Attendance growing at women's breakfast meetings

Women in Wagoner gathered for the Women's Business Center Breakfast. This year's 90-minute free breakfast is scheduled for Tuesday at the Wagoner Chamber of Commerce.

Business women in Wagoner will be gathering this week for the #Women's Business Center Breakfast at the Wagoner Chamber of Commerce.

The  90-minute free breakfast Tuesday is a networking event to connect with potential customers, build contacts and showcase businesses, said coordinator Leslie Browand of the Rural Enterprise Inc. (REI) Women's Business Center.

The REI Women's Business Center, which has been in existence for 35 years, is based in Durant and covers all 77 counties in the state. It also has offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Browand's coverage area is northeast Oklahoma.

Browand and Kristen Mallett, the executive director of the Wagoner chamber, teamed up to start having these breakfasts. The first one was in February and others are held every other month.

"It's to bring business women in Wagoner together," Mallett said. "The main focus is educating people, showing new outlets and any opportunities to help further a career. There aren't a lot of classes like that. Networking is so important in today's world."

Browand points out the breakfast "doesn't discriminate against men." A total of 15-20 people, including men, attended the breakfast in June.

"The attendance was great," she said. "We're honored to come into Wagoner, and it's been a great collaboration with the chamber. We want to keep getting the word out."

This month's breakfast features Traci Baker, a Wagoner-area photographer and business owner.

"She'll talk about the challenges of being a small business owner," Browand said. "We wanted to make sure we had representatives from outside Wagoner but also people in the community."

Previous topics at the breakfasts have included tax information and crowd funding.

"I think the programs have been successful," Browand said.

Browand and Mallett are encouraged about the growth of the breakfast.

"It's really become something, and we're going to push forward with it," Mallett said. "It's really turned into something that we're excited about. We're also excited about its future. We want it to grow."

If you go

WHAT: Women's Business Center Breakfast.

WHEN: 8-9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

WHERE: Wagoner Chamber of Commerce, 301 S. Grant St.

INFORMATION: www.reiwbc.org or (918) 485-3414.

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