By Mike Cook

“Women have unique business needs and challenges,” said Sumer Rose-Nolen.

That’s why Rose-Nolen and her friend and fellow Las Cruces business owner Marci Dickerson formed the Association last year and are relaunching it into high gear after a pandemic-induced slowdown.

The Association offers “ambitious women entrepreneurs and professionals a place to network, grow, connect and support each other through meaningful relationships and expert training in business development,” according to the website and the Association’s Facebook page.

“It’s a comfortable place to share their victories and struggles,” said Rose-Nolen, owner of SRN Financial Services, offering advice on issues such as, “How do I start a business? “And” How do I take my business to the next level? “

“This is something we needed to bring to the community in a more formal and organized way,” said Dickerson, owner of The Game, Game II and Dickerson’s Catering.

The group includes VIP members – female business owners, CEOs, CFOs – and general members who enjoy a direct connection with their most experienced and successful colleagues, Rose-Nolen said.

During the Association’s “quick mentoring” sessions, for example, General Members can spend five to ten minutes each with “established successful women” like Wanda Bowman, Pat Sisbarro, Amy Hummer, Barbara Hubbard, Julia Brown and Leslie Cervantes, drawing on their experiences and ideas, successes and failures, and asking any questions they want.

“Here is 20 years of experience that I give you in 30 minutes,” Dickerson said.

“It’s the smart way to do it,” she said, “avoiding the mistakes others have made before you.

“If this is where you want to go, now you get there.” We have learned by trial and error. The only way to go up is together.

The Association is a “productive, but relaxed group,” said Rose-Nolen. “There are no rules of order.”

There is also no age or level of experience required for membership. The Association targets students and “emerging professionals,” Dickerson said. One of his goals is to prevent Las Cruces graduates from leaving Las Cruces to find the best career opportunities.

In fact, she said, the Association invites successful businessmen to participate in its programs. It also partners with the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, which sponsors an annual WE (Women Entrepreneurs) Mean Business conference in Las Cruces.

“We find the experts everywhere,” said Rose-Nolen.

“It’s all about the connections,” Dickerson said. “How do you help people make these connections without having grown up here?” “

The Association can help members make their businesses more attractive to potential investors, maximize social media as a marketing tool, earn more and save more, make the best presentation of themselves when review, work successfully from home, and thrive as single mothers who balance work and family obligations that many businessmen are not expected to meet.

Rose-Nolen started working for herself in 2005 after banging her head against the glass ceiling at her previous job, where she saw a man she had trained become her boss and earn a higher salary .

The Association is pro-women, but “he’s not a disparaging man,” Dickerson said. “This is our reality.

Some of the Association’s events are what Rose-Nolen called “wine and moans,” when everyone feels safe saying what they want and asking for what they want.

Rose-Nolen and Dickerson met when Dickerson was hired to organize Rose-Nolen’s wedding.

Rose-Nolen told Dickerson, “I don’t know anyone. I want to choose your brain. Teach me how to grow my business.

A friendship – and a partnership – has developed. And Dickerson became one of the heroes of Rose-Nolen.

“She took me under her wing,” Rose-Nolen said. “She also set the bell for me. I enjoyed the hard love.

The other hero of Rose-Nolen is his mother.

“My mom is my motivation,” Rose-Nolen said. Her mother had to deal with domestic violence issues and many moves – Rose-Nolen attended 15 different schools growing up.

Dickerson said his hero was Wanda Bowman, a Las Cruces business pioneer who “emerged at a time when women couldn’t be independent,” Dickerson said.

“She built an empire,” Dickerson said of Bowman. “She just went to work and she did.”

This reflects a personal mantra for Dickerson: “Do not ask for permission or forgiveness. Do it.

“Our community is made of hard work and networking,” she said.

Contact Rose-Nolen at 575-640-2014. Contact Dickerson at 575-644-0778.

Visit https://theassociationlc.net/ and www.facebook.com/theassociationlc.

Association events

The Association offers regular monthly events, a quarterly social mixer and an annual keynote speaker.

Association events

The Association offers regular monthly events, a quarterly social mixer and an annual keynote speaker.

Special events:

  • 9 am-4pm Tuesday January 11: “Rise in 2022: Health, wealth and growth” In partnership with NMSU Studio G, the Association will organize a one-day workshop with afternoon breakout sessions for entrepreneurs and professionals. Free for Association members, non-members pay $ 25;
  • 11 am-2pm Tuesday March 8: “International Women’s Day: those who paved the way” lunch with local business pioneers Julia Brown, Barbara Hubbard, Wanda Bowman and Ammu Devasthali. Free for Association members, non-members pay $ 15;

Monthly events:

  • Ask the expert, which features an industry expert relevant to the business or professional growth of women; noon to 1 p.m. on the first Monday of the month on the second floor of The Game II, 4131 Northrise Drive;
  • Fempreneur Lunch Club, a coffee shop meeting that introduces successful local women entrepreneurs and includes brainstorming sessions; 9-10 a.m. the second Friday of the month at A Bite of Belgium, 741 N. Alameda Blvd .;
  • Monthly panel lunch, with discussions on various relevant topics featuring local leaders and experts; 11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road;
  • Professional power hour, a Zoom meeting for professional women focused on career advancement; 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the fourth Friday of the month; and
  • Annual workshop. The 2021 opening speech was former state Department of Tourism director Monique Jacobson, who led the launch of the #NMTrue tourism campaign after managing Quaker’s $ 1.8 billion marketing portfolio. Oats. 2022 to be announced.