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WMU alum, author shares secrets of networking with SKIRT

by Mark Schwerin

Oct. 5, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Michelle Alberda.
KALAMAZOO--A business professional and graduate of Western Michigan University will share her networking secrets for women professionals in two upcoming events in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, unveiling her "SKIRT" strategies--Sharing Knowledge Information and Resources Together.

Michelle Alberda, a 1989 WMU business administration graduate, senior financial advisor and co-author of the book "SKIRTWorking," will speak at a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the WMU Fetzer Center. The event is being held in conjunction with Inforum, Michigan's leading network of professional women, dedicated to providing opportunities for women to lead and succeed.

Cost of the luncheon is $30 for Inforum members and $45 for non-members, or $350 for a table of eight. Reservations are required by Wednesday, Oct. 5, and can be made online at

A reception with Alberda also is being held in Grand Rapids. That event is at 6 p.m. at Noto's Old World Dining, 6600 28th St. and is sponsored by the WMU Family of Grand Rapids. Reservations for the reception also are required by Oct. 5 by calling (269) 387-8746. Cost is $20 per person and includes hors d'eouvres. More information on that event is available at

The careers of Alberda and "SKIRTWorking" co-authors Michelle Balog and Stacey Fleece all began at different times, but they came together more than seven years ago when they began honing their business networking skills and building on referrals. The women wanted to capitalize on their networking power exponentially, while teaching other small businesswomen techniques to accelerate business growth. The idea for "SKIRTworking" was born out of this collective desire.

The book helps female entrepreneurs develop the skills to build a business entirely through networking by capitalizing on contacts they already have in their database. It also helps them effectively use women's natural relationship-building skills and expand production in the most efficient and cost-effective manner while managing their own networking group to support and help others grow in their business.