The 2012 Empowerment Grant recipients were:
Despite working in different areas of communications, two of the 2012 New York Women in Communications Foundation Member Empowerment Grant winners both sought to enhance their skills so they could “be on the same wavelength” and “speak the same language” as their consultants and clients.
“I’ve streamlined how I work with designers and clients and definitely have more impact now,” admits Joanne Sephine (at left, middle), VP Creative at Bionic Design, who used her grant to take three state-of-the-art Adobe Creative Suite courses.
Amy Conaboy (at left, top), Social Media & Web Manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, says her coursework in website coding, creation and content management “was really helpful in troubleshooting real-life questions” and making her less pigeonholed.
Both Joanne and Amy encourage seasoned NYWICI members to advance their careers by applying for a Member Empowerment Grant. Joanne suggests “having clear goals and then making a strong case for how a grant will help achieve those goals.” Amy, who managed to apply on her I-phone while nursing a broken foot on vacation in Hawaii, urges applicants to “just go for it.”
Proving it’s never too late to carve out a new direction, Beth-Ellen Keyes (at left, bottom), Managing Director of SpeakerSpace, a conference management consultancy, used her 2012 NYWICI Foundation Empowerment Grant to change the course of her career. She enrolled in the Fundraising & Philanthropy Certificate Program at NYU’s Heyman Center. The grant has helped Beth-Ellen learn new skills and “re-orient my current business structure away from conference development and more solidly into the non-profit arena,” she says. “I’ve even secured a new client referred by one of my professors.”
While setting a new course for herself, Beth-Ellen will also be able to pay it forward. She currently serves as VP-Development on the New York Women in Communications Foundation Board and has begun the Foundation’s first-ever formalized individual giving and endowment program. “I’m beginning to hold meetings with potential donors and ask for gifts,” explains Beth-Ellen. “It’s a slow process, but great to get it started.” Beth-Ellen is the first to point out that her education in this new area must continue. It’s that attitude that she suggests to future empowerment grant applicants. “Be really honest and rigorous in assessing your current skills and what you are lacking,” she offers, “and then consider a grant to augment those areas.”