Southern Utah center guides women who are ‘always in transition’

Stock image | Photo by fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After almost two years since its creation, the Women’s Influence Center has hired a director to aide growth and development of the services it provides for women.

After seeing gaps in the Southern Utah community in regard to women’s success and growth, co-founders Shirlayne Quayle and Pam Palermo decided to create the center in 2017 in hopes of helping women who are in transition.

Read more: Women’s Influence Center opens with emotional, powerful conference

One of the gaps Palermo said she saw was in regard to young women in business.

“I, at that point in time, saw a need that wasn’t being addressed,” she told St. George News, “that these women weren’t able to get together and lift each other up.”

The Women’s Influence Center helps women with personal, leadership and professional development by offering one-on-one mentoring and entrepreneurial training, which is offered every third Tuesday of the month from 4-6 p.m. The center also has various committees to help cover different aspect of a woman’s life, such as leadership, business and entrepreneurship, mentoring and coaching, education and workforce development, health and wellness, volunteer engagement and community connection.

Its entrepreneurial training consists of some of the following topics:

  • Writing a business plan.
  • Forming a business entity.
  • Creating a company brand.
  • Maximizing all available resources.
  • Developing a funding plan.

“We looked at women in leadership in this area and the lack of it, and that businesses here really had a desire for women to move up into leadership positions, but the women didn’t know how,” said Palermo, who also serves as CEO and president of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce.

In order to offer additional services, the center hired Jane Muller, who has background in working for both corporate and nonprofit sectors. She came across the director position on a job posting website and said she knew it was meant for her.

“I’m at a stage in my career where I really have a heartfelt passion to give back to women,” Muller said, “whether they’re older women who are transitioning into their senior years or younger women who are transitioning into their careers.”

Jane Muller, director of the Women’s Influence Center, in the center at the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce building, Nov. 8, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

Her role as director is building capacity within the organization to allow the center to meet the increasing needs of women in the community. Muller said the center is currently doing some visioning work for the future and planning to develop a strategic plan for the next five years.

“It generally will take five years for our business to morph,” Palermo said, “especially when you are talking about an entire community and trying to meet their needs.”

Besides offering its own resources, the Women’s Influence Center also collaborates with the Women’s Business Center of Utah, where online training is provided to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Most of the events and training hosted by the center also include men, Palermo said, adding that the center does a good job at being nonpartisan.

Although most of its training pertains to women in business, she said the center focuses on helping women from all walks of life.

“Women are always in transition,” Palermo said. “There’s no doubt about it. We’re always moving from some thing to another.”

To learn more about the Women’s Influence Center, visit its website or stop by its office located in the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce building, 136 N. 11 East, St. George.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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