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LAPW: Connecting women personally, professionally and philanthropically

The LAPW leadership team includes (back) Bev Stroeing, Jen Guenther, Sara Stadtherr, Christie Boutain; (front) LaTresse Snead, Sara Gronholz, Nancy Klepetka.

"We are a kaleidoscope of women, coming together with different voices and colors to create magnificent patterns. Alone we are one, together we are a beautiful vision of women moving forward and discovering together."

These words were spoken by Sara Gronholz at her recent installation as president of the newly formed Lakes Area Professional Women (LAPW).

The mission of the new organization is to "connect women personally, professionally and philanthropically."

Lakes Area Professional Women began in June 2009. Prior to that, the organization was known as the Alexandria Area Business and Professional Women (AABPW). Started in 1944, AABPW celebrated a long history of being an advocate for women.

Through the years, the group has honored the accomplishments of local women through its Young Careerist of the Year and Woman of the Year programs, has raised thousands of dollars for scholarships given to local graduating seniors and organization members and has impacted the community through individual development and mentorship opportunities.

Those efforts will continue, along with some new initiatives, as the LAPW heads into the future.

The LAPW organization is holding a membership drive throughout the month of July.

Membership benefits include:

• Monthly networking opportunities with local professional women.

• Skill building and educational opportunities.

• Leadership development opportunities.

• Inclusion in community events including the Dollars for Scholars Style Show.

• Mentoring opportunities.

• Scholarship opportunities.

Membership dues are $75 a year. Membership applications can be found online at

All new members will be invited to a Summer Social Gathering on August 19. _

If you are interested in becoming a member or learning more about Lakes Area Professional Women, contact LaTresse Snead, president elect, at or (320) 763-1063.