The Model of a Great Networking Event

running with heelsI’m not a big fan of the typical networking event, however, I’m always intrigued by ‘unique experiences’. The kickoff of Running With Heels was all that and more. I left feeling like I had shared experiences with the women at my tables- after all, we broke bread together!

Over the course of 2 hours, I met 13 interesting and interested women, and am looking forward to getting to know each of them better.

Here were some of the highlights of the evening:

Provocative Ice Breaker: The speaker suggested we share something meaningful with our ‘neighbor’. For the record Round 1 – Table 4 did it as an ensemble.

The topic: the last time each of us was psyched/excited/felt ‘yeah’.

The result: I got a peak at the passionate side of four people I’d just met- a twinkle in each woman’s eye, a certain tweak in the tone and pace of the voice- subconscious ooze.

The take away: 4 strangers and I all shared great moments. Not a one was a movie moment- although I suppose discovering a singer in a subway could be made into a movie. The exercise just reinforced the fact that we all live challenging lives and those at the table cherished the present. Unique group!

Entrepreneurs and characters – galore! Every person I met was interested and interesting. Fascinating businesses, fascinating lives.

A few are in the front of my mind:

Janine Durso the visionary behind Sweet Jane Paperie– custom made cards – wedding invitations, birth announcements. Oh, did I mention these are hand sewn? When I asked for one of Sweet Jane’s cards, I was offered a choice of 2 dozen unique cards and couldn’t stop stroking the chosen one as the group conversed!

Kim Janulewicz and Nicole Horne have just taken over the blog site www.achildgrowsinbrooklyn.com. Since I met them during different rounds, I enjoyed hearing about the business from two angles. I’m psyched to check out this BK blog- although I no longer live in Brooklyn AND I’m not a mother.

Diana Pawlik recently moved east to continue to represent Svedka vodkas. What a wild career this woman has had- from Montreal, to Shanghai, to San Francisco, to Toronto, to NYC representing many industries. Good news is, Diana feels like she’s finally found home.

Lynn Kelly is working diligently to raise $400,000 for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. This cultural destination for the City of New York suffered that much property damage due to Sandy.

Lynn breaks it down by telling people that “even small donations of $10 or $25 go a long way. The clean up on our campus of debris, twigs, etc has worn out much of our equipment. $10 helps to buy a new rake and $25 can pay for a new chain on a chain saw. Incremental donations are actually significant, impactful and much appreciated. With 83-acres to care for, having adequate supplies for staff and volunteers is critical to service delivery and can be costly.” If you’re moved by Lynn’s efforts, and would like to help, donate here: www.snug-harbor.org

An Important Component: Casa La Femme’s waitstaff was fantastic! These folks were totally accommodating, sweet and thoughtful. This was an unusual event, where women changed tables between courses. The staff was fully focused and went one step beyond to ensure we were comfortable.

Congratulations to Running With Heels: What a great beginning!

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