Since its conception in 2007, the Dynamic Professional Women's Network, Inc. (DPWN) has positioned itself to be a very functional platform for women to develop the valuable connections necessary to grow in their professional as well as personal lives. Inspired by the need to connect and partner with other professional women, but unable to commit to other early morning groups, DPWN was created to better meet the needs of working women and offer meeting times that also fit into a working mothers schedule. The objectives of DPWN are simple, yet powerful. We focus on building great relationships, learning new business practices, sharing other networking opportunities, exchanging marketing ideas, and of course generating business for each other through referrals.
The foundation of our network, and what sets us apart from other women's groups, are our "Dynamic" members who are dedicated to actively supporting each other in their respective chapters. Our chapter meetings are intended to be structured enough to be extremely productive, yet still allow for time to chat with your friends and acquaintances during our open networking time. What began as one chapter in a Chicagoland suburb has expanded to support hundreds of members representing multiple businesses in many communities and states.
In addition to our non-compete networking chapters, we also host monthly open networking events designed to inspire, educate and motivate our women, we facilitate additional educational opportunities, we offer a success coaching to our members, we partner with our affiliates to offer additional benefits and opportunities for our members, our website was designed to allow our members the opportunity to connect and market their business virtually with other professionals and we are commencing our non-for profit organization DPWN Angels which will leverage the internal and external connections of the Dynamic Professional Women's Network to serve the needs of women with a "Hand Up" in the areas of Body, Mind and Soul.
"We all prefer to do business with someone we know, like and trust. So if developing relationships with professional women who understand the power of a strong referral network would help you, join us in helping us grow our network together."
Christie L. Ruffino
DPWN Founder and President
Our Success Goals
President and Founder
Dynamic Professional Women's Network
"Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others." - Harriet Goldhor Lerner
It is this 'connectedness to others' that inspired Christie Ruffino to establish her very first networking chapter in 2004 with top notch women she had crossed paths with in her professional career. As a managing leader in the employment industry, Ms. Ruffino became skilled at creating professional partnerships between employers and employees that resulted in long-term and successful careers. In May of 2007, she made a decision to implement that same ideology to develop multiple chapters of the Dynamic Professional Women's Network that would focus on creating partnerships that would generate ideas, alliances and revenues. Three years and multiple chapters later, DPWN is recognized as a driving force behind the success and profitability of many of its members' businesses.
Drawing from her expert ability to link people to the right resources, she encourages the 'veteran' business owners to connect with the members who are newer to their businesses. Each member is completely unique to the rest of the group, just as their businesses are completely unique from each other. Christie states she is continuously impressed by the high caliber of women in each group. "I encourage each chapter to be autonomous and self-directing, because they all have such innovative and professional members as the foundation of the group." The group provides a structured networking forum that allows up to 30 members to meet on a bi-weekly basis over lunch at a local restaurant. At the start of each meeting, all members have 30 seconds to introduce their company to the entire group. Each meeting focuses on one or two particular members who are able to discuss their business for up to 10 minutes. During this time, the speakers are able to answer questions, talk about specials or discounts and introduce new products or services. Before and after each meeting, general networking is encouraged where plenty of business cards are exchanged. The meetings are kept to 90 minutes in length, but week after week, Christie sees the members staying after to continue building business relationships.
Each chapter is presided over by the organization's Advisory Board. They meet regularly to discuss future growth and opportunities that bring more benefits to the members, such as large-scale networking functions and after-hour business events. This allows members from all the chapters to meet with each other. Here are a few thoughts shared by current members:
Christie will be facing many challenges in the upcoming months, and they are ones that she never would have predicted when founding DPWN. Because their initial attention for building chapters was focused locally, their systems were not designed to ensure national consistency and success for their members. However, popularity of this networking concept is rapidly crossing borders into neighboring counties and even sates with new chapters currently forming in Wisconsin. "We welcome this challenge', says Ms. Ruffino. "We recognize that we need to keep our internal growth one step ahead of our external growth. We need to improve our viral networking potential and continue to offer more benefits than any other professional women's networks out there. We will not be successful unless we do everything we can to ensure the success of our members businesses."
"Christie has been an inspiration and motivation to many people. Her selfless and caring attitude to reach out and help others in evident in the charities that she's supported.", states Renate Knippen from Knippen Enterprises about the donations that are collected at DPWN network events and given to local charities such as Embrace a Family, Women 2 Women, Wings, Kids Against Hunger, Community Career Center, DuPage County Animal Shelter, Expect a Miracle Foundation, Thanks For Giving Foundation, Aspire of Illinois, Pediatric Oncology Foundation, Make a Wish Foundation of Illinois, Glen Oaks Hospital Foundation, totaling thousands. Her commitment to give back has been further escalated by the implementation of her dream of founding a non-profit entity of her organization, the DPWN Angel Foundation. "Even though it is still in its infancy stage, it is exciting to be in a position to utilize the power of this network to help so many women" says Ms. Ruffino.
Their goal is to leverage the Dynamic Professional Women's Network's power of connections and/or to provide a monetary gift for an identified, immediate need to these recipients in various areas of need including but not limited to education, self-improvement, training, and networking. Their Ultimate Vision is to serve the needs of women with a "hand up", not a hand out and hopes to ensure that no woman ever has to feel alone or at a loss for how to address her needs.
In addition to working diligently to ensure the success of the Dynamic Professional Women's Network and the DPWN Angel Foundation, Ms. Ruffino is currently serving as a Council Member of the Executives Breakfast Club, she served two terms as a Board Director of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce, in 2008 she was honored to receive a Special Judge's Recognition for the Citizen of the year award in Carol Stream, in 2009 was awarded a Distinguished Woman of Business Award from American Family Insurance this year with great pleasure and most recently received her highest honor by being recognized as an Influential Women in Business in 2009 by the Business Ledger and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).
Our Trusted Advisors consist of a select team of business professionals who are dedicated to the success of the Dynamic Professional Women's Network.
Their role is to define the goals of our organization and adopt the proper strategies to achieve them.
Our Chapter Directors are a Dynamic group of women who are dedicated to encouraging and leading the women of their chapter to success.
2 Years or more as a Chapter Director
Each chapter is supported by a leadership team of two women, who on a volunteer basis, work together to ensure their chapter is successful at:
Responsibilities of the Chapter Director
Suggested Action Plan
All Success Team members are encouraged to attend our monthly leadership meetings to help the Chapter Director communicate to chapter all DPWN news from these meetings. In addition, all Success Team members are encouraged to complete a Greeter training to ensure they are aware of the best way to interact with guests who attend your meetings.
(Two Membership Directors are recommended for chapters with 15 or more members)
(This position can be rotated and performed by a different member each meeting if desired.)
Calendar of Networking Events
Greeting Card Coordinator
Mission Statement/Inspirational Quote
(This position can be rotated and performed by a different member each meeting if desired.)
New Member Hospitality
My favorite part of having joined DPWN, is meeting women who are serious about their business and who are looking to make strong relationships within our community!
Renee' Perry/Business Coach & Certified Passion Test Facilitator
DPWN has provided me with the opportunity to network with professional women in the area and to help them build their businesses through referrals and leads. The giving attitude of the organization and the members has been a true blessing to me.
Lisa Schulteis/Today's Virtual Edge, LLC
DPWN has helped me grow my business with referrals from power partners within the Chapter. The relationships are powerful and friendships develop. Defintely an organization worthy of your time.
Linda Scott/Wintrust Mortgage
I have made many connections and created many wonderful relationships through the DPWN. These DPWN connections have expanded into third party connections over the 5 years that I have been a member.
Deborah Todd/Certified Professional Life Coach
The women that I have met through my DPWN chapter have been quality business women who I am excited about networking with.
Patty Bojan/Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.
DPWN has enhanced my business in many ways. My fellow chapter members give me the support of many mentors; the speaker events have given me new knowledge and improved my business practices; and the leadership opportunities have helped me to become a better leader in all areas.
Anne Quigley/Pure Harmony Massage
I am extremely proud of our Barrington Chapter as we complete our 2nd year with DPWN! We respect and promote each members business and have learned from each woman's area of expertise. These connections have produced many referrals and friendships!
Kathleen Rosner/Melaleuca Executive Director
I have truly enjoyed being the chapter director of our group. The women have all been supportive by always being involved with the growth of our chapter and the quality of referrals we generate for each other. They are my inspiration and keep me moving forward with the energy, desire, and pride that DPWN exemplifies.
Lisa Juarez/Prime Realy Solutions
Through DPWN, I have met a number of high achieving women who have enhanced my life by knowing them, created meaningful relationships both personally and professionally; on top of, increasing my referrals and connections to advance my business.
Sandra Switzer/Success Coach~ Speaker~Educator~Author
I love the networking opportunities I hear about through our DPWN chapter! Chamber meetings, speaking and vendor opportunities with other networking groups - all of these occasions gives my business the chance to grow by meeting new people. Our chapter really cares about the success of each member's business.
Lori Martin/Envision Benefit Specialist
DPWN has allowed me to make meaningful connections with other women. I have confidence in the business our members provide, and I am more than happy to refer friends and family to my fellow members.
Kristina Sciazko/Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center
DPWN is an innovative way to network with other successful businesswomen in the area. Beyond business growth, which due to the nature of our unique organization has been exponentially more successful than any other networking that I've done, the personal growth and development along with true friendships created has been invaluable.
Louisa Rothman/Arbonne International
My membership in DPWN has provided the opportunity to meet wonderful women who, over the years, have become dynamic business partners as well as great friends!
Pam Stella/Illinois Institute of Technology
DPWN has given me the opportunity to not only grow as a person and a business owner but has challenged me to be better at what I do and given me confidence personally and professionally. There is a lot of power in women to support each other and I am glad to be a part of it.
Fran Myles/Sparkles Entertainment
DPWN is exactly what it says - Dynamic Professional Women Network...pure and simple. Strong women reaching out to help other strong women and in the process growing their businesses together.
Pat Olinger/1st Advantage Mortgage
Getting to know and trust the members in my group, to pass and receive referrals, is invaluable! I wish an opportunity such as DPWN had been available earlier in my career!
Sue Ganser Levinson/Attorney at Law
After my first year with my DPWN Chapter, I feel like I am part of a group of women who I admire deeply. They are caring women who are vibrant and ambitious. They inspire me when they succeed and I want to help them! I appreciate all they do to provide opportunities for me too!!
Darlene Lundin/Country Financial Insurance
Meeting on a consistent basis with other local business women has been a great way to maintain confidence and refine my speaking skills.
Michelle Velmont/Velmont Enterprises, LLC
DPWN has been a terrific source of leads for my property tax appeal business. I've received leads that have led to LOTS of new residential & commercial clients. I've also benefited from the professional expertise of my Chapter members, which has allowed me to grow my business.
Karen Krug/K2 Consulting of IL, Inc
DPWN has provided me with the opportunity to meet women from all walks of life and share in the promotion of our businesses. Not only do we utilize our skills to help each other, we also give back to the community and provide time and support of many organizations.
Judy Newton/Keller Williams
I've been a
member for 5 years and have consistently given and received leads that have
made a significant impact on my business. DPWN provides an excellent
environment to foster wonderful relationships both professionally and
Sharon Spero/Money Mailer and Melaleuca
is a large part of marketing your business in today's economy. DPWN allows for
affordable networking with the end result being revenue generating through
professional referral meetings. Networking in itself doesn't seem to close the
gap of advertising vs business. DPWN's
strategy of both generates revenue and great relationships.
Tina Davies CPA