Press Releases

Bank of America invests $200,000 in Women’s Employment Network to advance employment opportunities and economic mobility for women in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (November 2, 2017) –

Bank of America announces the selection of Women’s Employment Network (WEN) as a 2017 Neighborhood Builder® in Kansas City. WEN is being recognized for its work to help local women achieve financial wellness and independence, which in turn, contributes to economic and social progress throughout the Kansas City area. Through Neighborhood Builders (#NeighborhoodBuilders), the bank provides nonprofits with a unique combination of leadership development (for the executive director and a developing leader in the organization), $200,000 in flexible funding, a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and the opportunity to access capital in order to expand their impact in the communities they serve.

For more than 30 years, WEN has positively impacted the lives of thousands of Kansas City women seeking better lives for themselves and their families. WEN promotes the long-term financial success of its clients, helping them secure sustainable and well-paying jobs, build credit and improve overall financial literacy. Offerings range from mock interviews and resume writing support to personal finance workshops and ongoing coaching services. WEN is a lead member of the OneKC for Women alliance, formed in 2009 to empower women to achieve financial independence regardless of their socio-economic background. WEN also serves on the Money Smart Kansas City (MSKC) Steering Committee and Partnership Committee to support larger community efforts to increase the financial resources of low-to-moderate-income Kansas City residents.  

“Nonprofits like WEN are instrumental to address critical community needs and strengthen the economic health of Kansas City,” said Gary Jankowitz, Bank of America’s Kansas City Market President. “Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program is just one example of how we deploy capital in communities and build cross-sector partnerships in order to advance economic and social progress, as part of our approach to responsible growth. We’re proud to partner with WEN to help women across the Kansas City area achieve financial independence.”

Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders grant will allow WEN to launch its new WEN on the Road program, which will bring the expertise of WEN staff and additional resources to partner organizations within the community – resulting in an estimated 45 percent increase over two years in clients served. Funds will also be used to invest in the professional development of the next generation of WEN leadership to ensure the organization is well positioned to grow for years to come.

“At WEN, we believe in helping clients help themselves, and we know career and financial education resources are essential when it comes to achieving lasting financial stability,” said Sherry Turner, President of WEN. “We are honored to be named a 2017 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder, and we look forward to continuing to meet the needs of our clients where they are – beyond our traditional parameters – through collaboration with our community partners.”

Since 2004, through Neighborhood Builders, Bank of America has partnered with 22 nonprofits in Kansas City, investing more than $4 million to help them scale and improve services and programs serving the community. These partnerships are part of the broader program, through which the bank has invested $220 million in nearly 1,000 nonprofits and nearly 2,000 nonprofit leaders across 45 U.S. communities. Neighborhood Builders is a signature demonstration of the bank’s efforts to build thriving communities by advancing economic mobility through a focus on workforce development, community development and basic needs. Through Neighborhood Builders, the bank has helped nonprofits create greater impact in communities and better prepare for the future by providing the tools and resources to develop stronger strategic plans, build cross-sector partnerships, and enhance funding opportunities.

About Women’s Employment Network
Since 1986, Women’s Employment Network (WEN) has been a leader in providing employment preparation and career transition services to women throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Each year, WEN works with over 650 women, 88% of which live below the federal poverty level and 66% of which are minority. WEN offers job-search training and resources, individualized coaching, financial education, professional case management and other services to help women obtain economic independence through sustained employment.

About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.

Reporters may contact:
Diane Wagner
Bank of America

Kansas City Women in Technology to Partner with the OneKC for Women alliance

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (October 16, 2017) –

Kansas City Women in Technology is announcing a new partnership with OneKC for Women, an umbrella alliance that brings together several organizations, each with unique roles, all dedicated to providing resources, opportunities, and connections for women.

The alliance brings together the Women's Employment Network, Women's Business Center,
Women's Capital Connection, and WE-Lend. These organizations are powerful advocates for women and committed to assisting women in their quest for personal, professional, and financial self-sufficiency.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to partner with another organization as passionate about helping women as we are. We bring technical and coding skill development to the table, but it’s only one small piece of the helping diversity in the workforce puzzle,” said Jennifer Wadella, Founder of Kansas City Women in Technology. “We’re happy to work with OneKC to help better support the Kansas City community and bring opportunities to those who need them most.”

This partnership between Kansas City Women in Technology and the OneKC for Women alliance is another example of expanding options and providing additional resources and opportunities for women in our community.

Kansas City Women in Technology is a grassroots organization helping to grow the number of women in technology careers in Kansas City. The organization is unique to Kansas City, created to serve the local needs of the Kansas City technology community. For more information, please visit

OneKC for Women:
Coding and Cocktails:
Kansas City Women in Technology:

Teresa Maly | 816.617.3458 |

Area Organizations Form Alliance “OneKC for Women” to Create Business Opportunities in the Region

LENEXA, KS (June 15, 2009) — Four entities with a history of serving women in the Kansas City metropolitan area are forming an alliance to respond to the needs in our community. The current economic climate precipitates the need for increased services as job creation in our region becomes a primary focus.

The Women’s Employment Network, Kansas Women’s Business Center, Women’s Capital Connection and First Step Fund provide services that create financial growth and independence. This alliance will more fully integrate many of the current services each organization offers.

The collective mission of this alliance is to empower women to become economically self-sufficient and prosperous through career development and business growth. The integration of existing programs will provide options for the following clients:

  • Unemployed
  • Underemployed
  • Transitioning
  • Business start-ups
  • Existing businesses
  • Microenterprises
  • Businesses seeking funding

Eighty percent of the services these organizations provide is focused on women in all social and economic demographics in the 11-county metro area. Services include résumé writing, interviewing/job training, entrepreneurial training, consulting, mentoring, matchmaking, business loans and business investment funding. Clients of this collaboration will have an expanded menu of offerings.

Mission alignment provides tremendous synergy to more effectively deliver programs with the intention of serving more clients. This alliance will produce some operational efficiencies and enhances collective fundraising efforts for long-term sustainability.

Sherry Turner has been named President of the Women’s Employment Network, and maintains her leadership role with the Kansas Women’s Business Center and the Women’s Capital Connection to support the OneKC for Women’s alliance.

Vanessa Finley, Executive Director of First Step Fund, will continue to provide excellent leadership for the First Step Fund at 4747 Troost, as she has for 11 years.

The organizational entities involved:

  • Women’s Employment Network (WEN)
    Self-sufficiency through economic independence
  • Kansas Women’s Business Center (KWBC)
    Training and mentoring for women entrepreneurs
  • Women’s Capital Connection (WCC)
    Angel investors investing in women-led businesses
  • First Step Fund
    Self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship and microenterprise development

Several additional organizations endorsing this alliance as an enhancement to our community are:

  • The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
  • U.S. Small Business Administration
  • The Kauffman Foundation
  • The Enterprise Center of Johnson County
  • KCSourceLink
  • The Women’s Foundation
  • Kansas City Area Development Council

Community leaders are supportive of the alliance for various reasons...

Beth Smith, Founder of Women’s Employment Network:

“This alliance is a very logical next step for these organizations and women in our community. What wonderful new employment options women will have.”

Laura McKnight, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation:

“Donors are becoming more deliberate about their giving, expecting the nonprofits they support to work more efficiently and effectively through collaboration and business models that make sense. The Community Foundation’s donors are pleased to see these organizations put their clients and mission first by streamlining their operations to better serve women from first job to entrepreneurial business owner.”

Maria Meyers, Network Builder, KCSourceLink, and Director UMKC Innovation Center:

“This alliance is an excellent example of how organizations that support workforce development and economic development can come together to create a collaboration to improve the lives of women in the Kansas City region.”

Lesa Mitchell, Vice President Advancing Innovation for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation:

“The OneKC for Women Alliance represents a smart and strategic move for these four organizations to join forces and align their resources to best serve women throughout the Kansas City region. By working on a collective mission, through this alliance, all of the services, fundraising and outreach can be administered much more effectively to achieve greater results that ultimately will serve and advance the goals of many more women in our community.”

Gary Cook, SBA District Director for the Kansas City Region:

“We at the Small Business Administration are delighted to fully support OneKC for Women. Partnerships of this kind continue to be the best way to provide seamless delivery of much-needed services and opportunities for the greater Kansas City community.”

Support Kansas City Announces 2011 Nonprofit Award Winners

MISSION, KS (April 14, 2011) — Support Kansas City, a local nonprofit providing business and administrative support services to other nonprofits, announces the winners of the 2011 Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Award. Phoenix Family Housing has won the award for an agency with a budget of more than $1 million and Women’s Employment Network has been granted the award for an agency with a budget of $1 million or less.

This award is distinctive because it honors these agencies for the strong and balanced relationship between their board of directors and executive staff. “Nonprofits with boards that are fully engaged in good governance reap the benefits of not only doing the right thing, but also having a strategic vision for their organization’s mission,” said Debra Box, executive director for Support Kansas City. “These nonprofits can execute transformative changes that are critical for their success and future. We can’t recognize all the deserving organizations, but I hope these awards help educate our community about the level of integrity and strong leadership that exists in Kansas City.”   

Phoenix Family Housing brings on-site support and stability to residents of low-income housing in 32 communities located in 13 cities throughout Kansas and Missouri. These comprehensive services help residents overcome barriers to their success, both economically and personally. “On behalf of the entire team at Phoenix Family, we are incredibly honored to have been selected for this prestigious award and are proud of the great leadership provided by our board of directors,” said Kimber Myers Givner, Executive Director for Phoenix Family Housing.

Since 1986, Women’s Employment Network has offered job-search training, resources, individualized coaching and professional case management to help women all over Kansas City achieve economic independence and increased self-esteem. “I can’t think of a more appropriate way for the Women’s Employment Network (WEN) to embrace our 25th anniversary than to accept the 2011 Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Award. There have been fantastic community leaders attached to WEN over the years and our current leadership considers our board governance a priority to enhance our future sustainability,” said Sherry Turner, President of Women’s Employment Network.

Phoenix Family Housing and Women’s Employment Network will receive their awards at 4:30 p.m. on April 28, 2011, during Support Kansas City’s Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Awards Celebration held at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center at 6200 Martway in Mission, Kansas.  

Support Kansas City is based in Mission, Kansas, and provides nonprofit organizations in Kansas and Missouri with business and development expertise, empowering them to focus on their missions.

Contact: Debra Box, phone (913) 831-4752, fax (913) 831-4707.

HomeFull Creative Agency: Howerton+White