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On Hiatus…and Important News

September 9, 2021 @ 8:00 AM 9:30 AM PDT

I’m posting to confirm that there will be no Coast Women in Business meeting on Thursday, September 9th, 2021.

Sadly, I must also announce that Catherine Marshall recently resigned from our volunteer leadership team due to the demands of her primary work. We thank Catherine for her dedicated service to Coast Women in Business during the past few years, and wish her well in her new endeavors.

These circumstances mean that I am now the sole remaining leadership team member for Coast Women in Business (CWIB). I have been away in the SF Bay Area during the past three weeks, planning and implementing a major move of my studio, office and household items to my Mendocino home. Following my recent return, I’ve also been ill, so I apologize for the late notice about the September meeting. As I have not been able to access the CWIB Mailchimp newsletter account, I was not able to send out a newsletter announcement in advance. Hopefully, I will be able to send out a newsletter in the near future.

However, I also have other work demands and deadlines, and the scope of managing, programming, and marketing Coast Women in Business programs and our organization has become the equivalent of a paid, professional part-time job — it is too much to expect one volunteer leader to do it all, even though I have the necessary skill sets. Additionally, if CWIB is to continue as a volunteer-managed network or organization, it would be preferable to continue having a team of at least 2-4 members cooperatively managing it together, which we’ve been able to do remotely during the COVID period.

So, I must call upon all CWIB members and other program participants for your help, and ask that at least a few of you step forward and volunteer to be on the leadership team, or at least, contact me about it and find out what would be involved. You can reach me personally by email, at: hrudicka at lmi.net, or by cell phone (or text): (415) 221-8213.

Catherine and I had started implementing program ideas for meetings through the end of 2021 and into the beginning of 2022. However, if I do not hear from any other potential leadership team volunteers by October 31, 2021, I will need to take a hiatus until another solution can be found for CWIB in the future. At this point, I will not be able to continue planning October, November or December programs until I hear from potential volunteers. I am willing to continue my role on the leadership team, but only if there really is a “team.” In particular, I could use some assistance with maintaining the CWIB WordPress website, sending out Mailchimp newsletters, and helping to maintain and moderate our social media accounts, as these are often the most time-consuming tasks. We also contact members of the media and other organizations about our monthly meetings, so public relations experience would also be a plus. There are other volunteer team opportunities as well.

In the long run, I think that CWIB deserves to grow and expand, in order to remain sustainable, and the prospect of an ongoing volunteer model, and a loosely run network, will not be adequate to sustain growth. Therefore, I have officially proposed to West Business Development Center, our fiscal sponsor, and the organization that started CWIB, that they take us “under their wing” and make Coast Women and Business one of their Women’s Business Center programs. In my written proposal, I offered to continue running CWIB, but with or without me, I think that this would be a natural fit and an obvious solution. To date, I am still awaiting a response. If CWIB members and supporters want to see this happen, I suggest that you contact the West Business Development Center and encourage them to support my proposal.

There has been some discussion about approaching other organizations to take CWIB on as a program. I would be glad to set up one or more Zoom meetings with those of you who have made these suggestions to explore possibilities. Because CWIB was started by West, and they remain our fiscal sponsor, I’m not sure if this would be possible, but we can explore it.

Finally, I want to thank those of you who attended our August 2021 “Town Hall” meeting, who made many valuable suggestions and offered your ideas about how Coast Women in Business can best serve the business community, especially in the current climate. I will take those ideas to heart, and if new team members come on board, I will be glad to share your ideas, which we will do our best to implement. Catherine Marshall and I will also be submitting a brief summary of those ideas and comments to West Business Development Center soon, for their information.

I regret having to take a hiatus at all, but it really has been a difficult time in my life to have to work through the changes on the CWIB leadership team in the past several months. I’ve undergone intermittent medical issues, plus changes in my business and other projects, and a move, while trying to maintain continuity in my role with CWIB. I hope that some of our members and supporters will step forward and assist me in sustaining and taking Coast Women in Business to another level in 2022.

Thank you for your support of Coast Women in Business during the past year, and approximately 13 years of its existence. I am extremely honored and grateful to have met the outstanding women (and men) in our network, and our excellent guest presenters. It has been meaningful and rewarding to serve on your leadership team for nearly two years. I have greatly appreciated this opportunity to interact with many members of our Mendocino County business community and beyond.

Upward and onward for all of us in the upcoming year!

— Cathryn Hrudicka, CWIB Leadership Team