Michele M. Jerome, Senior Director of Enterprise Operations for The Coulter Companies Nonprofit Management Division in McLean, Va., was appointed the new Executive Director of Women Networking in Electronic Transactions (W.net), an organization designed to provide educational and networking opportunities to empower women in the payments industry.
Jerome has spent more than 15 years managing national and international nonprofit organizations but is a newcomer to the industry. "I've been surprised by the sheer volume of parties involved in the payments chain and how much more was behind the scenes than I was aware," Jerome said. "There are so many pieces in the puzzle, but they all fit together so nicely."
Jerome added that she is excited about the enormous potential of W.net's budding relationship with her employer, Coulter. Her goal is to have a tangible impact on the industry and to bring a balance of women into the payments sector.
"I found in my research that women only account for about 15 percent of the leadership positions in the payments sphere," Jerome said. "However, W.net has a wonderfully well thought out strategic plan and has accomplished much for only being around three years.
"I have been pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the people in this business and their willingness to be supportive and work together for a common goal even if the companies they work for are bitter rivals. So I'm looking forward to helping them expand that foundation and continue to grow." Additionally, Jerome would like to expand W.net's Local Interest Networking Circles (LINC) beyond the quarterly meetings in 10 cities nationwide to a virtual format.
"We are very interested in launching a virtual LINC that W.net members can participate in regardless of their geographic location," Jerome said. "We realize that there will always be members in areas that are not conducive to holding a LINC meeting, but we are committed to expanding our mentoring programs and strengthening our LINCs. It's really about becoming the organization women turn to for professional and personal development."
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