I still remember the very first meeting of the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network. It started with a simple idea: to get all of the women in town who do environmental work together to visit. It wouldn’t be anything formal – just dinner, some networking, and the sharing of good ideas. We reserved a small room at Free State, sent out the emails and waited. As the RSVP’s rolled in, we quickly realized that we might overwhelm that small room so we held space at Ingredient. On the big night, Kim Bellemere and I flitted about the room nervously wondering if anyone would show up. We both felt that if we had more than a handful of folks come that we would call it a success!
Sometimes you just know that the time is right for something. Well, let me tell you, the time was right for the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network. We had well over 35 women in attendance at that first meeting. At the second meeting we had about the same number but many new faces. The story has been the same for each meeting. Anywhere from 35-50 women attend the quarterly meetings and roughly 1/3 of the participants are new faces at each event. We have had people come from as far across the state as Hutchinson and McPherson. At the annual celebration in April 2014, we had a few out-of-staters who were seriously impressed with our powerhouse group of women.
The group is full of inspiring, intelligent, active women. Some I’ve worked with for years and others I’ve only known a few weeks. My favorite meetings are those where we simply share our successes with the group. I love putting faces to names and learning about all the exciting things happening in our community.
KWEN is growing and evolving. From the straightforward networking meetings to brainstorming sessions to the highly successful Legislative Panel on Environmental Issues, our group is doing great things. Our leadership team is full of hard working women who all pitch in to make sure things go smoothly and our membership is growing, growing, growing. In just a few weeks, we are getting together for the first annual planning meeting and one thing is certain, you can expect good things in the future. Stay tuned, get connected, and keep up the good work, KWEN!
Would you like to share a positive story about KWEN? The blog roll is open…email kwenleadership at gmail dot com if you’d like to offer a fresh perspective!