2013-01-11 / Business

Women business owners work on serving others

By James Curran
Special to the Acorn

Star Ladin Star Ladin While community service is not the mission statement for the Women Entrepreneurs Group, members of the organization see helping others as an important part of working for themselves.

Star Ladin, the leader of the Malibu-based group, said the organization seeks to improve the lives of others in addition to improving a company’s bottom line.

“Business is an expression of ourselves,” said Ladin, a Santa Rosa Valley resident and mother of two. “What I want to emphasize is giving back. That really needs to be the driver, not the bottom line. Make a profit, of course, but you’re using your enterprise to pay it forward when you serve others first.”

Ladin, who took the reins of the organization about a year ago, said about half of the group’s 800 members live in Ventura County.

Founded in 2009, WEG offers bimonthly meetings with speakers who emphasize connection among members.

“When you’re an entrepreneur, you are confronted with your strengths and weaknesses all the time,” Ladin said. “This group is about connection. We’re all teachers and we’re all students because there is not one right way. We take time to stop working in the business and work on the business of serving others.”

WEG members mentor students in South Los Angeles on entrepreneurial skills.

The women’s group met on Wednesday in Malibu to listen to motivational speaker Jo Englesson, who urged those in attendance to improve people’s lives and themselves.

“Jo is an extraordinary person,” Ladin said. “She is a living example of building a life of gratitude.”

Ladin is on the board of directors for the Alliance for the Arts, the fundraising arm of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

Lydia Hurlbut, CEO of the San Fernando Valley-based film production company Hurlbut Visuals, said Ladin’s “humanitarian entrepreneurialism” is what sets WEG apart from other networking groups.

“The movement that has happened since Star has taken over is a sense of direction,” Hurlbut said. “Star brings an amazing skill set, understanding marketing and branding. She has the ability to break things down to a very productive level, and that’s what I love about it.”

Hurlbut has taken Ladin’s message of community service to heart. There is a “giving back” link on her company’s website, detailing causes supported by Hurlbut Visuals.

WEG meets the second Wednesday of every other month. The next meeting will be March 13, with business coach Joanna Garzilli speaking.

Hurlbut looks forward to WEG events.

“You attend a meeting and feel inspired by being around highpowered, successful women,” she said. “You realize that with success, you have to be a responsible human being.”

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