Kudos to Nicole Fusco and Team Gallagher


Congratulations to Nicole Fusco and her team, Team Gallagher, for receiving the Top Fundraising Company at our Bowl to END EPILEPSY fundraiser held on June 10th at SpareTime Latham!  Nicole and her teammates raised $1,030!

Top Company Team - Team Gallagher

Come support the WBC Adopted Non-Profit at their next fundraiser:

Walk To End Epilepsy on Sunday, September 8th

Register here!


Women are formidable

From the desk of Julia Hayden, Director, Community Relations and Resource Development-Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County

Often times women feel as though they have climbed a few mountains of “to do’s” before 5:00am!  Women start the day with feet to the ground and ready to move.  Today women have taken multi-tasking to a new height.   Climbing up mountains, climbing up corporate ladders, climbing to reach glass ceilings – all to summit, reach the top or breakthrough.  Women are formidable.  Across all sectors and walks of life, women are leading the way in action, fortitude, and inspiration.
This link is a woman’s experience as a professional climber, describing how she surmounted the stigma of being female (and pregnant) in a male-dominated sphere.
Read the article here.
                    Dakota Snyder

Join Us. Make a difference. End Epilepsy.

…“My name is Cathy Sheehy, andCathy Sheehy - Headshot I have epilepsy…I’ve never been comfortable with saying that out loud, let alone in front of people. I’m becoming more comfortable with my diagnosis after 30 years. Yes, it has taken me that long to get here. Here is my story.”…

Board Member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York, Cathy Sheehy, spoke yesterday at the Women’s Business Council event “If you Don’t Manage Your Chaos Your Chaos Will Manage You!” Cathy had the opportunity to share her story on behalf of the 2019 Adopted Non Profit, The Epilepsy Foundation. She is a perfect reminder that epilepsy can affect anyone with a brain and anyone with a brain can affect epilepsy.

The Epilepsy Foundation is gearing up for their summer/fall fundraising events. Sponsorship opportunities for both the Bowl to END EPILEPSY and Walk to END EPILEPSY are available. Contact Susan at skaczynski@epilepsyneny.org to continue the conversation.

Join Us. Make a difference. End epilepsy.

epilepsy postcard

Submit Your Story for Voices in the Crowd


Submit Your Story!  

In preparation for our Voices in the Crowd event, we want to hear from you! 

Please share your story and you could be chosen to be featured as a speaker at our event on Tuesday, November 12th from 11:30am – 1:00pm at Wolferts Roost Country Club, 120 Van Rensselaer Boulevard, Albany.

This year’s theme is Rising Against the Tide. Your story should be told from your heart and tie back to business in order to align with the true mission of the Women’s Business Council. Your story should be 2 minutes in total. Call our Voices in the Crowd Submission Portal at 518-218-6622.

Talent is overrated, mental strength is critical

Businesswoman using mobile phone communication technology

Photo: https://www.rawpixel.com/

Do you have grit?

James Clear writes, “Research is starting to reveal that your mental toughness — or “grit” as they call it — plays a more important role than anything else when it comes to achieving your goals in health, business, and life. That’s good news because you can’t do much about the genes you were born with, but you can do a lot to develop mental toughness.”


The article was written using Angela Duckworth’s research on Grit.  You can see her Ted Talk that is posted on her website by clicking on her name.

“What is grit?” she writes.

Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals.

One way to think about grit is to consider what grit isn’t.

Grit isn’t talent. Grit isn’t luck. Grit isn’t how intensely, for the moment, you want something.

Instead, grit is about having what some researchers call an”ultimate concern”–a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do. And grit is holding steadfast to that goal. Even when you fall down. Even when you screw up. Even when progress toward that goal is halting or slow.

Talent and luck matter to success. But talent and luck are no guarantee of grit. And in the very long run, I think grit may matter at least as much, if not more.

View at Medium.com

Chair Chat: Announcing the “Friend of the WBC” Initiative


From the desk of Amanda Goyer, Director of Community Engagement at CAP COM Federal Credit Union and Chair of the Women’s Business Council.

In honor of National Women’s History Month, the Women’s Business Council would like to share one of the innovative ways we are contributing to lift women up and empower them through our programming.

Over the past two years, the Women’s Business Council has been piloting a program that we call “Friend of the WBC.” I’m honored to share this collaborative effort and the impact that it has had on women (and men) during our pilot phase which we are proud to bring to light.

We Listened:  At the end of 2016, the WBC Steering Committee leadership hosted a strategic planning session where we focused on what we wanted to “Start” and what we wanted to “Stop.” The conversation was driven by survey responses we had obtained from our audiences throughout the year paired with analysis of what other programming, training and opportunities were currently being offered to women in our region. Finally, we identified where the gaps existed. One immediate area of improvement that our group recognized as a priority was the need to focus on diversity and inclusion, and this is an ongoing effort we continue to work toward. We knew that we had access to a pool of individuals that we were missing the mark on and could immediately fix. That is how we started brainstorming around what would become “Friend of the WBC.”

We Collaborated to Remove Barriers:  We worked to be more inclusive within our non-profit demographic. The WBC is known for our Adopted Non-Profit initiative where we partner with a non-profit organization in our region annually to help them raise awareness about their cause. Part of the benefit of being an Adopted Non-Profit partner is that you receive two complimentary tickets to each WBC program. We knew we could take this a step further, and through the power of collaboration, gain support to provide funding for more non-profit partners and their clients they serve to attend our programming, programming that is aimed at providing opportunity and education for women in business. We were halfway there, we had a plan in place to find individual “sponsors” to purchase tickets to eliminate the expense of our programming and enable 10 non-profit organizations and/or clients to attend each of our programs throughout the year as “Friends of the WBC.” We had a plan in place to provide these women access to professional business attire and to have WBC mentors greet these women and make them feel as comfortable as possible during events.

 We Conducted Research:  Initially, we were thinking of all of the ways this new initiative could benefit women in transition, women that were perhaps part of the services that some of our non-profit partners like the YWCA-GCR, Women’s Employment Resource Center (WERC), Mission Accomplished Transition Services, Schenectady City Mission, St. Paul’s Center, HATAS and beyond offer. We knew we could offer them access to networking, education and opportunity, but on the other side of the coin, we knew there would be barriers that we would have to address to make this fully accessible and comfortable.

That is when we invited Mike Saccocio, Executive Director/CEO of Schenectady City Mission in to review our thoughts. Mike addressed what we all needed to hear that morning and he flipped our thought process upside down. He said something along the lines of, “Stop thinking about how you will benefit them, and start thinking about how they will benefit you.” Our intentions were good, but I can tell you firsthand, I’m certain that the WBC has learned more from our “Friends of the WBC” than they have learned from us. These women (and men) have wisdom, perseverance, and strength beyond measure. Mike walked us through an exercise his team conducts with clients at the City Mission. They draw their “current state” and then they draw their “future state” and envision how their life can look ahead with the right support system, goals, and opportunities. That day, the WBC envisioned our future state and “The Friend of the WBC” came to life.

We Delivered:  Since 2016, we have had nearly 100 “Friends of the WBC” attend our programming. Tickets have been funded by the generosity of our WBC Steering Committee members and our networks. Women have shared with us that our programming gave them the courage to update their resume and start their job search. Other women have reported back that they are starting to take steps to move back into the workforce due to connections they made at our programming. Others have said simply, thank you for giving me this chance.

Our Mission:  The Friend of the Women’s Business Council (WBC) came from a place of wanting to reach out to, be more inclusive of and empower more women in the Capital Region. We recognize that not everyone can afford or access WBC programming- programming that is designed to inform, inspire and empower women in our community. The Friend of the WBC effort allows individuals and organizations to sponsor women motivated to move their careers to the next step, and thus remove a barrier for women who may not easily be able to access WBC programs.

We Want You! We share this with you in hopes that you too may want to partner with us to lift other women up through the Women’s Business Council! If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact me directly! Thank you for your kind heart and support along this journey.

March 8th is International Women’s Day

From the desk of Julia Hayden, Community Relations and Resource Development, Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County

In 1975, the United Nation’s Adopted “International Women’s Day.”  This day represents the unification of women worldwide, their efforts to advance the safety and equality of all women and the celebration of Women’s Rights.

International Women’s Day has an early heritage dating to the 1909 American Socialist Party’s Women’s Day.  In 1910, it was recommended by the International Socialist Party that a Women’s Day is held annually.  On March 8, 1917, women in Soviet Russia gained suffrage and that opens the door for the international recognition of Women and Women Rights.

The United Nations led the way and began celebrating International Women’s Day during the International Women’s Year, 1975.  By 1977, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed March 8 to be a day of recognition for women’s rights.

Throughout the years, a global theme has been defined to showcase the power of women and their influence on the world stage.  Themes have included; Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women.  A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women. Equality for Women is Progress for All.  Step it Up for Gender Equality.  Women Changing the World of Work.

In 2019 the International Women’s Day theme is #BalanceforBetter, which is a call to action for driving gender balance across the world.

Now, how will you make a difference for Women on March 8, 2019?

Sign up for the next WBC event on March 13th here.

For more information:

Email: mredding@capitalregionchamber.com 

Please remember to support our 2019 Adopted Non Profit.

epilepsy foundation

WIBW: Walking in Harriet Tubman’s Footsteps

T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison are the co-founders of GirlTrek – the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States. Their mission:

“To pioneer a health movement for African American women and girls grounded in civil rights history and principles through walking campaigns, community leadership and health advocacy.”

Last year, they planned a walk retracing Harriet Tubman’s path, hiking the path of the Underground Railroad over a five day period in March, covering around 20 miles on foot each day! In this recent post from ideas.ted.com, they share some of the lessons they learned along the way.

Our favorite on this Women in Business Wednesday:

When women stand together, they can accomplish anything.

The GirlTrek team at the conclusion of their walk on March 10, 2018, including cofounders T. Morgan Dixon (top row, far right) and Vanessa Garrison (bottom right, far right). Photo from ideas.ted.com, courtesy of GirlTrek.

Check out all the lessons and learn more about this inspiring organization here.

WIBW: Revisiting Rosa Parks

How much do you really know about Rosa Parks? Dolly Chugh is a contributor to Forbes who writes about race, gender, diversity, and inclusion, and her latest post – published on what have been Rosa Parks’ 106th birthday – reveals some fascinating truths about the story most of us (think we) know…

Photo: Associated Press

According to common knowledge, “Rosa Parks was an elderly black seamstress on her way home from work in 1955, who declined to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama because her feet were tired. This spontaneous action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the civil rights movement, giving this usually docile woman an accidental place in history.”

But in Parks’ own words:

“I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day … No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

Read more of the truth about Rosa Parks – and why it matters for women in business today – here.