Women’s networking group for Manchester/South Windsor to launch on Jan. 29

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
Manchester/South Windsor - posted Fri., Jan. 17, 2014
Gina Johnson is launching the Manchester/South Windsor B.I.G. (Believe Inspire Grow) POD on Jan. 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Axis901 at 901 Main St. in Manchester. B.I.G. is a women's support network that provides relevant business information, peer support and motivation for women who desire personal and professional fulfillment.  Photo by Corey AmEnde.
Gina Johnson is launching the Manchester/South Windsor B.I.G. (Believe Inspire Grow) POD on Jan. 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Axis901 at 901 Main St. in Manchester. B.I.G. is a women's support network that provides relevant business information, peer support and motivation for women who desire personal and professional fulfillment. Photo by Corey AmEnde.

Last fall, Gina Johnson was at that point in her job that we’ve all hit where things become a little “stale” and you start re-assessing your career. So she thought about what really makes her happy and what she would like to do. “And boom, like a lightning bolt hit me, it was B.I.G.,” said Johnson.

B.I.G. – Believe Inspire Grow – is an expanding support, education and networking organization for women. B.I.G. was founded in September 2009 in Bernardsville, N. J., and is rapidly spreading across the United States.  Johnson joined the Glastonbury POD in 2011 and said she thoroughly enjoys the monthly meetings.

“I’m on such a high that whole day,” said Johnson. “I have such a fantastic day because I’ve learned, I’ve experienced – and so it was so natural, I just said, ‘I need to open my own POD.’”

Johnson, along with her assistant Mary Kay Kemper, is launching the Manchester/South Windsor POD of B.I.G. with a kickoff meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., at Axis901 at 901 Main St. in Manchester.  Meetings will be held once a month and last an hour and a half.  The first 15 minutes are for networking, then 45 minutes for the speaker and time for wrap-up. The first meeting is free and attendees are encouraged to sign up for a yearly membership after that, which runs around $200.

Johnson said the target members for the group are women in career transition. “That doesn’t only mean you’re in the midst of transition, you could have just launched a business two years ago and you’re just barely struggling or struggling with, do I keep it open or do I close the doors,” said Johnson. 

The launch of the Manchester/South Windsor POD makes it the fourth POD in the greater Hartford area, joining West Hartford, Farmington and Glastonbury.  A yearly membership allows you to attend as many POD meetings as you like.

“It’s a non-judgmental, comfortable place to come with your questions, with your fears and to be supported and to help you succeed,” said Johnson.

Each monthly meeting has a speaker and a theme.  Johnson said for the January meeting other POD leaders from the area are attending to tell people what B.I.G. is all about. For the meeting on Feb. 26, Johnson has booked Lisa Lelas as the speaker.  Lelas is a nationally recognized productivity coach and has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Better Connecticut."

For more information, women are encouraged to visit B.I.G.’s website at www.believeinspiregrow.com or contact Johnson at Manchesterswbig@gmail.com.  Pre-registration is advised for all those interested in attending meetings by e-mailing Johnson.


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