Happy 2024, WPF Sisters!

A message from WPF President, Erica Parker

I’m thrilled to bid farewell to 2023 and welcome the new year with open arms. Let’s embrace the new hope and possibilities that lie ahead and leave behind the heartaches and disappointments of the past. Out with the old, in with the new! With fresh breath in our lungs, we can breathe new life into our tired and worn souls. This is our year to shine!

I am currently reading Michelle Obama’s book, “The Light We Carry,” which was recommended to me by one of our sisters. This book has been such a “light” to me.

As I began to prepare for my year to serve this amazing group of women, I pondered long and hard on what the theme for the year would be. I knew I wanted something transforming and meaningful. The title of Michele Obama’s book intrigued me. The phrase “the light we carry” often symbolizes positive qualities, virtues, or inner strength that individuals possess and share with others. It can represent hope, kindness, wisdom, or any positive influence we bring into the world around us.

As I continue to read the book, I am consistently challenging myself to define the light I carry. How am I showing up? As of today, December 21, 2023, I am still defining the light I carry. My challenge to you this year is to join me in this journey to define “the Light we carry.” Many of you may already know yours and are vigorously shining bright. Some of you may be like me, still trying to figure it out. One way to determine your light would be to ask those around you how they see you. How do you show up to them?”

This year is our year to shine bright.  We will show up full of life, love, and hope as we transform our lives and those around us.  I look forward to wearing shades to our monthly meetings to shield the bright lights that will exude from you all.

Shine Bright!!

JANUARY MEETING …Wednesday, January 10, 12:30-1:30pm at Starmount Forest Country Club

Welcome Suzanne Elise Walsh, President, Bennett College

Suzanne Elise Walsh became the nineteenth president of Bennett College on August 1, 2019. She was most recently deputy director of postsecondary success for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading and developing a team and a portfolio of over $70 million in postsecondary investments in institutional transformation in the United States. She previously served in leadership roles with the Lumina Foundation for Education and The Heinz Endowments.

Ms. Walsh has received national recognition for her portfolio of work with organizations at the intersection of innovation, technology, and learning. Education leaders with whom she has consulted praise her ability to create and work with cross-functional teams as a key driver in affecting flexible, personalized, and affordable approaches to higher education, and other leaders have expressed their appreciation for her work on several viability and sustainability initiatives at HBCUs, analyzing complex situations, developing innovative action plans to address challenges and motivating teams.

Ms. Walsh has been a frequent speaker and workshop leader at conferences such as the SXSW EDU, Black Futures Summit, ASU+GSV (Arizona State University (ASU) and Global Silicon Valley (GSV), Council for Independent Colleges, Salesforce Education Conference, and Global Learning Council, of which she is an active member. Other nonprofit board service includes Trellis Foundation, Achieving the Dream, Women’s College Coalition, the Harwood Institute, Global Learning Council, and Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Walsh is a member of the Homeland Security Academic Partnership Council, appointed by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has published or edited several books and journal articles on the topic of educational transformation, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and fellowships.

Ms. Walsh has honorary doctorates from Case Western Reserve University and Johnson C. Smith University. She was elected to the prestigious Society of Benchers of Case Western University School of Law. She earned a juris doctorate and master’s in social work from Case Western Reserve University, a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, and an associate degree in applied science from Hudson Valley Community College.

Message from the Membership Committee

From Laura Burton, Chair

Your WPF Membership Committee is ready for an exciting and productive new year and we look forward to learning about the great applicants you’ll be proposing.  We love having new members join our professional sisterhood.  Please let me know if you’re planning on sponsoring a candidate this year.  This will help the Membership Committee’s planning process for 2024.

Although the June 1st deadline for the 2024 class seems far in the future, it’s only FIVE MONTHS AWAY.  However, please don’t fill out the applications just yet—we expect the updated website modifications by the end of January.  This should make the process easier for all involved, including the option of fillable PDF forms for the application and sponsor packet.

The basic requirements for membership applications won’t change:

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

• 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 filing.

• A new member must be sponsored by a total of three sponsors — a primary sponsor and two secondary sponsors. The primary sponsor must be an Active or Active Retired member. The two secondary sponsors may be Active, Active Retired or Emeritus members.

• The primary sponsor is responsible for ensuring that an applicant appears to meet the basic membership qualifications set out in the New Member Application Packet.  Questions may be directed to the Membership Chair.

• 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 about sponsorship, please contact Membership Chair Laura Burton at lburton@foxrothschild.com or 336-337-1942.


Current Members:  2024 WPF membership renewal notices will be sent out mid-January and all membership fees are due by March 1st.  Watch your inbox for an email notice.  If you are considering changing your membership status or have questions about membership, please contact Membership Chair Laura Burton at lburton@foxrothschild.com or 336-337-1942.

WPF FOUNDATION NEWS: A Note From Chandra Hackenvbruch, WPFF President

Hello and Happy New Year from the WPF Foundation.  May this this year bring you joy, a sense of purpose and much success! In 2023 the WPFF board accomplished so much together and I am grateful for their hard work and dedication!

I am also ecstatic and honored to be leading the Foundation Board this year along with a great group of officers and Directors! I am looking forward to accomplishing upcoming goals and achievements this year!

We are excited about applicants that applied so far during this grant cycle and look forward to more! As a reminder the deadline is January 31st, so please spread the word now to any organization in Guilford County that runs programming for women and girls and encourage them to apply.  They will find the new application link on the grants tab on the Foundation page at www.wpforum.org/foundation/grants/.  We look forward to being able to award another amazing group of grants this year to encourage and enable more impactful 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 2023, and the past… THANK YOU!  Your contributions allowed us to provide over $300K in grants to organizations that align with our mission to 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.


Thank You!

Together we are empowering women and girls.

Special Interest Group Upcoming Events


Tuesday, January 9 from 6-8 PM
The Family Room
204-C S. Westgate Drive, Greensboro

Service to Others will be sorting and organizing at The Family Room in January. RSVP to Jody Susong at jsusong@triad.rr.com if you would like to participate.

Families that foster are not able to get upfront financial support to provide the children with what they need when they first come into care. The children often come into their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  The Family Room can provide the resources they need, including beds, clothes, toys, strollers, cribs, diapers and blankets.  Resources are always provided at no cost to families that foster.


Thursday, January 18 @ Noon
1941 New Garden Road

Join us for our first LOL outing in 2024. We will utilize the time to plan out our calendar of events for the year. All members and ideas are welcome! Also, please note we have 10 seats reserved for lunch. Please send your RSVP for lunch to retired@wpforum.org. If you can’t make lunch, but have an idea to share or would like to volunteer to coordinate a monthly activity, please let us know!


Thursday, January 25 at 6 pm
Cathy Nosek’s home

Join us for our HOLIDAY PARTY! Please bring your favorite beverage or a bottle of wine.  All the food and fun will be provided!

The first BUSINESS MEETING of the year will be on Thursday, February 15, at 6 pm at Mt. Pisgah Church. Membership to the Club is open every January.  The purpose of the Club is to learn about the financial markets and strategies in a comfortable setting.  The portfolio will be priced on 12/31/23 and the value of a full, half, quarter, or eighth share will be determined.  Please contact Peggy Ward at peggy.ward8@icloud.com after January 10, 2024, to receive the final information to join.


Wednesday, January 31 @ 6:30 PM
The Prescott
126 S Main St Suite G,
Kernersville, NC 27284

RSVP to Amy Meinecke by clicking here.  Please Note: This will be a planning dinner where we will assign hosts for each month. Please come prepared to discuss and bring ideas for dining locations.


Planning Meeting
Thursday, Feb 1
@ 6:30 PM
Kris Landrum’s home

Please be part of our annual planning and help us make 2024 our best year ever!  Come with ideas for activities and a willingness to help organize the events.  This gathering is a fun way to begin the year, meet some of your WPF sisters and insure a variety of event options for ‘24.  A light dinner will be served.   If you’d like to come, email Kris Landrum (klandrum@tuggleduggins.com) or Michele Smith (msmith@hillevans.com).  Put this event on your calendar!


Tuesday, February 6 @ 7 PM
Location TBD

WPF Book group’s next book is Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. The host and book leader will be announced. Please RSVP to Polly Sizemore at pollydsizemore@gmail.com


Blowing Rock Summer Trip 2024 Reminder

We have reserved two houses in the Misty Mountain neighborhood of Blowing Rock for our summer weekend and can accommodate 18 to 20 women (depending upon room sharing).  We already have 15 of those spaces taken.  If you’re interested in participating in this weekend of shopping, tubing, hiking, spa visits, hanging out with friends on decks with beautiful views or in a hot tub, dining out and attending an outdoor symphony (complete with fireworks) at Chetola, contact Kris Landrum at klandrum@tuggleduggins.com.  Anticipated cost for housing is $220 to $230 for the weekend.  Other costs include symphony tickets (around $45), dining out costs, spa visits, and tubing (around $30).  A deposit of $100 toward housing is required to hold your spot.



March 22-24, 2024
The Mountains are Calling!!

We are so excited to announce that Wild Women in the Mountains will be returning in 2024.  The date has been set – March 22-24, 2024, housing has been confirmed (well most of it) and Sarah Shoffner is ready to take your check.  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, discount shopping in the Blowing Rock area, 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!!  Please confirm YOUR reservation so we can confirm our housing.  We promise you a great time!! Contact Mebane Ham at mebane@mebaneham.com if you have any questions.




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