NAPW Chicago, IL Local Chapter Announced New Programs and Learned to Reclaim Their Time at July’s Wine & Work-Life Balance Event and Hosted Lifestyles Expert in August

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National Association of Professional Women Chicago, IL Local Chapter announced new programs and learned how to reclaim their time from Life Coach Dana Samardzich at networking event in July. In August, members and guests got tips from nationally recognized Lifestyles Expert Dr. Judith Wright.

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The Chicago, IL Chapter is launching a new program called Cocktails for a Cause,” said Megan. “Social networking events will be held locally with a donation of $10 per person, which will be used to raise money for charities.

Members and guests of the NAPW Chicago, IL Local Chapter gathered in July and August for professional networking events. Chapter President Megan Wessels announced the launch of two new Chapter programs during July’s Wine & Work-Life Balance Event, and introduced guest speaker Dana Samardzich, CPC and Life Coach. At the August networking meeting, Dr. Judith Wright, a Lifestyles Expert who has appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America, presented “Feminine Power: The Overlooked Advantage.”

The Chicago, IL Chapter is one of the largest NAPW Local Chapters in the country and is fast approaching 400 members. Megan kicked off the July event by announcing two programs the Chapter will launch to keep the momentum going. The programs focus on helping the Chapter achieve its latest goals: increasing participation and charitable giving.

“The Chicago, IL Chapter is launching a new program called Cocktails for a Cause,” said Megan. “Social networking events will be held locally with a donation of $10 per person, which will be used to raise money for charities.”

The first Cocktails for a Cause event will be held Wednesday, September 19th at Union Park Lounge, 228 S. Racine Avenue, 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Guests pay $10 each upon entrance and the money will go to a child with cancer via the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation ( Non-member guests as well as potential new NAPW members are welcome to attend.

“The Chapter is also launching a new Outreach Program. Prospects and new members will be paired with existing members,” said Megan.

Megan will notify NAPW Chicago, IL Local Chapter member volunteers of potential new members via email so they can send a warm welcome and answer any questions that new members may have on the Chapter and events. Volunteers were asked to email Megan directly at msmeganwessels(at)gmail(dot)com

Dana Samardzich, CPC and Life Coach, was the guest speaker at the July meeting and captivated members and guests with her presentation “Reclaim your Time and Reconnect with Yourself.” Dana works with professional women to help them gain back time so they can develop a more fulfilling life for themselves. She is passionate about inspiring women and helping them find out what they really want or need in their life.

“I want women to find what is fulfilling to them, because when a person is fulfilled, they just affect the world differently,” said Dana.

She gave members and guests excellent advice and practical ideas on how to simplify life, focus, and set goals to gain efficiencies and time back into their lives. Dana also offered a free one-hour coaching session to the women in the group. For more information or to sign up for the free coaching session, e-mail Dana at dana.samardzich(at)gmail(dot)com

“Dana inspired the group by presenting an introspective on how to reconnect with your inner soul,” said Megan. “She encouraged the women to find out what is important to them, who they are, and what they want.”

The event was well-represented with 14 members and one guest. Attendees included: Cari Schoonover, Charlotte Williams, Dana Nikoloulis, Dana Samardzich, Ellen Letten, Genetria Montgomery, Kim Walberg, Lisa Horne, Lyia Coats, Megan Wessels, Nicole Williams, Rachel Ladd, Robin Schaltz, Robin Kim, and Yvette Hardaway.

The NAPW Chicago, IL Local Chapter August meeting was held at the Wright Institute in Chicago. The President kicked off the meeting by first discussing NAPW and the advantages of becoming a member of the Chicago, IL Local Chapter, one of the largest local chapters in the country. Megan also gave tips on how members could leverage their membership and professional profile.

“NAPW provides a way to connect with other professional women,” she said. “Membership also grants you access to discounts on products and services, educational opportunities, mentorship programs, and a way to promote yourself and your business.”

Megan next introduced the event’s special guest speaker, Dr. Judith Wright. A best-selling Author, Educator, and Corporate Consultant, Judith has appeared on more than 600 radio stations and 80 television programs including ABC’s 20/20, the Today Show, Oprah, and Good Morning America.

“The key to feminine power is that it's not about ‘balance’ but ‘harmony’," Judith told the crowd. “The secret is not to focus on feminine energy or male energy, but know when the right time is to use each of them.”

Judith is the founder of Wright - a personal and professional development organization, and the Wright Graduate Institute offering certificates and degrees in transformational leadership and coaching. She is also the founder of SOFIA, the Society of Femininity in Action.

“Judith inspired the audience by pronouncing that women are different but equal in value,” said Megan. “Members and guests had the opportunity to network with each other during the session by breaking into small groups and brainstorming ideas on how to leverage feminine power.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, a special thanks was given to the sponsors for making it a successful event: Excellent Italian cuisine was provided by Capri ( and the delicious cookies were provided by Firefly Confections (

Megan also thanked the leadership team for volunteering their time and efforts with the goal of making the Chicago, IL Local Chapter the best that it can be: Kim Walberg – VP of Events; Genetria Montgomery – VP of Charity; Robin Schaltz – VP of Marketing and PR; Francesca Salamone – VP of Chapter Growth; Toby Nathan – VP of Social Media; and Rachelle Park – VP of Mentorship.

In addition to the upcoming Cocktails for a Cause event scheduled for September 19th, there will be a Chapter networking meeting on October 9th, at Union Park Lounge, 435 West Erie Street, Chicago, Hospitality Room on the 24th floor, 6:00pm to 8:30pm. The topic will be “Building your Business,” presented by Steve Black of Business Success training. Come and join this free workshop and learn how to improve your goal setting techniques. Discover how important your attitude is to establishing trusting relationships. Improve your prospecting and presentation skills and leverage how to “close the sale” in order to make more money and improve your bottom line.

The event was well represented with 29 members and 23 guests. Attendees included: Anjana Dalal, Arielle Cohen, Balquis Arzberger, Bella Patel, Cari Schoonover, Choya Everett, Claudine Sirgant, Eileen Miller, Gloria Iglesias, Jennifer Foley, Katie Lukas, Kim Copp, Kristen Charlton, Maria Galarza, Meagan Hauser, Patricia Aguilar, Rachel Cohen, Regina Wright, Shana Kirchner, Sherry Anaya, Stephanie Kanter, Susan Kelly, Tiffany Norwood, Alexis Fincher, Audrey Gordon, Barbara Bautista, Blessing Wachukwu, Carol Stark, Diane Kazi, Ellen Letten, Emily Summers, Francesca Salamone, Gia Orr, Irene Ayers, Jamie Culbertson, Justina Beres, Kathryn Kemp, Kim Walberg, Linda Mastandrea, Lori Nelson, Luna Nino, Nora Williams, Petrina Mccurine, Rachel Ladd, Robin Schaltz, Robin Kim, Simone Gosha, Theresa Romanenghi, Wendy Palmer, Yvette Hardaway, and Laura Peppers.

For additional information regarding the NAPW Chicago, IL Local Chapter and upcoming events go to Follow the NAPW Chicago Chapter on Facebook at

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is the largest and most recognized network of female professionals. NAPW provides a forum where women can interact, exchange ideas, educate, network, and empower. NAPW Local Chapters allow members to maximize their experience through meetings, networking opportunities, and professional events.

For additional information regarding the NAPW Chicago, IL Local Chapter and/or [NAPW, please visit

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