Women in Business Share Insights, Ideas for Success

Feb 28, 2018
Photo by: Victoria Ford

The Women in Business initiative of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce began in January 2017 and now attracts dozens of participants to its monthly roundtable meetings, held at various women-owned or -operated venues and highlighting a broad range of topics. The group is founded on the principle that new connections are essential for women doing business in the LBI region, and designed to be a forum in which female leaders can network and share ideas.

This month’s meeting was held on the patio outside the new-ish (since Aug. 1) Union Market at the Tuckerton Seaport. Chamber CEO Lori Pepenella gave a welcome and introduction, saying the location was perfect “to embrace the beauty of the area and enjoy an outdoor experience” on a temperate late-February day.

In attendance were 35 representatives of retail shops, real estate firms, builders, county offices, the Lakewood BlueClaws, municipal government, the food service industry, medical practices, insurance agencies, financial services, the arts, specialty goods and enterprises, nonprofit organizations, interior design firms, and the press.

The panel of experts included the ambitious minds behind the Makers Festival: The MakeShift Union women, Dani Corso, Jeannine Errico and Erin Buterick, as well as Creative Team members Dawn Simon, Brie Fagan and farmer Chris Adams.

The festival is credited with providing a context for artists and nurturing public appreciation for handcrafted goods; it has put a focus on arts in the community, as Simon remarked.

The young professionals discussed the process of gathering critical mass to launch the festival, now in its fourth year, as well as the particulars of balancing the demands of a collaborative project in addition to their other jobs and, in some cases, independent businesses.

Errico’s advice to the group was to recognize the strengths and talents of trusted friends and colleagues and to tap into those resources. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Keep it close, at first, and then move outside of that circle if possible,” she said. Simon agreed, adding each person’s role is one part of the bigger machine.

Fagan said the key to her own success has been to know when to step back in order to move forward. Adams said businesses should embrace change in order to grow.

Buterick said time management is everything. She strives to create ever-better structured blocks of time, scheduling her week “to the hour” at times to stay productive and get it all done. Knowing when to “shut off” is also important, she added, to be able to perform optimally. Healthy habits are often a matter of self-discipline. Simon added the challenge is to be true to yourself in order to learn what systems and schedules work best. Life and work are customizable, and they might not always fit a mold.

Corso is a believer in using social networks for social change, she said. Put community above competition, and build community to connect people.

The next roundtable meeting will take place Tuesday, March 27, at 10 a.m. at the new AtlantiCare in Manahawkin. Nurse Rose Marie McCarthy will discuss heart health, risk screenings and outpatient rehabilitation. To RSVP, email info@sochamber.com or call 609-494-7211.

— Victoria Ford


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