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User Spotlight: Shari Fowler, Network of Enterprising Women

Get to know Shari Fowler, the PR Chairperson for the Network of Enterprising Women.

Tell us a little about yourself and your work.

The mission of the Network of Enterprising Women or N.E.W. is to create and provide a supportive environment for all members, to foster and enhance their productivity, effectiveness, creativity and accomplishment in their respective fields and to make a difference in our local community.  So, what does that mean? 

We support each other personally and professionally — as well as raise funds to help others in the Greater Richmond area.  To date, N.E.W. has given away more than $50,000 in scholarships to graduating area senior girls and over $75,000 in grant funds to local non-profits, such as LINC, Safe Harbor and ART 180.

As a business owner/solopreneur with a line of personal care products called Iberian Skincare, I am plugging away all by myself most days. Since joining N.E.W., I?ve made wonderful friends, developed new clients, been introduced to some fantastic products and services plus I get to help the community — a definite win-win situation!

What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?

My biggest accomplishment would be during my role as Projects Chair in which I was responsible for helping the ladies of N.E.W. to transition and rebrand “Bucks for Boobs”, a long- standing, popular N.E.W. event which raised funds exclusively for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, into a more flexible event capable of recognizig and supporting new/different local nonprofits each year. After a bit of brainstorming, we created NEWSoriee. 

Each NEWSoiree raises funds and awareness for a different local non-profit and has a different theme.  Last year, we had a Beach Party to support LINC and this year we?re having a Casino Night to benefit Safe Harbor Shelter.  Next year we could have a Jazz or Murder Mystery party to benefit who knows what local organization.

The biggest lesson I?ve learned is the importance of surrounding myself with competent, flexible, fun women who can handle whatever challenges are thrown their way.  Fortunately, N.E.W. is loaded with such talent!

How do you utilize ConnectVA?

So far we?ve been quite pleased with the new folks who?ve found their way to our monthly meetings and to those organizations that requested consideration in the grant process.  Many folks were not aware that N.E.W. even exists so using ConnectVA to put the word out has been very helpful.  Now that Soiree is over for the year, I look forward to taking advantage of some of the other program offerings I can find on ConnectVA. 

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