On Tuesday, May 24, the Clayton Hotel played host to a gathering of over 60 Jewish women, of all ages and stages of life, for a special edition of Network & Nosh, presented jointly by JEWISHcolorado Women’s Philanthropy and our Young Adult Division (YAD). With a focus on networking, mentoring, and relationship-building, the event saw panelists addressing such hot button topics as disability and ageism, work-life balance, and non-linear professional journeys—and attendees connecting across generations, industries, and walks of life.
Network & Nosh: Woman to Woman was organized by YAD Director Jenna Raimist and Women’s Philanthropy Director Roberta Witkow in a first-ever (but not last-ever) collaboration between the two programs.
“We knew that an event like this one would leverage the strengths of both constituencies. And—no surprise—the room was filled with amazing and amazingly accomplished women, each of whom brought something special to the table,” said Raimist.
Moderated by professional networking coach Alyce Blum Guerrero, the evening’s panel included Jess Strouse, senior brand manager for Silk at Danone; Lori Frisher, president and founder of Ready or Not Media; Barbara Brooks, CEO and co-founder of SecondActWomen, Jennifer Feingold, family law attorney at Feingold Horton, PLLC; and Kelli Trotsky Pfaff, project director at The Efshar Project. Blum Guerrero kicked off the discussion with a story about storytelling and a quote from author, speaker, and educator Patti Digh: “The shortest distance between two people is a story.”
And the evening’s stories, elicited from panelists and participants by Blum Guerrero’s generous and thoughtful questioning, proved that connection between people, communities, and even societies is at the heart of community-building. Attendees entered the room individually and in pairs; they stayed long after the panel concluded, exchanging advice and contact information, and exited together.
Panelist Lori Frisher said that she was genuinely moved to see and hear “wonderful women sharing their truth,” a sentiment echoed by Jennifer Feingold, who called herself “honored, humbled, and inspired by the powerhouse women” with whom she shared the stage.
Said co-organizer Witkow, “I couldn’t have imagined a more moving and meaningful way to begin moving forward in this brave, new world we all have to navigate now. It’s always been difficult to be a womanoperating in what is essentially a man’s world. But it’s also always been clear that women, working together, have the power to change that world for the better. We just need to keep reminding ourselves of that. And I don’t know about the rest of the attendees, but I’m leaving this evening energized by our potential to do good. For each other and with each other.”