Get to know Rian Edwards
What did you do before you started at WBENC?
I recently graduated from Grinnell College in May of 2016 with an undergraduate degree in both Political Science and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. Throughout my time at Grinnell, I volunteered, canvassed, and worked phone banks for various women’s non-profits including Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Prosper Women’s Entrepreneurs, and Girls Dreaming Big. This interest in gender led me to Sweden, where I spent a semester researching gender equality and women’s health. During my senior year at Grinnell, I focused on finding a career within women’s empowerment, and in May, accepted a position with WBENC on the Business Development Team.
What keeps you busy at WBENC/What are the main projects you work on?
I am responsible for supporting the Business Development team in implementing and managing a comprehensive marketing plan focused on increasing revenue and attracting and retaining corporate and government members of WBENC. I contribute to the writing of key proposals and grants that support the efforts of the Business Development team. I also maintain and manage our Client Relationship database, and assist in developing reports for WBENC leadership.
What is your favorite part of working at WBENC?
The people. Everyone I meet here is genuinely committed to supplier diversity and empowering women through economic means. I love being in an environment and attending events where everyone is committed to the betterment of women’s economic growth.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy finding ways to stay active. I love to run and try new types of workouts and exercises. I am also a huge podcast nerd. I listen to podcasts almost obsessively. Some of my favorites include the New York Times Podcast, 99% Invisible, ReplyAll, Code Switch, NPR Political Podcast, Criminal, and Dear Sugar. I love learning and podcasts allow me to continue my education even after I’ve graduated.
What was your proudest moment at WBENC?
My proudest moment at WBENC would probably be my time at the 2016 National Conference and Business Fair in Orlando. The conference was held during my second week at WBENC. Needless to say, it was a very intimidating working a conference of nearly 4,000 attendees when I still knew so little of my staff and in general about my role at WBENC. The conference was such a great learning experience for me and I thrived in that environment. I was so nervous that I might be too overwhelmed by the experience, but instead it allowed me to connect with so many different and interesting people from all over the country.