W.net focuses on future with new exec
#dcf_The Women's Network in Electronic Transactions (W.net) recently appointed Shawn Taylor Zelman as Executive Director. Since 2004, Zelman has served as a consultant and Senior Director for Coulter, W.net's management company. She has worked with such clients as the National Association of Women Business Owners and Resolve: The National Infertility Association.
Marla Knutson, W.net President and TransFirst LLC President of Financial Institutions, stated, "W.net is so fortunate to have Shawn as our Executive Director. Her experience and background will complement our vision and strategies and help us move W.net to the next level."
Zelman noted that she has devoted her career to the nonprofit realm, focusing both professionally and educationally on nonprofit management and communications. "But this position has really brought together both of my strengths in nonprofit management and communications to promote and brand W.net, and to inspire women in the electronic transactions industry to maximize their potential," she said.
Going forward, W.net plans to continue expansion of its membership base; increase participation in the organization's career development, mentoring and networking events and programs; and build upon its foundation of corporate sponsorships, which currently include payment processors, POS terminal manufacturers and distributors, ISOs and other electronic payment-related businesses.
"We want to expand our outreach on the grassroots level, to strengthen our current LINCs [Local Interest Network Circles] and then expand in different areas," Zelman said. "And also really engage and promote W.net to the women in the industry who may not know we exist, so they get the word out that there is a home for them, and there are opportunities both for their professional career, as well as their personal work-life balance."
According to Zelman, the all-volunteer W.net board consists of 9 to 15 members who are appointed to serve two-year terms. Members also have an opportunity to participate at the committee level, which includes membership, mentoring, public relations, social media, resource development and a program planning committee that coordinates W.net's two national events: the annual Career & Leadership Summit and the Super LINC conference.
Recently, W.net extended its Gateway to Success mentoring program from six to nine months. The program matches mentors with protégés within the organization via an application process.
"We've extended the program so that it starts up in the fall and then extends through the start of summer when a lot of people go on vacation," said Peggy Bekavac Olson, W.net board member and founder of Strategic Marketing.
Olson, who has served as a mentor, added, "It's an opportunity for the protégé to drive the relationship and what they want to get out of it, whether that's over the phone, in person or via Skype. It is the role of the mentor to help them achieve those goals in whatever way they can."
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, W.net noted its dues and contributions are tax deductible. Member benefits also include an online newsletter that offers professional guidance and information about the payments industry, as well as access to an online career center where payments industry jobs are posted and members can post resumes. W.net hosts regional LINC events and invites nonmembers to attend. For more information, visit www.wnetonline.org.
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