people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
ABWA was the foundation that propelled me to reinvent myself successfully in the USA when I moved to this country in 2003. Upon my arrival, I did not know anyone, I did not know the culture, and my experience and education did not count at all to get an equivalent job to the one I had back in my country.ABWA was the means for my personal and professional growth not only through diverse education opportunities at local and national levels, and online (Community Connections), but through my involvement and participation in the various activities carried out by the chapter.Through ABWA I learned the American culture, improved my comprehension of the English language, and learned how women, no matter what part of the world they come from, can be brought together. ABWA empowers us to show love, compassion and kindness to help ourselves and others.ABWA has given me far beyond than what I had expected; it fulfilled all my needs: education and work opportunities; connections, life-long friendships, opportunities to give back, involvement in different community activities. What else could I ask? ABWA made me feel at home. I thank GOD every day for ABWA.If you are starting or switching careers; if you are missing written/oral communication or leadership skills for a promotion; if you feel you don’t have all the tools to continue growing in a personal or professional manner; or if you are retired or you are new in the area, ABWA is the place to go!
I highly recommend ABWA to anyone who is eager to learn and succeed in any area of her life. Through Community Connections, educational opportunities for personal and professional improvement are limitless.
In short, The American Business Women’s Association means everything to me. What means the world to me is the “LADIES of the Sevier Chapter” of ABWA. They are my go to gals, anytime, anywhere, for every need, they are there – always with a smile, an ear, a shoulder, a stretched out hand. After all, the members of ABWA are the gals you can call up at 4am that means the most. And these ladies are all “just that”!!
Submitted by Darlene Milks
Member since 1999
Over the past 35 years my priorities have changed several times and my appreciation for ABWA continues to grow. The benefits are many:
· Educational opportunities for members as well as helping others continue their education.
· Attending conferences across the country and meeting women of di-verse occupations.
· Receiving information at meetings on a variety of subjects which could be applied to my business.
· Community involvement.
Most of all, the thing that I have received and appreciate the most from ABWA is LOVE. Over the years my ABWA sisters have been there for me through the loss of several family members. During several assignments in Third World Countries my ABWA Sisters recognized the importance of “Letters from Home” and saw that I never had a mail call without receiving some kind of mail. They also sent frequent “Care Packages” with hard to get items for both me and my husband. Words are inadequate to express much this meant to me.
Since 2004 my Sevier Chapter members have been there with love and support through three battles with cancer. This past month I was diagnosed with Cancer for the fourth time and have already heard from most of our members with offers of help and words of encouragement. The love of ABWA members can never be overestimated.
Submitted by Dee R. Lewis
What are the benefits of joining the American Business Women’s Association (in other words, why should I join)? This is likely the most frequently asked question I receive when sharing my ABWA experience with others. There is never an easy or short answer because everyone’s experience is a little different. The common threads that bind us together are professional development, networking opportunities to expand our businesses (or at least raise awareness of what we do), and civic contributions.Professionally for me, Sevier Chapter of ABWA is a sisterhood of professional women, whether currently working or enjoying the fruits of their hard labor, whose vast experiences provide me with applicable and proven best practices strategies to implement daily in my job. Our diverse membership understands the fundamentals of human resources, bookkeeping / accounting, finances, branding, marketing along with the importance of relationship building, integrity, trust, loyalty, and customer service. Through my membership with ABWA, I have developed key business partnerships for my company while growing professionally through respected guest speakers at our monthly meetings, participating in educational webinars and mentoring opportunities with successful industry leaders in our region.Personally, Sevier Chapter of ABWA offers me an intrinsic reward through helping others with their basic needs as well as achieving their career / educational goals. Each month our chapter is presented with an opportunity to give back to our community. I cherish these chances to focus on the needs of someone else and try to make a small ripple in their pond. Military families, individuals/families that have been touched by cancer, women without medical insurance benefits, widows and children are examples of the groups we serve. Our chapter’s enthusiasm and passion are heightened when we can assist women in need of financial assistance for continuing education or those seeking gainful employment. There are many places our members can make a positive impact on another lady and this enriches my spirit everyday!
Submitted by Kristi Reynolds
Member since 2010
I joined ABWA in April 2007. As a small business owner, I wanted to get more involved in the community. I found the Smoky Mountain Sevier Chapter to be a circle of women who would “have my back” if I am ever in need. I particularly was interested in the scholarship giving part of the group. I enjoy providing educational opportunities to women and felt I could help in this area. I have served as the Professional Development Chair, Vice President and I am currently the President. My passion has been and still is the group’s annual business seminar, The Polished Professional. Continuing education is one of my passions and I am very happy to help our Chapter in this area.
Submitted by Tammy Johnson
Member since 2011
I have been a member on and off for many years. My obligations as a mother kept me from staying committed each year. I have stayed active in many of ABWA’s events in the community throughout the years. I became an active member again February 2014. I have served on the Executive Board as Secretary & currently Vice-President. I can see the benefit of growing professionally through the many classes ABWA offers. I have made many professional and personal connections in this chapter. The relationships I have formed through the years and very heart felt and remain strong today.
Submitted by Theresa Trentham
Member since 2014