Bridget O’Connor, founder of O’Connor Connective in De Pere, and Vicki Updike, founder of New Sage Strategies in Appleton, are teaming up to oversee the vision and programming for The Connective: A Place for Women in Business in De Pere.
Founded in 2018 by O’Connor, The Connective is a resource that women business owners can tap into whether they are looking for room to work, professional development or the opportunity to connect with other women professionals.
The Connective space at 320 Main Ave., De Pere, features a co-working environment and private office suites with access to other women professionals and education provided by a proven network of educators, coaches, corporate leaders and professional service providers.
Updike has more than 25 years of executive experience, including serving as president of Miles Kimball Co. (now Silver Star Brands), and serves as co-chair of New North Inc., the 18-county economic development organization in northeast and east central Wisconsin in addition to running her own consulting business.
“This collaboration is another way we can bring professional development to women in business through education, encouragement and inspiration,” Updike said. “I’m thrilled to be a part of this and am thrilled with the response we are getting as we launch this effort.”
A marketing communication strategist with more than 25 years of experience, O’Connor said The Connective will offer formal and informal educational opportunities, networking and programs to its members and preferred service providers.
“As women, we often put our own professional development on the back burner,” she said.
The Connective plans to build a membership base of women in 2019 and launch programming in March. Membership allows women to enjoy co-working space, events, workshops and professional service discounts from The Connective’s list of preferred service providers — a vetted group of consultants and companies that offer what is needed to advance careers and grow businesses such as coaching services, HR, IT, marketing and financial planning.
Men are welcome at The Connective as well since it’s being viewed as a go-to place for men and women related to issues of recruitment and retention of talent in all organizations as well as business growth strategies for family- and women-owned businesses.
“It takes men and women alike to advance our business community,” O’Connor said. “We invite all to join us in this effort.”