The Business Women’s Network

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The Business Women’s Network has a new committee, fresh energy and a new agenda! Focus chatted with Cath Fowler, Acting President of BWN … 

Cath, can you please introduce us to your new 2019 committee and explain what they bring to their roles?

We’ve got lots of fresh faces on the BWN committee this year – a mix of women who work in larger businesses, as well as self-employed business owners. 

Our President Meagan Flannigan, from St.George Bank, is on a leave of absence, so I’ve stepped in as Acting President. 

I moved from Sydney in 2017 with my husband (who grew up in Sawtell) and our two young daughters. I started my own digital marketing and copywriting business, Cath Fowler Marketing. I’ve taken the lead with our social media and am going to get stuck in to a website refresh soon too. 

Cass Wilson is our Co-Vice President. When she was new to the area, the BWN was a big part in making friends and relationships, so now she is excited to welcome new faces and return the favour. She’s our resident people leader and will take the lead this year on the BWN, offering mentoring opportunities. 

Kerry Farmer comes from an accounting background and is our Treasurer. She runs her own business as the Director of Insurance House 360 Coffs Coast. 

Kerstin Thode is the principal solicitor and owner of Smart Choice Law. She’s taken on the role of Secretary and is passionate about connecting and working with women. 

Sabina Ramana is a Chartered Accountant and works in the tax division at Crowe Horwath. She joins us as our Compliance Officer. 

Laura Humphrey has recently moved to the area to take up a position in the executive leadership team for the local disability service provider Coffs Harbour Support Services. She’s a whiz at all things systems, processes and communications, so we were excited to have her come on board as our project and events coordinator. 

Sharon Pelt rounds out our committee and holds a position as office manager at Advanced Technology, which she co-owns together with husband Mark and their best friends, Tom and Bridget. 

How often will the BWN network get togethers be happening, and will they be breakfast only events?

There are lots of great networking events in the area now, so we’re holding our larger events bi-monthly, making the get together and speakers of the highest quality. 

Casual coffee catch ups will happen in the other months, to allow more opportunities to network.

We know that breakfast can be a tricky time, so we will have evening, lunch and breakfast events this year, giving lots of opportunities for everyone to get along to an event.

What can we expect to see this year with the BWN? What can our local business women expect to take away from each event?

It’s all about bringing in great speakers that help to support women’s professional growth and empower all of us to reach our full potential. 

We’re looking to try out some new venues and throw in a few fun activities too.  

While women can expect to come along and learn something to take way and implement in their organisation or business, the biggest benefit is often the relationships formed. 

After the success of your first event this year, what have you got planned with the next event in April?

We were so pleased with the attendance at our February breakfast. It was our highest number of attendees for some years. I’m really proud of the committee for that. 

For April, the theme is “succeeding in business is all about making connections”. It will be held at the newly refurbished lounge area at the Plantation Hotel from 6pm – 7:30pm on Thursday 4th April 2019.

I am excited to be joined on a panel discussion with Joanne Vines from One Agency Coffs Harbour and FOCUS’ very own Sam Dawson. 

Joanne has been selling homes on the Coffs Coast for 20 years, 10 years as the business owner, CEO, GM, Licensee, Principal of One Agency Coffs Harbour. 

Sam’s role at FOCUS, as well as being a wedding celebrant at Married by Sam, made her the perfect choice to talk about the power of great relationships.

This panel will go for around 15 minutes, so there will be plenty of chance to mingle and meet new people afterwards.

Thanks Cath.

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