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Lafayette Women's Chamber making History

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Posted at 5:22 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 08:08:55-05

Lafayette has 11 chambers of commerce, but one sets itself apart as a unique chamber unlike anything you'll find for hundreds of miles.

"We are the first and only women's chamber in the history of the state of Louisiana, and I just wanted to have a chamber that would work for its members that they could afford," says Debbie Ryan, Founder/CEO of Lafayette Women's Chamber of Commerce.

The group was founded by women but all are welcome, including men.

"We started a women's chamber because we saw a hole in the marketplace. Solo-preneurs, moms that work at home, side gigs, that kind of stuff - wanted to join a chamber but it wasn't financially feasible," says Ryan.

Rapidly jumping in size, the Lafayette Women's Chamber is pushing 500 members at only 2.5 years old.

"I never expected it to explode but its been so gratifying to see the number of women we've been able to help and the number of women coming in who are younger," says Ryan.

"We were one of only two chambers in the state of Louisiana that grew in 2020 and we are very proud of that," adds Rhonda Lorio, Board of Directors Chairwoman.

Ryan adds the chamber's strength is in each other and together they can solve nearly any problem and answer any question.

"They need a bigger facility or more employees and we have all of those resources and connections so we'll facilitate an introduction, we'll go with them to the first meeting, and it's all about our members building relationships with each other so we can help each other because we are better together," says Ryan.

The Women's Chamber is making growth possible for many who otherwise might not be able to afford similar services. To support all that they're doing, there is an online auction featuring everything from executive coaching to a botox party and more.

It closes March 4th, so check it out now at this link.