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Customizing Your Chamber Experience

Chamber members are encouraged to “customize” their membership experiences by participating in several affiliated subgroups of the Chamber that offer programming and networking opportunities targeted to special interests. They include:

The Women’s Business Network
The Women’s Business Network provides additional networking, career development, personal and professional exchange opportunities for women business owners and professionals. The group was formed in 2008 with the assimilation of the former Worthington Area Business & Professional Women.

The Women’s Business Network meets 10-12 times per year, typically at luncheons with keynote speakers or panels addressing topics of mutual interest.

In addition to business-building topics, programs may include women’s health topics or issues related to balancing work and family. Approximately 50 to 60 businesswomen attend each monthly event. Gentlemen are also welcome to attend. At each meeting, members and guests can support our scholarship fund by making announcements ($5/member; $10/guest) and participating in door prize drawings ($1/member/guest).

The group’s career mentoring efforts support Worthington’s public high schools by assisting with mock interviews, career shadowing and mentoring. Each year in May, the Women’s Business Network provides two scholarships to young women at Worthington’s two public high schools who aspire to a career in business or a profession. The scholarship application process is competitive, including essay responses from applicants, and is judged by a committee of the Women’s Business Network.

Meetings of the Women’s Business Network are posted on the Chamber’s Calendar of Events and the Community Calendar. To learn more about the group, call the Chamber office at 888-3040.

Young Professionals of Worthington (YPoW)
Are you between the ages of 21 and 39? Get powered up with Young Professionals of Worthington (YPoW)! YPoW is organized by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce to equip young professionals who live and work in the Worthington area with networking, educational and social opportunities. YPoW will help to grow emerging leaders to serve our community’s future. The group plans networking and social events, philanthropic and charitable activities, and leadership development opportunities throughout the year. YPoW holds four “mixer” events each year, participates as a group in supporting the Chamber’s major fundraising events, and conducts a bimonthly “Lunch Bunch” activity that includes a brown-bag lunch and discussion of topics of common interest led by a speaker or panel.

Visit the Chamber’s website, www.worthingtonchamber.org, to download a brochure about YPoW that includes a membership application. To learn more about YPoW and how you can get involved, contact Katie Berry, Insurance Agencies of Ohio, at (614) 848-3000.

Network Referral Groups - Impact Tips Group & New Connections Referral Group
The Impact Tips Group and the newly formed New Connections Referral Group are “network referral groups” of Chamber members from non-competing businesses who thrive on direct business leads exchanged, and relationships developed, through weekly interaction at a breakfast meeting. The groups each consist of 15-20 business representatives from disparate industries or professions who steer appropriate referrals to other group participants on a regular basis. Participants in the group learn about each others’ products and services; identify new potential customers and supply sources; discuss and attend other Chamber events individually or as a group; and establish relationships with others they know, like and trust. A typical meeting may include brief presentations from group members on their business, sharing or follow-up of referrals or business dealings with others in the group, and a reminder of other business-building Chamber activities. Impact Tips participants are largely involved in B2B products and services, and New Connections includes business-to-consumer-focused members, as well.

To participate in a network referral group, one must first be a Chamber member in good standing and represent an industry or profession not already filled within the group. Participants pay an annual fee of $30 in addition to their Chamber membership dues investment. To learn more about the groups and arrange to visit a session as a guest, contact the Chamber at 888-3040.

Small Office/Home Office “SOHO” subgroup
Do you work in a home office or very small office? You may benefit from monthly meetings with others like you, featuring speakers and discussions on topics of common interest, in the Chamber’s Small Office/Home Office “SOHO” subgroup. Marketing, legal and tax issues, customer service, organizational tips and many other concerns are among those the group expects to address at its monthly “brown bag lunch” sessions.

SOHO is a Chamber affiliate group serving home-based businesses and small businesses of five or fewer employees where the owner typically “wears all the hats.” The group offers peer support, exchange of best practices, education about topics of common interest, and networking/lead exchange among Chamber members who share this business type. The 90-minute meetings include networking time before and after the structured topic/agenda.

All participants in the SOHO group must be Chamber business or associate members in good standing (dues current). The group is not open to individual or retiree members. Consistent with the Chamber’s other special interest subgroups, SOHO participants pay a $30 annual fee for the group.

The group meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a brown-bag-lunch format. For more information or to sign up for the SOHO group, call the Chamber office at (614) 888-3040.

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