In the late summer of 1985, Mary Lou Wilkins, Jayne Webre and Chris Corbo had a luncheon meeting to discuss the need for career oriented women in Lafayette to develop an organization for the purpose of networking, sharing ideas and experiences, and promoting educational formats to enhance opportunities for one another. A second informal meeting brought fourteen women together, generating a steering committee of fresh ideas and an abundance of enthusiasm.

In October of 1985, the first Connections meeting was held in Michael’s Ballroom with an attendance of eighty women interested in the organization. Steering committee members took turns as Mistress of Ceremonies until a Board of Directors could be elected. Business portions of the meeting were held to a minimum, allowing time for an informative speaker to furnish educational information. Additionally, women needed the time to talk about themselves, so “Open Mic” was established. Committees were organized and plans for goals set into motion.

Career achievement awards were established to recognize women within the Acadiana area who have excelled or made a significant contribution to their field of business. Connections inception provided a format for career oriented women to encourage professional growth, acknowledge achievements, and offer support. The vision of the founding members has become reality for members today, as we continue to grow and network through Connections.

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