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Letter from the President – State of the Union 2015-2016

September 01, 2016 9:29 AM | Laura Waniuk

Dear Friends,

Most importantly, if you’re not familiar with the Vail Valley Business Women, first let me introduce us.

Our MISSION: The Vail Valley Business Women is dedicated to the advancement and future growth of professional women in the Vail Valley.


  • Educational programming and speakers
  • Exchange business ideas
  • Forum for Networking
  • Expose membership to valley-wide business opportunities
  • Provide scholarships for professional women and female youth
  • Community involvement
  • Mentorship opportunities
  • Volunteer opportunities

Our VALUES:   Camaraderie  |  Dynamic |  Education  |  Intention  |  Support

When those who are new to Vail Valley Business Women learn all that the organization accomplishes, they are invariably impressed. Conducting a professional not-for-profit on volunteers alone is no easy task. To fully grasp just how robust VVBW is, one must understand the many powerful partnerships that enrich, propel and strengthen our members and scholarship recipients. While numbers alone don’t tell the story, they are worth considering. We have 710 ladies in our database and 34 industries represented, while delivering 6 keynote speakers, 2 facilitated networking, 2 social and 2 special events, including a our annual fundraiser per fiscal year.

Highlights of the 2015-2106 Fiscal Year

  • Scholarships: We raised $6,000 for scholarships and five $1,000 scholarships were allocated in cooperation with the Youth Foundation’s Community Scholarship Collaborative. The giving goes toward college scholarships for six high school graduating women within the Eagle County School District. All plan to attend two or four-year institutions of higher education in the field of business. This year’s highlight for me was seeing Kassie Heiner, the daughter of former VVBW Board Member, Julie Norberg, receive a scholarship - now that’s our mission in action! In 2016-17 due to revised application requirements, we will now strive to raise $8,000 to award two $4k scholarship to two deserving candidates over 4-year period.
  • Web Site, Events and Membership: I am thrilled to announce today’s launch of our NEW web site! After many years of disjointed operations, we’ve embraced technology and now have a fully integrated system for the web site membership & event registration, emails and document storage. A special thanks to our My Sales Butler and Callosum making this happen.
  • Membership: We increased the generational segmentation of VVBW membership and guest population. “I have always admired the depth of knowledge and historical information, of Vail Valley retirees and second homeowners hold. Seeking to tap into this goldmine, VVBW reached out and welcomed these ladies into our sphere with great success. Professionally employed currently or in the past, we honor intelligence and are grateful for a desire to pass on a Vail Valley legacy. Secondly, based on our new technology integration we have transitioned to a rolling membership - meaning you can join us at any time and be active for a full-year.
  • Financial:
  • Gifted  scholarships: $5,000
  • Venue & meal budget: Increased from $27/meal to $33
  • Strategic initiatives $ invested: Web Site.
  • Anything else?
  • Administration: The transition from fiscal 2016 to 2017 occurs with a succession of 5 out of 9 roles. While this is significant, I am excited and confident with a strong advisor base from the outbound board who have wrapped up their terms in stellar fashion. Per usual, we will remain heavily reliant on our volunteer committees to support the board in special task forces.

Every year our volunteers, committee members, and board of directors invest more than 2200 hours for the organization to accomplish such tasks as just mentioned. Unlike many not-for-profits, VVBW’s volunteer board of directors is solely skill-based, and desire to learn, versus a monetary obligation. Needless to say, it’s a great stepping stone to tee up for larger leadership roles anywhere and everywhere.

Why are these volunteers willing to donate their time, effort and heart? Most importantly, they share our missions and values. They are eager to create a living legacy for Vail Valley’s female leadership pool. With ongoing investment from you, and opportunities from our partners, for 39 years now, we continually evolve and change the face of Vail Valley leadership.

Speaking of leadership, I’m honored to present the new 2016-2017 board and hand over the reigns. Please join me in welcoming them:

  • President: Lori Gleason
  • Vice President: Melissa Decker
  • Treasurer: Stacey Allen
  • Director of Programming: Tricia Swenson
  • Membership Director: Laura Waniuk
  • Director of Marketing and PR: Mel McKinney
  • Member at Large: Karen Perez
  • Secretary: Jessica Woods  
  • Past President: Clare Hefferren

Website: http://vvbw.org/

With much gratitude,
Clare J. Hefferren

Vail Valley Business Women is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. Colorado, P.O Box 3096; Avon, Colorado 81620

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