5 Years of W2W

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Co-directors Maggi Apel and Vicky Janowski at the initiative’s launch party in June 2015.

In 2015, WILMA magazine launched the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative with the mission to help develop more women leaders in Wilmington-area businesses, nonprofits, government bodies, and boards of directors.

We’ve tackled this through several different programs from leadership training to mentorship. The number of area women who have participated over these past five years reaches into the thousands. As we mark our five-year anniversary, here’s a little about how those programs have grown over the years.

Leadership Institute: From an initial class of eight women in 2015, the Leadership Institute has grown to thirty-two members each year. The class meets for nine months for skill seminars, peer mentoring, and interaction with local executives and leaders. Including this year’s cohort, more than a hundred women have gone through this intensive training program.

Get on Board: The Get on Board program, held in partnership with UNCW’s QENO, prepares women for joining boards of directors. Besides group training sessions, we also help connect potential candidates to area boards through networking events and our website WILMAsGetOnBoard.com. More than 300 women have gone through the board training workshop.

Leadership Accelerator: The annual, half-day women’s conference has drawn national speakers from Vivian Howard to Sheri Lynch as well as local experts on a range of seminar topics. With large events not yet taking place because of the coronavirus, this year’s Leadership Accelerator features free talks that will be shown online this month. For more details on the topics and registration visit our event page.

Mentoring: Each year through an application process, we match up thirty women with mentors as part of our yearlong mentoring program. Starting in the spring and through monthly one-on-one meetings, the participants meet with their mentors to gain insight and advice about leadership goals. We also have held group mentoring events open to all WILMA readers.

WILMA’s Women to Watch Awards: Our annual awards program recognizes women throughout the community in the fields of Arts, Business, Education, Health, Nonprofit/Volunteer, Public Service, and Rising Star. Thirty-five finalists each year are featured in WILMA and recognized at our awards party in October, where the winners are named. (Nominations/applications for this year’s awards are being accepted through July 1 at W2WAward.com.)

WILMA Network The WILMA Network, made up of representatives of initiative sponsors, helps women business owners, executives, and community leaders connect with each other and serve as a resource for up-and-coming women in the region.

In the Loop: Keep up to date with these and other Leadership Initiative programs as well as applications announcements by going to WILMAmag.com/women-to-watch or signing up for WILMA newsletters on our website.

– Vicky Janowski, WILMA editor, and Maggi Apel, events director, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com

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Categories: Women to Watch