September 2020 Newsletter

News from the RWN President, Megan Flanagan Mills

Greetings RWN Membership!

I hope this finds you all healthy and enjoying the last few weeks of summer. We are so excited about a few upcoming programs that you will find on our event calendar. For the first time in about 6 months we will be holding an in-person, free-to-members networking event. It is going to be outside, and there will be hand sanitizer and masks for anyone who forgets. We plan to take as many precautions as possible to make sure our membership stays safe! 

Thank you to all of our members who took the COVID task force survey that was sent out a few weeks ago. We took all of the feedback into consideration and are proceeding accordingly, offering programs both virtually and in person. 

Leadership applications recently went out to the membership, and we would be so honored if you would consider joining us as a leader for 2021 in a capacity you think is appropriate for you. If you think you want to join RWN leadership but are unsure where you will fit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of the board members for guidance. We are all here to help, and we want to see RWN continue to grow and stay vibrant even through these crazy times! 

Finally, with the lack of in-person events this year, RWN is struggling through COVID as many other organizations are. Fundraising is going to be a major focus for the rest of this year and beyond. If you or anyone you know in RWN might be interested in joining our Revenue Development Committee, please let me know. We need as much help as possible in this area. 

Thank you all for your continued support of RWN. We appreciate you all.

Megan Mills

Upcoming Events

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

RWN In-Person Networking
September 2, 2020 • 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Playing to Your Strengths:
Your Roadmap to Excellence
& Personal Fulfillment

September 16, 2020 • 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Coming Soon:
RWN Tech Tips Series:
Microsoft Teams

Details available in early September

Useful Links

Membership Information

Committee Descriptions

SIG Descriptions

Committee / SIG Calendar

Sponsor an Event


News from the RWN Office

I would like to thank the Special Events Committee for all the time and energy they invested to create the Brew & Renew FUN’draiser event in August. It was relaxing and informational. Our tea masters and skincare expert provided wonderful insight into the products, and Jess Southwell shared many simple and doable ideas on how to be mindful about caring for ourselves. (A nice reminder that we are allowed to make time for self-care!) Erica Walther Schlaefer, Owner of Juniper Gift Shop in Irondequoit, sponsored the event. Her new store on Titus Avenue is a delight. I hope you get the opportunity to check it out in the near future. The Committee is now working on their next special event. Look for this in October.

You may have noticed the newsletter has a new format! A special thank you to Melanie Watson for creating our beautiful new look. Melanie is an RWN member and owner of Melanie Watson Design! Please let me know how the newsletter is working for you. Contact me at or 585.383.8080.

Engagement is the best way to maximize your membership. Please reach out to me if you would like help navigating our organization. I’m happy to help connect you to the right individuals. The Nominating Committee is also looking for more members to join the leadership team. Here is the Leadership Application link.

Interested in sponsoring an RWN event? This is a good opportunity to gain some visibility for you and your company. There are opportunities to sponsor special events or monthly programs or networking. We can work with you on your budget and find a good match for your organization. If you are interested, please contact me at or 585.383.8080.

RWN New Members

Diana Simpatico
Francesca Brown

RWN Renewals

Coleen Honeywill
Jennifer Cave
Lori Sussle Bonanni

Benjamin Lee
Dee Alexander
Randi Proukou
Lisa Granite
Linda Heeler
Kelly Bagnaschi
Melissa Newcomb
Amy Varel
Angela LaVecchia
Melanie Watson

RWN Board Spotlight:
Terra Osterling, Sudden Write Turn Freelance Writing

Terra Osterling launched her own freelance writing business in 2012 to serve all sizes of businesses and nonprofits. Through Sudden Write Turn Freelance Writing, she produces a variety of creative and brand-savvy content for internal and external business communications. Her work has satisfied clients across the spectrum of industries, services, and topics, ranging from a Finger Lakes winery’s member newsletter to an engineering firm’s identity email series. Connecting people—and truly connecting with people—is an important part of her storytelling process and way of life. She is an avid reader, avowed introvert, sometime rave-dancer, equity advocate, comic book enthusiast, tea-sipper, change conjuror, and aspiring Jedi knight.

Terra has been a member of Rochester Women’s Network since 2015. She serves as the Co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, she assists on the Marketing Committee and heads the Blog sub-committee, she served on the Special Events Committee and was a member of the organizing committee for RWN’s 40th birthday celebration in 2018. Terra is a member of the Sales & Marketing SIG and SIG Referral Group I, and is the founder of the Geek Squad SIG.

On The Blog

‘Active Allyship’:
A new series guiding your path toward being a better ally

Posted on August 11, 2020

When Rochester Women’s Network developed a new vision statement last year, we were intentional about making a commitment to support and promote diversity and inclusion in all that we do. At the beginning of 2020, we launched our Diversity and Inclusion Committee to guide our work of being better allies through all of our committees, SIGs, and events. Who needs an ally?


Committee / SIG Updates

From the NEW Diversity and Inclusion Committee:

RWN's vision is to be recognized as an organization that is committed to inclusivity. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is working to make that vision a reality. To do so, we partner with the Board and with all Committees and SIGs to help bring a diversity lens to all the work of our organization. There are many ways you can provide value to this work:

  • Be the voice of diversity and inclusion on your current Committees, SIGs, and at RWN events
  • Participate in strategic initiatives designed to address long-term needs, such as finding consistent interpreting services for our meetings and events
  • Write blogs and newsletter articles focused on diversity and inclusion
  • Create external partnerships with other organizations

To join the Committee, please contact Terra Osterling or Velvet Spicer.

From the Membership Committee:

The Membership Committee is meeting virtually on September 23 at noon. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Lynn Kerr, Membership Committee Chair.

From the Ambassador Committee:

Ambassador Committee will meet in October, date TBD. As we all head back to school and fall schedules, the committee will be assessing schedules and availability. If you are interested, please contact Nancy Woolver.

From the Finance SIG:

On August 19, RWN’s Finance SIG had its first in-person meeting since February on the patio at Jeremiah’s. It was so nice to see members face-to-face and catch up with the issues of the day. We plan to meet again in September, weather permitting. Please contact Holly Hewins with questions or if you are interested in joining us.

From the Career Transition SIG:

The Career Transition SIG is resuming in September following their summer hiatus. This SIG is meeting virtually. If you are interested, please contact Teresa Delibert or Miranda Wilcox

Is a change in your future? Exploring new professional opportunities? Find new paths with us! Discuss how to take advantage of current opportunities and move forward in a way that honors you and your skills. Share, learn, and listen to make the most of this time for professional growth, realizing opportunities, and reaching goals. This SIG will be facilitated by Teresa Delibert, Certified Personnel Consultant, and Miranda Wilcox, Professional Certified Coach.

Date: September 9, 2020
Time: 5:30 pm to 7 pm

General News

Jane Plitt, one of RWN’s founders, was recently featured in Sarasota Magazine, where she mentioned RWN. For more, here is the link:

Community Connections

REPRESENT, an exceedingly timely documentary following three women running to reshape local politics on their terms is currently available for virtually viewing through the Little Theater.

REPRESENT is a Kartemquin (Minding the Gap, Hoop Dreams, etc.) documentary from filmmaker Hilary Bachelder. The film interweaves the lives of Myya Jones, Bryn Bird, and Julie Cho during and following their groundbreaking campaigns; focusing on how their layered gender, racial, and socio-economic identities shape their beliefs and how they interact with the communities they hope to represent.

Ultimately, this film showcases the complexities of being a woman in local politics by asking how democratic power is constructed, and how malleable these systems really are. That is why we would love to invite the community in and around Rochester to see the film virtually, while supporting the Little Theatre beginning 08.14.20. 

We know that we are in a time of crisis, with the pandemic and continuing nationwide protests over systemic injustice and anti-blackness, but we would appreciate you taking the time to view this important new film.


Available through the Little Theatre at:

Girls Rock! Rochester seeking financial support for their 9th season of camp programming (this year the camp will be hosted online).

Details here

Seeking businesses in the Greater-Rochester area who may be interested in sponsoring camp this year. Our sponsors ensure we're able to offer scholarships to any children who can't pay full tuition. In some cases we offer full scholarships to our campers.

For more information & questions please contact:

Jessica Hasler Southwell
Executive Director of Girls Rock! Rochester

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. 

Resources for people looking for employment:

Currently hiring Customer Service Representatives for our call center. The wage for the position is $16.50/hr. with a .75 cent shift differential bring the pay to $17.25/hr. Click here to apply. Contact: 
Jahmal Daniels, HR Recruiter
71 Mt. Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 OR Text “REP” to 97211 to apply as a Customer Service Representative!

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.

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.

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