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The key to building a professional network is connecting with the right people who can make a difference in your career. In short, it is not necessarily how many people you know, but who you know.

Since 2015, the New Jersey Women Business Leaders Forum, powered by NJBIA, has been helping thousands of businesswomen connect with potential clients, build relationships with industry experts, and gain the career insights that open the door to new professional opportunities.

Attending the WBLF on Sept. 27-28 is a great place to start expanding your professional network, but cultivating contacts requires intentional attention every day of the year.  Recognizing this, one of the WBLF panel discussions, “Secrets and Benefits to Building a Strong Network” will offer insights and inspiration from leading business executives and career consultants on how to accomplish this.

Panelists will discuss strategies for making and maintaining meaningful professional connections, both online and in-person, to successfully grow businesses and advance careers.

The panelists include:

  • Mary Baker, CEO of Baker Tax and Accounting Services, a firm that specializes in small- and mid-size businesses, as well as educating people about how to reach their financial goals.
  • Cynthia Hetherington, Founder and President of Hetherington Group, a cyber investigations consulting, publishing, and training firm.
  • Jackie Lue Raia, President of ALEXENA Consulting, LLC, a firm focused on workforce development and employee engagement and a coach at this year’s event.
  • Judy Sailer, director of Learning & Development at Primepoint HRMS & Payroll. Sailer is an expert on staff development, management, and leadership.

The 9th Annual New Jersey Women Business Leaders Forum, which returns to North Jersey at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott, is the largest professional women’s conference in New Jersey. The event brings together hundreds of corporate and nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, and students each year to inspire and empower the building of successful businesses and to increase diversity in corporate leadership, both in the C-suite and the boardroom.

The two-day event includes executive TED-style talks, multiple breakout sessions led by expert panelists, one-on-one coaching, help with building résumés, LinkedIn makeovers, and numerous networking opportunities to help women advance at every stage of their career.

Details about the conference events, hotel accommodations, and the “Closing Deals in Heels” reception and “Smash the Glass Ceiling” after-party can be found here.

For registration information and sponsorship opportunities, go to NJBIA’s website at