Women’s Business Connection Boasts Tradition of Relationship-Building; New Members Sought

Mark Hostutler
Some original members of the Women's Referral Network pose for a picture at a recent luncheon of the Women's Business Connection. Image via Trish Kozola, Images By Trish.

The Women’s Business Connection of Chester County has been connecting hundreds of local women throughout the last 30-plus years.

The nonprofit’s members are professional women, who range from corporate executives to entrepreneurs, who are dedicated to building relationships based on their commitment to each other’s success.

The WBC’s events offer women the opportunity to network, socialize, laugh, and grow, both personally and professionally.

“Any woman can get involved,” said Diana Mattingly, a Vice President and Market Manager at First Resource Bank who was recently elected President of the WBC. “If you come to one of our events, you’ll immediately feel welcomed.”

The WBC’s roots date back to the mid-1980s, when there were few business networking opportunities tailored specifically for women. Two women, Ann Fray Shiffer and Diane Hanson, wanted to start a women’s networking organization in Chester County. They called it the Women’s Referral Network.

In 1987, they sent out mailings and an article in the Daily Local News helped spread the word. Hoping for at least 25 women to show up at the first meeting, the two were shocked when 53 attended. After that, the WRN grew steadily.

In 2013, the Women’s Referral Network became the Women’s Business Connection to promote its mission of organically connecting businesses through authentic and genuine women’s networking experiences, as opposed to the misconception that referrals are a prerequisite.

A big part of the WBC’s mission is outreach.

“The Women’s Business Connection is very active in the community,” said Mattingly. “We’ve been involved with and supported several organizations.”

Whether it’s through a clothing drive, fundraising efforts, or physical labor, the WBC’s members have helped a number of organizations throughout the years, including the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County and the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls.

“We have a high level of participation in the Women’s Business Connection,” said Mattingly. “And we are always looking for new members.”

The WBC is also accepting nominations for a new Community Outreach Partner, as well as for its Business Woman of the Year Award.

Click here to learn more about the Women’s Business Connection.

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