Hello and welcome to Venus 2017.

For the ‘newbies’ among us, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Carolyn Banks and I am the CEO and brand new owner of Venus. I had been running the business for the last 18 months under Vanessa Davey, the previous owner, and decided to ‘feel the fear’ and step up and put my money where my mouth is when she decided to put it on the market. Best decision I ever made!

2017 is going to be a big year for Venus, I have a lot of ‘cunning plans’ that are going to see the light of day and add value to your membership, just let me get my ‘feet under the table’ so to speak and get a handle on everything first.

I’d like to introduce to you to Team HQ, who besides myself, are the women tasked with doing all the behind the scenes stuff to keep as moving forward. Firstly I’d like to introduce Jeanette Miller, our Financial Controller. Jeanette has been running the finances and membership system for Venus from day one so has a wealth of knowledge at hand which is going to prove to be invaluable. Joining Jeanette and I is Lindsey Carroll who is coming on board as the Operations and Communications Manager. Lindsey’s role is to communicate with members so everyone knows what is going on where and when and managing our relationships with our suppliers and all our systems that run Venus. Co-incidentally Lindsey was one of the first women I met at my very first Venus meeting so looks like things have come full circle.

In each of the regions I have also appointed an Academy Manager, these women are the ones that are responsible for promoting the Venus Academy both inside and outside of the network. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch, they are well versed in all things Academy and are the ones to talk to if you want to find out more. Kelly McFarlane is going to be looking after Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, Linda Crosbie will be looking after Waikato, Paula Kruger over the wider Wellington region and Maree Bryant has the South Island all to herself!

As I said in my email to you just after the sale my first and main priority is to convert it onto a NOT FOR PROFIT organization, an organisation truly dedicated and focused on the growth and support of all its members. As a NOT FOR PROFIT we will have a structure of management that involves more of you adding your tremendous talents for the good of all, and in giving getting more from your involvement.

As well as myself as the CEO we will be appointing a Board, this board will be made up women independent of Venus. Business women who are strong, have a proven track record and who can not only guide us but help by contributing their skills, expertise and knowledge to ensure we can be and will be the best we can be as an organisation.

The vision is to help everyone, no matter where they are on their journey. My plan is to use the network to support the network wherever possible, as the old saying in networking goes, you get out what you give so if you’re wanting more, this might be time to think about how you can contribute to the growth not only of yourself and your own business, but also to the other Venus women in your group and your region.

Behind the scenes there is a lot going on, I’m putting together brainstorming and meeting topics, you asked for change so that’s what you’re getting!  We’re also going to do a lot more brainstorming in the meetings and our topics you may find a little challenging, and remember collaboration is key to community! Give me a little time to get myself together and all suggestions are welcome. We’re updating our look as well so you’ll see a little bit about what that means in weeks to come.

One of the focus’s for 2017 is the Venus Academy, I have a lot of requests to run programmes and that is also a priority for me at the moment. If you’ve emailed either myself or your VRM be patient, just getting stuff organised for you!

I’m also going to be learning about how to put a magazine together, I’ve had lots of offers of help so will definitely be getting others involved in this.

We also have five group launches in Warkworth, Queenstown, Dunedin, Rotorua and Christchurch in the calendar so I’ll be doing a little travelling to those as well as fulfilling my personal goal which is to get around as many meetings in the next 12 months as possible!

Finally thank you so much for all the support, offers of help and the positivity that I definitely feel coming back at me, it’s been incredibly heart-warming and in those scary moments in the middle of the night when I think ‘what the hell am I doing’, they bring me comfort and confirm that following my gut and buying Venus definitely has me on the right track – my happy and excitement level is at an all time high!

Anyway, back to work – got a few things to keep me busy!

Carolyn Banks
Venus CEO