Special Interest Groups, or SIGs, are a hallmark of the RWN experience, and a unique opportunity for RWN members to meet and discuss a shared career focus or personal interest. These member-driven, member-facilitated groups meet regularly to form strong connections and support one another, while gaining insight into professional development, expanding business networks, and having fun.
With a wide variety of topics and times to meet, you can pick what interests you and what works best with your schedule. Don’t see a group that interests you? Have an idea for a new Special Interest Group other members might enjoy? Work with us to start a new group by completing a New SIG Suggestion Form. Our SIG Support Committee Chair will contact you to assist with the details.
Special Interest Groups are a member-only benefit. Before attending a SIG meeting for the first time, members should contact the SIG Chair.
A Note on SIG Maximum Capacity
For some SIGs, like Wine & Wisdom or Restauranteers, unfortunately there is a practical limit on how many members may participate at a given time. These SIGs typically meet at smaller venues that have capacity restrictions. If you find a SIG is at capacity, please contact the SIG leader for placement on that group’s waitlist. Or, you might want to start another SIG of the same kind, as members have with Wine SIG, Part Deux, or Women Refer 2. Remember, RWN members may join as many SIGs as they’d like, so we hope you consider being a part of another SIG while you wait to participate in a limited-capacity SIG.
Read more about each of our current Special Interest Groups:
Column 1 SIGs
Chair: Dawn Hampsey Dawn@HampseyCPA.com
The Board of Advisors SIG is a group for small business owners. BOA SIG members act as a confidential advisory board for each other. We meet monthly to discuss our goals, track our progress, and talk through any business question a group member needs advice or input on. Membership is open to individuals who are business owners working full-time at their business. Attendance at meetings is required, with two absences a year allowed. Members can call in for a meeting if they are unable to attend in person.
Date: first Wednesday of each month
Time: 3 PM to 5 PM
Location: Dawn Hampsey, CPA office
Is a change in your future? Exploring new professional opportunities? Find new paths with us! Discuss how to take advantage of current opportunities and move forward in a way that honors you and your skills. Share, learn, and listen to make the most of this time for professional growth, realizing opportunities, and reaching goals. This SIG will be facilitated by Teresa Delibert, Certified Personnel Consultant & Miranda Wilcox, Professional Certified Coach.
Date: second Wednesday of each month
Time: 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Chair: Brigid Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org
This SIG provides volunteer assistance to women’s organizations or organizations that support women’s issues in the Rochester community as a way to give back and make a positive difference. Together as a SIG we identify events and coordinate volunteers.
This group meets as needed throughout the year.
Chair: Holly Hewins HollisHewins@gmail.com
This SIG is for women with careers that deal with some aspect of finance. We are all about networking and sharing information pertinent to our profession. The world of finance is rapidly changing and we help keep each other current.
Date: third Wednesday of the month
Time: Noon to 1 PM
Location: The King & I Restaurant, 1455 E. Henrietta Road
Chair: Terra Osterling email@example.com
Do you have action figures on display in your workspace? Can you easily shift between a ‘galaxy far, far away’ and ‘Platform 9 and 3/4’? Is your other car a Tardis? Then you might fit in with the RWN Geek Squad SIG. This is a social group that meets quarterly. Our members share a love for the sci-fi, fantasy, and super hero worlds of books, movies, tv shows, comics, and games. Meetups have occurred at POP ROC Cereal Bar and Irondequoit Library; future meetups might include movies at theaters or in-home screenings. (Location always TBD by the group. May be virtual or in-person). Introverts welcome! Please contact Terra Osterling to be included.
August 18, 2021, 6:00pm-7:30pm
November 17, 2021, 6:00pm-7:30pm
February 16, 2022, 6:00pm-7:30pm
May 18, 2022, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Location: TBD by group
Currently on hiatus, seeking new leadership contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are an interactive group. We provide peer support, conscious leadership development, and problem-solving. Members are encouraged to request help and/or encouragement, share leadership or management challenges, be open to receiving thoughts, ideas, and suggestions from members. Our purpose is to help each member become conscious of her/his leadership skills, provide support and peer guidance, provide a forum for problem-solving, and share best practices.
*Members are required to maintain confidentiality.
Date: third Friday of the month
Time: 7:30 AM to 9 AM (Networking 7:30 AM to 8 AM, meeting 8 AM to 9 AM)
Chair: Laura Kline-Taylor CoachlauraKT@gmail.com
This SIG provides members with a forum to discuss issues related to our roles and responsibilities as working women that centers motherhood as a critical factor. Whether members are not yet mothers, new mothers, or seasoned mothers, conversations will vary from month to month and be relevant for all.
Date: 4th Monday of the month
Members will gather to discuss plant, gardening, or horticultural topics for the given season, share knowledge, learn about how to care for different plants, ask questions they may have, geek out over their latest plant purchase or exciting plant moment to share with the group, and more!
Date: 1st Friday of the month
Column 2 - SIGs
The RWN Elevate Your Marketing SIG is for anyone who would like to learn about marketing, sales, and how to grow their business. We provide you with tips on branding, marketing, prospecting, converting calls into appointments, how to close more deals, how to use social media, website management, SEOs, and more. We also share ideas and develop our own best practices. All you need are a notebook, pen, and a winning attitude. The “sky is the limit.”
Date: third Thursday of every month
Time: 11:45 AM to 1 PM
Location: currently meeting via Zoom
Chair: Leslie Arduser-Brogan Cactifan@gmail.com
Conquering Rochester one restaurant at a time! Interested in great food, great company, and a chance to try new restaurants? Then join us! We enjoy a different restaurant each month while getting to know each other. Everyone pays for their own food and drink.
Date: second Wednesday of the month
Location: varies each month
Refer 1 Chair: Bryn Virkler email@example.com
RWN’s Referral SIGs are for members who want to foster relationships, build their business, and become brand advocates for their fellow members. Only one representative from each industry is allowed in each group. Attendance is required, with an occasional sub when you can’t make it to ensure that the group stays robust and interactive with the members.
Refer SIG 1 Date: second and fourth Fridays of the month Time: Noon to 1:30 PM Location: Merchants Grill, 881 Merchants Rd., Rochester NY 14609.
Refer SIG 2 Date: first and third Thursdays of the month Time: Location: currently meeting via Zoom
RWN Book Club members enjoy discovering and discussing a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books, primarily by female authors and often focused on female-centric topics. The group meets monthly, and while each SIG member gets more out of the discussion if they’ve read the book, members are welcome to attend even if they haven’t read it. Each discussion is facilitated by the person who recommended the book. New members are welcome and should contact Preeya or Mary Anne for more information.
Date: last Wednesday of the month
Time: 12-1 PM via Zoom
Chair: Lori Sussle Bonanni firstname.lastname@example.org
Part peer support, part professional development and part business mastermind, the Support Imparting Growth SIG provides a forum and inspiration for RWN members to contribute to each other’s professional and personal success by sharing best practices and strategic connections in a supportive environment. This SIG has been referred to as a support group for entrepreneurs.
Members who naturally give to others will be the best fit for this group. A group of people who want to give, and receive, help and advice to achieve their professional and personal goals will fulfill the SIG’s purpose.
Interested members must contact the SIG chair to seek group approval in order to maintain a group free of professional competition. This SIG is currently at capacity; however, members are willing to help advise a second SIG.
Date: first and third Thursdays of the month
Time: 8 AM to 9:30 AM (Networking 8 AM to 8:15 AM and the formal agenda at 8:15 AM to 9:30 AM)
Chair: Susan Yovanoff email@example.com
The more wines people taste, the better they become at recognizing the characteristics of the wines they enjoy. SIG members have the opportunity to taste several wines a month. We study wine regions around the world, grape varietals, food and wine pairings, reading wine labels, and the wine making process.
This group meets at member homes. For more information, please contact SIG Chair.
Chair: Katie Rudow firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re a drinking group with a networking problem. Due to popular demand, Rochester Women’s Network has started a second Wine SIG! We learn about wine, food, and each other as we sip around the wine bars and restaurants of Rochester.
Date: third Thursday of the month
Time: 5 PM
Location: location varies each month
Currently on hiatus
Contact Hollis Hewins: Hollishewins@gmail.com
Networking dedicated to the personal and professional growth of today’s modern young professional woman. Because YP’s of today are heavily focused on a work/life balance, we decided we plan to hold two meetings a month: one will focus on professional growth and one will be more of a fun, networking opportunity. Our goal is to create a variety of events for young professional women to grow and network, opportunities that move beyond traditional bar “meet-ups.”
Date: 4th Thursday of the Month
Time: Early evening meeting