by LINDA FRABL | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Born over iced tea after an intense yoga session in February 2011, the Scripps Ranch Women’s Networking Group (“SRWNG”) has become an amazing reality. Julia Carson, a yoga instructor, and Carmela Kramer, a realtor, conceptualized the idea of creating the networking group for professional women in Scripps Ranch – now in its second year.

“Scripps Ranch Women Networking Group first and foremost is dedicated to encouraging and empowering women small business professionals to create heartfelt, meaningful relationships with one another that will, in turn, strengthen their businesses as well as their communities” Kramer said.

The group meets from 8 – 9:30 a.m. once per month. The time is allotted for members to socialize, network and enjoy a light breakfast. After a short business meeting, each member is given a chance to briefly tell the group who they are, what their business is, and how the group can help them.

Additionally, every meeting features a “Presenter of the Month”, in which a member presents a topic of her choice for 20 minutes in front of the group. “Everyone is typically eager to be a presenter because the sooner we learn about what they are doing, the sooner we can refer customers to them,” Kramer mentioned. To increase overall attendance to these presentations, announcements are posted in local publications, as well as on the group’s website, www.srwnetworking.org. Past presenters include Paula Sassi, a Certified Graphologist who discussed handwriting analysis; Etta McQueary, a health and fitness educator; and Vicki Winkelman, a certified financial planner.

Initially, the networking group was exclusively for Scripps Ranch women but after growing in size and success, interest from residents and business owners in surrounding communities began to increase. The group decided that if a woman’s business was located in Scripps Ranch or she lived in a nearby community, they would be accepted into the group, as long as their profession wasn’t already represented.

“Our model allows only one profession to be represented,” added Carson. “This is so we can promote each woman’s profession exclusively. We even have a waiting list!”

As the only networking group exclusively for women in Scripps Ranch, these friendly females ultimately aim to provide supportive guidance for each other. “At the end of a meeting, it’s sometimes hard to get people to leave because they are very energized and eager to help another member out,” Kramer explained.