Tag Archives: wise

Women In Successful Enterprises and Grand Rapids Funny Girls on Achieving Work Life Balance

Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises and Grand Rapids Funny Girls on Achieving Work Life Balance

This evening event was created for women in business to poke fun at the ever-elusive goal of work-life balance.

Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE), a collection of leading, like-minded and entrepreneurial women, has announced that it will host an innovative business event at Start Garden, Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan on the 17th of May 2017. This groundbreaking and revolutionary event will feature captivating business networking and educational get-together focused on discussing how to use humor to achieve work-life balance and feel better about chaos.

Based in Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE) was established with the primary aim of providing an encouraging environment for women-owned businesses to network and work together to build wisdom and extend support for growth and business success. The activities of the non-profit resource for women entrepreneurs are focused on fostering an environment of growth and support where businesswomen connect with each other; thereby taking their businesses to the next level and contributing to each other’s successful business growth and development.

In the bid to achieve this laudable primary aim, Women In Successful Enterprises gathered a team of qualified women entrepreneurs and business veterans to organize events, seminars, and lectures designed to empower and educate women in business on ways of engaging and surviving in their businesses. “Through a perfect blend of expertise and the business experience of our noble team as well as leveraging advanced technology, we have successfully delivered the most creative and educating events to women in business within the West Michigan area”, said Connie Sweet, co-founder of Women In Successful Enterprises.

To host this creative and fascinating event, Women In Successful Enterprise is collaborating with other organizations that will contribute to making the event a memorable occasion. The organizations include SBDC, GROW and Funny Girls.
For further information about Grand Rapids Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE) and its upcoming business event visit our events section on the website.

Chef Jenna ‘Builds Success form Scratch’ with Grand Rapids Business Women

Chef Jenns of Amore Grand Rapids at WISE event Grand Rapids Business womenWISE Grand Rapids business women were fortunate to spend time with Chef Jenna of Amore Trattoria Italiana on Wednesday August 20 at the Downtown Grand Rapids offices of Varnum. All the elements of a successful business networking event were in place; a beautiful venue with spectacular views of the Grand Rapids skyline with billowing white clouds and crisp blue sky. Wine was plentiful as was the tantalizing hors’d oeuvres and desserts prepared with expertise and lots of amore by Chef Jenna and her staff.

All of these treats served along with the laugh out loud and heartwarming story that is the life of Chef Jenna captured the audience and endeared WISE attendees to the talented Grand Rapids female chef. Chef Jenna and husband Maurizio Arcidiacono have carved a special place in the hearts of Grand Rapids foodies with their award winning food and unique touch of personally greeting their customers.

Chef Jenna’s passion, love for Italian food and serving the Grand Rapids community is apparent in the tasty morsels she provided, the smiles she shared, and the love that filled the room as she gave us a taste of what Amore is all about. As every successful business owner knows it’s not all award ceremonies and recognition. It is the skill of rolling with the punches that separates the week from the strong. WISE attendees heard first hand authentic stories spun with Chef Jenna’s funny twists on the day to day challenges that the restaurant industry delivers. Thankfully, she loves what she does enough to plow through, always see the humor and share the love.

chef jenna of Amore in style with bacon and egg shoe designs

You know anybody who wears bacon and egg shoes is going to fun to hang out with!

Be sure to visit the restaurant to enjoy homemade pasta, authentic recipes from Nonna, and the unique specialties offered. Share your reviews with Chef Jenna and Maurizio when they visit the dining room. If you don’t see Chef Jenna at the restaurant while you are there she is probably out at event like WISE where she is gifting her time, expertise and food for a greater cause.

We are so grateful to Chef Jenn for saying ‘yes’ to WISE and sharing her time, story, love and food with us! We didn’t even have to have Jeff Daniels in the crowd to bring her in!

This is just the beginning of the many more evenings these Grand Rapids business women will share with her and her incredible Italian food at her restaurant located at 5080 Alpine Ave. Comstock Ave, MI 49321.

If you are interested in a special treat Chef Jenna offers chef tables at the restaurant and catering for events. Call ahead for specifics. You can also visit the Amore website for more information, reservations, recipes, and hours. While there , indulge in archived videos of local television spots where Chef Jenna has featured some of her recipes. For daily treats follow Amore on Facebook and Twitter along with AmoreChefJenna on Twitter and personal Facebook.

I don’t believe there has ever been a more enjoyable evening of networking with local Grand Rapids business women. Thank you Chef Jenna! Benvenuti!


Spice up your business with a recipe for success

What does success mean to you? Is it fame, fortune, a sense of belonging, being part of a community? There are so many definitions for success, but for WISE women the common thread is a growing business. Whether your business is just starting or well on its way, the road to success is paved in gravel and there will always be little bumps along the way. It’s important to have a community of friends and colleagues you can turn to with questions – or just to bounce a few ideas around with – and WISE provides that opportunity for anyone with an entrepreneurial heart. To that end, we’re so pleased to welcome Chef Jenna from Amore for our 3rd Quarter Event, Building Success From Scratch.

Jenna Arcidiacono from Amore De Trattoria, Grand Rapids’ very own 2013 Chef of the Year, will share her recipe for success on Wednesday, August 20. Networking starts at 5PM, with beverages and specially prepared tastings from Chef Jenna, on the sky deck at Varnum. Don’t miss this outstanding summer event and your opportunity to build success from scratch with a dash of seasoning from Chef Jenna.

Register for the August 13 event here:


WISE Women network. Do you?

Networking is critical for success in a business environment, and WISE always provides networking time at events. How can you utilize this time to successfully network and build relationships with other WISE women?

First, be genuine. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. People are more likely to trust you when they feel you’re authentic, and trust is the foundation of any good relationship.

Second, know your goals. Why are you networking? What do you hope to gain from the relationships? Having goals will help you set a plan and you can target the right groups and the right people in your networking efforts.  It’s also important to be able to articulate your goals to others. If someone asks how they can help, be able to state it in a clear and concise way.

Third, volunteer. You’re benefitting from the organization; now it’s time to give back and support a group or organization that has supported you. In addition, volunteer positions are a great way to stay visible and at the top of everyone’s mind during the event.

Fourth, spark a conversation. Open-ended questions and interjecting stories help build and foster relationships. You wouldn’t ask  potential friends yes or no questions when you get to know them; treat networking the same way and get to know people. Listen to people’s responses and show genuine interest in the conversation.

Fifth, remember that networking is a give-and-take. You’re forging relationships and making connections, and along the way someone could help you out in some way. It’s important to always give back and provide the same assistance to those that have helped you – and others! Pay it forward.

Girl Scout Cookies – A Treat with a Mission

As WISE celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of Girl Scouting on February 7, everyone has the opportunity to support this spirit starting February 8th with Girl Scout Cookie Day.  Read on, to learn more about the magic of these tasty treats.

(Excerpt from GSA pressGS Cookies release, Grand Rapids, Mich – January 24, 2013)
The famous Thin Mints remain, but Girl Scouts are giving their cookie boxes an overhaul to highlight the real purpose of the $790-million cookie program, which is to teach girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills. To celebrate such a monumental program, this year Girl Scouts has named February 8 National Girl Scout Cookie Day. Girls will be asking 50 million cookie fans across the nation to buy or order more boxes in honor of their success in running the largest girl-led business enterprise in the world.

When it comes to skill building, statistics show the Girl Scout Cookie Program works.   All the revenue earned from cookie activities-every penny after paying the baker-stays with the local Girl Scout council that sponsors the sale. Councils use cookie revenue to supply essential services to troops, groups, and individual girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers, and conducting events. As part of their experience in any Girl Scout product activity, girls can earn official Girl Scout awards.

“We have lots of young entrepreneurs in our council who love participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. It provides these girls with opportunities to create their own businesses and work toward specific goals,” said Gloria Lara, CEO of Girls Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore. “Our girls are doing some amazing things with their cookie earnings from helping out local charities to taking trips across the globe.”

Girl Scout cookie boxes now feature a new look that highlights the skills girls learn through the program. A new Girl Scouts of the USA marketing campaign reinforces this more contemporary message with the theme, “This Is What a Girl Can Do.”

The 2013 Girl Scout Cookie Season in northern and western Michigan will run from January 18 through April 12, 2013. Girl Scout cookies are still $3.50 per box.  Join us in supporting future business women in West Michigan.

Remember to join WISE for an evening of networking and celebrating women leaders as Gloria Lara, CEO of Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore talks about the positive lessons learned by today’s Girl Scouts and how to apply them in contemporary business. Read More…

Seats are filling quickly, REGISTER TODAY!

Herman Miller Small Medium Business group will be giving away the SAYL Chair at the WISE event.  The value of the chair is $400.  Must be present to win.

Herman Miller Sayl chair

Bonus! WISE meeting sponsor, Herman Miller Small Medium Business group will be giving away the SAYL Chair at the WISE event for a lucky attendee!  The value of the chair is $400.  Must be present to win… you may just be surprised with one of these newly designed filled cookie boxes!

Founding Testimonial – Words from Connie

Blogs are often a personal reflection of the writer or writers.  They spring from our hopes, joys, experiences and training.  Many of us would like to be as clever as an Ad writer and as well spoken as a speach writer, but what really speaks to our audience is our passion.  Connie Sweet and Floriza Genautis founded WISE from a passion to connect and support others in business and life.  Below Connie shares her favorite things about the group that she co-founded showing that things worth doing are also rewarding.

“What I appreciate most about Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE) is how welcoming everyone is. We are a diverse group; in age, race, industry and intent, yet we all support each other unconditionally. It is not the ‘normal networking’, it is more like a meeting with close friends committed to your career growth. Whether we are learning how to become a certified woman business or how your company can get free publicity, the group is engaged, inspired and helpful.”
Connie Sweet
Connection Graphics

Abigail’s WISE Testimonial

WISE Advocate, Abigail Bradley, is a painter and mixed media artist who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and works out of a downtown studio. Originally from South Korea, she arrived in West Michigan by age of three and was raised by her adopted family. She began formal art studies at Grand Rapids Community College and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Kendall College of Art and Design. Her original art has shown in several juried exhibitions, group and solo exhibitions in public and private spaces, as well as the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center’s Artist-In-Residence program and the VanSingel Fine Arts Center. As a four-time ArtPrize participant, her entries were seen at the award winning space of Wolverine Company Store, DeVos Place and Huntington Bank. Ms. Bradley has designed art for Actors’ Theatre, book covers, and other commissions. Her work resides in several collections throughout the Midwest, including the permanent collection of Haworth Inc. in Holland, Michigan and Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids. Abigail is also a teaching artist for the Korean Culture Camp of Michigan and Artists Creating Together.
I was first introduced to Women In Successful Enterprises by Floriza Genautis in 2010. Ever since attending my first event, I am impressed that WISE continues to provide professional development opportunities in which they often successfully partner with other organizations like GROW and CEED. The annual CEED Leadership Conference is an excellent example of their collaboration. I am thankful that WISE has featured inspiring speakers like media expert, Shawne Duperon, who have provided practical advice that can be immediately applied to any of our businesses. As an emerging artist, building professional skills in presentation and networking have been integral to taking my studio business to the next level. I have also built relationships with my insurance agent and financial advisor as a result of our association. I highly recommend WISE to other women in business because it continues to prove itself as a supportive environment where we can learn, grow, and make meaningful connections to small and large companies.
Thanks to Abigail for sharing how WISE impacts her business and her art!

Advocate Maureen Fitzgerald Penn Innovates with Penn & Ink

Maureen is an advocate with a super hero mission.  She sets out to provide customized branding, marketing and communications programs that grow revenue for her clients.  Maureen’s skills in all facets of marketing communications strategy in public, private, for-profit and not-for-profit businesses make her an ideal business partner and advocate.  She provides fellow WISE members with creative insight into their challenges and ideas.  She has a keen ability to interpret organizational news and initiatives and communicate effectively to key audiences.  WISE members get the opportunity to interact and receive advice on thriving in a dynamic environment from this flexible entrepreneur.  Maureen like’s to think of herself as the Wonder Woman of Writing, minus the skimpy outfit and golden lasso.  We think she is pretty wonderful, too.  Meet Maureen at the November 7 WISE event; register today!


Abigail Bradley – Artist and WISE Advocate

Four time Art Prize participant, Abigail Bradley is a painter and mixed media artist who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and works out of a downtown studio in the heart of an artist community. She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Kendall College of Art and Design. Over the past decade, her work has shown in several regional juried exhibits and locations including Art Prize.   Abigail enjoys fashion, design, cuisine, and fabulous cups of coffee making her a great connection to talk business while having fun.  As a WISE Advocate Abbey combines the savvy of an established business owner with creative flair.  She helps members looking for a unique perspective on their situation and plans.  You don’t even have to wait for the next WISE event to learn more about her, visit her work at ART Prize at the Woverive Company  Store now.  Here is an excerpt from her perspective on her work, ” I am inspired by the contrasting textures of the new upon the old, order amidst chaos, and bright upon neutrals.  Integrating contrasting media in artwork also reflects one of my values of appreciating diversity in an ever-changing environment.” Meet Abigail Bradley at the November WISE event and learn from how she leveraged opportunity and leadership to grow her business.