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By Alison Brown, WEN Marketing & Communications Chair

‘Tis the season for networking! If you’re feeling nervous about all the upcoming holiday networking events you know you’ll be attending – don’t! Here’s my own recent success story about how a WEN event led me to my new role at EnviroIssues. 

In May 2017, the Women’s Environmental Network held its annual “speed networking” event at Spice Monkey in Oakland, California. WEN’s speed networking events are different from your average networking fare – they offer a safe space where women can get to know each other by talking within small, rotating groups. Every few minutes, a moderator gives a new discussion prompt to spark conversations that help cultivate connection. The networking events are designed to provide a sense of community at each table, without the formalities of awkward introductions and business card swapping.

The event had about 35 women in attendance and the energy of the room was warm and inclusive. I had recently returned to the Bay Area after spending four years in Australia and was considering new career opportunities. At the end of the networking event, WEN’s then-Vice President, Nikole Reaksecker, asked everyone who was looking for a job to raise their hand and briefly talk about their background and what type of role they were looking for. Katie DeLeuw, another attendee, heard about my background in sustainability and communications and approached me after the event. Katie mentioned that her company, EnviroIssues, would be hiring in the future, as they are building their business in the Bay Area.  

Katie had recently returned to the Bay Area herself after spending more than a decade in Seattle working for a consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest, EnviroIssues. EnviroIssues is a woman-owned communications, engagement and facilitation firm headquartered in Seattle, specializing in transportation, water, land use and natural resource projects. Originally from Mountain View, Katie leads EnviroIssues’ Bay Area expansion.

With local projects ramping up, EnviroIssues needed to expand its Oakland staff to accommodate its project workload. Having remembered my consulting experience from the WEN event, Katie recalled our conversation at the WEN event and reached out to me about an associate position. With engagement projects such as the Caltrain Business Plan, the South San Francisco Active Transportation Masterplan and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Transbay Crossings study, I’m excited to dive into the transportation sector as the newest member of EnviroIssues’ Oakland team.

WEN is committed to helping you expand your network and connect with other women of impact – so keep an eye out for another speed networking event in 2019.

Want to learn more about Alison Brown and Katie DeLeuw? Feel free to connect with them below.

Connect with Katie: Katie’s LinkedIn

Connect with Alison: Alison’s LinkedIn

Want to learn more about EnviroIssues? Click here

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