Meet the Women's Professional Network
One woman can make a difference but TOGETHER we can ROCK THE WORLD!
Welcome to the WPN!
Founded in September 2015 by Lea Bishop, the WPN welcomes both women professionals and women business owners. Because Lea firmly believes that rich and diverse educational and networking opportunities are vital for women to develop their professional skills, expand their knowledge, and help them feel connected and supported, she volunteers countless hours planning a variety of WPN events. These events include our signature celebration of International Women's Day, Leadership Circles, speed networking, business conferences, panel discussions, special fun events, and educational programs with speakers on topics tailored to professional women. We want to draw out the stories and voices of women in a way where they feel seen, heard, and empowered.
Lea was strongly influenced by her grandfather’s belief in the intelligence and capability of women. The conviction that women are savvy enough to develop their own goals and dreams in their own unique way forms the cornerstone of the WPN. Lea herself had chosen a career path that was distinctly hers. After receiving a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in industrial engineering (and was often the only woman in her college classes), her first job was with a manufacturing company. As the department’s only woman, she managed production lines, run exclusively by men. It was then that she had her first experience with workplace harassment. So she left this job and started to work as a computer programmer and project manager with IBM.
After a maternal leave of absence, Lea started a Women in Business Empowerment group and held workshops for women and fundraisers for local women’s nonprofits while working at a local chamber of commerce. Still wanting to do more to empower women herself, Lea founded the WPN. After experiencing some serious health issues, she was reassured by her niece’s words that “we got you” and applies these words in supporting her WPN members. “There is always someone who gets you and will help you,” says Lea.
The essence of the WPN can be summed up by our keywords: Engage.Learn.Inspire. We want
to inspire and do good for ourselves, each other, and the community. We want to learn. And we want to engage with each other—because women really need to form deep relationships to build bridges.
Lea has gratefully received a ‘Local Women Making a Difference’ award and a ‘Volunteer Service to Not-for-Profit Organization’ award from the NYS Assembly and a ‘NYS Woman of Distinction’ award from the NYS Senate for her work on behalf of the women of New York State.