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This document is quoted directly from our BPWN 10th Anniversary Celebratory Brochure:
Early in 1991 Laurel Laturnus, Executive Director at Opportunities Career Services, came to the Campbell River Women's Centre and asked the Coordinator, Peggy Carswell, if there were any women's networking organizations in Campbell River as she was new to the area and wanted to network and get to know other professional women in our community. At about that same time another woman, Beth Ann Koslovich who was also new to our community, came to the Women's Centre with the same inquiry. Recognizing a need that was not being met in Campbell River, Peggy set out to see what she could do about it. She made some inquiries and found out that Courtenay had a Women's Business Network. She contacted them and invited Linda McLean, their president and founding member, to come to Campbell River and discuss how to start such an organization in our community.
Peggy invited several Campbell River businesswomen to a small meeting to hear Linda talk about starting such a group. After several meetings, it was decided to hold an informational meeting at Painter's Lodge. Campbell River businesswomen were invited to attend. A very successful meeting was held on June 11th, 1991. Linda McLean was the guest speaker and she spoke on starting up a Women's Business Network. At that meeting and throughout the summer, a survey was circulated to get as much input as possible into the direction the organization was to take. Surveys were collected and those indicating an interest to be on the executive were contacted. An interim board of directors was selected (listed elsewhere in this history) and the meetings began to take place on the 4th Tuesday of the month. On September 24, 1991, a General Meeting was held and the first formal board of directors (listed elsewhere in this history) was elected. As a result we have the present day (2001) Business and Professional Women's Network with a membership in excess of 85.
(excerpted from an article by Maria McLeish, in River Views, Fall 1996)
In its first year of operation, the Network's founding board including Marne Svennes, as wel as Margo Cormack, Shannon Marshall and Pat O'Handley, faced the challenges of a start-up organization in its infancy. The led by establishing structure and purpose set the foundation for the goals of the second year: developing a strategic plan and increasing market share.
New faces on the board during Maria's first year as President included Vice President Marion Mitchell, as well as Yvonne Pelletier, Laurel Laturnus, Heather Hill, and Marlene Wright. By our third year. Marlene and Edith Hagell helped build our membership to over 100 through a combination of service and salesmanship. Our newsletter was launched with the assistance of Andrea Rocchio, Bev Bairstow, and Trish Ranniger. The underlying trench work required to support our purpose with policies, programs, and guidelines, continued, and by the fourth year, under the leadership of president Marlene Wright, our constitution and bylaws, ably put together with member Phyl McDougall, were ratified by the general membership.
An Interim Board of Directors was formed at the beginning, in 1991, to guide the early direction of the group. It consisted of Marne Svennes, Founding President, Kathy McKay, secretary, Pat 0*Handley: treasurer, Beth Ann Koslovich: membership, Stevie Arthurs: facilities, Margo Cormack: programming, and Shannon Marshall: In the Spotlight organizer. The first election confirmed all of the above Board, and added Patra Foort as vice president, and two members at large, Darlene Driediger and Sherry Warburton.
Board members for 92/93 were: Maria McLeish: president, Marion Mitchell: vice president. Laurel Laturnus: advertising and spotlight assistant, Yvonne Pelletier: programming, Heather Hill: facilities and Marlene Wright: member at large. The offices of secretary, treasurer, membership, and spotlight chairman stayed the same as the previous year.
In 93/94 Maria McLeish and Marion Mitchell served as president and vice president, Shannon Marshall took over as secretary, with the added project of policies, constitution and bylaws, helped by Bonny Town, and Pat O'Handley remained as Treasurer. Marlene Wright became membership chairman, and two members took over the Spotlight: Margo Cormack, and Andrea Rocchio. Trish Ranniger was elected facilities chairman, and Heather Hill did the advertising. Edithh Hagell and Susanne Grundision were also on the board for that year.
In 94/95, the year's previous president continued to sit on the board as past president to provide continuity. The first president to do so was Maria McLeish, while Marlene Wright became president and Wendy Williams became vice chair. The role of secretary was taken by Linda Taylor. Andrea Rocchio moved to treasurer and Edith Hagel took of the office of membership chairman. Klari Varallyai organized the programming, Linda Nichol was in charge of facilities, and Sandra Howie was member at large. Heidi Geisbrecht took on the office of school liaison.
Marlene Wright became president for the 95/96 year, helped by Heidi Giesbrecht as vice president and Diana Camerin as secretary. Shari Jensen took on the treasurer's position, and facilities were coordinated by Linda Wickstrom-Nichol. Klari Varallyai remained in charge of programs, while membership was chaired by Edith Hagell and Many Brown. Terry Storey organized the spotlight sebments, and Jan Gemmill headed up the newsletter. Shari Jensen and Terry Storey together looked after the Partners in Education project, (details in Community involvement section) and Linda Taylor, Sheran MacLaren and Marion Mitchell were members at large.
The year 96-97 saw Heidi Geisbrecht as president, with Marlene Wright as past president, and Diana Camerin as vice chair. Shari Jensen took on a combined secretary/treasurer position, Mandy Brown was membership chairman and Sheran MacLaren looked after facilities. Klari Varallyai continued on as program chair, Linda Sams took over the newsletter and Terra Monk stepped into the advertising position. Terry Storey took on the new project of directory of memberships, Pat Tomlinson organized the spotlight and announcements and Linda Wickstrom Nichol was the official greeter and looked after draws and door prizes.
In 97/98, Diana Camerin moved to president, Heidi Giesbrecht became past president, and Pat Tomlinson took on the office of vice president. Shari Jensen once again was secretary, but Linda Patrick became treasurer. Membership was in the hands of Dianne Kovasin, Sandy Green managed facilities, and Diane Rogers took over Programming. Andrea Rocchio looked after the newsletter, Yvonne Pelletier organized the directory and Cynthia Dunsmore looked after marketing and advertising. Spotlight and announcements were in the hands of Linda Sams, Terra Monk was the greeter, organized the door prizes and draws, and Terry Storey was in charge of special events.
Pat Tomlinson became president of the network in 98/99, with Diana Camerin moving to past president, and Diane Rogers becoming vice president. Linda Patrick took on both secretary and treasurer's positions, Dianne Kovasin stayed on as membership chairman. Sandy Green and Cynthia Dunsmore kept their positions, Yvonne Pelletier continued on with the directory, and added the spotlight to her responsibilities. Lauri Gwilt took over programming for the year, Paula Davies became the greeter, and Phyl McDougalI took on the office of parliamentarian.
In 99/2000, Diane Rogers was president, Paula Davies was vice president, and Pat Tomlinson moved to past president. Linda Patrick was secretary, and shared the treasurer's office with Roslyn Nickel. Co-chairs of membership were Diane Rogers and Pat Tomlinson, programming was looked after by Barbara Temple-Morgan, Kathleen Westergaard took over marketing, and Lauri Gwilt moved to greeter and draws. Ellen Latta organized the directory and the spotlight, Jean Wrohan took on the newsletter, and Sandy Green and Phyl McDougalI continued on in their previous roles.
For the year 2000/01, Paula Davies is President, Diane Rogers Past President, and Ellen Latta Vice-president, as well as looking after the spotlight. Secretary is Faye Reynen, and Shelley Boates is Treasurer. Michelle Kersten and Yvonne Pelletier share Membership duties, and Bev Bairstow has taken over the Directory. Joanne Watson is in charge of facilities, Corinne Skuse is Greeter and Announcement Organizer, and Ellen Latta and Barbara Temple-Morgan head Member of the Year committee. Barbara Temple-Morgan continues on as Programming chair, and Jean Wrohan and Phyl McDougalI also continue in their previous roles. The phone committee consists of Bev Bairstow, Susan Currie, Corinne Skuse, and Yvonne Pelletier. The 10th Anniversary committee is chaired by Diane Rogers, with help from Bev Bairstow, Mame Svennes, Joanne Watson, Jean Wrohan, Terry Storey, Barbara Temple-Morgan, Phyl McDougalI, and Corinne Skuse.
The origional procedures and standards for the group were discussed in the fall of 1991 by Beth Ann Reed (later Kozlovich), Patra Fort, Marne Fortin (later Svennes), Margo Cormack and Pat O'Handley, and these served until1993, when Shannon Marshall and Bonnie Town were assigned to establish policies and guidelines for the Board of Directors. A Code of Ethics for Board conduct was researched but not written up. The first set of policies was written by Maria McLeish, and formatted by Andrea Rocchio.
The first phoning committee was created in January of 1992, and is an essential part of our network communications. An advertising committee was created in 93/94 to produce posters (Bev Bairstow, Imprint Graphics), distributed by members, and place ads and press releases in the Courier Islander, Mirror and North Island News.
In 1994, a decision was made to publish an information package, including policies, for the members. A decision in favour of no smoking at the meetings was made by the membership in 94, and a little later the possibility of a name change was discussed since two men had joined the group. The conclusion was to welcome men who wished to attend, but to keep the name as it is, since the focus is on women in business and the professions. At about the same time a decision was taken to disallow the direct sales of products or services, and to limit promotional materials on the dinner tables to the guest speaker or spotlight presenter, or board information. Tables elsewhere in the venue are available for general membership use.
In December of 1995, A Constitution and Bylaws were created, based on work previously done by those named above, and the project was concluded by Marlene Wright, with assistance of Phyl McDougalI. "Campbell River Business & Professional Women's Network Society" was registered with a certificate of Incorporation number of S34572, and the logo reads 'Campbcll River Business & Professional Women's Network"
Also in 1995, various housekeeping policies were established including routines for processing members arriving at meetings, and the decision to allow door prizes to be contributed for draws, subject to board approval. The door prizes are very popular, and are the focus of other later policies, namely members may still win even if they leave the meeting early, and even if a member has more than one business, she may put only one card in the draw basket.
"In The Spotlight" portion of each meeting is a short (7-10 I minutes) opportunity for a member to speak to the general group about her business. The two-fold advantage of the Spotlight segment is to provide members with an opportunity to advertise their businesses and to develop public speaking skills
Members must belong for three months before they can be "In the Spotlight". The decision to establish "In The Spotlight" was made in August 1991, at the very beginning of BPWN history, and has been a popular attraction ever since. Although the early records are incomplete, a partial list of participants follows:
Pauline Wolfe - Krystal Stress Clinic
Jocelyn Skyrlac - Uniglobe Travel
PatO'Handlcy- Ironwood Bed & Bath
Vicky Huxham - Lana Dee Ladies Fashions
Heather Hill- Hills Indian Crafts
Margo Cormack - Page 11 Books
Bev Bairstow - Imprints Graphics
Andrea Rocchio - CR Museum
Maria McLeish - CR Trail Riders
Patricia Ann - Needleworks
Klari Varallyai - CR Physiotherapy Clinic
Allison Moreland - Secrets on 12th and a Christmas market of 6 vendors
Trish Ranniger - Realtor
Terry Storey - London Optical
Cathy Morrison-Something Special Gifts
Kim Patrick-Hoff- Island Fever Travel
Carol Easton and Sharon Korol - Mary Kay
Career Fair Presentation
Pat Tomlinson-All in One Party Shop
Kelly Lane - Fusilli Grill
Catherine Temple - Super Blue Green Algae
Carol Scott - Creative Growth Change
Linda Sams - Capital Sea Records
Yvonne Pelletier - Pathfinder Travel
Dianne Kovasin - Blue Moon Photography; WCB
Corinne Skuse - Skuse Landscaping
Andrea Rocchio - CR Business Essentials
Laurie Gwilt - Shaklee
Marne Svennes - CR Women's Centre
Katherine Nauta - Red Paintbrush
Pat Tomlinson - All in One Party Shop
Dr. Ingrid Pincott - Naturopath
Terry Storey - London Optical
Ann Kask - Ptarmigan Press
Catherine Temple - Paradise Found Adventure Tour Co
Marlene Wright-Work World
Cynthia Dunsmore - CR Mirror
Elizabeth Epton - Venus Hair Design
Faye Reynen - Reynen Business Services Ltd
Toni Rankin - Toni's Boutique of Dreams
Roslyn Nickel - Flair Jewellers
Terry Watson - Rocky Mountain Factory
June Reedman - Rainbow Fun Daycare
Elizabeth Puriciss - Manager CYA Services Ltd
Lois Grant - Weekender Wear
Karin Plamondon - Reflexologist
Paula Davies - HSBC
Heather MacKenzie - Pumpemickel's
Shauna Lambeth - CR Garden Centre
Pat Tomlinson - All in One Party Shop
Renee Koisumi - CR Hospital Foundation
Arlene Cameron - Shadow-Line Photography
Barb Morgan - On the Run Promotions
Lots Grant - Weekender Wear
KarinPlamondon - Sole Touch Rcflexology
Paula Davies - HSBC
Carol Swann - Synergy Glass & Creative
All in One Party Shop
Through the years the BPWN has had many guest speakers, some famous, some not so well known. With very few exceptions the membership has approved wholeheartedly of the speakers chosen.
Some of those are:
Virginia Green Women in Business in BC
Maria McLeish Baby Boomers
Kathleen Costello BC Women's Business Advocate
Janice Heslop The Hiring Process
Jennifer Holden Challenges of Women in the Coming Decade
Judy Auterson The Fun Within Us
Carol Minanie Advertising on a Shoestring
Strathcona Lodge Outdoor Challenge
Shannon Marshall Family Violence Issues
Jocelyn Skriac Travel Tips
Pat Nichol Networking
Mary Ashley, Mayor CR Progress Report
Don Rutherford Time Management & Fun
Carole Tice Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
Myrna Boulding Strathcona Park Lodge Follow Your Dreams
Marlene Wright Beaver Lumber - A Woman in a Man's World
Jackie McMath Investors Group - Roll up Your Sleeves and Just Do It
Brenda Long Keeping Fit
Maria McLeish Creating Personal Power
Carole Lee Hefferman The Raison Lady - Self Esteem
Judy Atkinson The Human Side of Personal Change
Sharon Desrocher CR- Strategies for our Future
Toastmasters Public Speaking Secrets
Box of Treasures Native Dance Troupe
Sally Abbott Risk Taking
Penny Priddy Minister of Women's Equality for BC
Gareth Wood South Pole Adventure
Anne Fiddick Mayor of Gold River
Jean Bryant Author of "Anybody can Write"
Kirn Patrick-Hoff Display of Argentinean Dancing
lona Campagnolo Gender and Power/Communication
Edith Iglauer Author of "Fishing with John"
Klari Varallyai Ergonomics
Pat Nichol Linking with Positive and Powerful People
Maria Coffey Author of "A Boat in Our Baggage" about India
Jeanne Ralston & Sylvia Natishak Art and Its Value
Roger McDonell CR Community Network
Charmaine Crooks Motivational Secrets
Sandra Burns Investments
Anita Petersen BC Salmon Farmer's Association
Dr. Marlene Smith DVM Pets & Alternative Medicine
Jeanette Taylor Story of Early Settlers
Tom Crowe The Economic Realities of Film
Georgia Nemetz Superwoman Complex
Pamela Martin Women in Business
Linda McLean Quality Customer Service
The Member of the Year Award was created in spring of 1994 to recognize outstanding businesswomen of Campbell River. Nominees for the first year were: Bev Bairstow, Margo Cormack, Laurel Laturnus, Yvonne Pelletier, Jane Super, and Wendy Williams. The recipient was Wendy Williams.
A survey of members in 1995 showed strong support to making the award an annual event, and 13 members were nominated, with Bev Bairstow being the recipient. The program was not active in 1996, but it was revived in 1997 with three categories: Exemplary Customer Service, won by Margo Cormack, Page 11 Books; Groundbreaker, won by Corinne Skuse, Mystic Woods Nursery and Mentor, won by Marion Mitchell, Mitchell Management, Xerox of Canada.
In 1998, the same three categories were used. Exemplary Customer Service award was received by Toni Rankin-Tuttle, Toni's Boutique of Dreams; Groundbreaker recipient was Catherine Temple, Paradise Found Tour Co., and honoured for Mentor was Klari Varallyai, CR Physiotherapy/Ergonomics.
In 1999, Member of the Year was Terry Storey, London Optical and the tradition continued with: Yvonne Pelletier, Pathfinder Travel and Runner-up Frances Hudock in the year 2000. Although categories and numbers may change, it seems likely that Member of the Year will continue to celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding businesswomen of the BPWN.
The BPWN newsletter was developed with three objectives:
The first issue was published in fall of 1993, and early editors included Maria McLeish, Trish Ranniger, Andrea Rocchio, and Heather Hill. Jan Gemill was editor in 95/96, Linda Sams in 96/97 with Andrea Rocchio in 97/98, all with assistance from Bev Bairstow. Since 1999, Jean Wrohan has acted as the editor, with invaluable help from Bev Bairstow. Tannis Shaw and Lois Grant have recently joined the newsletter team.
Costs of running the network fall entirely on the members themselves, and include paying speakers, either a set fee, or an honorarium, renting the venue, and providing the meals. There are also any incidental expenses, such as postage, photocopying, etc, many of which are donated by members. Many members donate their professional services as well, without which the smooth operation (mostly!) of the network wouldn't be possible. The programming chairman and the facilities chairman continue to work hard to bring quality evenings to the members at minimal cost, and so far, the members have been spared the necessity of extra fund raising events.
Involvement in community projects is an important part of BPWN. The first project was to host a daylong community based seminar on Effective Leadership for not-for-profit organizations in 1993.
In 1994, the group partnered with the City of Campbell River, and the Provincial Business Improvement Association to host the conference "Getting There Together" which received top marks from participants. Workshops geared to success in small business were organized with the help of sister networks from Courtenay, Nanaimo, and Victoria.
The Big Bike Ride is an annual event which raises money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and the Yukon. Teams who collect pledges ride the "Big Bike", which is specially constructed to hold 29 people, and they really have fun! Terry Storey has been involved for nine years; Cynthia Dunsmore was a team captain for 3 or 4 years, Laurie Gwilt for a year, Paula Davies for several years, and Yvonne Pelletier has been involved for 3 years as a captain. One year her team won an award for being the most memorable team, (she didn't say why?).
The group participated in the All Island Women's Business Conference in Qualicum in September of 1995. The theme was 'The Women 2000, Eyes on the Future". A $1000 grant from the Ministry of Small Business was our capital contribution to support the conference.
As part of our mentoring mandate, BPWN created annual bursaries to recognize a female Continuing Education student who has demonstrated the motivation and initiative to make positive change in her life, and who has financial need. The first year, 1995, the amount of two hundred dollars was awarded. Eligible candidates must enroll in a program of study that will further her career and life goals. Awards are made in June, and the recipients are invited to the AGM in September to be recognized.
The first recipients were Linda Spetch and Donna Bettensen. They also received an honorary one-year membership to BPWN. Other recipients have been: Maria Stevenson, Patricia James for 1997, Marie Chapman and Shirley Slade for 1998, and Berta Buturia, Patty Johnson, and Helen Sayer for the year 2000.
In 1999, two bursaries were given to Continuing Education students and two honoraria were given to Working Opportunities for Women. The bursary program continues to recognize and support those women who demonstrate the desire to pursue career goals and better themselves.
The Membership Directory of the Campbell River Business and Professional Women's Network has been around for about 8 years, and has been very th the membership. Inclusion in this directory is one of the benefits of the BPWN and is paid for from the annual membership fee.
This gives BPWN members an excellent opportunity to profile their business in considerable detail. This includes all contact information, such as address, phone numbers, web site, business hours, and so on.
They can also include a fairly lengthy description of their business. Members are encouraged to 'Shop the Network' by checking in the directory first to see if they can patronize the business of a fellow member. As we have members with businesses ranging from lawyers to hair stylists, fitness experts to opticians, it is likely that there is a member who can fill your needs. Our Directory Now!
In our 10th anniversary year we enter the information age with our own web site - created by Bev Bairstow - VIOS Web Design. The site is designed to give the BPWN a higher profile in the community and to list the benefits of membership. The newsletter will be on the site, as will details about the next couple of meetings, which will be added as soon as they are available. The site will also allow members to update their own directory listing online. Our current website from Chameleon Creative has interactive links, photo albums and online booking system for membership and meetings.
Now that we have celebrated our 10th anniversary, it is time to think of the future. Members are encouraged to invite others to take in a couple of meetings and see just what the network has to offer. Most guests go away very impressed by what they see. Many make the decision to join and soon find that the decision is well worthwhile.
The benefits of membership are many, as well as the obvious opportunity to network. The monthly meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month, with the exception of August and December. The dinner meetings are a fun and informative way to spend an evening. We have the Spotlight, newsletter, directory and web site for direct benefits. There is also the always informative guest speaker segment of the evening. These speakers leave the members with something to think about that will usually help them either professionally or personally.
All in all the Campbell River Business and Professional Women's Network is a wonderful organization, and with the continuing work of the members will certainly be around for at least another 10 years. AND LOOK AT THAT. WE MADE IT!!
Join us for the Gala!