The South Bay Women’s Network was founded in 1983 by Jean Brown (formerly of Security Pacific Bank). She says, ” There was no group for the women in the business community. I researched the different organizations and decided a network would be the best.”
Jean gathered five other business women interested in the idea. They spread the word and 40 women showed up for an organizational meeting. The group was made up of business owners, employees, retirees and housewives. The only qualification to join was that you resided or worked in San Luis Obispo County. This is still in the Bylaws.
Among the original 10 women who made up the first governing body were Jean, Cathy Stalter, Judi Tewell, Connie Framberger, Diane McClish, Linda Villanueva and Rosa Metzler. A Steering Committee was formed with each member taking turns planning the meetings. The members shared information about their businesses and/or personal goals and listened to speakers.
Since 1988, SBWN provides support and assistance to Stand Strong of SLO (formerly Women’s Shelter, Inc. of San Luis Obispo County) and raises funds for Cuesta College Adult Women Re-entry Student Scholarships. Many fundraisers are given annually to support these commitments, including the Holiday Dinner and Benefit, the Summer Evening Scholarship Benefit and other events throughout the year.
The first meetings were held at Don Eduardo’s Mexican Restaurant on 3rd Street in Baywood Park. Later, they were held at the Salty Pelican, Sea Pines Golf Resort, Hong Kong Restaurant and now the the Inn at Morro Bay in Morro Bay. Some of the original members have moved on, but the network has remained strong and a vital organization to the Los Osos-Morro Bay business women.