Local BPW Club kicks off National Business Women's Week

October 13, 2004|by Alicia Notarianni

Hagerstown Business and Professional Women's Club geared up for National Business Women's Week at its monthly dinner meeting Monday, Oct. 11.

About 25 people gathered in the Crystal Ballroom at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at 6 p.m.

Following networking and dinner, Washington County Commissioner Doris Nipps and Hagerstown City Councilwoman Carol Moller presented proclamations acknowledging the accomplishments of Hagerstown Business and Professional Women's Club, and recognizing Oct. 17 to 23 as National Business Women's Week.

Rosalie Ridenour, co-chairwoman of the National Business Women's Week committee along with Donna Smith, said a number of activities are under way to promote full participation and equity for women in the workplace and to publicize the achievements of business and professional women.


During September, Hagers-town Business and Professional Women's Club named Ted Shank of Ted's Rent-It Centers Hagerstown's Employer of the Year and Marlene Spielman Hagerstown's Woman of the Year. Spielman and Teresa Ferenz, club president, are scheduled to appear on a local television broadcast to highlight and promote the personal and professional accomplishments of area women.

The Hagerstown Business and Professional Women's Club worked with several other local women's groups to create an exhibition on display at Frostburg University in Public Square in honor of the week.

Ridenour said the Hagers-town club will host the Business and Professional Women's Club of Maryland for a National Business Women's Week Celebration luncheon at Fountainhead Country Club on Sunday, Oct. 17.

Nipps served as keynote speaker at Monday's meeting, addressing the role of women in politics, and encouraging local women to run for public office. Nipps recounted her personal journey into the political arena, beginning with her term as president of the Parent Teacher Association at Old Forge Elementary School in Smithsburg.

"Where I've come from goes to prove that anybody can go ahead and run for public office," Nipps said.

She said her eventual experience as a member of the board of directors for the Maryland PTA exposed her to new ideas and inspired her to run for a position on the Washington County Board of Education. Following her service there, she was elected to the Washington County Commissioners in 2002. Nipps said serving in public office allows her to use her perspective as a woman to influence issues that affect the community.

"All issues are women's issues," Nipps said. "It all starts with local politics. This county will be ready to have two of us in there."

The business spotlight portion of the Hagerstown Business and Professional Women's Club meeting featured Belinda Callear's Americana, primitive and colonial craft business, Bee's Creations. Callear, a mother of two, said she operates the business from her home in Boonsboro and manages spaces at the Hancock Antique Mall and at Rocky Ridge Collectibles in Hagers-town. Callear spoke of the budding confidence that finally led her into business.

"I was an avid shopper, and I got tired of buying other people's things," Callear said. "I thought, 'I can do this. I can make this stuff.'"

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