By Marianne Salza
The Beacon Hill Women’s Forum (BHWF) has been uniting the community through entertaining and educational social functions since 2013, when Beacon Hill resident, Lisa Macalaster, founded the organization with the intention of encouraging the ladies of the neighborhood to “connect, inspire, and enjoy.” Nearly a decade later, BHWF has flourished into a supportive circle of diverse, engaging women.
“It’s been great getting to know the amazing women of BHWF and making lasting friendships,” said Shaili Gupta, who will be serving as the co-president with Wendy Oleksiak during the upcoming 2022-2023 season, beginning in early September.
Gupta, a management consultant, joined BHWF on the first day that she moved to Beacon Hill, and hopes to continue building and nourishing the group of accomplished professionals.
“I was new to the area and looking to make friends and get to know my neighbors,” described Gupta. “A friend of mine who was part of BHWF recommended it, and I can’t thank her enough.”
The Beacon Hill Women’s Forum meets on the second Tuesday of every month from 6-8pm, September – May at the Hampshire House, 84 Beacon Street. The evening includes a cocktail hour and cash bar; and highlights insightful locals who share their personal stories during the speaker series, when entrepreneurs, scientists, mothers, and civic leaders discuss topics such as developing one’s professional business, celebrating families, and following passions.
The first forum will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 6-8pm, featuring Leslie Adam’s presentation, “Hey Park Lady – Why I Love These Three Parks and This Special Community.”
“I love the forums,” Gupta emphasized. “The forum is like an intimate conversation. The goal is to get to know the person and their struggles along with their accomplishments. This is where BHWF differentiates itself. Anyone can find a great talk about wins on YouTube, but it’ll be tough to find a place where you can get to know the story behind the 10 years it took to become a success.”
The Beacon Hill Women’s Forum also offers other monthly activities that strengthen bonds and deepen critical thinking. Architect, Richelle Gewertz, organizes Backyard Adventures, led by speakers or business owners during weekday evenings or weekends. Gewertz coordinates Sunday Funday brunches at the beginning or middle of each month from 11:30am-1:30pm, as well. She plans occasional Laughs & Libations, small get-togethers over drinks, from 7-9pm during unspecified weeknights. Additionally, Gewertz holds Feast with Friends dinners on the last Thursday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm.
Commercial real estate portfolio manager, Deb Schwartz, organizes Book Club discussions on the third Tuesday of every month from 7-9pm in the Liberty Hotel lobby.
“The Beacon Hill Women’s Forum has a number of smaller connection events where you can enjoy an activity with women who have similar interests,” Gupta explained. “For example, if you like painting, then in September we have a Paint Night at Rainbows Pottery Studio under our Backyard Adventures event roster.”
The Beacon Hill Women’s Forum is welcoming new and seasoned attendees to enlist in an annual membership, valid September 2022- June 2023, for access to social hours and monthly activities. A season pass is $200 for those ages 35 and over; $100 for individuals 34 and younger; and $500 for the Friends of BHWF, which includes an invitation to a special appreciation cocktail event. Visit https://beaconhillwomensforum.org/ to learn more.