Business Wildfire book
“Wildfire” author Nicole Sallak Anderson will share her story literally rising from the ashes after the CZU Lightning Complex fire at an April 17 networking event in Boulder Creek. (Contributed)

A quiet revolution is underway in Santa Cruz Mountains’ lush valleys amidst the towering redwoods and winding creeks. It’s a tale of resilience, community and the enduring power of connections—the resurgence of networking in the San Lorenzo Valley (SLV).

As we gathered together after the tumult of Covid-19 and the ravaging CZU Lightning Complex fire, the significance of live networking events has never been more apparent.

But before we delve into the present, let’s rewind and explore the roots of networking’s popularity in business. In the early days of commerce, long before LinkedIn profiles and virtual meetups, networking took shape through market squares, guild gatherings and merchant associations. These hubs were where traders exchanged goods, shared knowledge and forged alliances—laying the groundwork for modern-day networking practices.

In the Present

Fast forward to the present, and the essence remains the same—connecting, collaborating and thriving together. However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly halted these cherished face-to-face interactions. Zoom calls and virtual conferences became the norm, but something was missing—the palpable energy, the spontaneous exchanges, the serendipitous encounters that define live networking.

Now, we have the Women’s Business Network-SLV (WBN-SLV).

Often, innovation emerges out of adversity. Several years later, we witnessed a remarkable rebirth, particularly in women’s networking groups across SLV. In this article, I mention one, WBN-SLV. Their gatherings are more than just professional development platforms; they symbolize solidarity, empowerment and communal strength. 

On April 17, SLV Chamber and WBN-SLV will host author Nicole Sallak Anderson, as she shares her story literally rising from the ashes after the CZU fire.

Why Network?

So, why attend these live networking events? Here are three compelling reasons:

  • Opportunity to Network: At these gatherings, you’ll have the chance to connect with fellow professionals.
  • Forges new relationships that could lead to valuable partnerships, clients or customers. 
  • As we navigate the intricate web of business, the power of personal connections is created.

Other powerful reasons why we should step up our attending networking efforts:

Increased Visibility: In a crowded marketplace, visibility is vital. By participating in networking events, you elevate the profile of your business, products, or services, ensuring that your offerings stand out amidst the competition. It’s not just about what you know; it’s about who knows you.

Access to Resources: One of the most significant advantages of attending networking events is gaining access to a diverse pool of expertise. Whether you’re seeking advice, mentorship or collaborative opportunities, these gatherings are treasure troves of valuable resources waiting to be tapped. We will hear Nicole’s memoir, “Wildfire: Losing Everything, Gaining the World.”

Join Them

WBN-SLV answers the value of networking. On Wednesday, April 17, from 5:30-7:30pm at Scopazzi’s Restaurant, 1330 Big Basin Way, in Boulder Creek, SLV Chamber of Commerce will co-host a networking event featuring guest speaker and author Nicole Sallak Anderson (

“Nicole’s journey—from losing her home in the CZU fire to penning her inspirational book—serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community support.

“In August 2020, Nicole and her family lost their home, pets and all their belongings to the CZU Lightning wildfire in Northern California. Since that pivotal event, many of her essays have focused on rebuilding life from ashes and the environmental and societal impacts of housing in an age of climate disaster.”

Mark Your Calendar 

Be inspired by one of our local writers and celebrate the spirit of collaboration, innovation and collective growth. In a world that often feels disconnected, networking events serve as beacons of hope, reminding us of humanity’s inherent goodness and the boundless possibilities that arise when we unite.

To learn more about this event, visit, and check out SLV Chamber events as well. Chamber news and events:

Janet Janssen is a Life in Business and Speaking Coach, Leadership Santa Cruz County board member, local Chamber member and Distinguished speaker with Toastmasters International. She provides individual and team-building workshops in leadership and public speaking. Currently, she is a volunteer coach for April’s TEDx Santa Cruz. Contact her at

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Janet Janssen is a Life in Business coach, public speaker, Leadership Santa Cruz County board member and SLV and SV Chamber member. Visit for upcoming events and presentations. Contact her at [email protected] or 831-335-0553.


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