“Wine Women is about all of us forming networks, building relationships and cracking the proverbial glass ceiling,” said Christine Mueller, Wine Women President, greeting the gathering of two dozen women at the beautiful Raymond Vineyards.
In the two years since Wine Women was founded, it has expanded membership to 150 people, established seven professional development groups also known as Forums, and organized multiple career advancement events.
So far, all work has been done by just a handful of people – Board members and Forum chairs. To unlock the true potential of the organization, Christine invited all members to join the Wine Women’s volunteer corps and help “make this boat float.” “Tonight is all about ground floor opportunities and helping to build this organization up,” she said.
Benefits of volunteering
The ensuing discussion highlighted that volunteering can in fact bring tangible benefits for everyone involved. Wine Women volunteers can build a new skill set or try a new (leadership) role, which is a valuable addition to one’s resume.
There is no deficit of projects to be involved in and skills to learn. Volunteers can choose any well-specified area within business development, marketing, technology, events, or finance. Those with more experience and ambition can apply for a Board position.
Constant learning is what has kept Marcia Macomber for eight years in her demanding role as a volunteer Marketing Director. “Even when I get frustrated that [volunteering] takes a lot of time, I’m learning from the other women in the organization – a new technique, a new way to communicate effectively, or a completely new skill set that I don’t get from my business,” she said.
Opening new doors and building community
Theresa Dorr of VinoShipper club management software company traveled for over an hour to attend the event. For her, every time she participates in a Wine Women event, she finds it very valuable: it gives new connections and opens new doors. “My company has been successful because people have helped me, so I want to give back,” she said.
For Maureen Bragg, Wine Women’s new Membership Director, volunteering is an opportunity to find a project that one feels passionate about, and to create value around it. For Stephanie Cash of Workmix coworking lounge, volunteering is about building community.
Marcia Macomber strongly believes that “it is a road to get into the business and develop in the business faster than if you just try to do it all by yourself”.
You can learn about Wine Women volunteer opportunities and apply for a project by visiting their Volunteer page. The Volunteer Corps Program is available to Wine Women members only.