of the local chapter, shares the organization’s goals and offerings.

 

Tell me about FemCity Milwaukee.

We are a chapter in a national and international organization for professional women called Femfessionals. Our chapter in Milwaukee just had its first year anniversary and is one of the fastest growing in the country. Our goal is to offer ambitious professional women ways to connect to each other, grow their businesses and benefit the Milwaukee community.

 

Why women?

There have been so many men’s groups and boys’ clubs but a lack of professional development opportunities in female communities. Our organization’s founder, Violette Sproul, based in Miami, saw this need. She decided to ask five friends to invite five of their friends to an informal meeting. Fifty some women came to this first meeting to brainstorm about women helping women. Violette saw the growth potential it had for women in Miami, the United States and all over the world.

 

How is it different from established women’s professional groups in Milwaukee like Tempo and Professional Dimensions?

I don’t see us in competition with other groups, but I think the difference is that we offer women the chance to pick and choose how they want to get involved in the community. We have events that accent every one of our three pillars: business development, social development, and philanthropy.  And we have the Pink Pages.

 

What are the Pink Pages?

When you join, you get access to the Pink Pages’ list of members. You can log on and connect with our 90-plus members here in Milwaukee where you can feature your own media information, and you’re added to our local and national FemCity Facebook pages. The great thing is that if you travel or move, the Pink Pages can help you network with savvy women in more than forty chapters in the US & Canada. We plan to double that into 2014.

 

Are there dues?

Each member pays $100 annually and gets a discount on our monthly networking events. And there are free informal get-togethers and community events.

 

How do you interact with philanthropic causes?

 

Every quarter, we are planning to pair with a nonprofit organization that matches our brand and mission, primarily women’s groups: women helping women.

 

For more information, go to http://www.femfessionals.com.  Michelle Bertholf, the Founder of FemCity Milwaukee, is now the President of FemCity Denver.

 

 

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