In the short time since its first meeting in October 2010, the Chapman Executive Women’s Association (CEWA) has been building its membership and laying plans for offering public events on leadership.
“Our current primary membership target is graduates of either the Executive MBA (EMBA) or Professional MBA (PMBA) offered in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University,” said Jacqueline Cabrera (EMBA ’10), senior business analyst, Florida Power & Light Co. and the organization’s president.
In late March 2011, the group hosted its first social event—a “Meet and Greet” at Novecento in Coral Gables—to introduce graduates of the EMBA and PMBA programs in the Chapman Graduate School to the association. This membership drive, intended to increase the group’s “critical mass,” according to Cabrera, was a success, with several new members signing up.
In addition to the informal event, the group plans quarterly workshops or lectures on leadership to help address the specific challenges women executives face.
The first such presentation, slated for April 27, 2011, features Sherry Harriman, divisional vice president of Walmart Supply Chain, whose topic is “What’s Next for Me?”
“Once you reach a certain point in your career, you do have to focus on your personal priorities, and that’s what we will be getting insights into,” Cabrera said.
Group offers members chance to gain, give back.
Karen Cantor (EMBA ’10), one of CEWA’s founding members, obtained her degree while she had teenage children, her twenty-year marriage ended and the company for which she worked acquired its largest competitor giving her added responsibilities as part of the integration team.
“After graduation, it occurred to me that other women may have doubts or fears that the commitment to get an MBA is too much or they may push off the idea until ‘someday,’” she said. “I wanted to be a part of an organization that would encourage women to further their education; to provide advice and support for middle-aged business women who would benefit from receiving an MBA; and to mentor women who enter the MBA program at FIU. CEWA can provide that.”