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Bemidji Area Business Women expands

New members have joined the revitalized Bemidji Area Business Women. From left in the front row are Angela Bremer, Irene Theis and Crystal Hegg. From left in the back row are Leslie Staker, Mindy Bowman, Georgina Grinde, Jerri Nyland, Amy Shimkus and Kim Jensen. Not pictured are Brandi Nelson, Judy Mechura, Karen Tolkkinen, Anne Kehoe, Lauralee Tupa, Dionne Daly and Reva Howe. Submitted Photo

Changes have been happening for the Bemidji Area Business Women, formerly known as the Bemidji Business and Professional Women, including new members, business networking events, community outreach programs and more.

The group of women meets in the Lueken's Village Foods North meeting room the first Thursday of every month.

"We've given ourselves a facelift," said Dr. Angela Bremer, BABW president and a chiropractor. "We wanted to reignite a group of women that have been part of this organization for years. Our membership has doubled since January. We have added new programs such as the Habitat for Humanity Women Build project and the BSU Walk for Women. We are excited to get out into the community and help women. That's what we are about, women helping women."

The Bemidji Area Business Women is a nonprofit organization that helps advance the careers of working women. Its members benefit from networking, resources, education programs and visibility. The organizations offers leadership development, youth mentoring, personal development and much more.

"Our organization is designed to be great networking for business women in our community plus the opportunity to give back," member Leslie Staker said. "It's filled with women that have innovative ideas and fantastic energy that gets me excited about helping the community."

The Bemidji Area Business Women originally started as BPW of Bemidji in February 1994. Business and Professional Women is a national organization founded in 1919. The national organization for women was the first of its kind to formally endorse the ERA of 1937. For more than 80 years, the organization has worked for equality in the workplace. BPW has been a leader in helping pass other key legislation including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 and Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

Current officers are Bremer, of Explore Chiropractic; Brandi Nelson of Wells Fargo, vice president; Irene Theis, treasurer; and Amy Shimkus, secretary.

For details on Bemidji Area Business Women, contact Angela Bremer at 333-8811 or