Women’s Entrepreneurial Network will host Women’s Distance Festival on Aug. 2Written by Amanda Tindall | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you love heels or flats, stilettos or sneakers, the Women’s Entrepreneurial Network (WEN) will host its second Women’s Distance Festival on Aug. 2.
The day’s events include a 5K run, a one-mile walk, a 100-meter heels dash and a heels decorating competition. All the proceeds will benefit WEN, Girls on the Run of Northwest Ohio and Toledo Roadrunners.
WEN Director Alicia Wagner said the event became a collaborative event when WEN joined forces with the Toledo Roadrunners, which had been organizing the Women’s Distance Festival for 34 years.
“I’m a big believer in collaboration,” Wagner said.
WEN is a networking organization, but Wagner said it’s not for solely business networking. It’s to help women become better business owners, better wives, better mothers and better overall people.
“We’re not your traditional networking group, where you meet people and you pass cards around,” Wanger said. “We’re really interested in getting to know you. And we know people end up working with people they trust. We really have friendship as our mission. So that takes that personal level into that connection. It’s not just the business side of things.”
Karen Kiemnec, a WEN member, said she got involved with the group in 2005 to network her business and work with other women.
“Right now, I have a business called Releasing the Ties that Bind,” Kiemnec said. “I work with women who have been divorced to regain joy and freedom. These women have become my friends and, because they trust me, they often become my clients a well.”
The concept that people work with people they trust is what Wagner said the organization is built upon. She said WEN aims to provide resources for women to improve their businesses and lives overall.
“Our founder, Linda Fayerweather, went to her local chamber back in 1993, and asked what resources were available for women starting businesses, and they basically laughed and said, ‘What resources for women?’” Wagner said.
Fayerweather went to Columbus, received a grant and founded WEN. In the past 20 years, the organization has grown to around 200 members.
The different levels of membership in WEN are available to both men and women, and Wagner said about one third of the membership is comprised of men.
“WEN believes that it’s through men and women working together that we’re going to move women forward in business,” Wagner said. “So a third of our membership is men.”
WEN is built on three pillars: four networking meetings each month, WEN mini-growth summits with speakers who address different topics and a new online training center where WEN resources and partners are listed online.
“We truly believe that unless you’re happy at home, you’re not happy at work,” Wagner said. “So while we provide development on your business, we also provide all sorts of resources to provide empowerment or all sorts of resources to help you become a better mom or a better wife. We truly believe that it’s the total package — we can help make everyone better in life and in their business.”
The deadline for the heels decorating contest is 8 p.m. July 31 to Dave’s Running Shop, 26567 Dixie Hwy. in Perrysburg. Submitting a pair of heels costs $25, but includes a place to put the contestants’ businesses on display next to their heels, a T-shirt, and an entry in the mile walk or the heels race.
Registration for one event is $15 and $20 for two events. Children 12 years old and younger are $5. Applicants can register at www.wen-usa.com/upcoming-event/.
Tags: Dave’s Running Shop, flats, Girls on the Run of Northwest Ohio, heels, Linda Fayerweather, Perrysburg, sneakers, stilletos, Toledo Roadrunners, WEN, WEN Director Alicia Wagner, Women's Distance Festival, Women's Entrepreneurial Network