Tennessee Women Connect is a network of regional groups of business-minded, professional women, in small and large companies, who seek to share business tips and lessons learned from various industries. However, Lucy Miller, founder of the group, says many more of life's essential elements and insights also are shared among participants.
"We certainly enjoy doing business together, and also discussing other important developments in our lives. It's about encouraging each other and growing our mindsets, too," says Lucy.
She says, unlike some groups, there is no cap on which women can join or what industries are represented.
Born and raised in Franklin, Lucy, a Realtor, recalls looking for a networking group to fit her needs. Not finding exactly what she wanted and noticing a need for a professional women’s networking opportunity in Williamson County, she started hosting networking events in January of 2020. "What I found was that women wanted to make real connections, in person, and were excited to collaborate with others," she recalls.
As the group gained members throughout pockets of Nashville during 2021, Ashley Fitz and Jenna Griffith joined the team as division managers to continue expanding the reach even farther. Now active in 12 cities, they, themselves, indicate they're continually inspired by the lives of all the business women they work with through the group's events that are intentionally designed for connection and collaboration.
"We've just launched chapters in Chattanooga and Germantown, and have big-deal news in that we're starting Alabama Women Connect," announces Lucy, who admits being beyond happy about the group's strategic growth.
"In Alabama, women indicated there was a huge need for them to be authentically themselves in business and to find ways to succeed, so they asked us to assist," she adds.
Lucy says the organization hosts 20 events on average each month, with each chapter typically having two based within their geographic area. "Even if aligning with a particular chapter, each woman can attend any or all of the TN Women Connect events, if they desire."
One of the group's shining, recent achievements was being part of and sponsoring an inaugural Women In Business night with The Nashville Predators on April 6.
Women don't have to be Connect members to attend the group's events, however, three levels of membership offer various perks. Examples of those membership benefits include registration to all TN Women Connect events, a listing in the membership directory, access to members-only social media page, special pricing as vendors, opportunity to host a Zoom-based lunch-and-learn once a year, ability to sponsor a happy hour, exclusive learning events four to six times a year, the opportunity to sponsor one event, a chance to add individual updates on the group's website, two social media stories per year, one free featured social media story annually and one extra featured social media post/story at preferred pricing.
Lucy says among the events springing from members are entrepreneurial conferences, retreats and summits.
"Many of our events include speaker panels, keynote speakers, workshops and networking breaks," she adds. "We have fun while getting to know other like-minded professionals."
Connection events are held in a dozen communities around the Greater Nashville area: Brentwood, Clarksville, Franklin, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Nolensville, Spring Hill, Bellevue, Hendersonville, Chattanooga and Germantown. Events typically are listed on the group's website during the third week of each month.
Lucy Miller, Tennessee Women Connect founder, invites women to save Sept. 28 for the group's 3rd annual 2023 LIVE event at Loveless Cafe Barn.