The Network of Executive Women’s fifth anniversary was marked by record
growth in membership, event and attendance and revenue, according to a
year-end report from NEW President Helayne Angelus, vice president of
Global Customer Business Diversity for Procter & Gamble.
Angelus thanked NEW’s sponsors, members, executive team and board members “for an absolutely outstanding 2006—and I want to take the opportunity to update our supporters on the progress we made this year to achieve our mission to attract, retain, and advance women in the retail and consumer packaged goods industry through education, leadership and business development.” Excerpts from NEW’s year-end update follow:
Early in 2006, the officer team of NEW embarked on renewal of our strategic plan. It was clear that the rapid growth and momentum of NEW called for a strategy to deliver improved ROI and to expand the value equation for our members and sponsoring companies. To that end, we set objectives to ensure that NEW grew into a coast-to-coast organization with the expansion of our regional strategy and to provide best practices around diversity and inclusion for the industry. In order to fund those goals, we set aggressive revenue targets for 2006.
NEW's fifth anniversary capital campaign pushed 2006 revenue to a record $1.2 million, including $800,000 in sponsor contributions, 45 percent more than our sponsor revenue target of $550,000. Event revenue increased to $400,000, a 73 percent increase from last year's event revenue of $231,000. The expanded revenue will enable the Network to fulfill its mission and expand its programs and services in the year ahead.
NEW membership grew 25 percent to more than 2,500 senior executives and emerging leaders. NEW's membership includes individuals from more than 300 companies and 38 corporate sponsors, and is more diverse and national than ever. NEW’s membership committee is chaired by Kathy Casey of Kellogg Company.
The Network welcomed many new corporate sponsors to our growing roster of industry supporters: Title Sponsors Unilever, Nestlé Purina and Chevron; Platinum sponsors General Mills, Johnson O'Hare and Nestle Waters; Gold Sponsors Del Monte Foods, KPMG and S&D Coffee; and Silver Sponsors ConAgra Foods, CPGjoblist and The J.M. Smucker Company. Our sponsors share the Network's vision of increased retention and attraction of women to our industry. The Network’s sponsorship committee is co-chaired by Alison Kenney Paul of Deloitte and Mike Gorshe of Accenture.
The Network's leadership received an infusion of talent, including seven new at-large board members: Anne Fink vice president, PepsiCo Sales for PepsiCo; Michelle Gloeckler, VP and general manager, The Hershey Experience, The Hershey Company; Julie Hamilton, VP, International Business Development, the Coca-Cola Company; DeDe Priest, senior vice president, GMM Food Division, Wal-Mart Stores; Regenia Stein, vice president, Central Area, Kraft Foods; Mary van Praag, vice president of sales, Neutrogena Corporation (a Johnson & Johnson Company); and James White, senior vice president, Consumer Brands, Safeway, Inc. The Network is actively working to create future leaders through recruitment and succession planning. As part of this process, NEW's nominating committee, led by immediate past president Michele Hanson of Vertis, is being transformed into "the board development committee," which will eventually be responsible for all board strategy and structures, including nominations and on-boarding of new board members.
NEW's regional event committees and activities grew in scope and number. A record of more than 2,500 men and women attended 14 regional events across the country, and there were first-ever events in Tampa, Philadelphia and the Twin Cities. High-profile speakers and dynamic programs coast-to-coast received high marks from attendees. A new regional committee was formed in Chicago and more are planned for early 2007 for Northern California, the Mid-Atlantic region and the Carolinas. Nationally, more than 300 men and women participate in the leadership of the regional event committees. Participation by retailers was a highlight of regional events in 2006. The 2006 launch of the northern Florida regional committee in Tampa was driven by Kash n' Karry/Sweetbay and Publix; our Philadelphia launch was spurred by Acme Markets. NEW's huge regional expansion has been led by our tireless Regional Events Chair, Bobbie O'Hare of Johnson O'Hare.
ANNUAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
Our 2006 NEW Leadership Summit in September was bigger than ever, drawing a record 350 attendees from the CPG and retail industry's top companies to Dallas. Our program, themed "Unleash the Leader in You," drew excellent ratings from attendees. One of the event's top highlights was a retailer panel featuring women from 7-Eleven, SUPERVALU and Wal-Mart Stores. For the first time, separate programming tracks were directed at senior women and emerging leaders to foster career-stage development (see this month's Gallery for video highlights of our 2006 Summit). Debbie Wildrick of 7-Eleven led the Education and Programming committee in this enhanced offering.
MEMBER SUPPORT AND DIVERSITY BEST PRACTICES
The Network enhanced its professional development services with increased networking and educational support, more action learning opportunities, new member teleconferences, and a free online job bank and member directory. NEW has facilitated mentoring for more than 300 executives in the past five years. In 2006 we launched our next generation of mentoring workshops, "Deep Dive into Career Development," enabling participants to explore their lives and careers and to develop mentoring relationships for each opportunity area. The Deep Dive program was created by NEW Board Member Sandra Bushby of KPMG. There will be three such workshops in 2007. Hundreds of NEW members joined our members-only teleconferences to get the most from their membership and network with other industry executives. NEW also launched the Women of Color/ Latina program, following the success of last year's program focused on African-American Women. Trudy Bourgeois, Center for Workforce Excellence and NEW Board member, led the development of the Women of Color initiative. PepsiCo and P&G were the sponsors. NEW's special report on corporate Affinity Groups outlines the increasing influence and popularity of these networks. In 2007, NEW will continue its Best Practices series with special reports sponsored by KPMG.
In May, NEW honored its Outstanding Champion, Tom Greco, who is now president of PepsiCo Sales. The Network recognized Greco for advancing NEW and its mission throughout PepsiCo and among the company's retail customers. In November, NEW presented the Hedy Halpert Diversity Awareness Award posthumously to Tom Crawford, CEO of the Leadership Network Inc. NEW was saddened by Tom's sudden passing in July and will miss his friendship and support.
NEW initiated a nationwide round of sponsor meetings to gather feedback and improve sponsor support, including greater sponsor activation support, increased sponsor recognition at events and through NEW communications, more industry scholarships and our "One Woman, Two Lives" shopability survey, sponsored by PepsiCo and P&G. In June, NEW took center stage at a standing-room only workshop at the NACDS Marketplace to present the survey's results. The presentation included a panel of NEW members who discussed their real-experiences with shopability and its retail impact. In September, NEW moderated a panel of representatives from the Kroger Company, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, and the Center for Workforce Excellence, as they discussed ways for the industry to take advantage of the industry's changing workplace demographics.
Key Network objectives for 2007 include: A NEW Executive Women's Retreat; continuation of our Women of Color initiative through a Multicultural Forum bringing emerging leaders, managers and diversity experts together; the appointment of a new Client Services Director to assist sponsor activation; new regional groups; and an expanded Leadership Summit featuring a "Deep Dive" career development and mentoring workshop.
“The Network's fifth anniversary was a year of growth – and we could not have done it without your support, efforts and participation,” Angelus concluded. “We're looking forward to 2007 being the best year yet!”
For sponsor support or information on how to become a NEW sponsor, contact Executive Director Joan Toth at (312) 693-5393. For information on membership activities or joining the Network as an individual, contact Anna Duran (713) 888-5305.
© Copyright 2007 by the Network of Executive Women. All rights reserved.