The Women's International Network of Utility Professionals is an organization providing a link for developing and recognizing professionals involved with utility business trends, issues, products, and services.
Opportunities for professional development of members. Network and mentoring among members. Recognition and visibility for members and business partners.
Part of working through your professional development goals each year is to not lose sight of existing goals as you focus on new ones. So far this year in our PD corner we have explored improving work life balance and networking. As we now move on to #3 - Learn a new skill, be mindful not to drift away from the effort you have put into other goals. Do this by allowing yourself time to think and reflect. Reflection is an important and effective way to allow yourself time to assess and course correct as needed. You can also use your mentors to talk through your successes and identify areas of growth.
Learning a new skill is the third item in our professional development plan. Keep your mind sharp and your skills relevant to your job and passions by learning a new skill. Learning a new skill gives you fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment. It can also help boost your resume and your confidence. Utilize those around you like family, friends, colleagues, mentors and supervisors for ideas and help identifying a new skill. Once you have identified what it is you want to learn, leverage your support system to help you master that new skill. Below are some ideas of skills that may interest you and help you both personally and professionally:
Learning a new skill can help re-emphasize our first two goals we covered this year: improving work-life balance and networking. You can do this by selecting a skills that you and your family or friends can learn together. Additionally, a new skill can be used as a segway to networking and forging new relationships. I hope you are able to make time to invest in yourself and a new skill this year- Good luck!
International Vice President, Kristen Thompson
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Submitted by: Trishia Swayne
Two WiNUP members and a Yale graduate student from the United Kingdom were selected to receive educational grants from the organization this year.
All fellowships honor WiNUP members who made significant contributions to the electric industry and the organization.
Julia Kiene served as home editor of Capper’s Farmer and worked as a home economist at the Westinghouse Corporation. Kiene also served on the board of directors of The Electrical Women’s Round Table, Inc. (EWRT), as WiNUP was formerly known. The Kiene Fellowship awards $2,000 annually.
Lyle Mamer was a long-time associate professor at the University of Tennessee College of Home Economics. She was an active member of several professional organizations, including EWRT. The Lyle Mamer Fellowship is a $1,000 annual award.
Longtime EWRT/WiNUP member Louisan Mamer worked at the Rural Electrification Administration for many years, traveling throughout the country to educate rural Americans about how to use electricity when power first came to remote areas. The Louisan Mamer Fellowship is an annual award of $500.
WiNUP offers a $500 Professional Development scholarship annually for degree and non-degree courses. Non-degree courses include professional development programs and workshops that have associated participation costs such as program management, accounting, excel, etc.
This year the scholarship was awarded to Jasmine Gilbert of the ArkLaTex Chapter to assist with her Environmental Management Professional Certification. Jasmine is an Environmental Coordinator for AEP/SWEPCO generating facilities. She has been with AEP for six years and has worked at multiple facilities in various roles. Utilizing her knowledge of chemistry and biology to create a more innovative and safe environment for the public is her professional motivation, especially as it applies to the energy industry. ”Being a scientist, I am continually interested in learning. Taking a certification course like this will greatly benefit me in my profession, as it is extremely relevant to what I do, will give me a much-needed boost of confidence and just may be the edge I need to advance in my line of work over the next individual with similar qualifications.” When not working to bolster the already strong environmental stewardship endeavors of the company, you can find Jasmine cheering on each of her two young teenagers in school basketball or being a super-fan of women’s professional soccer matches.
The WiNUP International Ways and Means Committee is selling Bangle bracelets with a WiNUP charm for $20.00 (includes shipping). The bangles are made of stainless steel and include a nickel-plated charm. If you already purchased a bracelet or necklace and want to purchase just the charms, the charms can be purchased for $10.00 (includes shipping). To purchase the bracelet with charm or just the charm, click here.
West Virginia Chapter
The West Virginia WiNUP Chapter hosted a Professional development event by Natalie Siston on 08/03/2021. All chapters were invited to attend. A total of 65 ladies joined for an afternoon with Natalie discussing her book LET HER OUT. Natalie talked about big world success that started with thinking small. She grew up in the small town of Republic, Ohio. As a Certified Professional Coach, avid writer and award-winning public speaker, she helps her clients and audiences think back to a time when they had all the confidence and abilities to succeed. Identify what happened and get it out of the way!
Natalie Siston can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. To find out more visit her website: https://smalltownleadership.com.
WiNUP Indiana chapter participates in their annual Day of Service
The WiNUP Indiana Chapter participated in their annual day of service on August 26. What a blessing it was to provide support to The Hancock Hope House once again this year. This was the chapters second year of serving this non-profit during their day of service. They provide hope to the community by giving the homeless population a safe place to stay and the tools they need to get back on their feet.
“We could not be more humbled by our experience today” said Melody Lynch of the WiNUP Indiana Chapter. They had six chapter members (Trudy Jones, Shelby Houston Leisz, Hannah May, Pam O'Neal, Kasia Mutz Haynes, and Melody A Lynch) attend the in-person day of service. The entire chapter stepped up with so many donations (monetary and items) and ideas to create a space that people may call home while they are at the home. The chapter sponsored a room and went in and redecorated.
“We were also able to donate purses packed - and I mean packed - full of goodies for the ladies staying there. We had a member donate a Keurig-style coffee maker and received enough donations to supply their common kitchen with some snacks and coffee pods. We donated shaving bags packed full of goodies for the men's wing and had leftover items that we were able to put in the ladies' common area. One of our members put together a great welcome basket full - and again I mean full - of items for the new residents of our sponsored room and another basket full of children's games and toys that was left in the women and children living room” said Lynch. This is one of our chapters favorite events each year. Below are pictures from our event.
Recently Texhoma WiNUP collaborated up with a local kindergarten class to talk SCIENCE! Our chapter brought two different STEM activities to 14 Kindergarten students to start their school year. We talked weather and chemistry and had hands on demo activities. We also donated four sets of building blocks for the younger students as well. Following all COVID precautions, we did all activities outdoors and wore masks to make sure our members and the students stayed safe!
North Texas Chapter
The North Texas Chapter recently held an event, Ladies Who Lunch, incorporating a 'hat' theme. This event and others like it are being coordinated in order to get to know new members and help us all re-orient as we return to social interactions. The event was hosted by Janet Phan Rehberg at her new home in Aledo, TX. Janet and her husband, Eric, have the perfect home and skill set for hosting.
The History of WiNUP
This is the third article in a four-part series exploring the almost 100-year history of WiNUP. Information, quotes and context are from “From Acorns to Oaks: The story of the Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals and the Electrical Women’s Round Table” Version 3, © 2015 by Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals, Inc.
If 10 million women really want security, real representation, honesty, wise and just legislation, happier and more comfortable conditions of living and a future with the horrors of war removed from the horizon, then these 10 million women must bestir themselves. ~
In the first two articles, we traced WiNUP’s origins back to the early decades of the 20th century and up through World War II, both eras of great turmoil, but also of great advances for women. The teens and ‘20s saw women cut their hair, roll down their stockings and flap their way to the ballot box to exercise their new right to vote. Although the 30’s were a time of privation and want, the Electrical Women's Round Table (EWRT) found a way to flourish by training women to be fluent in the brave new world of electrified homes and lifestyles.
The women of the Greatest Generation suffered incalculable loss as the men they loved fought bravely overseas, but they also rolled up their sleeves, tied back their hair and marched into the jobs the men left behind, all while keeping the home fires burning.
Economic prosperity followed WWII. Ever more futuristic home gadgets, hungry for the power that was now in practically everyone’s home, surged into the everyday lives of the middle class homemaker. These shiny new appliances made homemaking easier and more convenient in so many ways, helping to project the image of strong and modern America to a world still emerging from the ashes of war.
While some women happily settled into the joys of the modern electrical home and family care, for others, being happy consumers was not enough. Recently replaced “Rosie Riveters” missed being on the front lines, working to create and build the technology ushering in the modern age. For those seeking to re-enter the career life, EWRT was there with its workshops, and growing local chapters to keep women’s foothold in the male-dominated workforce.
While the workshops of the late 1940s were a springboard to EWRT’s ensuing growth into a national organization, it was not an immediate or an easy path. As requests for customized workshops grew it triggered controversy among the New York members opposed local adaptations of their workshop format without recognition for the EWRT.
Ultimately, it was this controversy that resulted in EWRT becoming a national organization. In September 1948, chapter formation was approved, and the New York Chapter was designated the parent chapter. New bylaws were adopted, and in February 1949, chapter organization began. Two chapters would be chartered in Pennsylvania before the end of 1949.
New York Chapter Chair Ruth Gaffney became the first president of the national organization. Frances Armin of New York became the first president elected by the new national organization. Over the ensuing years, New York would supply five more national presidents: Julia Kiene, the third (1951-52); Edith Ramsey, the fifth (1954-56); Ethel Lord, the ninth (1962-64); Rita Schneider, the 14th (1972-74); and Anne Howard, the 23rd (1986-87). EWRT’s first academic fellowship for women graduate students would be named after Kiene.
Growth would become EWRT’s mantra. In its first two decades as a national group, EWRT would charter 24 chapters in 15 states, including the Members-at-Large Chapter for women who lived and worked in areas that did not have local chapters. Between 1949 and 1977, EWRT added chapters in 16 states, with most being added in the immediate post-war era.
The Philadelphia Chapter with 24 members became the first group chartered under the revised bylaws on September 28, 1949. The territory served serval Pennsylvania counties: Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks and Chester, and the southern portion of New Jersey. In October 1949 the Philadelphia Chapter elected Consuelo Kelly as its chairman at its first meeting. Two members would become national presidents: Adelaide Fellows, the fourth (1952-54) and Judith O’Flaherty, the sixth (956-58).
The Pittsburgh Chapter came on board December 2, 1949 as a result of the enthusiastic organizing efforts of its first Chairman, Pearle Wald Schmidt. Chartered at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, with 26 charter members, Pittsburgh would produce four EWRT national presidents: Wathena Shine, the 13th (1970-72); Janet Felmeth, the 18th (1980-82); M. Elizabeth Kilkenny, the 24th (1987-88); and Sharon Haramic, the 28th (1991-92).
The Greater St. Louis Chapter was chartered on March 1, 1950.
The Chicago Chapter was presented its charter by national president, Frances Armin, on March 24, 1950, at the Normandy House Restaurant. Kay Middleton was chairman as the group formed. Under Rhea Shields, the first elected chairman the group grew from 17 to 32 members by year’s end. Just one year after being chartered, Chicago held its first educational workshop on March 30, 1951, and then annually for five years with an average of 250 attendees from 25 states. Chicago also would contribute two national presidents: Margaret DeAtley, the 10th (1964-66) and Winnie Berry, the 12th (1968-70).
The Detroit Chapter. It was presented by Adelaide Fellows, a member of the National EWRT Board of Directors. There were 17 charter members, and Dorothy Howe became the first chapter chairman, while member Marion Ryan would go on to become the seventh national president, serving 1958-60.
The Cleveland Chapter received its charter June 29, 1951, with four charter members. Bea Neff was the first chapter chairman. Cleveland was the first of four chapters that would be chartered in the Buckeye State. Cleveland also would be the first chapter in Ohio to fold. The Columbus Chapter - the second Ohio charter to be granted - was chartered on July 31, 1952. There were 12 charter members.
The Puget Sound Chapter was chartered on November 26, 1951, after a group of 19 Seattle women with a common interest in electricity started meeting in 1949 under the leadership of Edith Rauch, home service director of Puget Sound Power and Light Company. Then National President Julia Kiene spoke at the chapter's first official meeting. Member Reidun Crowley would be EWRT’s 16th national president in 1975-78.
The North Central Chapter charter was accepted on October 31, 1952. The charter was presented by National President Adelaide Fellows on December 17. North Central's area included North and South
Dakota, Minnesota, northern Iowa and western Wisconsin. There were 15 charter members, and Val Thorson was the first chapter chairman. North Central also would supply an organization president in 2001 after EWRT became WiNUP. Brenda Sandahl, a market planning specialist with Otter Tail Power Company, would be the 37th president overall and the third WiNUP International president. As of 2014, North Central was WiNUP’s second oldest active chapter after New York.
The San Diego Chapter began at a party in San Diego where Jessie Cartwright from the Chicago Chapter. Planted the EWRT seed with Marguerite Wall who belonged to a group called the "Home Demonstrators Group" along with 14 other women. The charter was granted October 31, 1952 and they became the second EWRT chapter on the West Coast; Wall was the first chairman.
The Oregon Chapter, another West Coast group also was chartered October 31, 1952, serving two states, Oregon and Washington. There were 15 charter members, and Anne Ogden was the first chapter chairman. Early on they instituted a training program for high school teachers focused on the use and care of small and major electrical appliances. They also began a Bachelor's Cooking School (later called Singles Cooking School) long before the cooking class concept was popular.
The Cincinnati-Dayton Chapter was formed on January 28, 1953, by 17 women who lived in the area. Cincinnati-Dayton was the 12th chapter to be organized. Mary Held was elected chapter chairman. The chapter was the third in Ohio and the second to be chartered in the state in six months. It would produce two EWRT national presidents — Anne Lyng, the 8th (1960-62), and Helen Kirtland, the 11th (1966-68).
The Greater Kansas City Area Chapter followed on August 31, 1953 and the Rocky Mountain Chapter was chartered February 2, 1954. The St. Joseph Chapter charter was accepted on September 6, 1956 by 16 members from National President Judith E. O'Flaherty at a meeting at the Hotel Robidoux in St. Joseph, Missouri.
The Members-at-Large Chapter was established in 1956 to serve women interested in joining EWRT who did not have an existing chapter in their area. Members-at-Large also would provide the opportunity for members and national officers from dissolved chapters to remain connected and active with EWRT - as with local chapters, Members-at-Large had a voting seat on the national board. Margaret DeAtley served as the first Members-at-Large chairman.
As EWRT grew, it quickly became apparent the national organization needed to improve communication with members. In 1958, the first national EWRT newsletter was published and three issues a year were mailed to all members of record.
After several years of strong growth, membership started to contract and some chapters folded. A two-year gap in charters came before St. Joseph was chartered. After St. Joseph and Members-at-Large, it would be nearly eight years before another new chapter joined the fold. During this time, the Rocky Mountain and Greater St. Louis chapters folded.
As EWRT faced concerns about waning membership, the rapid growth of the post war era was slowing down. Discontent was peeling back the façade of Norman Rockwell’s America as the Baby Boomer generation grew into young adulthood. This largest generation experienced the leisure of middle class life and gained access to higher education in unprecedented numbers. They spent their days immersed in classical ideals and their nights bopping to rebellious jukebox hits.
As the 50’s rocked out and the 60’s rolled on, folks everywhere began to “tune in and drop out” as they realized the dream of harmony and prosperity was not a reality for many, and for others, especially Americans of color, it was a nightmare. The winds of change were blowing us into a time of excitement about bold new scientific horizons, but also of extreme social upheaval. Meanwhile, far away in the South China Sea, unrest was reaching the boiling point in a little country called Vietnam...
For our History section fans out there, we thought we would offer a fun little quiz. The person / people with the most correct answers will be recognized in the next History article. Hint: some of the questions cover topics from previous articles. Good Luck!
1. What year did the organization now known as WiNUP start?
2. What does the acronym EWRT stand for?
3. How much money did EWRT have in its treasury in the summer 1945?
4. Which EWRT National President has an academic fellowship for women in her name?
5. Which Chapter started a cooking class?
Submit your answers to email@example.com to be recognized in the next History article!
Submitted by: Molly Long