Issue V

Fall 2014

Inside this Issue

Presidents Corner


New North Shore Meeting Location

Focus on the Membership Recruitment Committee

Have a Cup of Coffee With Susan Shulman

Noteworthy Networking Books

Thank You!


By Wendy Baum

These past few months, I have, unfortunately, been surrounded by loved ones dealing with medical issues. Naturally, I wanted and needed to attend to these crises. But my calendar was already so full with all of my normal activities that it was amazingly stressful trying to rearrange things to manage each crisis. I decided it was time for a change in my approach to planning my day-to-day life. So I looked to what I know best – financial planning. When I work with my clients on their financial plans, I always ensure that they are putting aside enough cash for the “unexpected,” the so-called “rainy day” fund. When an unanticipated event occurs, there is at least no financial stress, allowing my client to focus their energy on addressing the situation at hand. Recently, it occurred to me that this should also be incorporated into my own time management! Like reserving funds for unanticipated expenses, I’m now setting aside unscheduled time each week, allowing for unexpected situations that crop up. Hopefully, the allocated time will not be needed for crisis management, but instead can be used for relaxation. So, to all of my hard working EPWNG sisters, I hope you too can incorporate into your lives the concept of time planning (as well as financial planning) for the unexpected.


By Tina Tranfaglia

If you are curious about something related to EPWNG, send your question to Tina at [email protected] and we will try to answer it in the next column. Here’s what you are curious about this month.

Q:  How can I get a copy of an EPWNG email that I accidentally deleted?

A:  It has happened to all of us…you accidentally delete an invitation to a meeting or Social Committee event, or you RSVP but then forget to write down the date. Now what? Your default thought might be to contact Robin. But with over 280 members and growing, we like to encourage the DIY approach. Great effort has gone into building our website with all the information you need right at your fingertips. In fact, there is a complete log of every transaction you have had with EPWNG and every message you have been emailed. To access this information, simply log onto and click on the Member Center. Select My Profile from the dropdown menu. Right over your picture, you will see a gray box. If you hover your cursor over that box, a new menu appears. You can select View Transactions to see your meeting reservations and payments, or Message History to see bulk emails that have been sent to you by EPWNG. Note:  this is how you get to the page to change your profile or your picture too.

Q:  When does my membership to EPWNG renew and can I upgrade to Premier Membership at that time?  

A:  Renewals occur on an annual basis and all members are on the same timetable. So in late October, you will receive information about how to renew your membership for 2015 and the various plans from which you may select. You may change your type of membership only during annual renewal, so this is an opportune time to upgrade to Premier for 2015. Currently, about 20% of our members are Premier. What are the benefits of Premier Membership? All 12 of your meetings are prepaid, so you don’t have the hassle of paying each time you RSVP. You receive two free guest passes, a free website link on, and a $25 credit for up to 3 speaking/social events (as indicated in each invitation…not all events have a Premier discount). If you attend more than 10 meetings per year, this may be the best plan for you, as it includes up to $200 in extra benefits. Premier memberships must be paid by December 15th. Basic members will also receive an early renewal bonus—renew by December 15th and get a free website link.

Q:  Are there specific meeting attendance rules?

A:  With such a large group to manage, and with the goal of having no more than two members in the same occupational classification at each meeting, it is necessary to impose some discipline on meeting attendance. For example, you are expected to show up and stay for the entire duration of the meeting, and you are expected to participate actively in at least 6 monthly meetings per year. When you receive your meeting invitation for the month, you must RSVP one way or the other, no later than 48 hours before the meeting date. If you need to switch your assigned meeting date, check the calendar on, and notify Robin of your preferred meeting date that month; space permitting, she will re-invite you to your preferred meeting. If you show up without responding, you will not appear on the needs sheet and you may be asked by the moderators to leave if your occupational classification is full. The EPWNG Board has established these rules so that all members can have productive networking opportunities with balanced occupational representation. They prefer not to impose penalties, but they do reserve the right to assess fees or terminate members who repeatedly flaunt the rules. Luckily they don’t have to consider that too often! If you want to refresh yourself on all the rules, you can find them in the Member Center at

Tina is the owner of College Knowledge Admissions Consulting. She helps parents and students navigate all aspects of the complex, competitive, and ever-changing world of college admissions through customized one-on-one coaching on college lists, applications, essays, and more.  [email protected]



By Vicki Gerson

Susan Shulman believes the best way to have a good conversation with someone she doesn’t know well is over a cup of coffee. Susan estimates she has had more than 100 cups of coffee at Starbucks with many EPWNG members. She believes this is the best way to learn about a member’s business and to connect with them in a personal way.

Susan was invited to attend an EPWNG meeting one month after it was organized in 2009. She became involved in order to meet incredible, motivated women who understand the philosophy that you have to give to get.

Since 2006, Susan has been in business with her husband, Avery. Their company, Metrist Partners, uses web analytics to quantify the effectiveness of websites and web marketing initiatives. Susan focuses on operations and business development. Since joining the business, she has doubled revenues for the company.

EPWNG has been incredible for me,” says Susan. “I wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for EPWNG. In fact, my best client came out of the networking I did in EPWNG.”  She also points out that many of the women in the organization are now her friends. That, in itself, makes it quite difficult to measure the value of EPWNG.

Prior to joining Metrist Partners, Susan was the Pro Bono Initiative Director at the Public Interest Law Initiative. In that role, Susan worked with lawyers at law firms and corporations to facilitate increased participation in pro bono legal work and focus attention on the unmet legal needs of low-income individuals. During those seven years, she consulted with over 70 law firms, and her efforts resulted in a 16% increase in pro bono work by law firm attorneys, and a 156% increase in pro bono work by attorneys at corporations.

“As a member of the EPWNG board,” she says, “my goal is to see the organization continue to grow and provide more opportunities for women who want to be successful in the business world.”

Free time is a precious commodity for Susan. When she isn’t seeing her two boys perform in shows or playing in football games, she likes to read and write creatively. She also tries to exercise and loves to travel.

Vicki Gerson, president of Vicki Gerson & Associates, Inc. is a web/print writer and public relations consultant. She writes ghost blogs, websites, press releases and much more to get her clients the visibility they need for their business. [email protected]

Over the past several months, two EPWNG members have really stood out for getting the most acknowledgements for assisting fellow members.   

Beth McCormack was thanked the most for making business referrals. Beth is a divorce and family law attorney, specializing in collaboration, with Beerman, Pritikin, Mirabelli, Swerdlove.

Rebecca Hoffman, the owner of Good Egg Concepts, was thanked the most for helping fellow members make personal connections. Rebecca specializes in strategic communications and branding.

Because the paper system of tracking expressions of thanks is cumbersome, we have chosen to discontinue this practice. Please continue to thank members who have been helpful to you via shout-outs at meetings, personal thanks, or on the LinkedIn group.


By Leslie Berkowitz

After five years of holding our networking meetings at Eggshell Café on Lake Cook Road in Deerfield, the North Shore Branch made a change in the location and timing of our meetings. We were looking for a larger meeting space to accommodate our expanding membership and additional meeting dates, plus the opportunity for more networking before the meeting begins.

Many of you have already attended monthly meetings at our new location, Bluegrass, in Highland Park. One of our key reasons for choosing this location was the ability to have the entire place to ourselves, along with the opportunity for all to sit at one large table for conversation and networking. Owner Jim Lederer has been incredibly helpful working with our group to create the menu. The breakfast buffet includes a variety of fruit, Greek yogurt, breakfast bread, and a made-to-order omelette station, along with coffee and tea. It’s a nice change to be able to network over breakfast before the meeting starts, instead of being interrupted by servers while members are trying to speak.

Now that the construction on Deerfield Road is complete, it’s even easier to get to the morning meetings. If you are coming from the south, you can take I-94 North/Edens to US 41 North and exit at Deerfield Road West. Go two lights to Richfield and take a left. The restaurant is located on the corner of the first stop sign at 1636 Old Deerfield Road, Highland Park.

We love to learn from our members in order for EPWNG to continuously evolve and improve. All feedback is appreciated, so please let us know how you feel about our new location. You can direct your suggestions or comments to Sheri Warsh ([email protected]) or Robin Schwartz ([email protected]).

Leslie has owned and operated her personalized gift business, Kidoodles Inc. and More, for 13+ years. Kidoodles not only offers a wide variety of unique gifts for every occasion, but also truly personal service. Visit to learn more.


By T-Ann Pierce

The backbone of EPWNG is the women we bring into the fold. New membership is key to growing our organization. The Membership Recruitment Committee is tasked with attracting and retaining a diverse and wide breadth of dynamic women who propel and sustain EPWNG’s core values.

Launching this fall is a new Team Program. The Membership Recruitment Committee is excited to offer each member one free guest before year-end. This is a fabulous opportunity to introduce someone new to EPWNG.  There will be more information about the free guest program during the upcoming networking meetings and you should have already received an email from your Team Coach.

EPWNG is recruiting professional, established women who will contribute to and help expand our network. The following professions are especially being sought: Engineering, Hotel/Restaurant/Entertainment Industry Executives, Real Estate Developers, Architects, Manufacturing Executives, Not-for-Profit Sector Executives, Investment Banking/Private Equity and Middle Market Company Executives.

Aside from the Team Program free pass, EPWNG members are encouraged to invite up to two guests each month. To invite a guest, notify Robin at [email protected] of the guest name, occupational classification, email address, and meeting date desired. If you are using your free pass, be sure to tell that to Robin in your email. Once Robin receives the information, she will confirm that there is space and the guest (paid or free) will be sent an electronic invitation to which she must respond in order to be confirmed for the meeting.

As you consider guests, please consult the homepage for currently-closed professions. Though not excluded from attending a meeting, guests from closed professions will not be approved for membership; they may apply and be put on a waiting list until a space in their occupation opens up. If you choose to invite a woman from a closed profession, please have a conversation explaining this policy with your guest ahead of time to prevent any embarrassing and uncomfortable situations later.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to the following members of the Membership Recruitment Committee: Arlene Levin, Amanda Pictor, Bev Chana, Deane Brown, Randi Blume, Tricia Rooney, Blair Miller and Sandi Cloch with assistance from board members Wendy Baum and Judy Elowe. It is through your dedication and service that EPWNG continues to flourish.

T-Ann Pierce is a personal well-being coach and th e owner of TAP Into Purpose, where she inspires busy women to cultivate lives filled with confidence and purpose. Through her workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions, women rediscover joy and are able to put deeper meaning back into their lives.


By Catherine Schager

Sometimes, you need a few extra tips or new insights into the art of networking.  With that in mind, I went to my local library, came home with these three books, and began to read.  Here are my reviews and recommendations:

21 Days to Success Through Networking: The Life and Times of Gnik Rowten by Ron Sukenick and Ken Williams
This was a simple, clear, basic approach to networking and its main goals are told through the eyes of the main character, Gnik Rowten (Networking spelled backwards). If you’re new to networking, it’s a great “starter” book with a lot of helpful tips and insights. If you’re more experienced, it’s a back-to-basics kick in the pants. I found it to be a light-hearted, fast and fun read.  Thumbs up!

The Skinny on Networking by Jim Randel
Another simple, fast read. There are some interesting take-aways about people who are connectors, and the summarized Top 10 networking tips are also helpful. Again, this is a good primer for someone newer to networking.

Networking is a Contact Sport by Joe Sweeney
This book was longer and more complex than the other two. It was, however, very clear and basically concise, with tips on understanding your personality type, how to network with other personality types, and chapters on how women and men differ in their networking styles. The basic premise of the book is Joe recounting how he has created a successful business through his networking abilities. He shows you how to set up a great networking system, which is very structured on a day-to-day basis:  you make x amount of calls to people, send x amount of mail pieces, and set up x amount of face-to-face meetings. Of the three books, this offered the most comprehensive view of networking. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking to better your skills, even if you don’t agree with everything he says.
Additional tried and true books on networking that you might like include:

Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer

Networking Like a Pro by Ivan Misner Ph.D (Founder of BNI)

Catherine is the owner of Catherine Schager Designs, which offers residential interior design services, specializing in Kitchen and Bath renovations. Let us help you discover the comforts of home.