On Monday, April 1 st , the Bloomfield Center Alliance (BCA) organized and co-hosted a networking reception for women business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs in honor of Women’s History Month.

The affair, held at the Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine, drew over forty women and provided these business leaders the opportunity to fellowship, make valuable connections, and celebrate their important role in the Bloomfield community. Special guest Dr. Mary Ellen Clyne, President and CEO of Clara Maass Medical Center-RWJ Barnabas Heal

th in Belleville, shared a few words on the challenges women face in leading and growing a business or organization. She inspired the group to overcome whatever obstacles they face by tapping into their inner strength and never doubting their abilities and dreams.

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Pleased with the nice turnout, BCA Director Ollyn J. Lettman said, “We are grateful to have so many enterprising women from our community respond to our open invitation to celebrate each of them in honor of Women History Month. The array of businesses and the different backgrounds of the attendees reflect Bloomfield’s wonderful diversity which, in so many ways, is one of this town’s greatest strengths.” 

Also addressing the crowd was Aida Morales-Almanzar, President of the Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine. She highlighted the school’s history, proudly mentioning that it is the only certified school of acupuncture in the state of New Jersey. After the event, President Morales-Almanzar expressed her excitement saying, “We are so glad to have been able to host this event! It not only provided the opportunity to showcase the school’s approach to holistic health and preventative care, but it was great for my staff and I to meet all the interesting and inspiring women business owners and entrepreneurs.”

The event was organized with the help of Councilwoman Sara Cruz and the Bloomfield Town Council – one of several events/activities held in March to celebrate Women’s History Month. The Suburban Essex Chamber of Commerce was a co-sponsor helping to reach women business owners from throughout the township. Also supporting the evening was Bloomfield College’s Gourmet Dining Services who provided a delicious and beautiful spread of food and refreshments. Several women received prizes as a result of a fun raffle drawing. Donated items came from locally-owned women enterprises, including Aki Asian House Restaurant located in Bloomfield Center and Houss Freya - a unique gift and collectibles shop.