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Group aims to pull together businesswomen

A new group aimed at helping The Dalles area businesswomen connect and socialize is receiving an “amazing response,” said group founder, Melissa Lee, who works with Northwestern Mutual Financial Services.

The first meeting of The Dalles Professional Women’s Alliance is tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 24, from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. at the French Quarter, the executive entertainment space in the historic Edward French House at 515 Liberty St.

The event will feature wine, appetizers, a chance to meet and greet each other, and to enjoy the artwork of acclaimed watercolorist Mary Rollins

“We thought we’d have maybe 10 or 12 people, but we’re looking at more than 25,” she said.

The event is drawing women for a variety of reasons and from different points in their career path. She said some women are interested in career changes, others are well-established and just looking for a social opportunity. Lee conceived the idea for the group from her own interests as a single mother of three working full-time.

“There’ve got to be women in the community going as crazy as I am who need support,” Lee said. She describes the group as an opportunity to “socialize, support, encourage and hear about what’s going on the in the community, and to build a strong support system among the local women in business.”

Wines from Dry Hollow Winery will be served. Northwestern Mutual is hosting the event.

Lee envisions the group having quarterly gatherings, with the possibility of other businesses serving as host.

“I feel like it’s really going to be a positive thing,” Lee said. “We can encourage each other and really build our relationships in the community.”

Lee is also working to develop a monthly newsletter that will showcase local women in business, as well as a directory of local businesswomen.

“That way everybody can be really plugged in and supportive of each other,” she said.

Those interested in attending the Oct. 24 gathering are asked to RSVP to Lee at Northwestern Mutual, 541-296-1966 or email Melissa.A.Lee@nm.com. Find more information on Facebook under The Dalles Professional Women’s Alliance.

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