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Surgeon Strives to Empower Women

Starting and running your own business is a challenge. And for women, it can be especially daunting, says Dr. Ellen Mahony , a board certified plastic surgeon in Westport. That's why she started Women in Power , a networking group for businesswomen.

Ellen is the president of Women in Power, a collaboration among her and her friends Lisa Wexler, Margaret Wagner and Carolina Fernandez.

"We coined this about two years ago when the economy was in a state of flux," said Ellen, 53, of Westport. "At that point, we were looking for a way women could connect on a personal level and think about how we can restore our businesses in a challenging economy."

Women in Power is more than just a social networking group for women with small businesses. It's about women coming together, sharing resources, inspiring, educating and helping one another, they say.

"This is a fabulous resource group," Ellen said. "We're all entrepreneurs working together to take our businesses to the next level. There's no hierarchy to it. We're all on the same team here."

Ellen said there are no membership fees and the events are free.

"We want to make this information accessible to all women," she said.

Since its launch two years ago, Women in Power has grown rapidly, Ellen said, with about 200 women involved. The goal for 2011 is to reach 500 women.

Ellen, a board certified plastic surgeon with about 25 years experience, works with women every day. And like her role within the organization, as a plastic surgeon, Ellen works to empower, educate, inspire and help her patients.

"I work hard to develop a rapport with my patients; I enjoy it," Ellen said. "They become part of the family here, and I think they appreciate that."

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