A Little History:
Since the mid-90's WEO has operated as a 100% volunteer driven organization. The organization would not exist today without the sweat, tears, and vision of the women who invested time, resources, and heart into this community. If you've attended meetings in the last six months you know what I am talking about. Events are labor intensive to produce.
An Important Decision and Announcement
As we wrapped up 2013 and assessed the future these areas became brutally clear. WEO has
- Declining membership.
- High turnover and low retention year after year.
- Fixed costs increase to run organization over the last 3 years
- Limited volunteer pool who are tech savvy.
- Overly saturated market for women's groups.
These facts forced us to evaluate the options for this organization. As I mentioned in the opening comments, WEO has been around for 34 years. 1980 – 2014. That is a long time for an organization such as ours, run completely by volunteers with no major sponsorships or national connections. Let's pause for a minute to think and celebrate that. For the members and volunteers…this is YOU.
WEO celebrated their 34th year as a 501c6 business trade association founded in 1980. The world looked quite different for women in business in that era. At its peak WEO served the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington with multiple chapters, state officers, and an annual conference.
By 2001 the organization was actively working with the Small Business Administration and ASTRA to serve women business leaders in the region but the membership was dwindling. The decline of the organization along with the departure of the executive director was wearing on the local volunteer pool of chapter leaders and state officers. Rather than dissolve the non-profit the leadership determined consolidating various chapters into regional independent entities would best serve and respond to the market needs forming Women Entrepreneurs Organization of Washington based in Vancouver, Women Entrepreneurs of Southern Oregon based in Medford, and Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon based in Portland Metro.
Our commitment has been to provide you, the local women entrepreneur and leader with relevant, insightful, and fun events to help you take your business to the next level. You've been able to participate in monthly speakers, dinner programs, inspirational events along with powerful networking and excellent workshops.
Sister Organizations You Can Join
Contact: Raime Merriman
Portland Female Executives (PDXfX) is a premier non-profit organization dedicated to the
professional and personal advancement of women in business in the Portland, Oregon greater metro area.
Contact: Ronnie Noize
The Women Entrepreneurs Organization of SW Washington is the only business association exclusively for women entrepreneurs in SW Washington.
Contact/WEO: Jennie Jorgens
The Oregon Women's Conference creates a comprehensive forum for professional women to develop business potential on all levels through pragmatic education, mentoring, leadership training and advocacy.
We're building a global movement to empower women everywhere to be agents of change and to make a positive impact in the world.
Contact: Stephanie Arnheim
At eWomenNetwork.com, our vision is a vast network of female business owners and professionals all connected to each other. We want success-minded women to have easy access to each other's skills, talents, knowledge and resources.
Our purpose is to support, promote and showcase our members' products and services and help them achieve their professional objectives. We are a community of women who want to provide unlimited opportunities to transact business with women.
Contact: Dill Ward
We believe that all women are created equal. We administer all our benefits on a first come, first served basis.
We don't show preference to any members. Whether you are the president of a bank or a non-profit startup in your garage - you will receive the same warm welcome here. We believe in empowering women. We're not your mother, and we're not going to force networking down your throat. We know that you're interested in networking, and we're going to give you the tools to get the job done.
With Moxie, you truly get out of it what you put into it.
We believe in the power of collaboration among women. In everything we do, we encourage our members to work together. Our Member2Member events are collaborative efforts that showcase our member businesses.
Contact: Mary Golden, Samantha Phenix
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Portlandia Club provides services and opportunities that enhance the professional and personal lives of women. The club offers networking, social activities as well as an active mentorship program and a commitment to community service. We provide scholarships and funds to help women and children.