Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
This is one big tip we took away from the Network of Executive Women Northwest Arkansas Mixer. The networking mixer, held Aug. 18 at Avondale in Bentonville, featured tables with different “lifestages” that best represent the stage in participants’ personal or professional lives. These included student/recent college graduates, single women/men, married/partner/dual career, new parents, mid-career, working moms/dads and looking for a new career opportunity.
After picking up appetizers provided by Hormel and beverages by E. & J. Gallo Winery and PepsiCo Inc., participants found their table, and each table leader offered jumping off point questions for conversation, such as sharing an interesting thing about yourself and challenges people face at this lifestage. As one woman at a single women/men table said, it is “forced networking,” and she loves it! We did too. Having a set group of people to talk to allowed the conversation to delve deeper than just giving your name and job title and handing over a business card. We gained insights from others on navigating the lifestage we’re in, both professionally and personally.
The mission of the Network of Executive Women is to advance women, grow business and transform our industry’s workplace through the power of our community, according to newonline.org. Although the majority of its members are women, men are welcome to join as well. One man at our table took copious notes on everything he was learning from the other participants. For information on joining NEW and upcoming events, visit newonline.org.
Here are some photos from the NEW Mixer, which was also sponsored by Arvest Private Banking:
Amber Kramer and Jacque Franklin
Betsy Reithemeyer, Mary Rivard and Jerra Nalley
Emily Snyder, Susan Van Ness, Hannah Higgins, Kara Jordan and Liz Tanner
Hormel representatives Gita Kazokaitis, Mindi King, Jeff Bell and Vanessa Phipps
John Cormaci and Randy Simonson
Mimi Stewart, Donna Feyen and Robin Heis
Robyn Breshears, Graydon Rochelle and Tiffany Schmidt