An Evening of Networking Firsts

Today we have a guest post from Roxanne Lyman of Strategic Management Associates, LLC. Roxanne writes about her experience at our Fall Networking Social on September 12:

It was a night of firsts. Had I not picked up that last phone call of the day I would have arrived at the WHCM Fall Networking event at Papa Razzi in Burlington on time. I knew I had missed the welcome by the Board so was a little apprehensive about arriving late. When I walked into the function room my senses were delighted by the sight of a roomful of vibrant women actively engaged in conversation and the smell of garlic wafting my way. Greeted by smiling, welcoming faces, I was immediately in the mood to connect and learn what I could about each attendee I had the opportunity to speak with. It was the first time that I had been asked to write for the WHCM blog and I wanted to do the organization justice so I jumped in with a positive attitude.

Within a few feet of the entrance I was welcomed into a conversation and found myself talking with Amy Pesa, Vice President, Client Services EWI Worldwide. Although Amy had been a WHCM member for the past year, and recently renewed, her busy schedule had not allowed her to attend an event until now. I learned Amy had been immersed in Telecommunications marketing and sales for many years, but her interest in the Healthcare Industry and idea that she had transferable skills resulted in her taking the lead marketing role with Shareable Ink, an innovative means to digitally record physician notes. I won’t say more about this fascinating technology so if you want to learn more about Amy and Shareable Ink find her at our next event or contact her through the WHCM member directory.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Amy but was drawn by the aroma inviting me to move on, and I found myself engaged in conversation with Betty Doo, a Management Consultant and Organizational Psychologist. This was the first WHCM meeting Betty had attended in a few years. She had ventured away from her roots in healthcare to provide leadership coaching, assessments and training to the Telecommunications and Technology Industries. Betty has been a long time member of WHCM and seemed very pleased to re-connect with colleague Lisa Sasso, Executive Coach-Medical Device Professional. It was a pleasure to chat with Betty and witness her enthusiasm in talking with other WHCM members. Welcome back Betty.

I sat down with my plate of assorted cheeses, Tuscan herb flatbread, and bacon wrapped scallops so that I could enjoy my glass of wine without spilling! I was joined by several women, Jane Sherwin of WordDrive Communications, a WHCM member whom I’ve had the pleasure to talk with about effective use of social media (and a previous WHCM blogger) and Chantal Buchanan, a Health Policy and Management professional re-entering the workforce and attending WHCM for the first time. I was eager to hear how Chantal connected with WHCM and was pleased to hear her network described WHCM as having been re-energized over the past few years and a worthy organization. Chantal has been busy with a rigorous health policy course she is taking at Harvard and is seeking a Director level position. We had a lively discussion around her college aged daughter’s view of the (ir) relevance of women helping women. It was a view in sharp contrast to the one I hold. Having a curious mind, I value differing points of view and was glad to have shared this time enjoying both the food and conversation. Good luck Chantal.

Of course there was a roomful of women I did not have the pleasure of meeting and I would love to hear their stories as well. Of the three women I did speak with all had something in common; it was their first WHCM meeting (one coming back after a few years absence) and two had similar interests but contrasting career paths, one had moved away from healthcare and into telecommunications while the other reversed directions. It hit me how connected we all are and it just takes time, interest and listening to discover similarities. I can attest to the relevance of the women’s connection because I am experiencing it with WHCM. I look forward to making more WHCM connections and having another evening of firsts.
Do you have experiences or photos to share from our networking events? We’d love to hear from you.