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: Alecia Peterson email@example.com
Need to have someone hold you accountable and keep you on track to complete important tasks? The Accountability SIG is a group that will meet weekly to share tasks and goals they’re working towards and report on progress made. The ultimate goal is to help group members get things done and accomplish their goals, especially those who work for themselves, by themselves.
Date: Tentatively weekly on Wednesdays; Will alternate between Zoom and in-person
Chair: Ruth Sternberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
No experience necessary! Our goal is to have fun and teach each other!
Bring whatever projects you are working on, or just bring yourself and we will share our knowledge!
Second MONDAY of each month
5:30 to 8 pm
Rochester Makerspace, 850 St. Paul Street
Feel free to bring a snack or box dinner.
Chair: Kate Schnittman
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.
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: Amy Varel 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/graphic novels, plus games and crafts. Meetups have occurred at POP ROC Cereal Bar, Irondequoit Library, and Millennium Games. Sometimes we Zoom! Introverts welcome! Please contact Terra Osterling to be included.
Meets quarterly in February, May, August, and November. Wednesday evenings.
Location always TBD by consensus by the 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.
Part peer support, part professional development and part business mastermind, the Inspire and Empower 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, though we welcome all members!
Interested members should contact Amanda Loucks or MaryCarol Evans for more information.
Date: second Friday of the month
Time: 8am to 9:30am (Networking 8am to 8:15am and small groups from 8:15am to 9:30am)
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.
- 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.
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
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 for more information.
Date: last Wednesday of the month
Time: 5:30-7 PM in-person, permanent location TBD
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: Juli Raner firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vegan SIG group is for anyone who is currently vegan or those interested in learning more about veganism. Whether it’s for ethical reasons, environmental concerns, health benefits, or personal values and beliefs this is the group for you!
The purpose is to support each other and learn more about the world of veganism.
Date: Meetings every 2nd Thursday of the month at 5:30pm
Chair: Natalie Grace email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Date: first Tuesday of the month
Location: varies each month
This group meets at member homes and currently open for new members. For more information, please contact SIG Chair.
Chair: Katie Rudow email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.