Mixing Education and Networking to Build Careers in Northern NJ

Fostering opportunities where our fellow NWiR members can learn and grow can feel like a tall order with an active calendar every month. To keep things fresh and engaging in the North New Jersey Council, we’ve leveraged our goals to prioritize recruiting, networking, education or mentoring in our events, and it’s paying dividends in how we’re helping make a difference in advancing women’s careers in roofing.

Building meaningful connections is central to NWiR’s purpose (and one of GAF’s core values too), but in working to grow our local council over the last few years, we’ve found that highlighting a specific theme for each of our quarterly events has increased engagement within our network.

We recently had the opportunity to host our national chair, Jennifer Stone, here for our fall meeting at GAF’s headquarters in Parsippany, NJ – with our theme for the night focusing on education. Special guests Carrie Ballone of the Leadership Distillery, and GAF’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Lisa Calicchio led us through presentations about goal-setting and leadership skills development.

Interactive presentations with exercises and surveys to help practice goal-setting allowed us to workshop ways we could grow our careers, and sharing our unique perspectives about our reasons for being (or as Lisa taught us in Japanese, our Ikigai!) helped us identify new ways of thinking about our interests, contributions and talents both personally and professionally.

While I also had some fun coaching us about how we could embody positive attributes of leadership with an analogy to our catered pizza for the evening, the reality is that these small steps to fostering an engaging environment where we can share and learn together has become a critical part of our programming to keep pursuing our goals. Despite our love of Italian food in Northern New Jersey – pizza alone just isn’t enough.

The good news is, we’re all learning and working together to grow NWiR, and can share ways we’ve been successful in supporting our colleagues.

If you’re looking for new ideas or speakers to workshop in your area, don’t feel like you have to come up with your curriculum all alone – reach out to your fellow NWiR leaders for help. Whether it’s a quick note on linked in to Carrie or Lisa to see if they could come present or share their slides, or a message to NWiR for some tips about what’s trending, we all have great experiences to share and benefit from together.

And if you’re hungry for some ideas that could work for your next meeting, drop me a line and I’ll get back to you in 30 minutes or your next idea’s on me!

About Lynn Picone
Lynn Picone has been a member of NWIR since 2017, and helped build the North New Jersey Council in 2018. She is a true roofing industry veteran as the Director of Inside Sales at GAF, where she’s worked for more than 27 years helping build programs to enhance sales support across GAF’s residential and commercial product lines. She can be reached on LinkedIn here.