NEW is a grassroots informal organization for entrepreneurially-minded women – for those just beginning the journey, those bumping along the road, and those who have crossed the finish line and want to keep on going.
The genesis of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women took place one morning in February of 2011. Cliff Elgin, then an insurance broker at Wells Fargo Insurance Services in Louisville, KY, had two separate phone calls about 30 minutes apart from women entrepreneurs starting new businesses. Following the second call, the proverbial light bulb went off and Cliff thought to himself, “These two women aren’t direct competitors and if I can get them to talk to each other, they could help each other become successful.” Shortly thereafter, a second “light bulb” went off – “What if I can team these start-up entrepreneurs with successful business women who would serve as mentors and motivators? That would be even better.”
Cliff had conversations with Lynn Cooper, President of BFW, Inc., Suzanne Bergmeister, Entrepreneur in Residence at the U of L Business School, Jennifer Griffin, President of Go Fetch Marketing, Jackie Wilmot, a well known Louisville entrepreneurial consultant, and Jennifer Graham, COO of Cuddle Clones and all liked the idea and agreed to be part of the core group to get NEW started. Shortly thereafter, Kyle Citrynell, a Senior Partner with Seiller Waterman law firm and Quinn Hart, a Manager, with the CPA firm Strothman & Company, joined the core team. In the fall of 2011, Ms. Graham resigned from the core group to work on a new business opportunity and NEW happily welcomed Lisa Bajorinas, Managing Director of GLI’s EnterpriseCorp as her replacement.
After several months of planning through the spring of 2011, an event format was created and NEW’s first networking and educational event was held in June, 2011. Since that time, NEW has held monthly events on a variety of topics at different venues and has begun working with local not for profits that help women enter business successfully.