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NAWBO, Red Key Network collaborate on women’s wellness event

By Amanda Bates  |  Photo by Doug Khrenovsky

How many times in a week do you tell yourself, “I wish I could get a workout in today, but …” or “I need a mental break right now, but …”?

The truth is that most professional women have a gap in their lives. We all aspire to live healthier, but when it comes down to it, we put other commitments and other people first. It’s certainly not a fault, but it is a mindset that prevents women in the working world from taking steps toward closing that gap between how healthy they want to be, and how healthy they actually are.

Two women’s organizations in Northeast Ohio are joining forces to shift that mentality. The Cleveland Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Red Key Network, an organization for professional women who live or work in Geauga County, have pooled their resources and enthusiasm to plan the Northeast Ohio Women’s Wellness Event on Oct. 30.

Lisa Mallis, who does programming for meetings and educational events for both organizations, has been one of the driving forces behind the collaboration.

“Two strong organizations together can do much more together than either one could have done on their own,” Mallis says. “We are able to do a much bigger and better event.”

The basis for this event is perhaps best summed up by its tagline, “Healthy Women Succeed.” Unlike many women’s wellness expos, the NAWBO and Red Key event is designed specifically for women to take a break from their professional commitments and focus on practical ways they can improve their health and feel successful physically, mentally and emotionally.

It’s not the type of health fair that leaves attendees with a welcome bag full of coupons for smoothies and workout gear and no ideas on the steps they can take to actually incorporate healthful habits into your life.

“Knowing the backgrounds of everyone on the committee, it’s clear that it’s a big hurdle for people to take a half day and look for ways to be healthy,” Mallis says. “This event is about taking the time for yourself.”

The uniqueness of the event stems from the diversity of each group’s members. NAWBO is comprised of all female business owners, but geographically they can be from any part of Northeast Ohio. Red Key Network members are from various professional backgrounds – not just business owners – but they all reside or work in Geauga County.

For instance, Karen Hummel, the marketing chair for the Northeast Ohio Women’s Wellness Event, practices law in Chardon and sits on Red Key Network’s board. “It has been energizing to work with this talented group of women,” she says.

Red Key has stayed true to its commitment to hosting events within Geauga County. The venue, Parkside Church in Chagrin Falls, will be set up to welcome women from 9 a.m. to 2 pm.

Although all details have yet to be finalized, the event committee was thrilled with the submissions they received for the breakout sessions.

“One of the things we’re excited about is that we have a good mix of traditional and nontraditional ideas,” Mallis says. “If you want to learn about something you haven’t been exposed to, it’s here.”

The ideas involve everything from the latest fitness trends to EFT tapping to meditation. The keynote speaker, Margaret McKenzie, will discuss the “Anatomy of a De-stressed Life.”

Mallis also emphasizes that attendees will walk away from the Women’s Wellness Event with something tangible and valuable. She hopes that women learn new ways to be healthy that they can implement that same day.

This is the first time NAWBO and Red Key have joined forces. Although these organizations vie for the same market share, rather than compete they’ve put their energy and talents into creating an event that’s beneficial for all women.

“It’s a big deal,” Mallis says. “Both boards had to look at the bigger picture of what we could do together rather than holding tight to what we already have.”

The easy collaboration might have something to do with Mallis’s dual membership, but the event committee – which is comprised of members from both organizations – is equally as energetic.

“We both have so many members with fantastic skills, and I’m enjoying watching the details of the event fall into place,” Hummel says.

In addition to creating the Northeast Ohio Women’s Wellness Event, working together has also allowed both organizations to grow.

“Each group knows more about the other group, and likes what we see,” Mallis says.

Mallis anticipates a very positive response to the event, and would like to see it grow year after year. She and Hummel believe the strong relationship that’s developed between NAWBO and Red Key will lead to more collaborative events in the future.

“On my own, I couldn’t have done anything close to what these women are doing, and envisioning,” Mallis says.

What NAWBO and Red Key envision is a community in Northeast Ohio that empowers women to value their personal well being, as well as their professional development.

For more information: healthywomensucceed.com

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