ILCA Women’s Networking Group


WNG Fall Program–Don’t Miss It! by Michelle Scott
October 2, 2009, 2:16 pm
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Now that the ‘busy season’ is winding down, it’s time for the Women’s Networking Group to come together—it’s been a little over a year since we’ve given you all the opportunity to really network with one another.

So, for the Fall Program we’re tying together networking and volunteerism.

WNG Fall Program
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Elk Grove Park District
1000 Wellington Ave
Elk Grove Village, IL

7:30 am (registration)
8:00 am (volunteerism program)
9:00 am (networking)

Why volunteerism and networking you ask? Well, let me count the ways:

  1. Achievement
  2. Recognition and feedback
  3. Personal growth
  4. Giving something back
  5. Bringing about social change
  6. Family ties
  7. Friendship, support, bonding and a feeling of belonging

In today’s tough  economic climate it’s hard to give monetarily so many people are giving their time, expertise, and energy instead. The above reasons are but a small portion of why people volunteer.

The WNG has set up a great panel of women who volunteer for different organizations, both locally and internationally, that have ties to the green industry. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to learn about their programs and get involved.

In addition, networking and volunteerism have always gone hand-in-hand…both have their foundation in grassroots efforts and both are a necessary component to a well-rounded personal and professional life. Plus, let’s face it…sometimes you just want to commiserate with your fellow women in the industry!

More information about the program and registration information click here or here.

We look forward to seeing you at the program. Please take the time to join us so you can re-connect with your peers and learn about the volunteer opportunities available to you.

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How your cause can benefit from social media by Michelle Scott
May 21, 2009, 2:32 pm
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One of the phrases we hear thrown about in the political arena is “grassroots organizing”.  Those are great words when something actually backs them up…like action. Action is what makes any campaign get off the ground, whether it be a political campaign, a fundraiser, or even just getting your organization/group out in front of the public.

The problem with this type of campaign begins when people don’t quite know how to go about getting something off the ground. They’re not sure where to start; they’re not sure what to say initially; and they sometimes don’t have a lot of time to put into it.

In this day and age…beginning a grassroots campaign is no longer a major issue or time consuming endeavor because of social media/networking. With a few clicks of the mouse and a some keystrokes anyone can feasibly begin a grassroots campaign that may be seen by thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people.

A few examples of how something small can gain momentum are put forth in The Learned Fangirl’s recent blog post. TLF has some excellent examples of how something small and seemingly insignificant can have a huge impact.

My favorite example is a small scale campaign that I had the pleasure of participating in. A friend teaches kindergarten in a school that didn’t have the funds to really support creative and artistic endeavors in the classroom. A small group of people were discussing the great drawings of this group of 5 year olds and felt one of them would make a great t-shirt. My friend rallied up her friends to find a t-shirt company and a method of selling the shirts with all net proceeds going to buy art supplies for her classroom.  She was a member of several online communities and put the word out…and in the end, made $3000 in a month’s time.  And the t-shirt we purchased to wear with pride was this, as drawn by a five year old in her class…

Normal

So, what can you do to tap into this type of grassroots marketing for your company, your group, your organization? A lot of things!

  • Start a twitter account, get your customers/members to sign up and/or link to your account and send special offers, information, and updates through it
  • Create a Facebook page.  Invite people to become a part of the Facebook group or page. Regularly post information, ideas,  questions to encourage people to engage in a dialogue
  • Join the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) or attend some of their events. They’re the experts on viral marketing of this nature and have a lot of great ideas to share in an effort to help you escalate your exposure
  • Join LinkedIn and create a network of thousands of people. I have only 15 people I’m directly linked to, but via their connections, my network is at 300,000 people. That’s a lot of people you can tap into by simply connecting with a few people!
  • and of course…start a blog! Blogging does take a little more time and effort, but can also lead to some great payoffs in the end.

Business as we know it is not going to be the frontrunner for much longer. These quick and easy, down and dirty methods of getting out there and connected are the wave of the future.  And that wave is coming quicker and quicker the more technology evolves. Jump on your social networking surfboard and ride it. Sure you might fall, get metaphorical water up your nose, and make mistakes…but in the end you’ll get the hang of it and gain exposure, business, friends, and some savvy skills.



Grandma Goes Green
March 20, 2009, 2:50 pm
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The word “GREEN” is conjuring up several images for me today: my Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the GREEN industry, the vernal equinox, being “green” to the industry (and to blogging), and the recent MELA (Midwest Ecological Landscaping Association) Annual Conference. At the conference, it was exciting to learn about the sustainability initiatives being put forth by an amazing group of passionately green professionals! As I listened to the keynote speaker, Lois Vitt Sale, discuss the industry’s task of setting standards and creating a common language, I felt like I was part of a new collective, forging new territory. How thrilling for this “Green Grandma”! Check out these websites for more info on the upcoming Susatainable Sites Initiatives. And don’t forget that Horticultural Therapy Week is March 15th -21st. Isn’t Green great? melaweb.org; sustainablesites.org



Let Me Introduce You
January 29, 2009, 4:48 pm
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Since you’ve happened upon the blog for the ILCA Women’s Networking Group (WNG), let me take a moment to introduce you to what we’re all about.

The ILCA WNG is an ancillary group of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA). The group was created in 2008  to focus  solely on helping women in the Green Industry achieve their goals. Whether it may be climbing the career ladder, balancing work and personal life, mentoring, or networking, the ILCA WNG is here to create an open and communicative environment for women to learn and grown.

We hope you’ll join us online and in-person to learn more about this group and about yourself!

The Lovely Ladies of WNG

The Ladies of the WNG Committee: L-R, front-Kathy Wicks, Buy the Yard; Terre Houte, Hursthouse; Brenda McMahon, Montale Gardens; Michelle Scott, ILCA. L-R, back-Laura Weldon, Buy the Yard; Rebecca Eisele, Forstar; Laurin Robertson, Plandscapes. Unable to join the fun: Krista Orum-Keller, Midwest Groundcovers