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Women Connecting for Good

A look into two prominent women's networking organizations in Fayette County

If you own a business, it is no secret that networking is good for success. Sallie Krawcheck, former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America said, "Networking is the No.1 unwritten rule of success in business." The two groups we are featuring have embraced that belief and are taking things to the next level. 

Business Women of Fayette and Coweta

“I have grown professionally by making connections in the BWFC, but more importantly, I am blessed to be part of this organization to have the opportunity to give back to the women and children in our beautiful community.” - Jennifer Lunsford, President, BWFC, 2019-2020.

 The Business Women of Fayette and Coweta (BWFC) was birthed by two friends, Patti Kadkhodaian and Wendy Maguire, as a simple idea to raise money for a charity in the local community. Ten years later, the BWFC has risen as a strong and unified group of women-owned and women-led businesses across two counties. The 60-member BWFC provides a wonderful platform for women to authentically connect, learn together and give back to the local communities in which they live. Members include entrepreneurs, salespeople, managers, multi-level marketing professionals, non-profit executive directors, corporate executives and retail business owners. 

Many women join the BWFC because of the triple focus on networking, business growth and charitable giving. At their bi-monthly meetings, keynote presentations are given by experts who are willing to share wisdom for business and personal growth. Presentation topics include public speaking, business finance and trends in small business marketing. 

Between 2011 and 2019, the BWFC has donated over $358,000 to local causes, including Bloom Our Youth, Pathway Home, Team Alliance, Yo We Bra, Sisters for Society, and Southside Support. The group’s signature and biggest fundraising event, O’ Christmas Tea, is on Giving Tuesday. This year, it will be held on December 3, 2020, at Glendalough Manor in Tyrone. BWFC meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month. For more information, contact Jennifer Lunsford at info@bwfcc.org or go to their website, www.bwfcc.org.

American Business Women's Association (ABWA)

“We aren't so much a power networking group of women as we are powerful local women who come together to learn how to be better leaders in both our community and our own business ventures." Sharlene Alexander, Co-Founder, ABWA - McIntosh Chapter.

The American Business Women's Association (ABWA) was established in Kansas City in 1949 just after WWII had ended and during a time when it was considered socially unacceptable for women to pursue careers or even be a part of an association. Since then, the association has grown to a national presence of over 125 chapters, spanning more than 30 states.  

The McIntosh Chapter of the ABWA is a local chapter that was formed in July of 1982 by co-founders Judy Suitor and Sharlene Alexander with 25 original members. The mission is to learn together, support one another and fulfill the original mission of fostering women's education with scholarships.  

ABWA is committed to creating affordable, and innovative learning opportunities for women. ABWA welcomes learners of all ages, educational backgrounds and career paths who are motivated to chart their learning journey. One of the funds, The Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund (SBMEF), exists to provide educational grants and scholarships to women pursuing post-secondary educational goals as well as ongoing professional development in order to support their career advancement and to help them become role models, mentors, and leaders of the future. 

Over the last 38 years, the McIntosh Charter Chapter ABWA has provided close to $100,000 in local scholarships to women pursuing college degrees.  For information on the McIntosh Chapter, contact Sharlene Alexander at mssharelene@gmail.com. For information about the ABWA go to www.abwa.org.

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