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A New Network

by Chelsea Cliff
February 27, 2017


Guests taking a quick break from the game. From left to right: Ann Sand, Stephanie Donovan, Renae Todd, and Sally Gallagher.

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur, business owner, or team member of a Southeastern Minnesota company? If so, we want to let you know about the Sterling State Bank's Women in Business event. This new and exclusive event is an after work gathering, of women in business. If you are looking to network, meet new people, and have fun this is the perfect way to do it.  Each event will be different and there is always the possibility of new faces with familiar, so we invite you to sign up here. Sterling State Bank's Women in Business events are expected to be held quarterly and run from about 5 – 6:30 pm on a weeknight.

“Any woman in the business world that wants to connect with like-minded women, is who should come to this event,” states Heather Donovan, Sterling State Bank Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lending and the creator of this event. Heather was inspired to initiate the Women in Business series based on her own experiences, attending Rochester Chamber of Commerce networking events and other local gatherings.

“It’s nice to get to know each other better on a personal and business level with a smaller, more intimate group size,” Heather describes of the networking series.

“My personal goal is to create long-lasting personal and business relationships with other women and to help them do the same. Overall I want to support our customers and businesses in the community, by having food and prizes that support their businesses to using venues that are through customers, if possible,” stated Heather on the overall focus of Sterling State Bank’s Women in Business venture.

This past Wednesday, February 22, 2017, the first event of this series was held at the Cambria Gallery in downtown Rochester. We want to thank those that attended and we are looking forward to seeing you at our next event. With guests arriving between 5 – 5:30 pm, there was plenty of time to grab some food and settle in, with a quick introduction from each attendee around 5:30 pm. Then we began playing a game of Bunco, a fun and simple dice game. After each round the winning team, with the exception of the head table, moved to the next table over. It was easy to meet new community members and learn more about each woman that attended while playing Bunco. Personally, I found it was a great way to meet people I may have worked with before through email or acquaintances I had made at other galas and fundraising banquets, in person.

As each attendee arrived we had name tags available and an area to leave business cards for other women to take. The food was provided by Mac's Catering and People's Food Co-op for the event. Custom Alarm, Rochester Title, WT Lighting, Art on the Go, Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Rodan + Fields, DaVita Dialysis, and 125 LIVE were the local businesses and organizations represented. We also gave out prizes for Bunco to 4 different women. The prizes were gift cards to Chocolaterie Stam, Counterpoint, and Art on the Go.  Future events may include a fitness class, another game night, or an outdoor after-work happy hour.

These events are free and only 2 hours long, at most – giving women the chance to network and get home at a reasonable time. While Rochester is growing, it can be difficult to connect face to face, this opportunity is perfect for women who want to create connections, and have fun – at no cost. 

Click here to view the photos from our first event at Cambria.