February 2018

Executive Corner 

Slow Down to Speed Up

Each quarter, a member of the Executive Board will take a turn writing a message to our members. This month, this space is mine. First a quick introduction, Susie Raemer-Rodriguez, Vice President of the Board. I've been a member of EPWNG since 2010 and on the Board since 2016. I am a People Strategist, aka Human Resources Consultant. My business involves helping companies learn to like and appreciate their employees. More on that later. 

This month I want to focus on slowing down to move quicker. Ever hear the phrase, "work smart, not hard"?  I feel like I am forever searching for ways to get things done faster and more efficiently, but I find when I do that, I become mechanical and don't spend time thinking about the bigger picture and deeper meaning. And that's important. How can we achieve that "perfect" balance when it seems that our workloads and lives, in general, are getting busier? I was recently telling someone about how back in the day (late 90's and early 2000's), before the invention of smart phones, when all we had was a flip phone (remember the Razor?), and no one expected us to answer emails or text immediately! Imagine that. I used to be off on Fridays and no one expected to hear from me. Gasp! I don't think I ever texted until I got my first Blackberry and even then, it wasn't a thing to have unlimited texting. 

 I propose grown up recess: 

  1. Turn off email for 30 minutes. Guess what? I've done this and no one missed me! And I felt recharged.
  2. Take a yoga class. I'm proud to say that I've done yoga consistently for the last two years and I can finally do a forward fold. It takes time, but yoga, the union between mind, body and breath can clear your mind.
  3. Read a book for fun - lose yourself for 20 minutes in a light topic. 
  4. As my daughter says, "treat yourself." A little ice cream never hurts.

Here are some hard and fast tips on how we can work efficiently AND successfully and also have enough energy to enjoy and be more productive.

  1. Ask for help - we don't have all the answers, asking for help does not weaken your authoritative position, in fact showing your vulnerability makes you more real to those you work with, and most people are thrilled that you thought enough of their skills to ask.
  2. Delegate - even if you are a solopreneur, think about outsourcing, i.e., bookkeeping, social media posting. Focus on what you are good at and let someone else do the rest. 
  3. Celebrate your wins Think about it, most of us spend 1/3 of our life working. Stop and smell the roses and celebrate your victories. 

I'm so excited to be in a leadership position and look forward to spending time with our members getting to know you better! I'll leave you with a couple of quotes that I find inspirational. 

"Do one thing every day that scares you." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"You have just one life to live. It is yours. Own it, claim it, live it, do the best you can with it." -- Hillary Clinton

Recap of Events 

January 16 Cooking class 

On January 16th, 5 EPWNG members met at the Lakeview Kitchen for an Asian cooking class with Chef Lori of Crave Cuisine. We made stir fry, Pad Thai and shishito peppers. We loved the shishito peppers!  We learned chopping techniques, especially to cut ingredients in small or thin pieces to help them cook faster. Chef Lori taught us to finish our dishes with a squeeze of lime or lemon to bring out the flavors. Iris Marreck, the organizer, says "I would use any of the recipes again, and I have already cooked the shishito peppers."

January 25 Inaugural breakfast for Phoenix, Arizona chapter of EPWNG

EPWNG PHOENIX kicked off its first meeting on Thursday, January 25th at the Olive & Ivy restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ. (Whoo-hoo!) Eleven excited professional women, interested in learning about how the Chicago EPWNG network was created, gathered for breakfast. Together, the ladies decided to meet again, with a friend, on February 22nd for lunch. Joede Berman and Candice Frazer were instrumental in coordinating the EPWNG Phoenix breakfast and inviting guests. We are looking forward to growing this newly formed group and exchanging business opportunities nationally! If you know of a professional woman wanting to get involved in EPWNG Phoenix, please email Wendy Baum at wendy@epwng.com

February 6 "The Humans" Theater outing

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6 EPWNG members met for a delicious dinner at Catch 35 on Wacker Drive in Chicago. We met 2 other EPWNGers at the Cadillac Theatre for The Humans.  Although this theatrical production received 4 Tony Awards, it was not a feel good story and none of us enjoyed the performance!  However, we all agreed that we would like to continue to see more live theatre. For our next adventure, we will identify a show that we know will leave us feeling uplifted.

Special thanks to Sheila Devi for the recommendation of a great restaurant, and Andrea Muchin for her assistance in putting together the event.

February 7th Next Gen event

On February 7th,  Maddy Kandelman and Randi Blume co-chaired a recruiting event to spread the word about EPWNG to Next Gen working moms on the North Shore.  What an incredible night!  Close to 45 women including up to 35 prospective members gathered at Anthropologie in Highland Park. Goodies of Highland Park supplied treats while Wendy Baum gave a brief and passionate history of EPWNG, and members attested to the amazing support and referral network we enjoy. 

As a highlight of the evening, the ladies were treated to a presentation by Susan Mowder of The Style Principle that included fashion tips on creating outfits that will go from school drop off to a client meeting. Afterward, Susan and the Anthropolgie stylists gave our guests personal shopping advice. We then went around the room doing introductions and confessing our biggest fashion mishaps. It was a fun way to network, and demonstrated the energy and power of EPWNG.

The event was a success, and the word about EPWNG is spreading around the North Shore!

Special thanks to the host committee including Cristy Steinberg, Jacqueline Lotzof, Jennifer Weininger and Rebecca Hoffman, and to Goodies for donating the treat tray.  

Upcoming Events

February 28: Women in Film event-come to Michael's in Highland Park for dinner and a conversation about the status of women in the film industry with critic Andrea Gronvall. Guests welcome. Please email Robin with your guest's information and let her know who will be paying. REGISTER HERE.

March 22: Bring a friend lunch event (hosted by Sari Klein) will be held at Jump Start Job Seach in Chicago 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. This is an event for EPWNG members with guests only. REGISTER HERE.

Platinum Perspective

Diana Widman
Diana Widman Design

Diana Widman creates limited edition and custom made fine jewelry that ranges from casual to ballroom appropriate.  "We make things according to modern standards using ancient techniques. We do things the right way. No shortcuts. My goal is to make pieces that will become heirlooms," she says.

When she decided to pursue jewelry design full time, she didn't mess around. "I apprenticed to a metal smith to learn how to physically create pieces. I also got my gemology certification in Colored Stones from the Gemological Institute of America, and I'm now finishing the Diamond series.  I take a lot of pride in being able to offer solid advice to my clients and to shop for them from a position of knowledge."  

"I love renovating heirloom pieces, so my custom clients are a lot of fun." One of her favorite stories is when a GI in Afghanistan found her on the internet and purchased a piece of jewelry for his girlfriend back home in the US. "He called me from Kabul. We talked about the color of stones he wanted and the pricing. He composed a note for her which I included in the package. Both of them were so happy, and it was an honor to do this for a serviceman." 

Diana loves EPWNG for the "You go, girl!" spirit and the willingness of the women to help and refer one another.  So if you have an old heirloom sitting in your jewelry box, Diana can breathe new life into it and make it yours. Or if you need some elegant new pieces, check out her website, dianawidman.com. 

Upcoming Events

February 28th - Women in Film Event at Michaels in Highland Park

March 22nd - Bring a Friend Event hosted by Sari Klein


Kudos go to the following EPWNGers this month:

Bonnie Brickman has been accepted to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, which helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses with a curriculum in practical business education, access to capital, and a network of advisors and peers. 

One of Catherine Schager Design's projects was featured in Dehring Hall's "40 Bathrooms with Mixed Tile Designs". Click here to see the photo.

Hughes Socol Piers Resnick Dym partner Deane B. Brown has been named to the lists of Top 100: 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers and Top 50: 2018 Women Illinois Super Lawyers. Attorneys are selected as Super Lawyers via peer nomination, independent research, and peer evaluation each year. Only 5% of the lawyers in Illinois are selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers.

Congratulations, ladies!

We want to cheer you on! Please send your awards and recognition notices to robin@epwng.com 

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can sponsor an EPWNG event or newsletter.

Newsletter Committee:
Kelly Luchtman
Rose Kostan-Schwartz
Diane Widman
Bonnie Shay - Board Liaison



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