Defunct Latham business club united working women

Editor's note: Three weeks ago, The Spotlight published a story about a long-forgotten monument that was discovered at the North Colonie District office bearing the name Laura Burt, after she was recognized by the Latham Business and Professional Women's Club. This club is no longer in existence, but readers were asked to share any information they might have about the club, and this story is the result of that feedback.

Networking has long been used as a way to get ahead in business, and special groups exist to coach and push women and men who might need help in that area.

One of the earlier local groups to tackle that role was the Latham Business and Professional Women's Club, an organization formed in the 1970s that has since merged into Greater Capital District Professional Women.

Business and Professional Women is a national organization dedicated to promoting equity for women in the workplace, according to its Web site. At one point in time, the organization was broken down into subdivisions to serve the needs of individual communities that face different hardships and challenges than others.

Former Colonie Supervisor Mary Brizzell was a member of the Latham Business and Professional Women's Club before it merged with the Greater Capital District club. She remembers the unique connections and experiences she had with the group.

It was a group of women that were in business and were professionals, she said. "It was more or less a support group for mentoring."

Brizzell joined the group after it was founded in the early 1970s when a friend from the Southgate School, who Brizzell met during her involvement with the North Colonie Central School District, introduced her to the club.

At the time, Brizzell and her husband were owners of Brizells Flowers.

"So, that's how I joined," she said.

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