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Venture Networkers celebrate first year

Angie Foss holds scissors for the Venture Networkers ribbon cutting ceremony with the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning. Tammy Wadley of the Chamber congratulated the group on its one-year anniversary. Samantha Bengs / RiverTown Multimedia

The recently formed Venture Networkers group celebrated its first anniversary June 5, with a ribbon-cutting with the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce.

The networking group grew to 17 members in its first year, and group organizers said they are hopeful for membership to increase.

"We are referral based, sending referrals back and forth within our group," said Angie Foss, a loan officer at Associated Bank.

The group meets weekly and was born out of a common need.

"We knew what we looking for in a networking group, and saw that we needed to create that ourselves," said Sarah Haar, a massage therapist at Salon With A Twist and Balancing Touch Massage.

Haar said within Venture Networkers' first year, approximately $30,000 has been passed between members' businesses in referrals.

"As someone who is not from this town, it is great to have this support system," Haar said.

At weekly meetings, members share new happenings, deals and promotions occurring in their businesses, Foss said.

"New businesses would benefit greatly from our goals of building each others businesses through referrals," Foss said. "Even people who have been in business for many years could find a fresh new way of marketing here."

The group recently began service projects around the community, including painting the dugouts at the Athletic Field and monthly restocking at the Red Wing Area Food Shelf.

"We're growing and adding more fun events," Foss said.

Weekly meeting are open to non-members. Meetings typically are Tuesday mornings, but times and locations vary.

Foss advises anyone interested in attending a meeting or interested in membership to follow the Venture Networkers page on Facebook.