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New group seeks to uplift professional women through fellowship

A new program at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce will encourage local women to share in networking, fellowship and encouragement on a monthly basis in Washington. Women In Support of Excellence, or WISE, will meet on a monthly basis and is geared toward professional women locally.

“We’ve set it as kind of a positive place for women to gather, unite and grow in Beaufort County,” said Chamber Executive Director Catherine Glover. “It’s really about putting women who work in a professional environment together, learning from each other and hearing from other people about things that affect women in the workplace.”

The program kicks off next Thursday with a meeting at the Harbor District Market from 8 to 9 a.m. Glover says that morning will mark the initial kickoff, with speakers scheduled in the months to come. Moving forward, the meetings will be held at the same time on the third Thursday of each month.

“What we wanted people to do is to spend time once a month with a group of women that will build each other up and be fed both professionally and personally in a positive environment that they can take back to their workplace and make it better,” Glover said. “I think so many people are going so fast these days. … They aren’t taking time to surround themselves with other positive people.”

That nonstop pace of daily life, Glover says, sometimes comes at the expense of finding a healthy work-life balance. Both professional life and personal life, and the balance between the two, will be focal points for the group.

Aside from the networking and bonding with fellow professionals, participants will have the chance to hear from a variety of speakers. So far, Glover says a diverse group of women has RSVP’d to the kickoff meeting, offering a broad range of perspectives.

“I think some things will come from it,” Glover said. “I think you’ll maybe see a service project out of it, and this group be really active as a whole.”

The cost to participate in the meeting is $25 for both Chamber members and non-members alike. WISE is open to all women in a professional environment. To RSVP, email caroline@wbcchamber.com or call 252-946-9168. Meetings will always be limited to one hour.