By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Over 100 local businesswomen gathered at the Doubletree Hotel Nov. 12 for the monthly meeting of the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce networking group, Business Forward Females (BFF).
The featured guest speaker was Victoria Waterman, CEO of Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization in Worcester that offers girls in central Massachusetts quality, research-based programs in a safe environment to teach them leadership skills and help them overcome physical, intellectual, social, and emotional challenges.
Waterman shared with the audience her story of how she came to be the organization's CEO after a successful career in the private sector. While she was an executive in the mortgage business, she said, she helped to create a successful program that brought together other professionals to assist those going through the intricacies of a divorce. But then, like many others, she found herself downsized and out of a job after the 2008 economic recession.
Shortly thereafter, she became the president of Leading Women Massachusetts, an organization that helps to teach women strong business, financial, and strategic acumen.
Through that organization she then became involved with Girls Inc., and served as the volunteer president of the board of directors for nearly three years.
When the previous CEO decided to leave, several people suggested that Waterman consider applying for the position. But in spite of the fact that she taught women “all the time how to advocate for themselves,” she felt unsure of taking this next step for herself, she said.
After much thought, she decided to take on the challenge. Now, she said, she leaves her office each day “exhausted but exhilarated.”
Prior to her speech, Waterman accepted on behalf of Girls Inc. a check for $1000 from Deborah Penta, CEO of Penta Communications, Inc. The firm, Penta noted, is celebrating its 25th anniversary by making 25 donations to nonprofit organizations over the course of the year.
The next BFF meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, starting at 11 a.m. at the Marriott Courtyard in Marlborough. The guest speaker will be Julia Fox Garrison who will present a program, “Don’t Leave Me This Way: Overcoming Adversity with Attitude, Choice, and Purpose.” There will also be a holiday shopping bazaar featuring a number of exhibitors. For more information visit http://www.corridornine.org.