Living Through Change

A message from WPF President, Adrienne Jandler

Perhaps because of my profession, I have been focused on capturing photos relating to the pandemic since it started. It has all unfolded so quickly and the changes so completely that I have wanted to capture the impact on our daily lives visually. Someday younger generations may be interested in learning what the pandemic was like via the social media and images that we share of this time. At a minimum, I’ll have the images in my own photobooks to remember and reflect on.

In the beginning, my photos were largely of window signs on storefronts announcing closures, floor decals marking a 6-foot social distance, masked workers, glass partitions in supermarkets, and the like. I also captured overhead highway signs with “Stay at Home” directives, billboards, and other mass-communication measures. Now, though, I’m capturing another shift: masks worn beneath the mouth, crowds convening at the beach, lack of social distancing, and other acts of defiance and/or ignorance.

For many of us, shelter-in-place is now (at a minimum) 60 days in, and for some 90 or 120, depending on when you began staying home. Whether we know someone who has contracted COVID-19 or not, no doubt we’ve all been impacted on some level.

From the obvious, direct impacts on many of our businesses to shifting our lifestyles to one that is home-bound, it’s been a time of significant adjustment we never could have imagined just six months ago. While challenging on many levels—especially to business owners—it hasn’t been without its benefits. We’ve spent much more time with our families, been more intentional in distance meetings with friends, and have become more nimble and flexible with our businesses. We’ve changed as a society, too. We’ve become more empathetic and appreciative of the sacrifices of others, and we’ve added new terms to our vocabularies like “blursday,” “covidiots,” and of course “social distancing.” We’ve learned to appreciate the small things, to take less for granted, and to be happy taking less in general…from meat to soap to (most importantly) toilet paper!

As we’re slowly easing up on restrictions, seeing phased re-opening of businesses, and venturing back out as a society, so, too is WPF. We’ve had a number of online SIG events via Zoom and will continue to do so. We also had our first small, socially-distanced in-person event at the Healing Gardens at Wesley Long this past month.  We will be offering more of these in the coming months, and (as always) participation is optional.

The Board has continued to meet via Zoom, and we were hopeful that by mid-June we would be able to meet in person. Starmount has opened in accordance with Phase Two of the Governor’s re-opening plan, and as of the board meeting, could only accommodate groups of 10 indoors. As such, the June meeting is cancelled.

For both May and June, the Board had considered having our monthly meeting via Zoom. In both cases, the overwhelming feedback received has been that members are maxed out with work, too many Zoom meetings, exhausted balancing home-schooling with work, and simply do not want one more meeting added to the mix. As such, the Board decided to keep our activities limited to SIG events through the end of June. That said, we are hopeful that a July meeting may occur. If we are unable to physically meet in July, we will evaluate alternate options for meeting.

Once again, the Board has decided to donate the funds we had allocated for the upcoming meeting ($2,226) to a non-profit organization. June’s funds will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC. We’re especially excited to have chosen this organization because now through June 30th, donations are being matched dollar for dollar by a generous community benefactor.

We are all eager to be back together and enjoy the great camaraderie that we have in WPF. I encourage you to take part in some of the online SIG meet-ups; we have some great ones planned. And, if you feel comfortable doing so, consider reaching out to fellow WPF sisters for a glass of wine or a meal in small, socially distanced groups. If you do, I hope you’ll share your photos. We’d love to see them, and I’d personally love the capture of how professional women are continuing to nurture friendships and support each other through the pandemic!

MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: New Application Deadline July 10, 2020

The deadline for applications for new members has been extended to Friday, July 10. All completed applications will be reviewed by the Membership Committee and its recommendations will be made to the Board of Directors for approval. The Board of Directors will vote on the completed applications at its August meeting. Given the shortened time for review by the Membership Committee, it is essential that sponsors ensure that all seven elements of the application packet are submitted on time.

The new member application and sponsor packet may be found on the WPF website. Instructions are included.

If you have any questions or plan on sponsoring a new member this year, please contact Membership Chair Melanie Tuttle mstuttle54@gmail.com as soon as possible so that the committee can provide timely guidance and assistance.

Helping Where We Can

Even though North Carolina is now in Phase 2 of reopening, we remain unable to hold our monthly luncheons. The WPF Board of Directors donated $2,226, the funds allocated for June luncheon to Second Harvest Food Bank. Now through June 30, all donations to Second Harvest will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $200,000!

Every day, they move 37 tons of food through their warehouses and out to their network of 460+ partner programs, many of which rely on Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina for the majority of the food they provide. Together, they work to make sure that any resident who needs help to feed themselves or their family can access the healthy food they need to live healthy, productive lives.

Supporting access to healthy food for all residents is vitally important to individual and community health, as is their work to address the root causes of food insecurity and poverty. Beyond providing food for today, Second Harvest operates a nationally-recognized culinary training program, offers nutrition education, advocates for policies that strengthen families, and convenes and collaborates with others to build locally relevant solutions to hunger and poverty. They are a proud member of Feeding America and Feeding the Carolinas.

COVID-19 is creating tremendous uncertainty and new challenges for everyone. And for families who were already struggling financially, the situation is even more difficult now.  Second Harvest Food Bank is responding to the challenge in many ways.  Check out their Facebook page for daily updates on their response.  https://www.facebook.com/Food.Bank.NWNC

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2020: Holiday Bazaar!

The Bazaar Committee is hard at work and needs your help to support the Bazaar and our local Greensboro small businesses. This year, we are asking you to purchase gift cards from local businesses and restaurants then donate them for our raffle. We’ll group cards together to create raffle packages. We ask you to buy gift cards now and send them to Amy Baradell (address below) or give them to her when WPF is back together.  Please email Amy and let her know what gift cards you are donating so the Bazaar Committee can start planning the raffle.

Questions or suggestions? Email Amy amyb@windowworksstudio.com or snail mail her c/o Window Works Studio, Inc., 4915 Piedmont Parkway, Suite 107, Jamestown, NC 27282.

FOUNDATION NEWS: Celebrating Our Work Together

Whether you’re a relatively new member, or a long-standing sister of WPF, you are also part of the Women’s Professional Forum Foundation, established in 1984 to promote, facilitate and support opportunities for women and girls to aspire to or further their executive or professional careers. Since 2007, we have collectively contributed about $295,000! Each year, our support goes back out into our community to empower women and girls to be the best they can be.

As we look forward to July and learning about the grants we’ll make this year, we thought you might like to hear from a couple of last year’s grant recipients to get a good sense of the difference we’re making.

2019 Grantee: American Association of University Women for their Women In Nonprofessional Careers Program (WINc). Last year, WPFF granted WINc $5,000 to help young women get the education they need to pursue a career. Adelana Nelson was the first to be helped with our support. Adelana, a young woman who lives at Partnership Village had completed “boot camp” at The Forge to learn about metal working and welding. This initial training gave her the confidence to apply to GTCC for a degree in Advanced Manufacturing. With our support, Adelana attended GTCC last summer and fall for her math and English classes required to graduate, as well as book, a laptop, and welding equipment she needed to. This was her first year back in school, and not an easy adjustment, as attending classes in Jamestown required her to take the bus to school each day and stay throughout the day to complete coursework. On May 20th, she was approved for financial aid as she was able to sustain her academic performance and will be able to complete the program and earn her degree.

2019 Grantee: New Arrivals Institute for their RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Success Empowerment) program. Last summer, 48 refugee and immigrant girls participated in the program that included seven lessons focused on seven women, who were leaders and achieved great success in spite of great adversity. These lessons were created using Chelsea Clinton’s book, She Persisted Around the World. Eight local women shared their vocation with the girls. The RISE program concluded with a service learning project. This spring, the RISE program was offered at two community centers located in apartment complexes where many immigrant and refugees family live. At the end of March, 21 immigrant and refugee girls had participated but the program was cut short due to COVID-19. When these community centers reopen, the girls will be invited back to the program. It will be reshaped to address and acknowledge the girls’ experiences during the pandemic, include  a service learning project, and highlight the fact that women made up the majority of coronavirus essential workers.

SIG JUNE EVENTS

BOOK CLUB

Tuesday,June 16, 7:00pm, The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

Hosted by Kris Landrum via Zoom!

The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story–the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago’s heroine, Lara–with a narrative about two women empowered to lead lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk.  Kris Landrum will host and will arrange for attendance by Zoom. Please email Kris at KLandrum@tuggleduggins.com and let her know you want to attend so she can send the Zoom registration to you.

WORKING MOMS

Tuesday, June 23 at 7:30pm on Zoom

Join fellow working moms to hear how we are all getting through these challenging times!   Email Marlee Foster at marleegfoster@gmail.com to get the Zoom link and join us!!

BOOKS & ARTS

Cooking Class @ Reto’s Kitchen on June 8 @ 6pm and / or  June 25, 6pm

600 S. Elam Street, Greensboro

Got cabin fever?  Join host Nancy Radtke for a Cooking Class with Social Distancing according to CDC and NC restaurant safety guidelines.  Classes last until 9pm.  June 8th theme will probably be Northern Italian Cooking; June 25 the theme will be up to popular vote (5 seats available).  There will be complimentary red and white wine available, but we can bring our own if desired.  The cost is $70 with tax, and a tip is very much optional.

Please RSVP to Nancy Radtke at 336-202-6181 or nancy.radtke@allentate.com.

DINING OUT

Wednesday, June 24 for Virtual Dining Out at 6:30pm

Currently Dining Out is meeting virtually, via Zoom.  Meeting is limited to 10 participants for ease of conversation.  If you would like to be on Amy Meineke’s contact list for this, email her at diningout@wpforum.org

Would you like to host dinner in your backyard?

With take-out from a local restaurant, attendees could bring a bottle of wine, your own outdoor chair, and enjoy a fun, socially distant evening together! Contact Amy  if you’re interested.

WhINE DIVAS

WhINE Divas is planning to get together virtually via Zoom or in person, if possible. Please check http://wpforum.org/special-interest-groups/whine-divas/ for updates or contact Kim Trone kimberlyt0011@gmail.com  for information.

DEVOTED to DIVERSITY

Tuesday, June 16, 6:30pm via Zoom: Racism Impacts Everyone

Thank you to all who have expressed interest and shared suggestions for our new SIG! Though we are socially distanced, we are excited to begin regular meetings on the third Tuesdays. For our first meeting, we’ll watch and discuss economist Heather McGee’s TedTalk about the impact of racism on our entire society.

 

RSVP one of these members to receive the zoom link:

Nicole Hayes nicole.hayes92@yahoo.com

Terri Harris terriharris1800@gmail.com

Rebecca Ben-Gideon rbengideon@gmail.com