2020 is certainly a year that no one will forget. In the final month, WHF-PA would like to look back and reflect on what was possible for our organization and members this year as we pursued our mission to promote and support the professional growth of women in housing, finance, and development, particularly in the areas of affordable housing and community development.
WHF-PA continued to serve as a networking resource for women in the housing, community development and financial services industries throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. WHF-PA provided networking opportunities and professional development for its members.
We posted job openings with our members’ employers, passed along useful seminars and updated our member list, which is accessible to members in the members’ only section of our website.
WHF-PA connected members. Before the pandemic made in-person events an impossibility, there was (1) a 2/27 networking lunch in Pittsburgh and (2) a 1/23 Pyramid Club 4th Annual Power Real Estate Event in Philadelphia. WHF-PA members continued to gather monthly for WHF-PA Wednesdays (informal virtual networking to enable members to learn more about each other and share industry knowledge), but we moved to a Zoom platform, which allowed for better communication and connections. We hosted an additional COVD-19 special edition on 3/25. We also introduced virtual happy hours on 4/16 that led to the creation of the WHF-PA Third Thursday monthly virtual happy hours, which included (a) on 11/19 – a celebration of Holly Glauser on her November retirement, (b) on 10/15 – Purposeful Networking during the COVID-19 Pandemic presentation by Jennifer Lynn Robinson and (c) on 9/10 – a presentation from Shannon Mowery, Vice President of Supportive Services at Pennrose.
We also continue to facilitate connections by members with a monthly “WHF-PA members out and about” post. If you leave a reply about the industry conferences, webinars, and events you plan to attend, you help our members identify networking and professional development opportunities and connect with one another.
In January and quarterly, we also put out a call for potential mentors and mentees. Quarterly and in October (during NAHRO’s Housing America Month), we’ve asked to hear from YOU. We would like to discover and celebrate your successes.
WHF-PA’s website provided a variety of useful content. Our posts this year covered such things as National Business Women’s Day, Women Equality Month, Member Spotlight – Angela Steele, Member Spotlight – Double Feature (Chris Paul and Laura Northup), Fair Housing in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Women’s History Month Spotlight – Danene Sorace, Become a WHF-PA Mentor in 2020!, and National Low Income Housing Coalition #OurHomesOurVotes2020.
We celebrated successes such as promotions and virtual ground breakings, updated the useful resources links located on the members’ only section of our website, and created a speaker directory to help our members connect with appropriate speaking opportunities.
In 2021, we will continue to offer WHF-PA Wednesdays (informal virtual networking to enable members to learn more about each other and share industry knowledge) and WHF-PA Third Thursday (virtual happy hours) monthly. We are developing topics for posts to our website and welcome your job openings, educational opportunities and successes for sharing as well. We will continue to explore ways for our members to connect. Be on the lookout for an email survey to update your contact information and provide input on how you may become more involved with WHF-PA.
WHF-PA is currently exploring the timing of our annual membership event (generally timed to coincide with the Homes Within Reach Conference).
If this all sounds beneficial to you and you are not yet a WHF-PA member, what are you waiting for? Join now! Your professional growth awaits.
We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a joyous new year!