NAPW’s ‘Power Networking Event’: Speed networking, success stories and philanthropy

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Star Jones and Jean Shafiroff inspire women at NAPW’s ‘Power Networking Event’.

Forty degrees isn’t so bad when you’re dressed for it. It was seasonably cold but manageable. Last night two fellow professionals and I attended an all-women event in Manhattan at Midtown Loft & Terrace. We were at NAPW’s Power Networking Event. For two hours, we mingled with other esteemed women, participated in speed networking, and listened to success stories. Waiters and waitresses served hors d’oeuvres. Coconut shrimp, meatballs, sliders, the equivalent of lobster ‘tuna’, and more were on the night’s menu. (If you’re wondering: Yes, speed networking is just like speed dating.)

The organization’s president, Star Jones, sat with a philanthropist named Jean Shafiroff. Before their Q&A, Jones gave a speech. She talked about being overweight, having open heart surgery, business, a failed relationship, new love, and the joy of being a mother to a preteen. Aside from being inspirational and professional, Jones was transparent. She left little to the imagination. We didn’t have to wonder about anything. Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff talked about her new book “Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give.” Jones quizzed her about how people can get involved with philanthropy.

When I interviewed Shafiroff about her book, she told me, “Anyone could be a philanthropist.”

The sentence above piqued my interest.

Shafiroff continued, “If you don’t have the funds to give, you can give your time and knowledge. If you have resources, meaning money, I believe you have an obligation to give. It’s not an option. If you are blessed, you must help. There’s so much need in the world. The book talks about how to analyze a charity because not all charities are created equal. If you’re going to give your time or your resources or your knowledge, which is very important, you want to make sure this charity is well run, and that their expenses and overheads are not too high. I go into more specific detail [in the book.] I tell everybody to follow their passions. What are you interested in? If you’re interested in ending abuse of women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Then, find a charity that deals specifically with that, and that’s well run, and work with them if you can. If they have a local branch, it’s easy. If they are based in Washington, DC, it might be harder. Children might want to get involved in their school first, and you’d want to teach your children all about philanthropy. The first step is to teach them to be kind. And remember: Anyone can be a philanthropist. Don’t be discouraged.”


Special thanks to the NAPW for the hospitality, the gift bags, and the opportunity to hear Erica M’s speech. During her speech, she shared how a ‘wasted’ pair of leggings spawned an entire business. It was inspirational.


To purchase Jean Shafiroff’s 5-star review book, head to Amazon’s or Barnes & Noble’s website. To learn more about the National Association of Professional Women, visit their website. Join the chapter for your region for regular event updates and more.


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