By Ann Donnelly
Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business group is a valuable resource for women doing business in the Lake George region.
When I returned to upstate New York five years ago, participation in the group helped me quickly build connections and gain important information about the area and the best ways to do business here. So, in 2021, I took the group’s co-chair role to participate more actively and support the women working so hard on their careers while advancing the Lake George region.
Formed in 2012, the first co-chairs were Lynn Clausen, who worked at Dunhams Bay Resort, and Kathy Miller, owner of Love is on Lake George, still an active member. They spent the first meetings developing the mission, which we continue to adhere to today, “To inspire personal growth using our combined experiences and expertise to provide the tools to aid and encourage women in our region through networking, educating, and mentoring.”
All women who are Chamber members, or work for member organizations, including non-profit and commercial enterprises, are welcome to participate. In addition, those considering joining the Chamber may attend one meeting. Recent attendees have come from real estate, healthcare, business services, hospitality, leisure, retail, education, local agencies, healthcare, and membership organizations.
LGRCC Women in Business meets on the first Wednesday of each month from September through June. After 30 minutes of open networking, the meeting starts with “around the room,” where each attendee introduces herself, describes her business, and announces any news, promotions, or events. Attendees may also note any needs where others in the group could assist. Many members have developed valuable alliances from this.
Meetings include a training session or a presentation from a speaker chosen to educate, motivate and inspire the members. Topics covered so far in the 2022-23 season include the importance of customer relationships, lessons learned during the pandemic, resources to care for elderly relatives, prioritizing self-care, and a goal-setting session. In addition, interested members are encouraged to present on a relevant topic to share their expertise and provide more information about their work.
The group often helps nonprofit organizations in the area by taking on projects and organizing volunteers. Organizations helped in the past include Wiawaka Center for Women, Double H Ranch, North Country Ministries, Open Door Mission, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at Lake George High School, Women in Need (W.I.N.), and local food banks.
The year’s highlight is the annual retreat at Wiawaka, which takes place the night before the first meeting in September.
Participation in the Women in Business group also helps to get the most out of membership in the Chamber. Attendees get additional information on upcoming Chamber events and initiatives and are more likely to participate.
The next meeting of the group takes place at the Chamber’s offices at 2176 Route 9, Lake George, on April 5, with open networking starting at 8 a.m. and the meeting running from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Pattie Simone, executive director of Feeder Canal Alliance, will present “Celebrate YOU, A Woman of Influence.”
To learn more about the Women in Business group and upcoming meetings, visit lakegeorgechamber.com/wib.