First Person: Northwoods Women in Business organization
With the recent expansion and addition of companies and manufacturing firms in the Northwoods, the potential for entrepreneurial success continues to rise in the area. Many organizations and groups have been founded to implement strong business skills and effective marketing strategies to help local companies grow. We recently spoke with Nicolet College’s Business Development and Outreach specialist and the founder of Northwoods Women in Business, Michelle Madl-Soehren, about the goals of NWIB.
Star Journal: What is the primary focus of the Northwoods Women in Business organization?
Michelle Madl-Soehren: The organization was founded in July of 2010 primarily to involve women in the Northwoods area who are active businesswomen in the community. It’s not just a group for entrepreneurs, but really an organization for women, by women and includes all women who are in business in some way, shape or form.
SJ: What are some of the topics and issues that the organization focuses on?
MM: Because our organization has members with so many different backgrounds in terms of business and location, we cover a variety of topics that represent the interests of the group. Some of the topics we emphasize are how to balance a home and work life, ways to enhance business through social media and networking, public speaking techniques, methods of taking a business to the next level, building a business on a budget and successful strategies to reduce stress in a working environment. Along with these topics, we host guest speakers and organize local events to highlight the potential that small businesses have in this area.
SJ: What is your outlook for the organization in terms of coming months and years?
MM: We’re looking to expand our group and would love to see more women join the organization. With a hopeful expansion of the organization, we’re hoping to create and support a website for NWIB in the future, but since our group doesn’t require a membership fee, we’re utilizing social media sites more to spread information so we can keep costs down. One of our goals as an organization is to plan a Northwoods Women in Business conference for 2014. I attend the Women in Business conference in Eau Claire each year and would love to see an event similar in the area.
SJ: How can women in the area get involved in Northwoods Women in Business?
MM: We hold a meeting every last Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Northwoods Center of Nicolet Technical College. We just had our first meeting since last fall and we had women from seven surrounding cities attend. One of the topics we covered at our last meeting was the revival of monthly newsletters which showcases individual women in business within the area, so members can look forward to those again. Anyone interested in attending a meeting may email [email protected] to be included in our mailing list, or visit our Facebook page.