Women Presidents' Organization Formation under Way in OKC
Bill May The Journal Record, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Instead of just looking through the glass door of still male- dominated entrepreneur peer support groups, women soon will have the opportunity to rub elbows with their own. An Oklahoma City chapter of the Women Presidents' Organization is about to be formed, according to facilitator Lynn Hardin. Invitations have been sent to metropolitan Oklahoma City women presidents and business owners for an April 6 meeting in the Petroleum Club to set the stage for a local chapter, Hardin said. At that meeting, women business owners and presidents will have an opportunity to size up the organization and to set the agenda for such a local group. Women Presidents' Organization is designed as a peer-group forum as well as a creative, supportive resource for solving business challenges.
"We're very excited about this organization and the move into Oklahoma City. This will be our 18th chapter," said Marsha Firestone, the group's president. "This is a peer advisory group to assist in both professional and personal development for our members. It's a lifelong group. "There have been organizations like this before, but nothing for women, there's nothing out there to attract women." The Women Presidents' Organization is a way to end the isolation of the woman entrepreneur, Firestone said during a telephone interview. Even though a lot of women will be invited, membership is limited only to women whose manufacturing business has attained the level of $2 million in annual sales. It's $1 million for a woman-owned service business, Firestone said. Members of the group identify the issues they want to address and set the agenda for the meetings. Besides discussing the appointed topic, the meetings also will serve as networking, friendship and support activities for women business leaders, Hardin said. "Women will be able to talk one-on-one with their peers to discuss the personal and professional problems, to find solutions," Hardin said.
There are no committees on which to serve, Hardin said. "The members set the agenda and help us identify what issues to bring forward in a sort of brainstorming session. "We will have no office for our members to hold, no committees, no fund-raising," she said. "I will be facilitator of the meetings and will put together the meetings with the agenda the group sets. …