Ushering in a Year of Celebration
Every incoming CWF president faces a year of joys and challenges, and for Sandy Eichelberger, 2017-2018 promises plenty of both. CWF will be celebrating 30 years of providing New Bern area women with countless opportunities for networking, education and encouragement. With the CWF Board of Directors and membership behind her all the way, Sandy is poised and ready to take the helm and lead this growing organization forward.
In April, 2014, Sandy and her husband, Terry, made the move from Gaithersburg, MD to New Bern. Sandy had 34 years experience working in the corporate world, the last 15 in government contracts. It wasn’t just time for a new address, it was time for a new career. “I felt it was time to find something that would give me a greater sense of satisfaction, and something that would be portable,” Sandy recalled, “so I could move away from Maryland.”
Sandy returned to school and earned her masters in acupuncture, before moving to New Bern. In search of a space to start her practice, she found herself at Bear Essentials, the boutique owned by then CWF President, Mary Ann Jordan. Mary Ann wasted no time in inviting Sandy to attend a CWF meeting. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Her years of experience in corporate America taught Sandy the importance of networking. “I knew I had to get out and meet people, and tell them about what I did,” she said. “They “weren’t going to come to me looking for an acupuncturist.” So Sandy became a CWF member for the purpose of networking, meeting people and learning more about New Bern. “I was so impressed when I went to my first CWF meeting,” Sandy recalled, because even though I’ve networked all my life, I’ve never been one to want to walk into a room full of people and try to start a conversation. I had to make myself do it.” But this experience was different. “Those wonderful ladies encouraged me,, engaged me in conversation and introduced me around,” Sandy said, “It was a wow factor for me.”
Sandy wanted to be an active participant in CWF, to know people on a deeper level and to understand how the organization functioned. So she quickly volunteered to serve on the Board of Directors. And now, as President, during CWF’s 30th year, she has the opportunity to lead the membership in looking back with reverence and gratitude while embracing a bright future.
“I’m in awe of the women who decided 30 years ago to say ‘hey, we need something for us’,” Sandy said. And so the 30th Anniversary Committee agreed upon “Pearls of Wisdom” for this year’s theme. The pearl is the 30th anniversary gemstone. Considering the priceless wisdom that has been passed down through the years, it seemed a natural.
The months to come will require a great deal of creativity, perseverance and hard work from the CWF Board and its committees. Fortunately CWF has in Sandy Eichelberger a President who is committed to the organization, and who will use all her experience and talent to help make this year of celebration as special as the organization being celebrated.
The August Coastal Women’s Forum lunch meeting will be held on Wednesday,, August 16 at the New Bern Golf and Country Club. To register for this event or to learn more about all Coastal Women’s Forum has to offer, visit CoastalWomensForum.com.
By Contributing Author: Penny Zibula, Six Legs Will Travel