After many years as a Morristown resident and a business owner, Mary Dougherty knows a good idea when she sees one. She also is savvy enough to know when to act on it. Dougherty’s latest brainstorm led to the formation of Morristown Women in Business, which is exactly what it sounds like.
“My experience with the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and with the chamber in Hoboken showed me women business owners supporting other women business owners,” Dougherty said. “And I wondered, why don’t we do this in Morristown?”
Dougherty immediately reached out the Morristown Partnership to see if they had any offerings for women in business and found out that the Main Event’s Chef Melody Whitelaw was making the same inquiries. From there, things fell into place.
My first call was to Marisa (Sweeney, owner of Be Well.),” Dougherty said. “She has a good business model and I was so impressed with her contribution to Wellness MoTown. She has the right outlook and energy and is really engaged and enthusiastic.”
With Sweeney as Vice Chair to Dougherty, others followed.
“We pulled in Michele Reinhart to handle membership and Maria Rivera-Jones who owns 2nd Generation Music,” Dougherty said.
Chef Melody rounds out the executive board handling communications for the group whose mission is to empower women entrepreneurs and business leaders to grow their business through networking, education and leads. The organization aims to provide women with the support of others and the means to gain the knowledge and skills that are vital to succeed in the 21st century business environment.
And their first meeting is coming Jan. 9.
The first meeting is a breakfast meeting at the Hyatt in Headquarters Plaza from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., but future meetings will be held at different times.
“We are going to alternate from breakfast meetings to lunch meeting and cocktail hour meetings,” Sweeney said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people with different schedules to network.”
Morristown Women in Business is open to new members who either live or work in Morristown.
- Individual Membership: The annual fee for Individual Membership is $100.
- Corporate Membership: The annual fee for Corporate Membership is $250 for up to 3 members.
- Monthly Programs and Meetings: Fees will be determined based on event activity and/or location.
Beyond the networking experience, the keynote speaker of the first meeting is Dougherty’s husband, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty.
“There is a lot going on in Morristown, and the mayor will be sharing with us what is happening, what is coming up next and how it can enhance our businesses,” Dougherty said. “That is why he is our keynote speaker and he is happy to do it.”
Dougherty said she is hoping more people express interest and get involved as members and as members of committees.
“We can’t take this on as a full time job,” Dougherty said. “We are getting it off the ground in hopes that the other women will join us and help us.”
Sweeney said that the intention at every event is that everyone that attends walks away with a takeaway and is a little more connected to the community. Dougherty said there is strength in numbers.
“We are hoping to connect local business together to drive ‘shopping local’ and support each other’s businesses,” Dougherty said. “When people complain about stores closing, I often wonder when was the last time they shopped in them.”
According to Sweeney, those who get involved are in for a good time, if their organizational meetings are any indication.
“We come out of the committee meetings so excited,” Sweeney said.
Excitement is a notion Dougherty seconded.
“The whole energy needs to be positive inclusive, inspiring, and keep businesses in Morristown,” Dougherty said. “That is what we are here to do.”
Although Membership is designed for Morristown Women in Business or Residents of Morristown, the monthly events are open to everyone. For more information, visit the website, email the Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 862-812-0962.