PWN Featured Member: Sandra Ahrendsen, Continuous Improvement Specialist, The Gazette Company.

Sandra AhrendsenThis month’s featured PWN Member is Sandra Ahrendsen, Continuous Improvement Specialist at The Gazette Company.

Below Sandra shares her story about how the PWN Scholarship helped her and what she is currently working on professionally.

“I used the PWN scholarship to pay for books primarily. Books range from $20.00 to $200.00 each. Because of the PWN funds my own money was freed up and put towards everyday expenses such as groceries and school supplies for my two children.

I am currently employed at The Gazette Company with the role of Continuous Improvement Specialist and Project Manager. In my role, I serve all business units as a partner and facilitator helping them achieve their business goals.

Without the support from my family, my employer, my friends and organizations such as PWN I wouldn’t be as far along, professionally, as I am today.

PWN provides an excellent opportunity for women in our community to build networks and business partners. I am excited to be part of the group for years to come!”

Say hello to Sandra at the upcoming meeting on September 22nd at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the PWN Member Survey!

thank-you-1540713-639x426We received some valuable feedback, which we will work to incorporate to increase the value members receive from PWN.

One of the things you requested was more communication regarding our mission and how you can best leverage your membership.

We understand that you aren’t always able to make the monthly meetings, so going forward we plan to use the PWN Newsletter to increase awareness of the great things that are happening with PWN.

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the other things we are working on as a result of YOUR feedback:

  • Increased opportunities for networking- we’ve added a monthly meeting in October dedicated to networking and will add more of these in 2017. Please remember to come to all monthly meetings for open networking from 11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
  • More advance notice of PWN Socials- we get it, you’re busy…and you like to plan ahead. We’ll do better about publishing the social calendar in advance and on the website. Unlike our standard monthly meetings, we are not going to hold these on a particular day/time of the month. Our hope is that by offering a variety that more people can attend these events. Check out the website for a list of the remaining 2016 social events.
  • A greater awareness of the PWN Perks Program – all PWN members can take advantage of special offers and discounts offered by PWN Members. A formal announcement will be made once all of the new perks have been added.
  • PWN Membership Directory- this is an online resource for members only. Join us for the August 25th meeting to obtain information about updating your profile and building connections with other members.

Congratulations go out to Barb Lindstrom and Lynn McArthur! They were randomly selected and will receive 50% discount off of their 2017 PWN Membership for completing the survey!

We will draw another winner of a free 2017 PWN Membership at the November 17th meeting. As a reminder, you are entered into this drawing for each guest you bring to a PWN Regular Meeting.

We are excited for the remainder of 2016 and hope you are too!

See you soon!

Stacey Mueggenberg and Amy McKelvy- Membership Committee Co-Chairs

PWN Featured Member: Trudy Claassen, Manager, MODE

I moved to Cedar Rapids 30 years ago to be a clothing buyer for a retail chain called, Seifert’s/Mark Henri; prior to that, I had managed stores in Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and Phoenix.

After the closing of Seifert’s, I focused on raising my three children and then eventually started working for the Cedar Rapids Community School District as a Paraprofessional.

It was one year ago when Danielle Rings (Franchise Owner at MODE Cedar Rapids) called and asked me if I would like to manage her new business MODE, a women’s designer clothing discount store. I was thrilled to get back into the field of women’s retail. Working here has given me the opportunity to help women find updated, quality apparel at a great price for their work and leisure lifestyle. It is nice to be back in a field that I love!

At MODE, we take pride in being great at customer service, which is a lost art these days with all of the on-line shopping. I know I have done my job well when a customer leaves our store with three pairs of designer denim jeans and a smile on her face.

I am excited to be connected with PWN as it gives me the opportunity to be surrounded by women in all different professions. If you are in the market for some great news clothes, I am always available to help with your apparel needs.