WithIt marks 25 years

During the Silver Soirée WithIt honored past presidents for donating their time and resources to keep the organization moving forward.

HIGH POINT – WithIt (Women in the Home Industry Today) welcomed hundreds of guests for its “Silver Soirée” at Congdon Yards which included a live band and silent auction to raise funds for the organization’s educational programs.

The group got its start in 1997 under the direction of Kimberley Wray, Jena Hall and Margaret Traub.

During the celebration, current president Renee Loper-Boyd thanked prior executive director Sara Lyke and current executive director Amy Van Dorp for all they’ve done to keep the organization moving forward. They also took time to thank all the previous presidents who were in attendance.

Van Dorp said the organization is as relevant today as the day that it was founded.

“Our membership is growing. We still have the need for WithIt and for the network it creates and offers for women as a place to come together,” she said. “It’s just as important now as it’s ever been. We are looking into building on the education offered and possibly having some type of leadership certification for women. This will show they have the skills to take advantage of promotions and advancements when they come along. If they attend a certain number of trainings, employers will know that they are ready to move into the C-suite.”

WithIt is also building a digital library of content for members to access.

“It’s a very important part of what we are creating,” she said “When the pandemic started, it felt very natural at to jump in and take all of our programs to a virtual stage. It wasn’t easy and we did a ton of research on the best way to help our members to access the material and how we could best serve them during this difficult time. Being very member focused is critical to what we do.”

The organization also produced a digital student event that it brought to young people who are thinking about working in the industry.

“That event is in our digital library for students to access even now. We have become so much stronger by being able to reach women who don’t travel to conferences and might not even travel to the markets,” she added. “But, they are still in the industry looking for professional development and now we can meet their needs.”

WithIt has had a very positive effect for how women are now viewed in the industry, according to Van Dorp, “Our leadership training has helped many women be better managers and be better leaders.”

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