Business community: Snoqualmie Valley Women in Business building local connections


Correctly predicting that a lot of women at the Snoqualmie Valley Women in Business lunch shared personality traits wasn’t much of a trick, but guest speaker Jessica Butts was still a little surprised by how very accurate she was.


Butts, a psychotherapist speaking on how people’s personalities can improve their businesses, guessed that most of the 40-plus people in the room were Ns, or Intuitives, in the Myers-Briggs personality type inventory, like herself.


Intuitives, she said, “take in things by their meanings, possibilities, we have hunches and speculations, and we go with our guts… we’re very theoretical, and we’re always thinking about the future,” Butts said.


Only about 25 percent of the population are Intuitives, she continued, but they are usually found in high concentrations at entrepreneurial gatherings. SVWIB’s June lunch was no exception, and almost all of the women raised their hands when Butts asked for a show of hands from the Ns.


Some of the group’s 60 members are entrepreneurs, launching and running their own businesses — the organization’s Web master Pia Larson, stepping down from the role to focus on her growing business, brought as a guest to the meeting Vicki Bertero, co-owner of the new Bayan Mongolian Barbecue restaurant that opened on Snoqualmie Ridge late last week, for example.


“You don’t have to be an entrepreneur,” though, says Michelle Comeau, a membership co-chairperson on the SVWIB board.


All you really have to be is interested in your community, because community development and leadership are core values.


“We’re always looking to help out,” said President Louise Wall. “That’s part of who we are as Women in Business.”


Since its creation four years ago, Wall said the group has been actively involved in One VOICE events for needy families, helps at the Mount Si Food Bank, hosts an annual fashion show to benefit the Mount Si Senior Center, and participates every year in the North Bend Block Party coming up July 14. They also award a scholarship to a Mount Si High School graduate, and last year, the group helped the Mount Si DECA club with events.


One of its latest ventures, WIBED, offers training classes, taught by members, to interested students. The group hopes to collaborate with the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce on such training in the future, to enable more businesspeople to benefit from the groups’ knowledge.


“Let’s get the wisdom together in our community,” member Kim Arellano summarized, to an enthusiastic response.


The most exciting thing the group is talking about these days, though, is Pay it Forward Week.


“Pay it Forward is going to be huge!” board member Kathy White announced. “It’s just such a Women in Business event, it’s totally how we live our lives.”


The weeklong event, set for Oct. 14 to 21, is all about “doing something kind for someone else,” Debby Peterman explained to the group. “Part of this is going to be an opportunity for us to market SVWIB… but also to spread goodwill throughout the community.”


“That’s going to be the big one,” said Wall. “We want it to be Valley-wide, we want it to be far-reaching, for everybody throughout the area to spread some love.”


Yes, the group is also about networking, which most people agree is essential in business, but the approach is different, member Kimberly McMartin said. It starts with a relationship.


White can’t emphasize the importance of relationships enough. After a moment’s thought, though, she can describe the group in a single sentence.


“To the degree that we help others get what they need, we get what we need.”

by CAROL LADWIG Snoqualmie Valley Record Staff Reporter