It was her goal to create an organization that was genuine and real - an organization that allowed you to be vulnerable and share your successes AND challenges. And that's exactly what Debbie Quintana did. Get to know her and you'll quickly see her passion for business owners and networking.
"My first networking experience was one that made a huge impression on me and not necessarily a good one. If everyone in my networking group was doing so great, they why were they even bothering networking? I later learned that like me, they all had challenges, they were just too afraid of being judged. It was that moment that I made the decision to form a networking group where it was ok so say I was struggling. It was ok for me to ask for help and to learn from others...and it was ok for me step up and share my experiences.
I believe in relationship development - we are not speed networking. I believe that in order to help others with support and referrals, I have to get to know them. I also believe that if I'm going to be in an organization that its important I am all in," said Debbie.
The first chapter of WNA was launched in 2007 and from that point on, Debbie's original concept was validated over and over again. WNA quickly became a place where members wanted to be. Fast forward to today and WNA has over 10 chapters throughout the Bay Area and is now launching a "brother" organization, The Men's Networking Alliance. In the winter of 2015, Debbie will also launch an organization to help kids learn how to networking and receive the support they need for their businesses - The Youth Networking Alliance."I'm proud of the business model but ecstatic at what our members have made us to be. I won't take the credit of the success of The Women's Networking Alliance because it is our members that make WNA what it is today. I'm grateful to everyone in this entire organization for caring, sharing and stepping up to help one another. That was my vision and from day one. Together, we have accomplished that goal.
What makes us successful?
First, the individual person and how they present their business, support their fellow members and participate is critical. Members must attend the meetings, should provide the right marketing tools and education so the other members understand how to speak to their products, programs or services and lastly, should look for opportunities for each other.
Second, a desire to share ideas in all facets of our business. This includes a willingness to speak to wins/losses and the courage to speak up when you are struggling. It’s during these times that WNA shines. It allows the entire group to rally around the member and work together.
Lastly, having an extreme level of honesty, integrity and trust is absolutely required. We are sharing a lot of personal information amongst the group and we must feel we can trust that our "sharing" is kept confidential and not shared with anyone, especially in the form of gossip.
Attendance: Members are asked to attend all meetings, however, missing a meeting once in a while is understandable. However, if a member misses more than two meetings in a quarter or consecutively, she/he should reconsider their membership. The Chapter Board will attempt contact the member to resolve the membership issue, however, the member can be removed if missed meetings continue. Lastly, if the member can not attend, she/he can not send anyone in her place.
Business Ownership: Potential members of The Networking Alliance must own their own business, not be a part of an MLM and must not be in competition of any other member within the chapter she/he is potentially joining.
Chapter Policy: Members may only be a member of one (1) chapter at a time.
Children at Meetings: No children under the age of 16 years old at regular meetings. Young adults are invited to attend for research purposes only.
Membership Dues: Members must have their dues paid at all times. Members who lapse in their payment of dues can be suspended until dues are paid. Membership dues are $200 per year for regular members, $150 for board members and chapter presidents and national board members are free for the time they are in office. There is a late fee of $25 if dues are over 10 days late. Dues are non-refundable.
Leave of Absence: Members are able to take a leave of absence for three months. Although the member will not be attending meetings for three months, dues will still need to be paid in full to hold the member spot. Membership dues will not be put on “hold”.
Political and Religious Affiliation and Privacy: We do not subscribe or allow the promotion of any political or religious activities and asks that you respect, at all times, other members privacy. We do not disclose any information to anyone outside of our organization for any purpose.
“Side” and “Family Businesses” Promotion: Members can not promote more than one business and must declare their business upon joining. Members can share information about deals and events of other businesses at the end of the meeting providing it does not conflict with any other business in that chapter or contain invitations to religious or political activities. Promotion of competing businesses of other members is never appropriate.
Code of Business Conduct
It is the policy of The Networking Alliance to provide our Code of Business Conduct, which will serve as a guide to our standards of ethics, integrity, professionalism and confidentiality for all members.
I will attend meetings consistently. I understand that a core quality of The Networking Alliance is to be involved our chapter. I understand that if I miss two meetings in a row, I will receive a call from the Membership Chair. If I miss three meetings in a row, I will be contacted by the Chapter President. I understand that I can be dismissed for multiple absences within a given year. I understand that The Networking Alliance has a leave of absence program if I am going to miss multiple meetings due to an emergency or other life situation.
I will not share any confidential or personal information about any members.
I will not interrupt or carry on a side conversation while someone else is speaking during a meeting. I will listen to the ideas of others without criticizing their views.
I will act in a professional manner at all times. When conducting business I will respond to members in a timely manner, show up to appointments and follow through with business agreements. If I have an issue with another member, I will address it directly with that member.
Be Respectful of Time
I will be respectful of other people’s time, including arriving to meetings on time and showing up for scheduled appointments on time.
I will honor and value the abilities and contributions of others. I will be aware of the needs of others. I won’t judge anyone based on their needs, values or beliefs.