News Archive


The WE-CI newsletter provides members and prospective members with information about one another and topics of interest to women entrepreneurs in the Springfield area. To do that, WE- CI needs to know who is up to what and what local activities are coming up. Members are involved in the local business community from many angles, so what better way to learn than from members themselves. To submit personal updates or suggested topics for the monthly newsletter, please send information to For general WE-CI info, email

Upcoming Monthly Meetings

August 8, 2018

11:30 – 1 PM

Banking DeMystified

Elly Mackus, President/CEO

Security Bank

Sangamo Club 227 East Adams Street, Springfield


September 12, 2018

5:30 – 7:30 PM

**Join us for networking on the patio at 4:30! Laura Camp, Simply Fair

The Fair Trade Difference: We Can Survive to Thrive! Panther Creek Country Club 3001 Panther Creek Drive, Springfield

Reservations can be made through the WE-CI website. $15 for members, and first-time guests are free.

June Social       

More than 30 members and friends enjoyed the breeze on the deck of the Island Bay Yacht Club. Since there is no speaker at this annual social, there was lots of time to mingle and enjoy the excellent dinner. Also discussed were the March 13, 2019 Showcase and upcoming monthly meetings. A number of members brought guests to this popular event and we have nine new members. With great enthusiasm Evelyn Brandt Thomas announced Brandt’s commitment to become a Silver Corporate Sponsor. A hearty ‘welcome’ to our newest members and sponsor.

WE-CI awarded its annual scholarships at the June social. These are open to those who have been members in good standing for one year. 2018 winners were:

Andie Berryman

Jan Sorenson Hill

Mari Landgrebe

Barbara Seidman                   

Shown at right (with Scholarship Committee Chair Robin Loftus, second from right) are Barbara Seidman, Mari Landgrebe, and Andie Berryman.


Member Update

Congratulations to Tara Davlin Holcomb, whose Willow City Farms placed first in the category for New & Emerging Business Owner of the Year at the 2018 Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s small business awards on June 19. The award recognizes a business owner who has demonstrated outstanding performance through innovation, growth, staying power and contributions to the community.

Michelle Knox of WindSolarUSA has been busy. She worked with another member, Colleen Stone, to add solar energy capabilities for the recently dedicated 1000 Women Strong Habitat for Humanity House. She is also working with students at Pana High School to build a solar- powered car, and (in response to a request by WE-CI member Elaine Orr) did a presentation on solar energy at the Ecology Camp at Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation. Great examples of WE-CI members helping one another.

The art of Jan Sorenson Hill will be featured in an exhibit at the Sangamo Club from July 16 through Aug. 31. The theme is “Journey Through Space.” Visit the club at 227 East Adams Street in Springfield.

Elaine L. Orr published a novella, In the Shadow of Light, in early July. It can be ordered through the local Barnes and Noble.

WE-CI member Molly Berendt was nominat-ed for the IWIL 2018 Athena Leadership Award. Eleven WE-CI members attended the ceremony to cheer her on. Though she did not win, Molly (sixth from the left) can be proud of her work in founding and operating COMPASS for Kids. Karen Hasara received the 2018 Athena Award.

Updating the Business Card Books

WE-CI distributes a business card carrier that proclaims who we are and lets us keep contact cards in one place. To make it a living resource, members are asked to keep a stack of cards in a special box brought to each meeting. New members can grab existing members’ cards, and current members                                                    can make contact with new members.

Save the Date For WE-CI Showcase!

WE-CI will sponsor the Women’s Showcase, our first ever event featuring women- owned businesses on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 4 – 7 PM at Southwind Park, Erin’s Pavilion. Our members and other women business owners can participate. Once sign-up is open, you’ll want to do so quickly, as space will be limited. If you would like to be on the showcase committee, contact Larissa Hansen at

Save the Date for Other Activities!

Illinois Women in Leadership’s UNITE Women’s Symposium

Thursday, September 27, 2018 Crowne Plaza, Springfield IL 7:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast                                               8:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker Cordia Wilkinson Harrington Registration: $140 after July 30. Register five people, get the sixth free! Five breakout sessions, breakfast, lunch, snacks & cocktail reception included. Breakout session topics include networking skills, sexual harassment in the workplace, financial planning for the professional woman, and several more. Questions? Contact Symposium Co-Chairs Kathy Kincaid or Jamie Stout or

Resources Around Town

The Women’s Fund, a permanent endowment fund at the Sangamon County Community Foundation, is a source of information and periodic grants to women’s organizations. As part of the fund, Women for Women is a 100-member organization that supports women and children in Sangamon county. A recent article, Women for Women: Making New Connections, in the State Journal Register (link in the right column of the web page) offers a good overview. Since Women for Women was founded in 2006, more than $275,000 has been awarded to local organizations for programs that have improved the lives of local women and children.

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Women Entrepreneurs of Central Illinois (WE-CI) is a non-profit organization that supports women entrepreneurs through promoting economic development, creating innovative changes in business culture, and building strategic affiliations. To learn more visit