AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

June 13, 2014

Mercer County Women's Connect meets

MERCER COUNTY — Mercer County women of all ages representing a variety of careers and backgrounds have been meeting twice a month for the past three months to exchange information and ideas, seek advice and share a few laughs.

"Our mission is to support one another professionally and personally," said Tracy Schliep, a member of Mercer County Women's Connect.

The group was created by local businesswomen Marci Radcliffe, Karen Piccirilli and Lynne Garfinkel, who saw the need for a women's networking group in Mercer County that meets on a regular basis.

They meet the second Wednesday of the month at 8 a.m. at Perkins Restaurant, 2945 E. State St., Hermitage, and the fourth Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. at Jess's Junction, 3640 E. State St., Hermitage. Attendees pay for their own meals.

The group officially kicked off in February and has about 50 members. The only requirement to join is that women must live or work in Mercer County, Radcliffe said Wednesday night at Jess's, where 13 women gathered.

The meetings are very informal and don't have a set agenda, but anyone can ask to address a particular issue or topic so all members can give input, she said.

She started off Wednesday's meeting with a quote from author and poet Maya Angelou, who passed away Wednesday morning:

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Radcliffe said she hopes Mercer County Women's Connect can be as uplifting as Angelou was for so many women.

In between bites of chicken wings, fried pickles, pizza and salad, the members at Wednesday's meeting jumped from conversation to conversation - work, kids, vacation, school, church, volunteering, community events, and even a detailed discussion about running a business.

Also, each woman introduced herself, with Schliep and Jan Hogue, both instructors at Laurel Technical Institute, Sharon, describing how they've been bringing students to the meetings to show them the importance of networking with other professional women. They had two students with them on Wednesday.

Schliep said some of her students recently asked her for advice on how to conduct themselves during job interviews that take place in restaurants, and that was something she was able to discuss with Mercer County Women's Connect, and Radcliffe also came to LTI and spoke to her students about etiquette.

"I just want to thank you for that," Schliep said.

Later in the meeting, Hogue, who lives in Hubbard, said she decided to join the group after seeing an ad in the newspaper.

"We thought it would be a great way to meet people," she said. "You can always learn from someone new."

Members are encouraged to bring friends and colleagues to the next meeting, said Radcliffe, adding there are no fees.

Different women have been attending each meeting so far, which is good, and there's also a core group of women that include established and emerging leaders from businesses and organizations all over the county, she said.

The meetings will continue to be held at Perkins and Jess's, as well as one large event per year, and members can also host a group meeting at their workplace.

Mercer County Women's Connect is an extension of the Lawrence Mercer ATHENA International events and modeled after the Lawrence County Women Connect idea, said Radcliffe, who was the first recipient of the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

For more information about Mercer County Women's Connect and to RSVP for the meetings, email mercercountywomensconnect@gmail.com

The group is also on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Published May 31, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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