Womens Group Forms Local Chapter

November 13, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) has recently formed a chapter in Grand Rapids and is celebrating with a kickoff luncheon.

The luncheon marking the debut of the new chapter, the Grand Rapids Express Network, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, at the University Club in downtown Grand Rapids.

Tina Hartley-Malivuk, president of Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, will be the keynote speaker.

“There is a need in our community to bring women together for networking both on a personal and professional level,” said Maria Brondyke, national accounts director of the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The goals of the Express Network are to provide educational and motivational programs that enable women to grow professionally and personally and to offer a strong network of women business leaders in the local community.”

ABWA was founded in 1949 in Kansas City, Mo., and currently has 60,000 members nationwide. More than 10,000 of these members are business owners and the organization is comprised of 1,200 chapters located in all 50 states.

Members also represent all sectors of business and industry, including government, service, health care and education, and 20 percent of women members are entrepreneurs.

The organization also helps create scholarships through its own program called the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund, and has contributed more than $12.5 million to women’s professional success through education.

For information about membership applications and dues and to reserve a seat at the kickoff luncheon, contact Brondyke at 459-8287 or (800) 678-9859, or by e-mail at mbrondyke@grcvb.org           

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