Business

All about connections

Kathy Salazar is helping women in business connect and market themselves through Women’s Networking, a group she created seven years ago. - Photo by Rachel Brant
Kathy Salazar is helping women in business connect and market themselves through Women’s Networking, a group she created seven years ago.
— image credit: Photo by Rachel Brant

In the business world, it’s all about connections, according to Kathy Salazar.

With that thought in mind, she created Women’s Networking, a group that helps businesswomen make the necessary connections to watch their businesses flourish.

“It’s all about connections,” Salazar said. “It’s not what your business name is, but who you know.”

Salazar created Women’s Networking about seven years ago. At that time, she was president of Silverdale’s Business and Professional Women group. She looked at other networking groups and was not impressed with what she found.

“It was really hard to connect with other women who would want or need your service,” she said.

Salazar decided to create a local and affordable networking group for business professionals.

“I decided that I needed to create a networking group so that you’d have a place to go,” she said. “We needed to have a rural, local, affordable network that connects women in business.”

Many local businesswomen showed interest in the group, but more people began creating networking groups and their membership rate dropped.

“There’s so many other things that are out there, but from what I hear it’s (Women’s Networking) still the best resource for networking for women,” Salazar said.

Women’s Networking has monthly meetings for women to connect and market their businesses.

“It’s just a fun time for women to get together,” Salazar said. “It feeds what people need in this real technological world for those personal interactions.”

The Web site, www.womensnetworking.com, also provides “business-to-business connections” and allows members to advertise themselves and their businesses.

“We’re just basically a resource and education company,” Salazar said. “It’s an affordable way to advertise yourself in business.”

More than 200 local women are members of the networking group including Realtors, local and national speakers, mortgage professionals and dog sitters. Although the meetings are for women only, men are allowed to participate through the Web site.

“We’re a non-exclusive group,” Salazar said. “The meetings are for women only but we do let men advertise on our Web site.”

Women’s Networking is having a membership drive and now has meetings in Gig Harbor and Olympia.

“It’s building pretty slowly, but in a good way,” Salazar said.

Women’s Networking also helps women begin careers. Local women attended meetings and found jobs by making connections with other business professionals.

“We’ve had women come to the group and get jobs through connections they’ve made,” Salazar said. “It’s a resource for your life.”

Salazar hopes to set up a Women’s Networking scholarship fund for those attending Olympic College as well as participate in other community service activities. The networking group is constantly changing to meet the needs of its members.

“It’s ever-evolving because we’re always trying to make it better for the members so it’ll work for them,” she said.

Salazar said Women’s Networking has been called a “for-profit community service” because the group helps people connect and expand their businesses.

“It’s just a real affordable way to market yourself and your business if that’s what you want to do,” she said.

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