Jayne Huston sees herself as a connector of people.
So far, she’s doing a good job of connecting successful women business leaders in the midstate.
Two months ago, Huston launched a Harrisburg-area chapter of Women Presidents’ Organization, a New York City-based international peer advisory group for multimillion-dollar women-led businesses.
A few weeks after the launch, more than half of the 20 available spots in the group were filled up. Huston is expecting to be full by the end of the summer.
“I get a real thrill out of bringing people together,” said Huston, who recently moved to the Hershey area to not only expand WPO but also grow her business coaching client base through ThistleSea Business Development LLC.
Huston also facilitates a WPO chapter in Greensburg, one of three chapters in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Despite the diverse industries in the group, she said most members experience similar business issues, whether it’s financial, marketing, human resources or some sort of operational challenge. The private setting allows members to help one another through those challenges.
“My job is to bring the genius out of the group,” she said.
So, how do you get connected with the local WPO? Here are a few things to know about the nonprofit organization:
- WPO chapters are limited to 20 members from non-competitive businesses who meet monthly to share business expertise and experience in a confidential setting. The Harrisburg-area chapter already has members in real estate, accounting, legal, retail, wholesale, information technology, manufacturing, engineering and painting, among others.
- WPO membership requires annual revenue of at least $2 million, or $1 million for service-based companies, and an ownership interest in the company. Local members so far run companies ranging from $2 million to $40 million in revenue, Huston said.
- Harrisburg’s WPO chapter is the organization’s 128th and recruits members across nine regional counties. It is based at the regional offices of PNC Bank in Hampden Township, Cumberland County. There are about 1,800 members worldwide.
- More than half of current WPO members worldwide said they expect to grow revenue by $1 million to $5 million this year, according to the organization’s most recent business outlook survey. The average WPO member runs a company with revenue of $13.2 million.
- Fees: Membership fees range from $900 to $5,000 per year, depending on geographic area or company size.