Enter Over 40 Females. The networking group enables women over 40 to gather for meetings, often at chic hotels and eateries. Mostly, they talk –– about themselves, their hopes, their plans –– and receive feedback from women who understand them. Many monthly meetings feature expert speakers who advise network members on the family, health, financial and career issues that they face.
Over 40 Females’ motto is simple: “Connect. Encourage. Inspire.”
A company is born
The seeds of Over 40 Females were planted in January 2010, when Goss began blogging about issues that over-40 women confront. At the time she was working as a marketing director at a public relations firm, and had no idea where her blogging might take her. She just wanted to return to the work that she had done at More.
A month later, the P.R. firm laid her off –– her second layoff in six months. At that point she decided she had to go it alone. “You’re not safe corporate. You’re not safe boutique. I thought, I have to do my own thing,” said Goss, who is married to Bruce Levitt, co-owner of Mur-Lee’s Men’s and Boys’ Shop in Lynbrook with his brother Harry.
What, precisely, Goss would do after her second layoff was unclear. Slowly, through blogging, ideas began to emerge, and she started to hold small networking events in New York City.
Over 40 Females, the company, was born in the fall of 2011, and over the past year and a half it has opened chapters in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. The goal is to for it to grow across the U.S. as well as internationally, said Goss, who is the company’s chief executive officer.
Overseeing the business side of Over 40 Females is Beth Mercante, of Lido Beach, its chief operating officer. Mercante, who also turns 45 this year, attended the company’s networking meetings for a year before joining its leadership team.
So often, men, younger and older, “don’t understand what women over 40 are going through,” said Mercante, whose background is in commercial real estate and investment in Manhattan. Over 40 Females, she said, gives them the sense that someone values them.
And, Mercante said, “The speakers are really fantastic.”