By Jill Nagy
For nearly 10 years, the Women in Business
Committee of the Chamber of Southern
Saratoga County has provided opportunities
for networking, learning and community
service to businesswomen in the Saratoga
The Women in Business Committee was
created in 2004. Chamber staff members
organized it and invited Chamber members
Membership is open to all members
and committee events are also open to
all. There are about 50 women on the
committee. Wendy Wilms, from Cengage
Learning, is this year’s volunteer committee
Baskets of Hope is the major charitable undertaking of the committee. Every three months, the committee delivers baskets or gift bags containing personal care items to the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis (DVRC) Services of Saratoga organization.
The women who must utilize the services of DVRC “flee for their safety with nothing,” said Liz Roggenbuck, a committee member and the chamber’s staff liaison with the project. Baskets of Hope “provides a little something for their immediate needs.”
In August, the committee provides about 100 backpacks filled with school supplies for children at the shelter. And every January, they arrive with laundry baskets filled with household supplies, called New Beginnings Baskets, for women leaving the shelter for new homes of their own.
“The members of the Women in Business Committee are heartened to see that the Baskets of Hope program continues to strike a chord with our chamber members, as well as members of the community,” Roggenbuck said.
The program is supported by donations from chamber members and others in the local community.
“The busy professional Chamber women, who make up the committee, appreciate the fact that they are able to give back during their work day and help women and children in the community who are suffering because of domestic violence issues. The program also brings to light the important work that the DVRC does year round to provide help to victims of domestic violence,” Maggie Fronk, executive director of DVRC, is a member of the chamber committee.
The committee is also preparing for its premier annual event, the Women in Business Fall Luncheon on Oct. 21. The executive director of the Center for Women in Business of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Roberta Zenn Phillips, will be the featured speaker at the luncheon, to be held at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.
About a half-dozen smaller events are scheduled by the committee throughout the year. The next meeting is a “brown bag” Seminar on March 17. Gudi Clements, a chamber member, will give a presentation titled “Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say.” The program is open to all Chamber members and takes place at the Chamber offices, at 15 Park Ave. in Clifton Park.
Further information about the Chamber and its Women in Business Committee is available at www.southernsaratoga.org or by telephone at 371-7748.