In an era in which “networking” often just means the exchange of business cards, a group of female executives have started an organization to help each other truly meet their full potential. Graduates with master’s degrees from the Chapman Graduate School at Florida International University (FIU) have launched CEWA, the Chapman Executive Women’s Association.
“We formed a strong bond when working on our Executive MBAs (EMBA),” said Jacqueline Cabrera (EMBA ’10), a senior business analyst at Florida Power and Light. “We want that connection to not only continue but also to include other grads.”
When Cabrera and others from the 2010 class took their idea for an organization to Joyce J. Elam, executive dean of FIU’s College of Business Administration, they received an enthusiastic response. In fact, Elam hosted 30 members at the first CEWA meeting at a brunch in her home.
“That was a remarkable turnout for a kick-off meeting,” said Michelle R. Joubert (MBA ’10), assistant director of alumni relations for the college. “It shows how much an organization like CEWA is needed.”
Joubert pointed out that most female executives in the Chapman Executive Women’s Association work in a male-dominated business environment or are entrepreneurs, and to find support from one another delivers a powerful advantage.
Women with a graduate degree from the Chapman Graduate School and at least seven years of management experience are invited to join CEWA. For the coming year, invitations will be extended to EMBA alumnae; in the future, CEWA will be open to other women with advanced business degrees from FIU and at least seven years of management experience.
“As well as quarterly meetings, we’re planning workshops to help female executives expand their knowledge base,” Cabrera said. “We’ll also be involved with the business school at FIU, and eventually we’ll mentor female business students.”
The group plans to host a web site; information can now be found on their Facebook page.
Founding members to initially lead CEWA.
In addition to President Jacqueline Cabera, officers are Vice President Yolanda Foster, Treasurer Rocio Goni and Secretary Karen Cantor.
Founding members include Stefanie Anding, Rocio Goni, Olga Gonzalez, Joanne Mena, Suzette Millo, Trudy Sankey and Mildred Zayas.