Our History

In 1974, renowned writer, civic leader, and philanthropist, Elinor "Elly" Guggenheimer, founded the Women's Forum of New York to bring together women of diverse accomplishments and provide...
  • a forum for the exchange of ideas
  • and experiences...mutual interests
  • and attitudes...so they (could)
  • when desired, speak in concert on
  • issues confronting the community
To continue reading about the incredible history of the founding of IWF, please download the "IWF Early HERstory" presented at the October 5, 2016, member meeting by Tina Abbate-Marzolf and the Member Engagement Committee.


by Chris Derdarian

Early in 1985, my dear friend, Chris Meyers, called me.  She wanted to get together to discuss an exciting new prospect for women professionals in Michigan.

Over coffee, Chris told me about the IWF, a powerful women's professional organization designed to assist those at the top of their professions to advance on a global scale.

She had been approached by Kate Rand Lloyd, then editor of "Working Woman Magazine", to start a chapter in Michigan.  After that first meeting, a handful of women came together, headed by Chris, to form the Women's Forum of Michigan and we were launched.  In addition to Chris and me, there were Karen Ritchie, Rose Berberian, Gladys Barsamian, Patricia Hill Burnett, and Marie Farrell-Donaldson.  Those first months were, basically, trial and error as we first crawled, then walked, and, finally, stood erect to take our place in the international group.

Read more of this fascinating story