Women’s Action Network (WAN) was formed in January 2005. It evolved from a group known as The Greenville Business and Professional Women (BPW). Business and Professional Women is a national organization that– Promotes equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information.
The Greenville BPW had been in Greenville for many years but by 2002-2003 membership had declined to only 4-6 members and those members did not feel that the national organization spoke to the needs of local women. $200 a year dues, 3/4 of which went to the national organization was also an issue. There were stories that the first meetings were above a hat shop (again a connection to the HatRack, see below) The charter members of WAN met over a six month’s period of time discussing what to do and how to proceed and how to attract new members. Eventually it was decided to disband the local BPW and form a new organization.
There was money in the BPW treasury and that money was placed with the Greater Greenville Community Foundation to fund a high school scholarship in the BPW name. WAN continued to give money to that fund until it reached $10,000 and the interest on that fund provides a scholarship forever in the BPW name.
WAN was formed because the founding members wanted an organization that was entirely focused on our local area. There were many national organizations that respond to women’s needs, but too much of that money left the local community. WAN wanted to recognize the achievement of local women, support their efforts with scholarships and grants while providing a networking opportunity, educational programs and service to the community. WAN sought members who were seeking ways to give back to the local community while wanting to support the efforts of women wanting to be full and equal participants in our economy and professional worlds.
One of the first projects of the Women’s Action Network was to help fund and be present to help at the Christmas party for the families of the 1073. Future projects included high school scholarships, adult scholarships, women of the year banquet and supporting other local projects that are brought to our attention. Managing Veterans Park during Danish Festival is our biggest fundraiser each year.
The HatRack was developed in 2005 as a way to help members of the community who are suffering hair loss due to any medical condition or other illness. We offer, free of charge, hats, wigs and scarfs to men, women and children. It was started in the basement of one members business and has grown to a stand-alone store front.
Meetings are the third Monday of the month and are held at the Winter Inn in Greenville. Meetings begin at 5:30 pm; include dinner, a short meeting and a program. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. For Further information, call 616-824-2003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.