Monday, September 19, 2011

Learn the Secrets of Networking with SKIRT

Co-author of ‘SKIRTWorking’ to share strategies
for making powerful professional connections at West Michigan events

Women professionals: Is networking really working for you?  Western Michigan University graduate Michelle Alberda, BBA ’89, says that if they aren’t, it could be time to shed your old ideas about how to do it.

At two upcoming events to be held Oct. 12 in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, Alberda, a senior financial advisor and co-author of “SKIRTWorking” (Sharing Knowledge Information and Resources Together), will discuss how to make the most of networking by using techniques developed for women, for use by women. 

Details of the events are as follows:

Inforum Luncheon Event at Fetzer Center
WMU’s Haworth College of Business is hosting Alberda, who will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at a luncheon at the WMU Fetzer Center on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The event is being held in conjunction with Inforum, Michigan’s leading network of professional women, dedicated to providing opportunities for women to lead and succeed.

The Fetzer Center is located on the campus of Western Michigan University at 2350 Business Court. Cost for the luncheon event is $30 for Inforum members and $45 for non-members or $350 per table of eight. Reservations are required by Oct. 5 and can be made through Inforum at:

Reception in Grand Rapids
Also on Oct. 12, Alberda will speak at 6 p.m. at Noto’s Old World Dining, 6600 28th St. in Grand Rapids, Mich., at an event sponsored by the WMUFAMILY of Grand Rapids.
Reservations are also required for the evening event in Grand Rapids. Cost is $20 per person, which includes hor d’ouvres and keynote speaker. RSVP by Oct. 5 by calling 269.387.8746. Further information is available at:

At each event, Alberda will describe the idea of “SKIRTWorking,” a concept created by the book’s co-authors that takes people and businesses to the next level through new ideas and connections with others. The book grew to be a No. 1 Bestseller in the Women and Business category on, and remains among the top-rated books on the bestseller list today.

Alberda teamed up with co-authors Michelle Balog and Stacey Fleece over seven years ago after they recognized a shared and unified interest in the desire to capitalize on the power of networking. The idea of SKIRTWorking, (Sharing Knowledge Information and Resources Together) evolved from their collective insight.
Autographed copies of the book will be available for sale following both events.

About Michelle Alberda
An entrepreneur who earned her CFP© certification in 2004, Alberda established her solo financial advisory practice, Ameriprise Financial Services in San Francisco, Calif. in 2007.  Previously, Alberda worked in Southeast Asia where she co-founded a consulting firm that specialized in government infrastructure projects. She has a degree in marketing and Asian studies from WMU and is a Chartered Life Underwriter. Learn more about “SKIRTWorking,” and the authors at: .

About Inforum
Inforum is Michigan’s leading business forum for women, with more than 1,800 members from a cross-section of Michigan's business community. The mission of the organization is to strengthen the business environment by creating opportunities for women to lead and succeed. Founded as the Women's Economic Club in 1962 in Detroit, Inforum has affiliates in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing, Mich. For more information, visit   or call 877.633.3500.

About Haworth College of Business
Haworth College of Business, one of the largest schools of business in the United States, is the academic home to nearly 4, 000 undergraduate students majoring in 15 specialized areas of business. An additional 500 graduate students study business administration (MBA) and accountancy (MSA).The Haworth College of Business is among an elite group of fewer than five percent of business schools worldwide that are accredited at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. It is among a select two percent of business schools worldwide that have additional specialized accreditation for their accountancy programs.