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. 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: Jean Blasdell
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: Ruth Sternberg Ruth@confidentcareersearch.com
Have you felt derailed professionally? Have you had a great idea, but just felt like you couldn’t move forward with it? Maybe you want to start a business. Maybe you’re eyeing a corner office.
Somehow, you just can’t let yourself turn the thought into action.
Wouldn’t it be great to have some support and some guidance to help you move forward?
Well, here’s your chance.
This SIG will focus on the power of creativity and design theory to help you define and realize your dream. We will do some fun activities, read some books and articles, take some field trips, and hear from some dynamic speakers all designed to help you feel more hopeful and motivated.
We will start with a virtual introduction and brief sharing, and then move into a variety of meeting formats, including in-person meetings. Your input will be key!
The first meeting will be announced shortly!
Chairs: Melanie Watson email@example.com, Merchon Hargrave firstname.lastname@example.org
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: fourth Tuesday of every month
Time: 11:45 AM to 1 PM
Location: currently meeting via Zoom
Chair: Katie Borchers email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Chair: Janette Biehler email@example.com
Get away from work for some exercise and fresh air while exploring the many beautiful parks Rochester has to offer! Hikes of varying degrees of difficulty and length will be offered, and may occasionally designate certain hikes as dog-friendly for those who prefer hiking with their pup. This group is recommended for people who are reasonably able to hike at least 3 miles on uneven terrain. Weekday hikes will take about 2 hours. Hikers will connect, see beautiful sights, and get a little cardio in for better mental and physical wellness.
Hikes will take place on one week day (Wednesday or Thursday looks like the most popular) and possibly Saturday morning. A schedule of upcoming hikes will be posted.
Chairs: Karen Schuhle-Williams firstname.lastname@example.org, Stephanie Webster Keur email@example.com
The Leadership from Within SIG is for members interested in enhancing or expanding their leadership skills and will be structured to allow members to share their leadership experiences and ideas, develop their skills, and bring them to bear on their own lives through a combination of action and reflection.
- Allow members to share their leadership experiences and ideas, develop their skills, and bring them to bear on their own lives through a combination of action and reflection.
- Will explore all aspects of leadership, whether for personal or professional development.
- Are offered in a hybrid model: in-person or virtually using Zoom*.
The best part? You do not have to be in a leadership position or have formal leadership experience!
The collaborative model of this SIG will encourage participants to contribute to the group and share responsibility for its development.
Date: third Friday of every month
Time: 8 AM to 9:30 AM
Location: SUNY Brockport Downtown, 161 Chestnut Street, Rochester NY 14604 (parking is free and you enter the REOC parking lot from Court Street), and Virtual.
*Logistics & COVID Precautions:
- Sign in at the Welcome Center upon arrival and let the staff know you are attending the RWN SIG on the fifth floor.
- We will send out the room number and Zoom link at least 24 hours in advance of the meetings.
- For in-person attendance, masks are required and seats will be arranged with extra distancing.
- You may bring your own beverage, but food is currently prohibited in classrooms and conference rooms.
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
Column 2 - SIGs
Chair: Kelly Kester firstname.lastname@example.org, Jordan Fritz email@example.com
RWN’s Referral SIG is 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. 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.
Date: second and fourth Fridays of the month Time: Noon to 1:30 PM Location: Merchants Grill, 881 Merchants Rd., Rochester NY 14609.
Chair: Preeya Gholkar firstname.lastname@example.org
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 combination of in-person and Zoom
Chair: Rachel Wiener Rachel.Wiener@PrimeLending.com
Have you been interested in learning more about Spirits, Liquor and Cocktails? Maybe you just need a fun night out with fellow RWN members… This could be the SIG for you!
We’ll have ‘neat’ tastings and fancy cocktail tastings. Ideally, we’ll be learning how spirits are crafted and how to make an amazing cocktail! Some appetizers will be included with the option to order more individually as wanted.
Date: last Thursday of the month
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: differs each month
Cost $40-$50 pp
Chair: Lori Sussle Bonanni email@example.com
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: Lori Coleman firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you are a new-mom, a grand-mom, a step-mom, a dog-mom, or not-yet-a-mom: Please join us in discussions around the theme of motherhood. This group is for anyone looking to give or receive support, examine current parenting trends or just hangout with other people who “get it”. Through a blend of speakers, articles and meetups, we hope to provide tools and ideas to help in anyone’s motherhood journey. Most importantly, there will always be time to share your challenges and receive feedback from the group.
Date & Time vary based upon group needs. Please email email@example.com to be notified of upcoming events.
Chair: Natalie Grace firstname.lastname@example.org
RWN’s Westside Women Refer SIG is for members who want to foster relationships, build their business, and become brand advocates for their fellow members on the West side of Rochester. Only one representative from each industry is allowed. 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.
Date: first & third Wednesdays of the month Time: 8-9 AM Location: Pure Imagination Cafe, Buffalo Road in Gates
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 and currently open for new members. 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
Chair: Cat Mattis email@example.com
A group that seeks to bring together ambitious, grow-oriented individuals that are looking to build relationships and have a positive impact on the Rochester community. We meet quarterly, with a bonus event currently being planned in September.
Save the date for our next meetings:
- Saturday, August 6th at 3 pm – High Tea at Mad Hatter
- Wednesday, September 7th at 5:30 pm – Resolution Renewal
- Thursday, November 3rd at 6 pm – Think & Drink, Location TBD
- Thursday, February 2nd at 12 pm – Zoom