Get to Know Our Foundation Staff!

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Get to Know Our Foundation Staff!

There has been an abundance of pleasant changes occurring within our foundation that we are very pleased to share! We are thrilled to announce Julie Petr’s role promotion to Vice President of Development/Assistant Executive Director. We are also pleased to announce that Samantha Lawson has stepped into the National Program Director role!

Julie Petr

Learn More About Julie:

Why did you decide to join the staff of Mentoring Women’s Network?

As the Go Red For Women Director for the American Heart Association I worked with many key female executives in Indianapolis that were members of The Mentoring Women’s Network. I had the benefit of receiving their professional support and guidance and wanted to get involved. I joined Mentoring Women’s Network several years ago and attended many Open House Events, where I was very impressed with the mission of supporting women professionally. Joining the MWN Staff as the Vice President of Development and the Assistant Executive Director has given me the chance to help provide professional services for women in our community that otherwise could not join.

What are your top 3 passions?

1. Supporting other women professionally through mentoring.
2. Providing excellent education to all students in our community.
3. Having healthcare available to all women.

What is your background and how do you believe it will propel the organization forward?

For the past five years I have been involved on the nonprofit side of business raising funds and working with volunteers. In my new role, I will be responsible for these same duties focusing on executing the Pass The Torch For Women Relay and raising funds for the Foundation.

What is the number one thing that makes you laugh?

My children can always make me smile and laugh.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

The Amalfi Coast in Italy!


Samantha Lawson Headshot

Learn More About Samantha:

Why did you decide to join the staff of Mentoring Women’s Network?

The opportunity to join the staff at Mentoring Women’s Network was truly a blessing and happened while networking at Purdue University. I decided to complete a summer internship because I, first and foremost, believed in the vision of what Alison Martin-Books had created with the organization and I truly wanted to learn more about non-profit work. Post-graduation, I was given the opportunity to work full-time on the Foundation side and was, and continue to be, very passionate about the mission of helping others propel their personal and professional life forward through mentoring relationships. I work with amazing people and every day I am humbled by those I am blessed to surround myself with. Goodness gracious, that was a long response but the question requires the recognition!

What are your top 3 passions?

My faith and how it got me to where I am today, my absolutely wonderful and selfless family, and helping others to the best of my ability every single day.

What is your background and how do you believe it will propel the organization forward?

I studied Elementary Education, Entrepreneurship and Communications while I was at Purdue University. All of this background has helped prepare me to have the skill sets it takes to work with others and have empathy, communicate properly in diverse environments, and have a deep understanding of business and what must take place behind the scenes in order for a company to be successful. While in school, I started my own non-profit organization, so the background of implementing my 501(c)3 has helped me understand the sector. While all of those technical skills are very important, I know that in non-profit work, you must be convicted and wake up looking forward to what you will be aiming to achieve that day. I can confidently say that I genuinely do wake up on the right side of the bed almost every day!

What is the number one thing that makes you laugh?

The number one thing that makes me laugh is not a thing; rather it is a person. My childhood best friend, Sara, always has a way of bringing out my inner goofball!

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

It has always been a calling of mine to travel to the Dominican Republic (and start an orphanage). Could you imagine how absolutely lovely that would be? If you are reading this blog and would like to join me in my endeavors to the Dominican, please feel free to let me know!

Alison Martin-Books
Alison Martin-Books
With impressive background work and roughly 15 years in nonprofit work, Alison Martin-Books has a passion for doing work that makes a difference in the lives of others. After serving as Executive Director at two different national nonprofit organizations, her commitment to her passion for developing female talent led her launch Mentoring Women’s Network. In her role, Martin-Books acts as a liaison to a national committee responsible for the leadership development content for the organization and consults with corporations on the development and strategy aligned with initiatives for emerging female leaders. She is also the author of the book, “Landing on My Feet: Learning to Lead Through Mentoring” and speaks regularly on behalf of the organization.

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