Event gives area women networking forum

June 20, 1997


Staff Writer

Rosalind Boyd's job at Honeywell is being phased out, so she went to the Ramada Inn's Convention Center on Dual Highway Friday evening to hunt for help in making a career change.

"I'm here to find out how to get started with a business," said Boyd, a member of the American Business Women's Association who is interested in opening her own travel agency.

She came to the right place - the third annual Women Connecting in the Tri-State Region event, a joint effort by local women's organizations to encourage networking among women in the workplace, according to Christina M. Lundberg, a business analyst with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center at Shepherd College.


Halfway through the two-hour gathering about 50 business and professional women stood scattered in small groups talking animatedly about their experiences.

Last year's event was an all-day affair with speakers and workshops but this year's gathering was shorter and more informal "to allow for more of the networking," Jeanne Singer, of Keller Bruner & Co. in Frederick, said.

Organizers, who point to the fact that women-owned businesses now employ more workers than the Fortune 500 companies, said women especially need to network.

"Many women start working out of their homes. That's very lonely, particularly if you're used to working in an office setting ... so you need a network of women to support you," Lundberg said.

Ruth Lamothe, a partner with her sister Jacqueline Lamothe in the Lamothe Capital Funding Group, a Frederick company which provides alternative funding to new and expanding businesses, agreed.

"It's validation. It's a reality check because even though we're the fastest growing segment of business owners sometimes it gets real lonesome," she said.

Plus networking at such events is good for business.

"We've already gotten a number of leads," Lamothe said.

Anjel L. Scarborough, president of Computrain International in Myersville and Frederick, said she was there to offer computer and Internet training to women-owned businesses.

"Computers are traditionally male-dominated and we just make them much more friendly and approachable," Scarborough said.

First-time attender P.J. Pishvaian, owner of C W Travel Inc. in Hagerstown, said she was pleased with the event.

"I think it's a great way to meet people and exchange ideas. I think I'll do it more often," she said.

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