2020 Empowering Women in Philanthropy Winner Interview
Dawn Pomaybo, Executive Director
The National Association of the Women’s Interactive Network
Interviewed by Dr. Shellie Hipsky
How are you inspiring lives?
WIN has become an amazing organization that inspires, empowers, and engages women of all ages, ethnicities, and industries. WIN is a vehicle that brings women together. We network with a purpose. We are at a point in our lives & careers that we are willing and able to give back to the community and others through volunteering and serving. We have touched thousands of lives over the years and recently with the pandemic, WIN has grown and changed with the times, also. We have become a beacon of light for so many people. We cry together, we laugh together, we support together, we WIN—together!
WIN has never been more important than it is today. So many of us lost business, lost money, and have been so worried about what the future brings. We found a way to support each other and help others get through these uncertain times.
Our mission is to build a community of women who encourage and support each other both professionally and personally.
What inspired you to do this work that you have chosen to do?
WIN was my way to give back to all of the special people in my life who helped me to grow and become who I am. As WIN grew, I realized that we had the ability to support and help so many others; not just women in need, but the organizations that support them and others in our communities. We found a way to carry this across the nation. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible women who have inspired me to continue on this mission of building a community of women who encourage and support each other both professionally and personally.
Is there a story from your life that shows why this work is so important?
WIN-Chapters and NA-WIN achieve our mission and goals through networking, mentoring, and education. Women from all areas of society have reached out to WIN to help them in their times of need. Many times, women need the education to move forward in their personal and professional development, but have had to devote their time and money to areas of their business, oftentimes neglecting their own needs for development.
My story surrounds the women of WIN. WIN isn’t possible without its members and supporters. It is these individuals that make WIN successful. Those who have stepped up to a leadership role have made a difference in the lives of the women we serve, the community, and the real story is them. Providing a legacy, an avenue for them to give back to the community and shine lights on how we can lift each other up, is my story. Their story is my story.
What do you want to tell the women of the world about why it is important to give back to their communities?
When communities succeed business thrives. When business thrives, communities prosper. That in turn helps us help ourselves. The reward that comes from giving back to the community does not have a price tag. As an organization, we are committed to giving back to our community.
Every event hosted by a NA-WIN chapter offers some form of education or mentoring and networking “with a purpose.” Each branch of NA-WIN is encouraged to select a charity of choice. Signature events and fundraising are an integral part of our mission. On a national level, Global Sisterhood, Dress for Success, Susan G Komen Foundation, and other charities that support women in need are suggested. On a local level, we support Sisters Place, Hair Peace Charities, Sisterhood for Good, All Faiths Food Bank, and The Children’s Home. These are just a few of those organizations that we serve.
The biggest reward that we have in serving others and giving back to the community is the realization that we’ve made a difference in someone else’s life. No matter how small that give back is, it has a ripple effect and may motivate or change the future for someone else. It may give them the hope to be stronger, to be better, to be more, and to give back themselves.
Getting to know your community gives you a sense of purpose. It widens your network, provides new knowledge, helps you to grow, and allows you to share your knowledge with others. The organizations that we serve help so many people and the rewards are endless. The ripple effects will continue through the lives of those we touch.
What does it mean to you to be part of a Global Sisterhood?
The Global Sisterhood is such an amazing organization. Being a part of this amazing organization helps us to understand the plight of women in other countries, helps us understand the bravery that happens when women support women around the world. The education and the knowledge and the awareness have made myself and WIN better. Being able to support and communicate with women nationally and globally is so rewarding. Seeing the energy and the love that Dr. Shellie brings to the table inspires me to do such much more with WIN. Dr. Shellie and the Global Sisterhood have become a beacon of light for those of us here, including myself. They inspire me to want to do more and be more. I can’t thank her enough for the courage that she shows, especially in the current environment, with all of our struggles and challenges. Her strength and desire to network, fundraise, and support women globally is an inspiration to me.