Wine & Women Korea Celebrates 9th Birthday with Diversity
The networking group Wine & Women Korea (WWK) celebrated their nine year anniversary on International Women’s Day this past Sunday. Board members celebrated by raising their glasses in a toast to women everywhere. WWK was founded on March 8th, 2006 by Catherine Germier Hamel with the purpose of bringing like-minded women together for networking and enjoying wine. While upholding this ultimate goal, (and free corkage!) the group has grown by incorporating new concepts into the mix.
In 2014, WWK became a vocal supporter of UN Women’s #HeForShe and #EndViolenceAgainstWomen campaigns and has also taken on a more business friendly atmosphere. 2015 will see more partnerships with newly established restaurants, exciting raffle prizes and educative wine sessions, to help build up this growing community in Seoul.
Current WWK board members are EJ Bae, Rosalyn Laiken, Jasmine Seong, and Manuel Lara. With a diverse collection of backgrounds, the WWK board represents a cross-cultural blend of ideas and strategies for taking WWK to the next level in human rights, business networking, wine and food culture, and gender equality.
EJ, born in Korea but raised abroad, hopes to encourage cross-cultural exchange and diversity in the group. She has been a board member since 2011 and took over leadership in 2014, when the group was dormant and about to disperse. EJ is a strong advocate of gender equality and female professionalism, striving for a balance between business promotion and gender equality rights.
Rosalyn is from Canada and happily accepted the invitation to join the WWK board in 2014. She is constantly working on fun ways to increase member participation, through finding unique venues, raffle sponsorships and social media marketing. “I love helping to establish new connections and partnerships, driving business and pleasure around our shared love for wine.”
Jasmine is a Korean native and focused on promoting the group to Koreans. “I’ve been enjoying the preparations for our monthly events and getting to know new people with a glass of wine. I hope to celebrate our 15th and 30th anniversaries together!”
The newest board member, but a longtime advocate of the group, Manuel is a wine enthusiast and avid supporter of human rights. With the promotion of the #HeForShe campaign in 2014, the number of men attending WWK events rose significantly and Manuel gladly accepted the invitation to join the board as the male representative.
WWK member Anna Gye, editor at Style H Magazine says, “meeting so many different people at WWK events makes me feel free to speak with new women and men, of any age, in every profession! They inspire me to discover new cultures in the world.”
For a networking group to survive 9 years is something special and rare, but with the strong leadership of the WWK board members, it is easy to see that they will enjoy drinking wine together for many more years to come.