WMU News

Center offers mini-expo for women in business

July 24, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The public is invited to Western Michigan University's Women's Business Development Center on Thursday, August 2, to learn about a variety of women-owned businesses and to find out how the center's staff can assist other entrepreneurs.

The Women in Business Mini-Expo will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Federal Room of the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce building, 346 W. Michigan Ave. The program, part of a monthly series of workshops offered by WMU's Women's Business Development Center, is free and open to the public.

More than 20 entrepreneurs will be on hand to tell attendees about their businesses and their interactions with the WBDC. Center Director Pat Guenther also will be available to talk with people about the free and low-cost services her organization provides. As a special thanks to the businesses participating in the expo, communication and marketing experts Jan Andersen, Barbara Beardsley and Marti Fritz will be at the event to critique the businesses' materials and offer marketing suggestions.

Andersen, president of the consulting company Beyond Words Inc., has experience in communications strategy and implementation; writing, editing and production; and communications training and development. A 1973 graduate of Grand Valley State University, she earned her master of arts degree from WMU in 1983. Before founding her own company in 1996, she worked for organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, Towers Perrin, the John E. Fetzer Foundation and WMU. She is a member of the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of directors of Professional Women Communicators and the advisory board of WMU's Women's Business Development Center.

A graduate of Western Michigan University, Beardsley is a marketing consultant for BCO Marketing Communications, and previously managed sales marketing and public relations for a regional business magazine. Co-founder of the Hospital Hospitality House, she is a longtime community advocate who has raised funds and otherwise volunteered for a variety of Southwest Michigan organizations. Currently, Beardsley is a member of Business Network International, the Professional and Executive Association of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. She serves on the board of directors of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra League, the advisory board of WMU's Women's Business Development Center and as an ambassador for the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce.

Fritz has managed the Kalamazoo Public Library's community relations office since 1996. She has 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations and event planning, including work with her husband Warren's two small businesses, New World Bicycles and Raymond James Financial Services. Fritz earned a master's degree in communication from WMU in 1988.

WMU's Haworth College of Business established the Women's Business Development Center in 1999 to offer support to female professionals and entrepreneurs through training, group and individual problem-solving consultation, current business information and networking opportunities.

For more information or to reserve a seat, contact WBDC Director Pat Guenther at (616) 387-2714 or <patricia.guenther@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400