Latest on WREN


WREN Announces Pam Sullivan as New Executive Director

The Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) announced that Pam Sullivan has been chosen as Executive Director of WREN. Ms. Sullivan brings more than 30 years of business management, fundraising, and strategic marketing experience serving as the founder, president, and creative director of Sullivan Creative. Headquartered in Concord, Sullivan Creative has been in business for 33 years and has received numerous awards for creative, communication and design excellence, including the prestigious Direct Marketing Association’s ECHO Award. Sullivan will continue to manage the firm on a part-time basis.

Sullivan has managed and marketed numerous art/craft exhibits, tourist events, and conferences. She has also worked with nonprofits in securing grants and sponsorships, and in 2017 acted as the contract Executive Director for Las Artistas, a nonprofit arts organization in El Paso, TX. She has also served as the lead consultant for the NH Grand program. Sullivan will be responsible for the overall management of WREN including budgeting, marketing, programming, strategic partnerships and grant compliance.

”We are very excited Pam accepted the Executive Director position,” commented Mary Secor, president, WREN Board of Directors. “She has demonstrated exceptional commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication to WREN, and her expertise and can-do attitude will be an asset to the entire organization. She is well aware of the challenges that lie ahead, and her experience working with small businesses, nonprofit organizations, chambers of commerce, destination marketing organizations, and arts and cultural organizations, such as the League of NH Craftsmen, will help WREN create valuable benefits and networking opportunities for WREN business members and entrepreneurs.”

WREN was founded 25 years ago, powered by rural women seeking better lives and livelihoods. WREN’s work has impacted thousands of people across New Hampshire’s North Country providing technical assistance training and market access for local entrepreneurs and artists. In addition to securing grant funding from a number of regional funders, WREN drew financial support from the Ms. Foundation, the Aspen Institute, USDA/Rural Development and HUD. WREN also gained recognition within the national microenterprise development sector for its innovative efforts in addressing the needs of rural entrepreneurs.

The Local Works Marketplace and The Gallery at WREN has played a significant role in revitalizing the town of Bethlehem by providing educational and community programming and events for the entire region.

Sullivan recently bought a house and moved fulltime to Bethlehem where she lives with her husband, Lee Richmond. WREN will be organizing a meet and greet to provide WREN members an opportunity to meet her and hear plans for 2020, including the introduction of the new HUB at WREN program.


WREN Celebrated First Friday with the Opening of “Where Land Meets Sky”

The Gallery at WREN in Bethlehem celebrated the opening of “Where Land Meets Sky” on Friday Evening September 6th. Pictured here from (l to r) artist Gisele Thompson, Gallery Manager Katherine Ferrier, artist Michele Johnson, and sponsor Carol Walker, from Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank, a long-time supporter of WREN and its artists.

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of WREN, a nationally recognized not-for-profit in Bethlehem that provides and supports strategies for entrepreneurial development, access to markets, Main Street revitalization, and rural economic development.

Established in 2001, The Gallery at WREN sets the standard for fine art galleries in the North Country, and serves as a cultural outlet for the creative expression of a community, where the public can gather to en- joy, learn about and appreciate art. The Gallery was the original catalyst for Bethlehem’s First Friday events on Main Street back in 2012. In addition to monthly Meet the Artist receptions during First Friday, the Gallery hosts a variety of events throughout the year including artist talks, demonstrations, slideshows, and workshops, all aimed at directly engaging the community with art and art-making.


Time to Shop: Re-imagined WREN Reopens in Beautiful Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM – WREN (Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network) is out of hibernation. This past winter, the organization, which was founded in 1994, closed its doors on December 31, 2018.

This spring, when WREN came out of a winter’s torpor, moving at a thoughtful pace to full steam ahead, the small staff, along with new members on the board of directors, the local businesses and artisan community, re-imagined the organization.

On June 21 the store and gallery opened in its original location at 2013 Main Street in Bethlehem. Mary Secor, new to the board of directors and Laura Barrington, WREN’s store and gallery manager, were on hand to tell of new plans, new programs and a new outlook.

READ MORE


The WREN Board and current staff continue to move the organization forward. Following a period of reflection and engagement with our members and partners this past winter, WREN has begun a measured and thoughtful reemergence. All of our efforts and investments will actively uphold our founding mission of supporting better lives and livelihoods, while embracing the needs and desires of the next generation of WREN members. PLEASE NOTE: We have extended all current memberships without charge through the end of 2019. 

We continue to offer support and opportunities for those wanting to start or grow their businesses. Check out our classes scheduled through early summer on our Classes & Events page. We continue to offer no cost business development support to income eligible emerging and established business owners living in New Hampshire. For example, a single person residing in Grafton County qualifies if her/his household income is at or below $40,900. For more info, contact katyc@wrenworks.org. In late June, our Main Street Bethlehem retail store reopened, providing a marketplace for nearly one hundred WREN members and contributing to the growing vitality of Bethlehem's Main Street..

2019 marks WREN’s 25th year. We began in 1994 with twelve bold and resourceful women working to create opportunities for themselves and others. We continue that work today. We hope you will join us in celebrating all that WREN has done and will do in the years ahead!