Wow! Time flies when you are having fun! This turn of phrase is so true. I can hardly believe that I’m writing my last letter to you as your Chair. We’ve accomplished a great deal this year. We’ve created a new strategic plan for the future of Women’s Network. We’ve continued to strengthen our new fledgling mentoring program as well as continue to tweak Athena to help it realize its full potential.

Many people have asked me “What’s next for you in Women’s Network after this year?” My answer to that is to still be very present and serve in a supportive role for the fabulous leadership team we have in place. This is an exciting time for me. While Past Chair is an official position with a few duties, I do get to rest a minute.

I am thrilled to see the new leaders whom have stepped up to take on the challenge of leading our organization this next year. The structure of leadership in Women’s Network is very conducive to continuing the flow of historical context as well as continuity of mission. In addition, it models our values of mentoring perfectly. Each year, we have a Chair Elect, a Chair and a Past Chair that serve very specific roles and all whom learn from and support each other.

It’s easy to see what the Chair position does. The Chair leads the Steering Committee and its initiatives, hosts monthly meetings as well as communicates with the membership as a whole. The Chair Elect serves to lead and organize the Co-Chairs of the committees in their work. This is a very important year to learn the gritty details of by-laws, the inner workings of Women’s Network as well as how to best lead such a diverse group of people.  Past Chair’s duties include observing and providing context or advice as needed or requested. And, after their years of service at this point, they get to lead the selection committees for all scholarship recipients, Athena and Athena Young Professional. It’s a beautiful illustration of a strong three-legged stool when this works well. I’m blessed to have served with Heather Stewart, Jessica Macy and Michele Batye as part of this structure.

I leave you in the best of hands with Michele Batye as your next Chair. Michele has done a very thoughtful job of appointing this next year’s co-chairs.  Michele has been instrumental to me during my year as Chair. I have highly valued her counsel on tough subjects as we have addressed membership, strategic planning and budget issues. I’m quite confident that she, along with your Chair Elect Nancy Allison, will only continue to do more amazing things for Women’s Network in the future.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t again ask you…what’s your part? Where will your path in Women’s Network lead? Where will you put your gifts in the game for the service of your sisters in our community?

Have a great summer and I’ll see you soon!
All my best,

Erica Pefferman