By Amber Hoffman
Women's Alliance Network recently announced plans to launch more chapters nationwide.
The organization, which started in October 2008, currently has six chapters in San Diego County. "The momentum has been huge for launching only seven months ago," WAN
co-founder Kim Horner said.
"There is a real need for women to have a network that includes a social and business aspect."
WAN was founded by three friends who wanted to create a networking group that was designed exclusively for women.
Kim Horner is co-owner of C&H Gardens Artistic Landscape and Tree Service in Encinitas, Saundra Pelletier is an executive coach based in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Michelle Wilson is an independent fashion consultant.
The group is not only designed for women business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals, but for any women looking to meet other like-minded women. It was important to the founders that WAN included both social and business members.
"It's open to all women," Pelletier said.
"There's no secret society or handshake. We have a lady who just moved to town and asked if she needed a referral to join. She loved the fact that it was for every woman."
WAN founders wanted meetings to have three specific components: Each member showcases her business at some point during the year, speed networking (think speed dating) and guest speakers each quarter.
Each chapter of WAN meets at a different time during the day in order to accommodate women with a variety of schedules.
For example, the Carlsbad chapter meets in the mornings, the La Jolla chapter holds luncheons and the Encinitas chapter meets for dinner or cocktails. Each chapter meets monthly or bimonthly.
Currently there are chapters in Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach, but WAN plans to soon expand statewide and eventually nationwide.
WAN held a business expo on April 19, which showcased the products and services offered by network members.
WAN will also hold a cocktail party to celebrate its launch on May 16 at When in Rome restaurant at 1108 S. Coast Highway 101, in Encinitas.
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