"Network" began in 1978 in Fort Worth, Texas by 3 local women to meet the need for support for working women. They wanted to create a group with:
"Network" continues to this day as a place for women to come in a pleasant, supportive, gathering where they can share ideas, skills and experiences in a non-judgmental, accepting environment.
Network for Enterprising Women is a group of professional women who share interests in women related issues.
Membership is open to women who wish to share ideas, skills & experience in a non-judgmental, accepting environment. The group functions as an informal information network & a source of support providing personal & professional growth opportunities.
We meet every Friday morning at Bread Winners Cafe from 7:30am - 8:30am. Each morning we have a speaker sharing a topic. Topics can be related to personal life or business.
2018 Meeting at Bread Winners
In October, 1978 three women, Peg Knapp, Chris Miller and Pat Mohler decided they wanted to meet regularly with other professional women. They invited others and began meeting each Friday for breakfast. Over the first six weeks, those attending further defined what it was they wanted and set out to make it happen.
The group named themselves “Network for Executive Women.” It was decided to meet every Friday recruiting thoughtfully to encourage diversity. Members jealously guarded their morning time against taking sides or promoting favorite causes. Network grew from 10 to 15 members to 35 to 40 regulars and another 50 or so occasional members. Monthly dinner and lunch meetings were added.
A professional workshop was also offered to the short list of group activities. The group grew to over 200 members in the 1980’s. As a result of the increase in membership, Network expanded to have several “satellite” groups in other locations and on different days.
In 1982, the membership voted to adopt By-Laws and to become officially a not-for-profit organization. Five women were elected to a new Board of Directors with Dr Jane Hardwick as its first president. The role of the board was to function as much as possible “behind the scenes” so that networking would continue to have top priority at the morning meetings.
In a gesture of loving remembrance for long standing member, Ruth Marie Cox, in 1994 an award was created to honor a current member each year whose participation in the group exemplified the many attributes of Ruth Marie Cox. The first recipient was Ellen Roddy.
Membership decreased dramatically in the 199o’s resulting in some restructuring in 2008. The Board combined their talents and formed the “Back to the Future” committee whose task was to reconstruct the organization. They focused on the change of the weekly meeting location as well as prioritizing an increase in membership. It was at this time that Network for Executive Women became Network for Enterprising Women; it aimed at attracting a broader, more diverse group of women. In the midst of these changes, the original purpose of Network, to actively support women and their achievements in a positive and informal setting, remained the same. Through the use of technology and efforts to encourage a wider spectrum of women, Network continues to offer an appealing way to meet and share ideas and support with other women in business, the arts, education and other types of enterprising careers.
Peg Knapp-1978, one of the founding members of Network for Executive Women
The Ruth Marie Cox Award is given at the Annual Meeting each January. Recognition is given to the recipient of the award who best exemplifies those traits of a Network member as did Ruth Marie Cox, one of the earliest members of Network.
Our Ruth Marie Cox winner this year is someone who has been involved with Network from the time she joined until today. She is loyal and willing to do whatever she can to help out in any capacity. At times she is a promoter or a peacemaker or a party planner. She can do it all and do it with class.
One person who nominated our 2017 winner said, “She is a happy, fun-loving person who would rather have fun than work, but never shies away from work or anything that will help Network or anyone.” She is one of those few people who loves everyone, and, they, in return, love her back. “She is as she appears, perfectly dressed, perfectly organized, perfectly a friend to all.”
Our awardee is a native “Fort Worthan,” so to speak, having been born and bred right here in Cowtown. She knows her way around and is a good resource for those needing directions or a place to have a good meal. For many years she was a Beauty Consultant and still gives free advice to her Network sisters. More recently she has been in the business world, having worked her way from an Associate to Senior Director of her company with over 250 people under her.
Previous Recipients of the Ruth Marie Cox Award
1994 Ellen Roddy
1995 Bertha Henricks
1996 Vonnie Kauffman
1997 Judith Clements
1998 Jewell Burgess
1999 Ann Capps Trussell
2000 Sarah Walker
2001 Jeannie Crane
2002 Taylor Stevens-Parker
2003 Janet McNalley Brown
2004 Karen Parr
2005 Karla Sparger
2006 Eloise Foltes
2007 Sandi Ross
2008 Judith Wells
2009 Keiko Couch
2010 Kay Wright
2011 Susan Dougherty
2012 Camille Drinan
2013 Carla Fay White
2014 Olga Ferris
2015 Carolyn Goldsmith
2016 Betty Poage
2017 Lois Teeples
2018 Toni Allison
Toni Allison - Recipient for 2018