Successful companies are built on great ideas. That was the belief a group of Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce women had when they launched the region’s first Women in Business Alliance in 2011. Five years later it is regionally recognized and acknowledged as a leading women’s organization supporting and honoring women’s achievements in the field of business.

“WIBA is made up of successful, motivated, and passionate businesswomen from all types of industries who believe that networking and connecting with other women is a proven way to build your professional profile,” said Lorraine Holcombe, vice president, CFO, and managing director of the Women in Business Alliance, a program of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Who you know leads to what you know, and your next business opportunity is likely to come from your network. I honestly believe that a network can change your world, and I feel passionate about helping women in the Princeton region build their networks to succeed in business and in life.”

WIBA held its first networking event in 2011 with a sold out evening of more than 150 women in attendance. Since then the WIBA program has expanded well beyond its original networking focus.

In 2012 WIBA launched the first regional Women’s Leadership Conference, drawing more than 400 attendees from across the central New Jersey region and state. In its fifth year the conference has expanded to the NJ Conference for Women and is the largest women’s conference in central New Jersey. This year’s event will be held on Friday, October 28, at the Westin Princeton.

“The ability of WIBA to grow rapidly while continuing to make a positive impact in our region is a tribute to the women who serve on the committee,” said Peter Crowley, president and CEO of the Chamber. “They have set a high standard with their programming and events and are meeting the needs of women and businesses across the region which is why so many have taken notice and joined in partnership with them.”

The program is proud to have gained national attention and bring nationally recognized speakers to the region. The group has hosted Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post; Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, Washington Bureau chief for People Magazine; Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, advertising creators of the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign; and most recently Karen Finerman of CNBC’s Fast Money and Nancy Armstrong of Makers, Women Who Make America.

This year WIBA will host even more nationally recognized speakers, including bestselling author and president and CEO of the New America Foundation, Anne-Marie Slaughter. Join the first signature event of the year on Tuesday, April 12, to network with the women of WIBA from 5 to 7 p.m. at Greenacres Country Club. Registration is now open at PrincetonChamber.org/wiba.

Even with the program reaching more than 3,000 women through its educational, networking, and leadership programing, the heart of WIBA is women reaching out to network with and support other women.

“WIBA provides a great forum for women from all aspects of the workplace and community to connect and build relationships that foster both professional and personal growth,” said Michelle Everman, chairwoman of the WIBA committee. “Our committee’s goals are to continue to provide excellent programming and networking opportunities for the women in our region. Our growth speaks to the impact WIBA has had in the community as well as the demand for this type of programming. We are thrilled to have both business and community leaders so engaged.”

Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, 182 Nassau Street, Suite 301, Princeton. 609-924-1776 or www.princetonchamber.org/wiba

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