March 2021 Newsletter

Letter from the Board

Hello RWN family!

I would like to take a minute to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me. My name is Velvet Spicer and I’m your new board president. I’ve been a member of Rochester Women’s Network for roughly three years and a board member for a year.

I’m an 18-year veteran of the Rochester Business Journal, where I cover the economy, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, diversity & inclusion, women’s issues, and more. The RBJ is how I became aware of RWN; I wrote an in-depth story for RWN’s 40th anniversary three years ago, and I also covered the W Awards celebration. The more I learned about the organization, the more I knew I wanted to be a member.

Since that time I’ve become more and more involved in the group through Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and committees. I’m involved in the Book Club SIG, the Geek Squad SIG, the Community Service SIG, the Blog subcommittee, Programs Committee, Finance Committee, Membership Committee, and I co-chair with Terra Osterling the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee.

It’s been a busy but exciting and worthwhile three years!

Since the start of the pandemic, your board of directors has been hard at work revamping and revitalizing RWN’s mission and vision, as well as developing strategic goals for the organization’s next 40 years. We’d like to share all of these plans with you and introduce our new vice presidents and committee chairs during an RWN Town Hall that will be held for all members on March 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. If you haven’t already received an emailed invitation, please visit the website at for details and to register. A Zoom link will be emailed prior to the event.

I’d like to personally thank all of you for joining RWN and continuing your membership during these trying times. It is a testament to the organization’s worth and staying power that we remain nearly 200-members strong!

Yours in peace,
Velvet Spicer, President

Upcoming Events

Visit the RWN website for a list of all upcoming events.

2021 Town Hall Meeting
March 23, 2021 • 5:30 - 7:00 pm

RWN Free Virtual Networking
March 24, 2021 • 5:30 - 7:00 pm

RWN Explore -
Free Information Session

April 7, 2021 • 5:30 - 6:45 pm

Dinner Raffle
Drawing on April 15th!

Coming Soon!
May "Women Rise" Series
- A four-part personal and professional development series for members and nonmembers. More information to follow!

Useful Links

Membership Information

Committee Descriptions

SIG Descriptions

Committee / SIG Calendar

Sponsor an Event


News from the Office

As you know, we had to make the difficult decision to eliminate the Director of Operations position earlier this year. As a result, Sandy Richardson’s responsibilities have been taken on by committee and board volunteers, who are doing a wonderful job of staying on top of things. We have added new email addresses to help members and others reach us more directly, including,,, and These emails, in addition to our general, are checked frequently by committee members, so feel free to reach out should you need anything.

RWN’s committees and SIGs are always looking for new members! Drop us a line if you’re interested in getting more involved in RWN or if you’re looking for more information on a particular SIG or committee.

From the Diversity Committee

March marks Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the women who make our worlds more complete. The first International Women’s Day took place on March 8, 1911, but it wasn’t until 1980 that President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. In 1981, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution that established a national celebration. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March and was successful.

According to, the United Nations has sponsored International Women’s Day since 1975. When adopting its resolution on the observance of International Women’s Day, the United Nations General Assembly cited the following reasons: “To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.”

Rochester has been home to a number of important historic women. Perhaps most well-known is Susan B. Anthony, who led the women’s rights movement here. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House is located here in Rochester, and is where she was arrested for voting in 1872, nearly 50 years before women finally were granted the right to vote.

Martha Matilda Harper was born in 1857 and came to Rochester in 1882. Harper pioneered retail franchising and had an international network of hair salons. Born in 1825, Antoinette Brown Blackwell was the first officially ordained female minister in the United States. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree when she graduated from Geneva’s Hobart and William Smith College in 1849. Blanche Stuart Scott, a Rochesterian, was the first woman to drive a car across the country, completing the journey in 69 days in 1910. And Clara Barton established the first local Red Cross chapter in Dansville in 1881.

While women in the U.S. have yet to shatter the presidential glass ceiling, a Gallup poll shows that Americans almost universally think it is possible for the country to have a female leader within the next 10 years. Notably, 93 percent of U.S. adults said this when Gallup asked the question in February 2020, amid an election cycle in which a record seven women ran for president, with one of them going on to become the country's first female vice president.

At that time, nearly all women — and men — saw a female leader as a possibility, with 92 percent of women and 94 percent of men saying this could happen within a decade. At least nine in 10 Americans in all major demographic groups saw this as a possibility.

Active Allyship: Your Sphere of Influence

Posted on February 22, 2021

If you are feeling paralyzed by the enormity of work it will take to dismantle systemic racism, try focusing on your immediate sphere of influence — and think beyond posting on social media. 


RWN New Members

Antonietta Alfano
Jennifer Aronson-Jovcevski
Dana Calcagno
Julia Cannioto
Carol Chlebana
Sally Coupal
Deborah M Cox
Olivia Dobbs Schneider
Nicole Fitzgerald
Diane Fulkerson
Erin Garrett
Susanna Guarino
Wendy Kaiser
Laura Kline-Taylor
Tina M McKean
Pilar Osorio-Godoy
Ruth Sternberg
Julianna Truesdale
Heidi Vorrasi

RWN Renewals

Laurie Colasurdo
Cindi Crowley
Leah Granger
Kelly Kester
Clarissa Markiewicz
Erin Nielsen
Jennifer Peterson
Sujatha Ramanujan
Jennifer Sauter
Mary Anne Shew
Patricia TenEyck
Stephanie Webster
April Wiesner
Barbara Wyffels

RWN Board Spotlight:
Sarah Marché, VP Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Sarah Marché is the vice president of Leadership Logic. In this capacity, she works with leaders and businesses across New York State. Sarah believes that the key to performance results is twofold: a clear vision that is understood by all, and engagement with one’s workforce. Sarah lives by the belief that people are the greatest asset that any company can have and that when businesses utilize strategy, engagement, and clarity, the sky is the limit. Sarah has worked with leaders at all levels to ensure strategic goals are met. She has coached owners, managers and emerging talent, developed and deployed strategic plans, established succession plans, and championed initiatives, all while helping leaders achieve their vision and results.

Throughout her career, Sarah has worked in a variety of organizations, including nonprofit, higher education, and Fortune 500 companies. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an MBA in consulting and human resources.

Sarah co-chairs Referral SIG II for RWN. She is also a member of the Ambassador Committee and participates in Wine SIG II.

On The Blog

Using Marketing Data to Work More Strategically

Posted on January 19, 2021

Do you ever wonder if the time you spend on your blog or social media accounts is really worth it? Have you ever wished that you had a more tangible way to measure these efforts? Do you want to set yourself up to work more efficiently in the year ahead? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this post is for you!


Committee / SIG Updates

From the Revenue Development Committee:

RWN is holding a dinner raffle. Tickets are $10 each and the drawing is April 15. More information is available here.

From the Membership Committee:

RWN has a private Facebook group for members only to share tips, ask for advice, look for referrals, and more. Visit “Rochester Women’s Network – Connections!” to request an invitation to join, or drop us a line and we’ll invite you. It’s a great way to connect with your fellow RWN members outside of our monthly Free Networking.

RWN SIGs and Committees are looking for new members. Visit to see where your talents and interests might fit in!

Community Connections

The National Women’s Hall of Fame Forum & ITT Presents: Inclusion & Innovation: A Virtual Roundtable Discussion
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Time: 12:00pm EST
Cost: FREE
The National Women’s Hall of Fame Forum and ITT are collaborating to hold a virtual panel discussion emphasizing the themes of innovation and inclusion. The prestigious panel consists of 3 NWHF Inductees: Jean Kilbourne, Carlotta LaNier, and Sarah Deer, and the granddaughter of deceased Inductee Henrietta Lacks. All Inductees have played a major role in both elements of this panel’s theme. Register for the lecture here.

Finger Lakes Opera is presenting a series of virtual recitals aimed at providing world-class productions to the community. Since 2012, FLO has dedicated itself to providing high quality music to the upstate New York community, and because of COVID-19, has adapted to a digital format that can share the joy of opera to wider audiences from the comfort of their homes. All concerts are free to stream on YouTube.
March 19th: Tenor Carlos Enrique’s virtual recital
April 2nd: Baritone Jonathan Michie’s virtual recital

The George Eastman Museum is launching a new series of virtual talks, Future/Present, featuring early- to mid-career photographers and artists who are exploring some of the most pressing issues of our time and pushing the boundaries of image-making and visual culture today. The series will kick off online with visual artist and storyteller Citali Fabián on March 18 at 6 p.m. The event is free for museum members and $10 suggested ticket for non-museum members. Register here.

To thank local healthcare workers and first responders for their tireless efforts the past year, The Strong National Museum of Play announces Celebrating Local Heroes, two evenings of exclusive hours for these workers and their families from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22. The evening hours are free admission to The Strong with a $5 donation that will go to Foodlink of Rochester. The evenings also include free admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, free video game play, and free carousel and train rides. Due to capacity limitations, healthcare workers and first responders are asked to register in advance.

Writers and Books will host Mary-Frances Winters, in conversation with Stephanie Paredes, Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit on March 18 at 7:30 pm for free. Reserve your Zoom ticket.

"Mary-Frances Winters brilliantly shows us how Black fatigue animates our way of living and how the racism that causes it shapes social structures and affects the distribution of advantage and disadvantage.” (Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again)

On Tuesday, March 30, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the AARP will host a virtual event titled The State of the 50+ Entrepreneur. This free event will bring together thought leaders, researchers, and policymakers, to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older business owners and their firms, and what might be done to help their recovery. Register here.

Job Opportunities:

Leave Administrator

HR Associate

Several full and part-time security vacancies through VMD Corporation located at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport.

RochesterWorks! is a not-for-profit corporation that helps job seekers find jobs, move to higher-paying jobs, and get training to improve skills. RochesterWorks! offers services such as one-on-one job search assistance, career counseling, resume critiquing, training seminars, and much more. All their services are free of charge. Learn more about what RochesterWorks! has to offer you.

NovelNY is New York's Electronic Library. They offer many useful resources to job seekers, including access to the New York State Department of Labor's Career Zone and Job Zone, two expansive sites that allow you to easily assess yourself and career opportunities. Explore the many resources available to you at NovelNY.

General Information:

Greater Rochester SCORE has 19 Free Recorded Webinars to help you with your small business:

Nazareth College Tuition Discount

RWN maintains a partnership with Nazareth College, a significant opportunity for members interested in pursuing a master’s degree. The Nazareth College Educational Partnership provides RWN members with a 20% tuition discount and opportunities for professional development, career advancement, network building, and acquisition of necessary, relevant skills that benefit our members. Members receive the tuition discount for graduate degrees in education, human resources, management, or marketing at Nazareth, in addition to any employer tuition benefits. Please visit the Nazareth Partnership Network webpage for more details and how to apply. 

Open Access 

Alcoholism and other substance-use disorders continue to hurt individuals and families in our community every day. When you or a loved one is ready to seek treatment, call or go to Open Access at 1350 University Avenue, Rochester (585-627-1777). Open Access is staffed 24/7 and welcomes all ages. There will be an evaluation and a connection to an appropriate level of care. Families seeking guidance can call a Recovery Support Navigator at 855-778-1200. RWN member Erin Egloff, the Finger Lakes Addiction Resource Center Coordinator at the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, can also guide you to the right resources. Call her at 585-719-3485 or email Recovery IS possible.

From Our Members:

RWN members participated in a Holiday Toy & Coat Drive, brought to us by member Angela LaVecchia and organized by retired Rochester teacher Karen Iglesia. Here’s what we helped accomplish:

  • Some 689 kids were helped; All families over 5 received a board game; All girls over 12 received an essentials bag with deodorant, pads, and more. 103 of the kids lived with a grandparent; 96 percent were RCSD students;
  • 3 percent were Greece students; and 499 were between the ages of 4 and 17.

RWN member Ruth Sternberg invites you to a new lunchtime professional development group. Move Forward, founded under the umbrella of Rochester's August Group, features topics for professionals of all ages and levels who want to improve their workplace effectiveness and ramp up their careers. The first session, March 23, will focus on Emotional Intelligence and will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on the first and fourth Tuesday of each month via Zoom. Register for this free event here.

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