Tag Archives: Fresh Start Women Foundation

Emily Amparan, Alternative Finance Research - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Women In Banking: Emily Amparan, Alternative Finance Research

Emily Amparan is an alternative lending broker at her own firm, Alternative Finance Research.

Amparan is using her many years of experience in the banking and finance industry to help lead the Women in Banking group. She is the committee chair representing Women in Banking on the Risk Management Association’s board of directors, and leads a team of seven businesswomen to organize goals and objectives for Women in Banking luncheons and events. Here, Amparan talks about what motivated her to join the Women and Banking group and its future goals.

What was the main reason for starting Women in Banking?
Women in Banking (WIB) started out as a way for women in the banking/finance industry to connect, and was initially more social than business. Over the last three years, the group has become the networking arm of the Risk Management Association, attracting both women and men in and outside of banking/finance. WIB has garnered the attention of the banking/finance/business community and is recognized as the premier networking group to meet business professionals.

How did the group start?
The group began with a few RMA board members organizing a small group of women in 2006 for lunch at a local restaurant. For the next couple of years attendance grew slowly with quarterly meetings held in various bank conference rooms. When I joined the leadership team in early 2008, we shifted gears by organizing our networking component, we began raising funds for our community outreach efforts, and we sharpened our presentation topics.

How has the group evolved?
Last year, Women in Banking drew 100-plus luncheon attendees and doubled its fundraising capacity for consistent donated dollars to Fresh Start. The group does not exclude men and male attendance is growing. Smart men recognize the businesswomen in attendance are the powerhouses of their industry and experts in building business relationships.

How would you describe  the state of women in the banking world today?
Women have professional opportunities today like never before. Women look, walk, talk and conduct business differently than they did just 50 years ago. … Women are masters at building trust and relationships; two qualities that give them a “leg up” in carving out a path for themselves in banking/finance/business and muscle to continually chip away at the remnants of a glass ceiling.

What programs has the group initiated to help women in the banking industry?
The Women in Banking committee draws interest by addressing three key areas of working professional need: networking, community outreach and information. Through organized networking, luncheon attendees are encouraged to meet new people to exchange ideas and contact information. The energy at a WIB luncheon is electric and charged with introductions and connections to business and business resources.

With tight schedules in mind, opportunities to support our chosen charity Fresh Start through money, volunteering and clothes donations provide professionals an opportunity to be a part their community. Finally, luncheon presentations deliver timely and relevant information regarding banking, finance and business topics.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

Summer Spaaah Series, Willow Stream

Arizona Spa Girls Hosts 6th Annual Summer Spaaah Series

Summer Spaaah Series Event, Smartwater

For those interested in having a unique spa experience this summer, Arizona Spa Girls is soon hosting their 6th annual Summer Spaaah Series from May 6th to August 12th. The event series has six separate events to choose from, one of which spans two days at the Mii amo Spa at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona.

Lisa Kasanicky, the founder of AZSpaGirls.com, stated that they’re more than just a website.

“Arizona Spa Girls is a portal to all the salons in Arizona, and over the last decade or so we have also been providing beauty and wellness information and spa recipes,” Kasanicky says.

AZ Spa Girls founded the Summer Spaaah Series in the summer of 2006.

“One thing led to another and it became a way to stir up business for the day spas and resort spas during the summer when it’s just so dead,” Kasanicky says. “They could really bond with the local communities.”

Agave LoungeEvent-goers can expect several exciting and de-stressing experiences at every destination. Goody bags – which are the same bags that Oprah used for one of her VIP events – are given to everyone, as well as a “Spaaah” gift certificate that can be used for one full spa treatment at that spa destination within 30 days following the event. Guests can then enjoy the spa and sample treatments in a party-like atmosphere.

“The party is one thing, and it’s really lovely, but having that spa experience is what I’m really trying to get people to ‘get,’” Kasanicky says. “It’s just so awesome; it’s so good for mental health and physical too.”

This year, the Summer Spaaah Series has new spas in their line-up — including Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, the last destination option in the event series, joining them for the first time this year. But Kasanicky is excited about one spa in particular.

“I’m really excited about the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa at Wigwam,” Kasanicky says. “We’ve never had an event there before, and it’s just this beautiful place, kind of hidden.”

Wigwam Tranquility Room

Aside from the Summer Spaaah Series being an opportunity to pamper and de-stress, it also provides a way to give to a great cause. The Fresh Start Women Foundation, an Arizona-based non-profit for women, has been a part of the event series from the start.

“We’ve been working with Fresh Start from the very first event,” Kasanicky says. “It’s just a great fit; it’s a good organization. They’re dedicated to empowering women, and I’m all about that.”

Companies such as smartwater, 44 North Vodka, Girlfriend University, Ganem Jewelers, popchips, Beringer Vineyards, NewBeauty Magazine and So Scottsdale! Magazine are sponsoring the event this year, and many of them have been there in the past.

“Ganem…one of our sponsors…provide[s] a beautiful jewelry piece for the raffle, usually about a $1,000 ring, necklace or bracelet,” Kasanicky says.

Five percent of the ticket price and 100 percent of raffles and funds raised during the events will go to Fresh Start, as well as a percentage of any sponsorship for the event. Each event, with the exception of the destination spa, is $125. Those interested in joining the Mii amo destination spa experience can purchase a ticket for $295, for a full two days with accommodations and activities.

“What I want people to understand is that these events are really value-packed, and we give people so much more than just a spa service,” Kasanicky says. “We educate them, we give them the opportunity to donate to a wonderful organization, and we expose them to all these sponsors and their wonderful products.”

For more information or to purchase your tickets, visit the event website or AZ Spa Girls.