The December 18th 2008 WERC netWork Christmas Luncheon Special marked the 50th event hosted by WERC and the Women's netWork since forming in May 2005. Monthly luncheons have been the cornerstone of WERC, but other events include the WE-Do Tour, LUNAfest, golf outtings, and a few special events.
"We never anticipated the netWork would grow to the level that it is today," said WERC President Judy Crockett. "The plan was to host a two-day event."
The list of guest speakers for the monthly luncheons is impressive: U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow; MI Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver; Mary Ellen Sheets, Founder/Owner of Two Men and a Truck; etiquette expert Denise Anne Taylor; Educator Cindy Novak; Laugh Therapist Gayle Robinson; Director of the Michigan Women's Market Place, Yodit Mesfin; Robin Lott from the Michigan Education Trust; Elizabeth Thompson and Brenda Quick Jones with the Michigan Women's Commission; Educators Char Myers, Pat Travis, and Nancy Foster, Authors Linda Hunt, Carol Atkins and Judith Wright; Entertainers Claudia Schmidt and Mary Sue Wilkinson; and numerous others.
A key program of WERC is the career-mentoring/scholarship program that connects high school juniors with professional women mentors to give the girls the opportunity to experience and learn about career choices. The first scholarships to girls completing the program were awarded this year. The program is funded through a giving-circle endowment fund held at the Manistee County Community Foundation.
For the fourth year in a row, WERC will make a major donation to the Manistee County Library in the form of books being donated by members at the December luncheon. "Our goal is to help provide professional development and leadership books to women who may not otherwise be able to afford them," said Crockett.
In January 2008 WERC opened an office in the Briny Building in Manistee. In May 2008, WERC became an US SBA Affiliate Women's Business Center. And in October 2008, WERC hosted the National WE-DO Tour for the third time...the only Michigan location to host this worth-while business event.
Membership in WERC is open to anyone. A $35 voluntary membership fee helps to offset costs. Additional WERC history is located on the organization blog.
Learn more about WERC at www.manisteewerc.org