This month we welcome 8 new members and one former member to our WPF sisterhood. Our new members include an attorney in private practice, an assistant vice-president with an insurance and financial Fortune 250 company, a small business owner and author, a residential real estate broker, an interior designer and business owner, a CPA in private practice, a marketing and advertising professional who founded her own agency, and the executive director of a nonprofit empowerment program for girls.

Our returning member is the founder and managing partner of a boutique advisory firm. It’s a well-rounded, talented, diverse group of women I know we’ll all enjoy getting to know or getting to know better. I challenge each of our new members to become active in WPF and embrace new friendships. Like most organizations, the more you participate in WPF activities and get to know your fellow members through Special Interest Groups and other events, both formal and informal, the more you’ll benefit from your membership in WPF.

My very best female friends in the world are members of WPF. Most of them are people I probably would have never even met if not for WPF. They’ve been there to help me celebrate becoming a partner in my law firm, the marriages of my two sons Brooks and Garrett and the births of my two precious grandchildren, Carolina Brooke and Benjamin Reid. They’ve celebrated with me, danced with me, rejoiced with me and endured far too there for me when my husband John died unexpectedly in 2000 and when I battled breast cancer in 2002 and again in 2003. They brought food, they listened, they cried, they propped me up, they invited me to do things, they made me do things, they prevented me from crawling into that big black hole and helped me see I could have a life without the man I loved. They took me to doctor’s appointments and physical therapy appointments after
my mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. They helped me accept the body I have, scars and all. They planted flowers in my porch boxes. It was my WPF friend and fellow breast cancer survivor Margaret Bertrand who had to tell me that I had cancer, both times. It was my WPF sister and fellow breast cancer survivor Lynn Smith who performed my oophorectomy when I learned that I had the BRCA1 genetic marker. And it’s my dear WPF sisters with whom I have shared so many extraordinary adventures – bicycling through Tuscany, sailing the BVI’s, playing the Amazing Race in Acapulco, exploring Amsterdam on foot, biking and barging from Amsterdam to Bruges, discovering the incredible wonder of the national parks that make up the Grand Circle Tour in Utah – Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, the Grand Canyon. And it’s with my WPF sisters that I’ve experienced the comradery and joyfulness of our annual trips to Blowing Rock and New York City. I do love those Wild Women of the Mountains weekends! My WPF membership has provided me with the gift of long and lasting friendships. I hope that one day when you look back at the day you became a member of WPF, you’ll be able to say the same thing.

I challenge our existing members, particularly our longtime members, to remember what it was like to be new and to want to be included in activities and conversation. I hope you will each reach out to at least one of the new members in this March, 2015, class and get to know her as a friend. Make a special effort to invite a new member to lunch or to a SIG activity or both. If you share an interest or profession or alma mater with one of our new members, take note of that and thoughtfully plan something that the two of you might do together, outside of WPF. I predict that you’ll both be enriched by the friendships you form.

Welcome Ashley, Christie, Dorothy, Kim, Maria, Patsy, Ross and Tracy. Welcome back, Sue. We are so very happy to have you join this organization that has been so special in our lives. We look forward to becoming your friends and your WPF sisters.
“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”