Happy February!

A message from WPF President, Cecelia Anderson

Within our organization, 2023 got off on a different foot than in recent years. Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigated our way through the dues increase conversation. It’s not an easy conversation, and certainly not how I had hoped to start my term as President. Still, all the encouragement and kind emails I received served as another reminder of why I appreciate this group so much. Thank you!

While some of us are still crossing our fingers for a good snowstorm (myself included!), many are

already counting down the days until spring. While I don’t love the cold, dreary days of the winter months, the planner in me views those days as an opportunity to sit down (preferably next to a fire with a delicious latte in hand) and take a good look at things. The hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, work is somewhat quiet after the year-end craziness, and life, in general, seems a bit slower this month (probably because no one wants to plan anything in fear/hopes of that big snowstorm).

I hope you can sit back and refocus during this last month of winter. For me, refocusing means coming up with a plan. What do you hope to accomplish in the coming months? Whether it’s planning which fruits, veggies, and flowers you want to plant in the garden this spring, which hiking trails you plan to conquer, or where you will travel this summer, in my mind February has always been the perfect month to figure out what you want to do and how you’ll make it happen. I encourage you to look at the upcoming events of WPF’s 13 Special Interest Groups (“SIGS”). Perhaps you make a plan to attend a different SIG each month. Even better, reach out to a new member and invite them to join you. There’s something for everyone, and SIGs are a great way to get to know WPF members better, something I plan to focus on this year!

So, bring on that snowstorm or temperatures that make it too cold to go anywhere (Polar Vortex I’m talking to you) and start thinking about the exciting months ahead.

Happy planning!

FEBRUARY MEETING …February 8, 12:30-1:30 at Starmount Country Club

Meet APRIL MASON, General Manager Plant Services, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina

April Mason is General Manager, Plant Services. At Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina, (TBMNC) located in Liberty, N.C. The plant is Toyota’s first battery manufacturing facility in the world and, once it begins production in 2025, will employ 1,750 workers with four production lines, each capable of delivering enough lithium-ion batteries for 200,000 vehicles.

As General Manager, April will provide oversight for production control, facilities and local business planning, as well as coordinate with various regional functional teams related to battery business establishment. She joined Toyota in 1994 and most recently served as the general manager of administration for Toyota’s engine plant in Alabama.

April holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in labor and employee relations from the University of Cincinnati. She currently serves on the board of Girls, Inc. as leader of the 50th Anniversary “Invest in a Girl” Event and is a member of the International Women’s Forum, serving on the awards committee.


From Meryl Mullane, Membership Committee Chair

“The power of women gathering is Immeasurable.”  ~Author Unknown

Your WPF Membership Committee is ready for an exciting and productive new year and learning about the great applicants you’ll be proposing. We love having new members join our professional sisterhood.

Please keep in mind that prospective members must attend three meetings before the application deadline on June 1. If she hasn’t yet attended any meetings, that’ll mean three out of the next four meetings: February, March, April and May.

The Membership Application and Sponsor Form are on the WPF website. Here are the membership application procedures:

• Prospective members will attend three WPF lunch meetings with each of her sponsors, a total of three meetings, within the twelve months prior to application.

• New members are accepted once yearly.  Completed applications must be received by the Membership Chair by June 1 for membership beginning July 1.

• An Active and Active Retired member may either sponsor or co-sponsor a total of no more than two new member applications in a fiscal year.

• An Emeritus member may co-sponsor no more than two new member applications in a fiscal year.

• New members may be a sponsor after 24 months of membership.  The waiting period to sponsor a new member doesn’t apply to WPF members who have been reinstated as members after having left WPF in good standing.

• Sponsors will agree to provide any information about the prospective member as requested by the Membership Committee.

• If an applicant is rejected for membership, the primary sponsor and co-sponsors will be notified prior to notifying the applicant.

• Members of the Membership Committee, WPF President and Supporting members cannot act as sponsors.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at merylmullane@gmail.com or call me at 336-312-3381.


Reminder! Annual Membership Dues Are Due by March 1

2023 WPF membership renewal notices have been sent. Membership fees are due by March 1st.

You can pay dues securely online at WPForum.org website. Please note that Paypal service fees are included in your online payment.

Or you may pay your membership dues by check and mailing to:

WPF, Attn: Membership, PO Box 38594, Greensboro, NC 27438

Members who submit dues payments after March 1, will be assessed a late fee.

WPF FOUNDATION NEWS: Announcing 2023 Grants Cycle!

From Jennifer Mencarini, WPFF Grants Committee Chair

The WPF Foundation 2023 Grant Application is open! 

DEADLINE: February 15, 3023

I am excited to announce that our 2023 Grants Cycle is open through February 15, 2023. One of the ways you can help make this Cycle successful is to share the opportunity with Guilford County nonprofits supporting women and girls. For more information about the Foundation’s purpose and funding guidelines, please visit http://wpforum.org/foundation/grants/.

Click here for the press release announcing the 2023 Grant Cycle; please share this information widely with your networks to ensure that we have a robust number of applications.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please email the Grants Committee at wpff.grants@gmail.com.

Many thanks for your support of the Foundation and the Grants Committee!




From Kim Eder, WPF Foundation President

We are excited to start hearing from applicants.  The deadline is February 15th, so please spread the word quickly to any organization in Guilford County that runs programming for women and girls and encourage them to apply.  We look forward to being able to award another batch of grants this year to honor and encourage the outstanding work being done in our community.

None of this would be possible without the support of our membership.  To all of you who gave in 2022, and in all the years past… THANK YOU!  We are paying it forward to the organizations we support by awarding grants that empower Women and Girls by supporting:

• opportunities for women and girls to aspire to or further their careers;

• education and leadership development of women and girls;

• education of the public on the status and rights of women; and

• recognition of achievements and contributions of women.

If you have any questions about the grant cycle, or about the WPF Foundation, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of our WPFF Board members.

Special Interest Group Upcoming Events


Tuesday, February 7 @ 7 PM
Jane Hewitt’s House

Book Group meets for fellowship at 7 PM and the book discussion starts at 7:30 pm led by Michele Smith. Jane Hewitt is our host. Please email Jane at jhewitt51@gmail.com and let her know you are attending.

Dinners with Ruth is the great selection for February. Author and celebrated NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg delivers an extraordinary memoir of her personal successes, struggles, and life-affirming relationships, including her beautiful friendship of nearly fifty years with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


Thursday, February 9
@ 2:30-4 PM
Backpack Beginnings – 3711 Alliance Drive

Please join us for volunteering at Backpack Beginnings this month – we enjoyed helping here last year. This organization is dedicated to making a difference for children experiencing hunger or trauma by providing tangible basic needs. Please RSVP to Jody Susong (jsusong@triad.rr.com) or Amy Baradell (amyb@windowworksstudio.com) If you want to join us. For those who would like, we will head out for an early dinner afterward.


Thursday, February 9 @ 6 PM
Ronnie Grabon’s House

Sippin’ Sisters will enjoy a “Brunch” cocktail theme this month! Come join us for mimosas, Irish coffees and more as we munch on favorite brunch foods.

Our hosts are Ronnie Grabon and Kim Trone. Please RSVP to Kim Trone at kimberlyt0011@gmail.com and Venmo $25 to Kimberly-Trone-1.  Cheers!!!


Thursday, February 16 @ 6 PM
Mt. Pisgah UMC
2600 Pisgah Church Rd

Join us for our first Business Meeting of the quarter.  At this meeting we will welcome new members, elect officers, and review the portfolio.  Members, please feel free to share any news you have on any of the companies we own.

If you will mark your calendars now for our March 23rd Topic Meeting: ”Taking Action,” My Financial Confidence Workbook.”  This meeting, along with a continuation of the Topic Meeting in October, should provide some excellent education and useful information for all.  See you on February 16th!


Tuesday, February 21 4-5:00 PM
WineStyles – Friendly Center

Join us for happy hour at WineStyles.  Open to moms of all ages!

RSVP to Marlee Foster at marlee.foster@conehealth.com


Wednesday, February 22, 9-10 am
Weaver Park Center Bldg, 324 W.Wendover Ave, Suite 140

At our Financial Divas kickoff, there was no shortage of 2023 topics of interest! One proposed program seemed to spawn another equally interesting one. Join us – every fourth Wednesday monthly from 9 am to 10 am at 324 W. Wendover Avenue, Ste 140, Greensboro, NC 27408 (Weaver Park Center Building at Church St and Cridland St across from Iron Hen Café).

To be added to the  Financial Divas distribution and recurring Outlook invitation, learn more about topics and/or express interest in presenting, please email me, Paula McMillan, at pmcmillan@stearnsfinancial.com. As Ben Franklin – and my Pappaw Summers – used to say, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest!” See you on the 22nd!


Wednesday, February 22 @ 6:30 PM
Location TBD

Carol Rauch will be out host this month.  RSVP to Amy Meinecke.


February 23 and/or 24, 2023 (half day)
Koury Convention Center

The Ladies of Leisure SIG will be volunteering as competitive events judges for the annual NC DECA State Career Development Conference at the Koury Convention Center. What a fantastic way to share our professional expertise and wisdom with inspiring students! 250 business professionals from around the Guilford County area are needed to serve as judges on Thursday, February 23 and/or Friday, February 24 for a half day.

Volunteers will judge and evaluate North Carolina high school marketing/business students on their professionalism, presentation skills, business plans, etc. 3500 students will vie for a spot to compete at the International Career Development conference in Orlando, FL!  RSVP to retired@wpforum.org or contact Christie Soper at christiesoper@gmail.com with questions or more information on her personal story about this organization’s impact on her life.

Thursday, March 16, 2023 from 9am-5pm
Art in Bloom at the NC Museum of Art, Raleigh

Join us for Art in Bloom on March 16! Margaret Bertrand has pre-purchased 10 discounted member tickets at a rate of $33.25 per person. If you want to go, RSVP to retired@wpforum.org for confirmation. Once you’re confirmed, you’ll pay Margaret for your ticket directly. First come, first served! Jennifer Thomas will coordinate carpool and lunch. We will depart approx. at 9:00 AM and will have an early lunch somewhere TBD around 11:00 AM prior to the museum entry at 1:00 PM.


March 24-26, 2023
Blowing Rock, NC

The tradition continues!  The dates for 2023 Wild Women in the Mountains have been set – March 24-26, 2023, housing has been confirmed (well most of it) and Sarah Shoffner is ready to take your check.  Unlike most things, our pricing will stay the same at $125.  That includes a 2-night stay at one of the best and most entertaining homes in the Rock, appetizers Friday night, breakfast Saturday and Sunday and the most delicious dinner on Saturday.  You will also be in the company of the best Wild Women in WPF!!  More details to follow.  No matter what, we can promise you a great time!!

Mebane Ham (mebane@mebaneham.com)