Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NAPW Washington DC Local Chapter Reaffirms Commitment to Each Other’s Success and Recognizes the Leaders within Their Chapter

The NAPW Washington DC Local Chapter reaffirmed their commitment and vision at their recent professional networking meeting. Their vision is to create an atmosphere for woman that is conducive to personal growth and development. "We create an environment that is designed to inspire, encourage, motivate, and facilitate growth by working together," said G. Sapphire Harris, Local Chapter President.

The theme for this month January 2012 Chapter meeting is awards and recognition: Appreciating The Leaders within the NAPW Washington, DC Local Chapter. The chapter will also welcome new 2012 Committee Board members.

"Chapter meetings are more than just networking meetings, they are actually the beginning stages of the recognition of power that is within each member," said Ms. Harris. "The chapter's goal is to support, empower, and build one another. Each member brings to the table their own talents and expertise."

This collaborative support group can be a powerful instrument of change as the chapter remains united in each member's efforts.

Action items for this month's meeting included planning and discussing the 2012 NAPW Washington, DC calendar; ensuring that at each Committee member has an action item for the next meeting; ensuring there is a follow-up scheduled by the end of the meeting.

Registration and Networking occurred from 6:30pm to 6:45pm. The meeting was called to order by Gerly Sapphire Harris at 6:45pm. The group began by reviewing 2011 accomplishments and a year-end reflection. The chapter discussed the 2011 guest speakers: Mrs. Linda Gary, Founder and President of Daughters of Hope who presented on 'Connecting and Strengthening Women' at the Mayor's office building (John A. Wilson Building); Mrs. Constance Burns, Founder and President of the National Association of American Veterans, Inc. on the topic of 'Women Empowering Women' and connecting knowledge with the power to impact and improve self, home, and community. This event took place at The Ritten House Club House; and the Honorable Marilynn M. Bland, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Prince Georges County, Maryland, on the topic of 'Women in Leadership and Building Upon Our Success'.

The chapter then discussed the importance of conducting quarterly outreach and giving back to the community. Mrs. Ashley Faust, Washington Wizard Representative, donated basketball tickets. Mrs. Diane Garey, Christian World Links, Inc, provided discounts for her online marketing company. Mrs. Karen Atkins Purifoy, Creative & Design Director, initiated the Task Force in support of the chapter's future outreach efforts.

NAPW Washington DC Local Chapter members thanked Mr. Patrick Rand of the 'Paparazzi For The Hire', for professionally photographing the group's monthly meetings. The chapter participated and successfully completed the 2011 Greater Washington Heart Walk Outreach. The chapter also participated and successfully contributed to the 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Gift Basket Outreach sponsored by Men Aiming Higher, Inc. and Laron Profit, former Professional Basketball Player. A copy of the Media Release was distributed to members in attendance for their records.

The chapter participated in the book release by Minister Kesha Rand, titled 'Intended' at Bus Boys and Poets in Hyattsville, Maryland. The group discussed the theme for each month and the validity of partnership with other organizations.

G. Sapphire emphasized the importance of each member's participation. The installation of new Committee Board members took place and committees were set up to complete specific tasks for the 2012 calendar year.

The Chapter reviewed and finalized the 2012 Calendar, and established goals for 2012 which included a regular, quarterly General Body meeting which will be held in the months of January, April, July, and October. The outline of each meeting will consist of Registration and Networking, Welcome and Introduction, Meeting/Workshop Session, Wrap up, and Closing Remarks.

Chapter Outreach meetings will take place in the months of February, May, August, and November. Outreach includes partnerships with other organizations.

The quarterly Guest Speaker presentations will take place in the months of March, June, and September.

The month of December will be the Chapter's Year End Reflection and Celebration.

Chapter Meeting Programs will be provided for each of the members in attendance.
A copy of the NAPW WDC 2012 calendar was distributed to members in attendance for their records.

The group then discussed the February outreach plans. They discussed finding a venue for the meeting and securing individuals to conduct workshops. The women addressed the need for donations including clothes, books, beauty products, and other products. Sponsors and partners will give a brief presentation on women's issues and provide additional information as it relates to the topic. Chapters will manage the table for NAPW registration, membership, and additional information during each outreach meeting. Each team member has the responsibility of contributing to search and report their findings in the next Committee team meeting.

May Khoury created the Chapter database and membership form that improves our ability to capture and more easily access member information.

Awards Certificates were presented to the newly elected Committee Board members. Their names and information are as follows:

Karen Atkins Purifoy was a Tips: Find Street Fashion Online(may be you can find what you want on the ppointed as Vice President. Karen is the Founder and Creative Director of A.LEWTER, an Image Management, Personal and Professional Development, and Fashion firm in Washington, DC. Ms. Purifoy makes image and style relevant for everyone. She incorporates image, fashion, and style with the "Art of Fine Living". Ms. Purifo truly understands how a beautiful image begins from within. As the Founder of KAOTIK Designs Cultural Center for the Design Arts, a not-for-profit, Ms. Purifoy exposes young people to the "Art of Fine Living" by blending their inner selves with their environment to relay a self confident, vibrant, rich, and rewarding lifestyle. Ms. Purifoy has the natural ability to reach out, connect, and bring together a broad audience which transcends social and economic boundaries. From grassroots campaigning, to fundraising for charity events, Ms. Purifoy is prepared to share her presence in the most positive way and leaves a lasting impression on all who cross her path.

Vanessa G. Huguley was appointed as the Director of Communications. She is currently a Federal employee at the Washington Navy Yard, where she works as an Occupational Safety Health Specialist. Ms. Huguley's expertise is in the field of safety and service. Ms. Huguley participates in a number of women's organizations that are positively impacting the community. She is currently active with 'Eastern Star, Divine Discipleship for Sister', 'The National Congress of Black Women', and 'Women for Men Aiming Higher'. In addition to Ms. Huguley's community services, she participates and leads multiple women's groups at her place of Worship. Ms. Huguley's passion is to empower women in foundational studies that lead to Spiritual growth and development. Ms. Huguley is a hard worker who is determined to impact the advancement of women in all aspects of life.

Sonia Montes De Oca was appointed as Director of Programs. Sonia Montes de Oca is a Senior Interior designer. Ms. Montes de Oca has extensive experience in design and construction of residential and commercial projects. She was a licensed contractor in Maryland and Virginia from 1983-1989 and sold office furniture for Lazanby Associates Washington Design Center from 1989-1993. Her knowledge of furnishings and construction has fostered designs that are practical, buildable, economical, and aesthetically pleasing. Ms. Montes de Oca has a commitment to deadlines and works well as a team member with realistic goals and objectives. Ms. Montes de Oca specialized in commercial, retail, hotel, and hospitality design, working with the architect in charge of development. Working with the clients through a series of presentation, space plans, material and colors, furnishings, and finishes are collectively agreed upon. She budgets all aspects of the project in real time so there are no surprises on bid day.

During this month's meeting, three additional chapter members decided to join the Committee Board. Their names and information are as follows:

Janiece Norfleet was appointed as Treasurer. Janiece Norfleet graduated from Howard University with Honors. As an alumna of Howard University, Ms. Norfleet is consistently honing her leadership abilities through the mentoring of youth with disabilities. Ms. Norfleet work for Fannie Mae in the Operations and Technology Associate Program, as a Risk and Control Business Analyst. She is heavily involved in the Fannie Mae recruitment process with Howard University. Additionally, Ms. Norfleet is actively involved within the community at large through volunteering with Bright Beginnings, Help the Homeless, and various other Community Development Centers in her hometown that caters to both individuals with special needs and able-bodied individuals. Ms. Norfleet's willingness to take on new challenges is one of the reasons why she is so excited about her new position as the NAPW Washington, DC Local Chapter Treasurer.

May Khoury was appointed as Director of Membership. May Khoury graduated from the University of Maryland's, School of Psychology. Ms. Khoury is currently the director of leasing at R B Properties, Inc., a privately owned company that owns and manages both commercial buildings and hotels in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Ms.Khoury currently oversees the occupancy maintenance of seven buildings with a very impressive goal of 90% occupancy. In addition, Ms. Khoury works as a residential real estate agent for Long and Foster in Maryland on a part time basis. Ms. Khoury strives to maintain an equitable balance with the landlord and the tenants, as well as the buyer/seller for residential sales. Ms. Khoury has met so many amazing woman business owners that are working extremely hard to do better! Ms. Khoury has a great deal of information for anyone looking to start a business or who may be in search of office space.

Kathleen Callagh was nominated as Special Advisor to the Committee Board. Kathleen Callaghy is currently an Administrative Assistant for Country Programs at the Collaborative Labeling an Appliance Standards Program (CLASP), an energy efficiency non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Prior to joining CLASP, Ms. Callaghy worked for several non-profits and think tanks within the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, and the United Way of the National Capital Area. Ms. Callaghy has a Master's in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, and a Bachelor's in government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College. Ms. Callaghy is originally from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and is an avid lover of books, writing, animals, and nature. Ms. Callaghy hopes to pursue a career in conflict management, and joined NAPW due to her passion for working with and for women.

The Secretary position is still remains vacant.

Sapphire thanked everyone in attendance for their participation in the meeting, and welcomed the new members. The meeting adjourned at 8:10pm. Sapphire reminded The committee team follow-up meeting will take place via teleconference on Monday, January 30, 2012 at 12noon.

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 Washington DC Local Chapter and/or NAPW please visit

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