ILCA Women’s Networking Group


A Call to Service
April 24, 2009, 4:14 am
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By Rebecca Eisele

Whether you agree with our current President’s politics or not, I think we can all agree that his call to service should not be ignored.  There are so many people and so many causes that need our help.  With the state of our economy, charitable organizations are feeling the pinch of decreasing donations at the exact moment when their services are needed the most.   Money is short all around these days.  In previous years when you may have written a check, this year you may consider lending your time and skills.

Service is by no means a one way street.  Developing a spirit of service within yourself is one of the most rewarding endeavors you can pursue.    The old adages “to give is to receive” and “you get what you give,” are not just clever paradoxes.  Through my experiences with the leadership council, I was reminded of the true joy that comes from giving of yourself.  We work in a service industry and it is so easy to just go through the motions of servicing our clients.  It takes time to truly listen to and serve your customers, but it is time well spent.

It feels good!   Who doesn’t love that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from doing the right thing?  And today’s hyper-connected world is making it easier and easier to find the volunteer opportunity that best matches your skills and interests.  A friend of mine loves to quilt, she dreams quilts, it feeds her soul.  She recently began creating blankets for babies in Appalachia.  She is doing something that is good for herself and helps those less fortunate.  A true win/win situation!  

This brings me to some questions I have for myself and you.  What do we as women have to give?  What is our unique role as women?  What is our unique role as women in the green industry?  How are other women in your life serving the greater good?  How are you serving your community?  We as the Illinois Landscape Contractor’s Association Women’s Networking Group Committee (wow what a mouthful) want to know what you think.

Please check out these websites for a variety of service opportunities:

http://www.serve.gov/

http://www.volunteermatch.org/

http://www.onebrick.org/index.asp?RegionID=3



Why Network?
February 27, 2009, 10:53 pm
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In today’s climate of economic uncertainty, I believe the unique support systems women create are more important than ever. I was laid off for the first time this winter and the relationships I have cultivated through my affiliation with the Illinois Landscape Contractor’s Association (ILCA), Kishwaukee College, and other various contacts made during my career have proved invaluable. Throughout this transition so many women (and men) offered their support and help. Because of these connections I was able to find employment relatively quickly. These relationships that have been built over months and years proved to be a strong safety net in a time of need.

What makes women’s support systems unique? The relationships women build go beyond the average business conversation and small talk. These relationships often blur the line between personal and professional. After all, it’s easier to balance your life when it’s one integrated whole rather than a bunch of social balls you’re forced to juggle. Women tend to have a wider range of social bonds, not just others our age, in our life stage, or in our occupation. Social bonds are important to women, we define and judge ourselves by the relationships we form and keep. The ILCA Women’s Networking Group (WNG) creates an arena to forge new relationships and nurture existing ones.

It is easy in times of economic crisis to withdraw and “hunker down,” but now it is more important than ever to get out and strengthen these relationships. At the end of the day, it’s the relationships we have in our lives that really count. Whether attending an educational event and learning new information to help your business grow or blowing off some steam at a social event, get to know your colleagues a little better. You can never know who could use your help or who could help you.