Getting to know Rochester Women’s Network

Getting to know Rochester Women’s Network

We’re pretty lucky to be living in Rochester. With our rich history, wide range of companies to work for, and really amazing organizations to get involved in – you’d be wrong to say there isn’t anything to do or see here. One of the organizations that peaked my interest is Rochester Women’s Network. In the last few years, there has been an influx of women-run businesses and organizations that all focus on empowering women in their life and career. That’s exactly what RWN is all about.

Becoming involved in an organization can seem a little daunting. You have to go to networking events where you can feel like an outsider (I once went to a networking event where no one talked to me, even if I tried, and sat up at the bar and chatted with the bartender for 20 minutes then promptly left – not fun.), have forced conversations with strangers, and sometimes feel awkward, alone, and quite honestly, scared. It’s like the first day of school, where you wear your best outfit and try to make friends. I think we all know that making friends as adults isn’t the easiest, but when you get involved in a great organization, it can be slightly less terrifying.

Linda Heeler, the current president of RWN, sat down with me to chat about her path to becoming the President. Living in Avon, she felt like she lived in a bubble and having social anxiety really didn’t help the situation. She realized she needed a change, so decided to put herself out there and join a book club in DOWNTOWN ROCHESTER. Have you ever been to Avon? It’s a sleepy little community about 30 minutes from Rochester and it’s basically the opposite of our always moving downtown scene.  This book club opened up Linda’s world - she met a life coach there, which helped her realize she also wanted to become a Life Coach through Accomplishment Coaching. With the help of her own Life Coach, she was guided into starting her own Life Coaching business and helped push her to get involved with different organizations. With a little googling, Linda landed on Rochester Women’s Network webpage, and joined in 2010.

Rochester Women’s Network was established in 1978 after 9 women decided to grab lunch. After chatting, they decided to create a women-run conference, which had over 300 women in attendance. That’s the exact moment RWN came to life. Since then, the group has grown exponentially, and through the years they created Special Interest Groups (SIGs), newsletters, conferences, and so much more.  Linda spoke about RWN like it was her closest friend – RWN has supported Linda throughout the years, and without this group, she wouldn’t be where she is in her life.

A lot of people think joining a professional networking organization is all about happy hours and schmoozing each other, which some are and that’s completely okay. RWN is different – they have 13 committees for you to get involved in! They also always accept volunteers (finance, marketing, social media…) which is a huge boost to your own personal resume. Their memberships start at $145 which allows you to be a part of a Special Interest Group, get a 20% tuition discount at Nazareth College, zero networking fees, leadership opportunities, and endless mentors to chat with.

On January 10th, RWN will be hosting a SIG (Special Interested Group) Festival where you can explore becoming involved in RWN and their many SIGs. (Interested? CLICK HERE SIGs are a great way to meet RWN members who have the same interests as you! Currently, they have:













As you can see, RWN has so many opportunity for women in Rochester to truly flourish. After talking to Linda, you can see how much passion she has for the Rochester community and RWN.

Taken straight from their website: “In short, RWN is a partner and friend to women in all career stages. Whether you’re flourishing as a corporate or non-profit professional, new to the area, managing a household or your own company, ready to change jobs, or deciding which path to travel next in life, RWN works for you.”

Looking to get more information on Rochester Women’s Network? CLICK HERE (

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