summer news & views

Hello! I hope you are enjoying the beauty and bounty of the summer season. We’ve recently gathered for two meaningful and inspiring Spark sessions: on June 6th the Eastern Point Yacht Club in Gloucester provided a spectacular setting and July 31 at Honeycomb in Hamilton - one of our favorite venues!

SAVE THE DATE! We’re thrilled to announce that the Second Annual Spark Salon will take place on October 2 at HarborPoint at Root in Salem. This is Spark’s marquee event, which takes forward the spirit of the French Salon by encouraging intellectual exchange and a space to support one another in pursuit of our aspirations. The anchor topic this year will be ‘reinvention’ - we hope you can join to connect with like-minded women from around the North Shore. Learn more (and purchase tickets!) here.

Upcoming events include:

As always, thank you for being a part of this dynamic community of women of all ages from the North Shore. Onward! Meghan

The July Spark Session  ,  Honeycomb Hamilton

The July Spark Session, Honeycomb Hamilton

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Thank you to our host:

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Learn more and purchase tickets    here   !

Learn more and purchase tickets here!

The June Spark Session,    Eastern Point Yacht Club

The June Spark Session, Eastern Point Yacht Club

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leveling the playing field

May 8th | Pingree School, South Hamilton

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The Inspiring Women Series event “Leveling the Playing Field” on May 8th was incredible. We had nearly 40 women join for a truly engaging discussion on the future of sport.  It was particularly inspiring to explore what’s possible for the next generation of girls.  We had a terrific combination of perspectives from industry (Nike), sports management (Indianapolis Colts), and advocacy (Sports for Women) providing a holistic view of the landscape.  It was a panel of women truly changing the game!  

We were privileged to part of a rich and honest conversation with Linlsey Waldron, Anna Siedzik, Alex Barmore and Betsy Kennedy. Thank you to Pingree School for hosting!

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spring spark sessions

Hello! I hope your spring is off to a healthy and productive start! We’ve had a busy spring with monthly Spark sessions, which welcomed many new faces, great ideas, community and connection. Thank you to our hosts The Village Oasis (May) and The Artful Life (April) for so generously hosting the Spark community in your space.

May Spark Session,   The Village Oasis, Beverly

May Spark Session, The Village Oasis, Beverly

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April Spark Session  , The Artful Life, Beverly

April Spark Session, The Artful Life, Beverly

March Spark Session  , Manchester, MA

March Spark Session, Manchester, MA


the future of work

March 13, 2019 | Gathr work, ipswich

This event explored the future of work and what it means for women - from the rise of the 'gig economy' (consulting and contracting opportunities) to new service models (virtual and co-working) and the skills that will enable leaders to thrive in a rapidly changing technological and economic landscape. We were thrilled to have two local experts to share their views on the future of this space. Professor Kilty shared some great recommended reading, including:

  • Dare to Lead (Brené Brown)

  • Designing Your Life (Bill Burnett & Dave Evans)

  • Teaming to Innovate (Amy Edmonson)

  • Fit Matters: How to Love Your  Job (Carrick & Dunaway)

  • Wisdom @ Work (Chip Conley)

Many thanks to to Gathr Work for hosting the evening and Endicott College for the continued support!

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speaker bios

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Leslie Stanton

Leslie is a Senior Manager at Deloitte where she leads performance management for the Tax practice in the US and India, a population of over 10,000 employees.  Prior to this role, she spent time as an internal consultant designing Deloitte’s new HR Operating Model and a new approach to differentiate performance that leads to the development of high performing teams. Leslie has a great perspective, informed by both data and experience, about the workforce of the future.  She can speak to aspects like the rise of the ‘gig economy’, open talent networks, and other ways that leading organizations are responding to evolving talent needs, emerging skill sets and new models.  She resides in beautiful Hamilton, MA with her husband and two little girls.

Katie Kilty, Ed.D.

Leadership Coach | Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator | Consultant

Katie believes that anything is possible. She has witnessed this while working alongside people of multiple cultures, abilities and ways of being throughout her life. Travel is in her bones. She is an experiential learner with an adventurous spirit, driven by curiosity and innovation. Using a combination of courageous leadership and design thinking, Katie works with leaders to create high performing, human centered workplaces. Leveraging her training in psychology, experiential education and the arts, she designs and facilitates dynamic and engaging coaching partnerships, workshops and team retreats. Clients include: Ellie Mae; MassChallenge; EMDSorono; US and International Olympic Teams; Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies; American College of Cardiology; Yale School of Medicine; and the 1214 Foundation. Katie holds a doctoral degree in Counseling and Developmental Studies with a speciality in Performance and Sport Psychology from Boston University; Masters in Arts and Learning and Masters in Sport Psychology. She is an active volunteer, energized by creating and supporting community based programs utilizing sport and the arts for social change. She is also a Professor of Sport Management at Endicott College. Katie lives on the North Shore of Boston, with one foot on the land and one in the sea, ever ready to head out on her next adventure.


DYNAMIC WOMEN IN BUSINESS CONFERENCE

FEBRUARY 23, 2019 | HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL

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Spark had the privilege of being featured at the 2019 Harvard Business School Women’s Conference. Founder Meghan Fennell participated in the ‘thriving in a dual career relationship’ panel alongside a McKinsey partner, life sciences executive and couple who are both entrepreneurs. Dual-career couples are now the norm with about 80% of millennials reporting being in a dual-career relationship. We discussed the idea that most of us want to support our partners on their career journey, but thinking about two careers individually and then trying to marry them together is often a design challenge.

This is Harvard Business School’s largest event, attracting more than 1,000 women from the Harvard community and greater Boston area. It was a terrific day of learning, networking and inspiration. Explore more here.

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Hello, 2019

Hello! I hope that 2019 is off to a happy and healthy start for you. Here at Spark we’ve taken some time to reflect, refresh and we’re really excited about the year ahead. Since formally launching a year ago, Spark has hosted 15 events and our thriving network has grown to of more than 200 women of all ages from the North Shore, including a paid membership base of nearly 100.

As we celebrate the anniversary of our inaugural year, it’s a delight to reflect on some of the highlights, events and partners who made it all happen (full list below!) Most of all, deep gratitude to the commitment of the Sparks volunteer advisory board Sally Berkowitz, Anna Rossi, Martha Acworth, Joyce Tadler, Anne Barker and Bruce Journey, without whom Spark would not be what it is today.

Thank you for your continued support of this community and I hope to see you at Spark event soon.

Onward!

Meghan Fennell

2018 Highlights

The December  Holiday Gathering and Vignettes on ‘Ego’  at the Potter home in Wenham in December

The December Holiday Gathering and Vignettes on ‘Ego’ at the Potter home in Wenham in December

Women in Higher Education:   Renee Gosline (MIT), Ereni Markos (Suffolk University) Sally Berkowitz (Cornell University)

Women in Higher Education: Renee Gosline (MIT), Ereni Markos (Suffolk University) Sally Berkowitz (Cornell University)

Inaugural Salon

Inaugural Salon

May Spark Session

May Spark Session

Women & Money:   Natasha Lamb (Arjuna Capital) and Sandra Gilpatrick (LPL Financial) moderated by Martha Acworth (Artaic & formerly Salem Five Bank)

Women & Money: Natasha Lamb (Arjuna Capital) and Sandra Gilpatrick (LPL Financial) moderated by Martha Acworth (Artaic & formerly Salem Five Bank)

July Spark Session

July Spark Session

Motherhood, Careers and Identity     Erin Deegan, Linsley Waldron and Jessica Bradley, hosted by the Hamilton-Wenham Mothers’ Club

Motherhood, Careers and Identity Erin Deegan, Linsley Waldron and Jessica Bradley, hosted by the Hamilton-Wenham Mothers’ Club

Women in Design:   Katie Cutler (KCutler Interiors), Kathy Marshall (KM Design), Meggin Hunt (The Singing Flower), Tamara DeOrio (Cake & Ink)

Women in Design: Katie Cutler (KCutler Interiors), Kathy Marshall (KM Design), Meggin Hunt (The Singing Flower), Tamara DeOrio (Cake & Ink)

Vignettes on Courage

Vignettes on Courage

Vignettes on ‘Resolve’

Vignettes on ‘Resolve’

Women in Food & Wine:     Lauren Moran (Honeycomb), Jen Freedson & Lindsey Wishart (Chive), Heather McLelland (Frank) moderated by Anna Rossi (Brave Apron, NBC10)

Women in Food & Wine: Lauren Moran (Honeycomb), Jen Freedson & Lindsey Wishart (Chive), Heather McLelland (Frank) moderated by Anna Rossi (Brave Apron, NBC10)

2018 partners

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autumn NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS

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Hello! I hope your fall is off to a happy and healthy start. Following the momentum of the September Salon, we continue to welcome new women of all ages into the space we’re creating for connection, inspiration and growth. We’ve had two fantastic events in recent weeks and the Spark community is stronger than ever.

  • On September 25 we had a gorgeous Spark Session in the charming attic barn at Rivers & Roads in Essex, MA. We had a full house (despite a wild rain storm) and it if you haven’t stopped by, please visit to see the beautiful shop and community gathering space that Kristin and Chris Larson have created.

  • On October 10 we welcomed more than 30 women at the Women & Money panel discussion. Thank you to Natasha Lamb (Managing Partner, Arjuna Capital) and Sandra Gilpatrick (Wealth Consultant, LPL Financial ) for sharing your expertise, experience and point of view with us as part of the Inspiring Women series. Martha Reiss added brilliant insight and moderation which was so helpful in distilling, directing (and uncomplicating!) the subject of money.

    Deep gratitude to Jen and Lindsey of Chive Events & Catering for hosting us in the beautiful Firehouse and for the delicious food and wine.  Thank you again to the Angle Center for Entrepreneurship at Endicott College for sponsoring the evening. It was such a pleasure to have new faces and students (the next generation of leaders!) in the room.  

Upcoming events

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We have two remaining events in 2018:

  • November 14 - Spark Session, Wenham (fully subscribed)

  • December 5 - Holiday Gathering & Vignettes, Wenham (RVSP asap!)

Amid the changing seasons, shorter days, new routines and preparing for the holidays, I hope you will make space for yourself in this hectic time of year. Thank you again for your support, I am so grateful for this community of incredible women. 

Onward!

Meghan

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check out our recent conversation …

about spark, community and celebrating women

A conversation with founder Meghan Fennell and Spark board member Anna Rossi. Video produced and directed by Joan Cassin.


september News & Highlights

The Inaugural Salon

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September 6, 2018 | Hamilton MA

In European Society, Paris in particular, the women of the enlightenment connected in “salons" over the intellectual matters of the day, and found great joy and inspiration in one another.   At the Inaugural Spark Salon, we had the opportunity to connect with women of all ages over dessert, drinks and deep discussion. Anchored in the theme of progress we convened in four French-inspired areas:

  • Paris: Committed women

  • Mont Blanc: Indepenedent women and entrepreneurs

  • Provence: Women in transition

  • St. Tropez: Flexible Women

 
 

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Above: The summer Spark session which took place on July 25 in Manchester. 


Press

THIS IS NEW ENGLAND (NBC10 / NECN)

Spark will be featured in an interview with NBC10's Latoyia Edwards on"This is New England."  Founder Meghan Fennell was joined by board member Sally Berkowitz and Ambassador Tamara DeOrio to discuss Spark's local impact, growth plans and vision.  

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Radio Entrepreneurs

Spark founder Meghan Fennell recently caught up with Radio Entrepreneurs, a program that shares the stories of entrepreneurs in the interest of giving more exposure to innovative and fast moving companies while creating a knowledge pool for the enrichment of the entrepreneurial community around the world.  


join today!

If you have previously attended a Spark event, you are invited to become a member here. The inaugural fee is $95 and dues cover administrative costs.  There may be additional costs to participate in special events.  If you have not attended an event but want to learn more please contact us and come to an event to see if it is something that resonates with you!  If you feel engaged and connected, I hope you will consider becoming a member.


July news & highlights

Hello!  I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start.  We've certainly been busy here at Spark!  We're delighted to be featured on NBC10's "This is New England" on July 15th at 11:30am.  Founder Meghan Fennell was joined by board member Sally Berkowitz and ambassador Tamara DeOrio to discuss Spark's local impact, growth plans and vision. This month's Perspectives piece explores the passage of time, the value of intergenerational wisdom and the pervasive complexities of societal expectations of gender roles. 

We had a particularly enthusiastic and engaging Spark Session on June 20 in Hamilton.  It was wonderful to welcome many new faces and hear blossoming ideas and inspiring aspirations.  Thank you again to Lauren Ledbetter for hosting in your gorgeous home! 

The Inspiring Women in Higher Education event took place on June 27.  Thank you Renée Gosline of MIT, Ereni Markos of Suffolk University and Sally Berkowitz of eCornell for sharing your perspective and experience as leaders in academia.  You are all doing incredible work.  Deep gratitude to The Academy at Penguin Hall for generously hosting us over coffee and dessert in the spectacular WOW room. Learn more about APH and their brilliant mission to educate, enlighten and empower the next generation of women leaders here

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june news & highlights

Hello!  Hopefully your spring is rolling into the summer season on a fun and fruitful note.  On May 23 we had a full and meaningful Spark Session with a lot of synergy, exciting ideas and support for another.  Thank you, Casey, for hosting in your beautiful home!  As a reminder, these intimate monthly gatherings are one of the cornerstones of Spark, designed to offer practical inspiration on an idea you care about.  We will have our next Spark Session on June 20 in Hamilton and it is fully subscribed.  Given the increasing demand, these events are now open to Spark members only.  If are not yet a member and would like to participate in an upcoming session, let us know. 

Spark is delighted to welcome Grace Williams as our summer intern and coordinator of programming and events.  With the support of the advisory council and ambassadors, we have been working hard on the Spark business plan and future strategy.  Stay tuned for some exciting media updates, including a segment on NBC10's 'This is New England.'  Please find information below on other upcoming events - save September 6, 2018 for the inaugural Spark Salon in Hamilton, MA. The evening will include enlightening discussion, dessert and drinks. Members will have the opportunity to purchase advance tickets, look for an invitation next month. Thank you for your support, ideas and input.  Onward!  Meghan 

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june 27  |  inspiring women: leaders in higher education  |  The Academy at Penguin Hall

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Reneé Gosline, Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist, MIT:  Renée Richardson Gosline is a Senior Lecturer and Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has been named one of the World’s Top 40 Professors under 40 by Poets and Quants, and an MIT “Iron Professor.” Professor Gosline’s main research interests are in how heuristics bias our decision-making, and how technology affects these choices. Her research projects include: how consumers determine “real” from “fake” products, the effect of storytelling in social media on trust and persuasion, and how technology affects performance (featured in her Tedx talk, “The Outsourced Mind. In order to address these issues rigorously, she employs experimental methodology, both in the field and laboratory. She enjoys teaching MBA and Executive Education classes, and advising companies on UX strategy. Prior to academia, she was a Marketing practitioner at LVMH Moet Hennessy and Leo Burnett. She received her undergraduate and graduate training at Harvard University, including a Doctorate from the Harvard Business School.)

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Ereni Markos, PhD and Associate Professor, Suffolk University:  Ereni Markos is Associate professor of Marketing at Suffolk University. Her areas of expertise include consumer privacy, digital marketing, retail atmospherics and cross-cultural marketing. She earned her PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA from Emerson College and BABS from University of La Verne, Greece.

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Sally Berkowitz, Director, Product Management, eCornell: As eCornell’s Director of Product Management, Sally represents the voice of the customer.  She is responsible for driving innovation in eCornell's products by creating new content, features and product lines to support their customers growing and evolving needs.  Prior to joining eCornell Sally was the Director of Events at a communications agency in the Boston area where she was responsible for developing and executing events for up to 1500 attendees.  Sally holds a B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY where she studied Sociology and Studio Art.


MAY NEWS & highlights

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Hello!  May has been a jam-packed month and, happily, much of the activity has been about supporting and celebrating women.  The highlight for me was undoubtedly the Spark Vignettes on Courage on May 9, held at the beautiful Chive Events & Market in Beverly.  We had a full house with three fantastic and brave women who shared stories of courage.  Thank you to Kelley Journey, Whitney Otto and Brittney Burgess for your vulnerability, accessibility and courage.  

In this month's Perspectives piece, I reflect on the importance of having a global perspective while taking local action.  Through several events that took place in May, I was inspired by the meaningful impact of convening women to support women, both nearby and further afield.

Thank you to Rebecca Karpp for hosting an intimate and insightful Spark Session at her lovely home on April 24.  The next session will be on May 23 in Wenham and it is fully subscribed.  (A reminder to update your response if you are not able to attend in order to make space for others to join). 

Last week we filmed a conversation with Anna Rossi and me, led by the brilliant producer/director Joan Cassin.  Thanks to Joan for her dedication and vision and to Amanda Joy and Damon Karys for their support and generosity.  Later this month we will be recording a segment for 'This is New England' which will air on NBC10 in mid-June... stay tuned! 

A reminder to members that we have published a database with contact information and background/areas of future interest to deepen connections within the network. You can update or edit your profile in the members' section of the site.  I am thrilled and humbled by the organic growth we’ve experienced in such a short time.  We are looking to bring on an intern, so if you have ideas or candidates local to the North Shore, send them my way! 

I hope to see you at a Spark event soon, thank you for joining me on this journey. 

Onward! 

Meghan Fennell

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Friday Coffee Hour

Come along for coffee, connection & conversation at Honeycomb in Hamilton at 9:30am every Friday.

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The Archive

april NEWS

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Hello!   I hope your spring is off to a productive start.  Since launching just a few months ago, The Spark Collective's membership has expanded to nearly 50 women from the North Shore.  We are delighted at the growing interest in Spark's mission and continue to welcome new participants.  You can find below information on upcoming events, benefits of participation and how to join. As always, feel free to forward to a friend or colleague who might want to learn more.

Recent Gatherings

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  • The monthly Spark Session on March 14 was well attended and, as always, meaningful and motivating.  Thank you to Eleanor Maillie for generously hosting in your home! 
  • The Inspiring Women: Leaders in Design panel discussion on April 4 was fantastic.  We had a full house with more than 30 women in attendance and a lot of new faces!  Many thanks to our wonderful panelists for sharing their stories of creative growth and hard work: Kathy Marshall, interior designer and owner of KMD Designs; Tamara DeOrio, experiential event designer & founder of Cake and Ink; Katie Cutler, interior designer and owner of KCutler Interiors; and Meggin Hunt, floral designer and owner of The Singing Flower.  Thank you also to Shannon Harvey of Whimsical Events & Designs for hosting us in your beautiful space in Hamilton.  I am thrilled that Spark is a platform to celebrate women who are entrepreneurs doing beautiful, innovative work in their field.

Membership Updates

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  • Members’ database:  We are delighted to announce that we will soon publish a database for Spark members to include names, email contact, job title/background/area of interest.  The information will be available to Spark members only in the private, members-only area of the website and through email communications. The purpose of the database is to enable women to connect with one another and have a view of the various backgrounds and experience within the network.  (If you are a member and wish to be included on the list, please be sure to update your account information in the members section of the website.)
  • Spark online forum: We now have a forum in the members’ area of the site for Spark members to begin conversations and privately message one another through an integration with Muut.  This is a place to share interesting content, articles, questions and discussion points.  We will also post information relevant to the network and upcoming events etc. I’d welcome feedback on the platform and whether it’s a useful way to connect.
  • Calendar: You'll find a new and updated calendar for the remainder of the year in the members' section.  (A reminder that Spark members will have priority access to special events at reduced prices!)  

As always, let me know if you have questions, ideas or suggestions.  I hope to see you at a Spark event soon, thank you for joining me on this journey. 

Onward!

Meghan


MARCH NEWS

Hello!  It has been an exciting time of growth and momentum for The Spark Collective.  It has been nearly two months since we formally launched and are thrilled to have growing membership base and an exciting lineup of events on the agenda.

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We kicked off March with the Inspiring Women: Leaders in Food & Wine panel discussion and wine tasting at Honeycomb Hamilton.  It was fantastic!  Thank you to Lauren Moran for generously hosting us in your beautiful space at Honeycomb and for your willingness to provide a platform for Spark.  Deep gratitude to the rock star panelists: Jennifer Freedson and Lindsey Wishart, founders of Chive Events & Market; Heather McClelland, partner to Frank McClelland, owner of L’Espalier; Lauren Moran, chef and owner of Honeycomb Hamilton; Kimberly Scott, owner of Wine Bottega in Boston and to Anna Rossi, contributor to NBC Boston’s The Hub Today, for facilitating such a meaningful discussion.  It was truly motivating to hear your stories shared with honesty, authenticity and humor, especially in the context of such a demanding and competitive landscape.  

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The Spark Session on March 14 is filling quickly and the next gathering will take place in the morning on April 4 at Whimsical Events & Designs in Hamilton.  Come for for coffee and connection - event details to follow.  (A reminder that paying members will have priority access to special events at reduced prices!)  Also a reminder that we are still seeking speakers for Vignettes (5 minute story/talk) on the topic of courage for the May 9 event.  Dig deep, raise your hand, step forward …this is a supportive space to share a bit about your story! 

Finally, today is International Women’s Day and this year I am especially hopeful.  The March perspectives article reflects on Women’s History Month and sheds light on some of the leading voices and movements lifting up women in 2018. The interest and demand to be seen, heard and supported affirms for me that women want to celebrate one another — we just need the space to do it.  

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February News

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Hello!  I hope that February is off to a good start for you.  The Spark Collective formally launched last month and it has been an exciting time of connection, growth and inspiration. Spark, which started as an informal monthly gathering, has evolved into an organization with a growing membership base and robust program of events and networking opportunities.  

We had a wonderful panel discussion on January 24th on the topic of 'Career and Identity in the Early Years of Motherhood' at the Hamilton-Wenham Mothers’ Club January Enrichment event.  It was such an honor for Spark to have this platform and thank you again to the HWMC and to Linsley Waldron, Erin Deegan, Jess Bradley and Lauren Ledbetter for serving as such engaging and authentic panelists. Nearly every person I spoke with afterward said that the stories and comments from the panel resonated and connected in some way with her life and experience.  

The Spark Session on February 8 was fully subscribed and inspiring, as always.  Our next gathering will take place on March 1st at Honeycomb which will include a wine tasting and conversation with Inspiring Women: Leaders in food and wine. Paying members will have priority access to the invitation at a reduced price, so be sure to join before then if you are considering!   

In the Perspectives section this month we explore the rise of coworking spaces and the opportunity for women to build community and connection through these venues. If you have an idea, passion, story or topic on which you’d like to share, consider being a guest contributor!  Contact me if you’re interested. 

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Special thanks to the fantastic Advisory Council members and Ambassadors who have supported Spark since its inception.  In addition to the private LinkedIn Group we are also creating a Facebook page.  And be sure to follow us on Instagram!   Again, my hope is that Spark will provide a space for women of the North Shore to be seen, heard and supported as we pursue our personal and professional aspirations.   I hope you will join me on this journey.

Onward! 

Meghan


january news

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Happy New Year!  We are kicking off 2018 with exciting momentum and I am thrilled to share the inaugural edition of the Spark Collective newsletter.  Enclosed you will find information about upcoming events, details on how to participate and the ‘perspectives’ section, which will be a regular a feature on a particular topic.  This month, we explore resources for women seeking to re-launch their careers.  First, a bit of context about Spark…

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When I held the first ‘idea party’ in my living room, it was for two reasons: First, I was seeking a conscious, deliberate space to get a more holistic view of the women in my local community - who we are, where we’ve been and where we aspire to go.

Additionally, I was curious if there was a unmet demand for women to gather locally and share stories, experiences, fears and ambitions.  After all, meaningful connection is one of the most fundamental human needs.  Women have been doing this for millennia, but I wondered…are there others who want to make space for this in their already full and busy lives?

I kept scheduling events and women kept coming.  The network expanded organically, the invite list continued to grow.  We held seven events in 2017, capped off with a lovely holiday celebration and evening of Vignettes hosted by Anna Rossi. We heard from several women on the topic of ‘resolve’ and each of their stories was deeply personal, authentic and moving.  Small group breakouts followed the speakers and discussions about hopes for the new year was a beautiful way to wrap up 2017.

As we formally launch this month, my hope is that Spark will provide a space for women of the North Shore to be seen, heard and supported as we pursue our personal and professional aspirations.  I have been overwhelmed by the interest and energy around this concept and we have an exciting line up of events and networking opportunities in 2018. 

I hope you will join me on this journey. 

Onward!

Meghan