Woman’s Club of Norfolk

Established 1905

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The Woman’s Club of Norfolk was founded in 1905, by Miss Virginia Gatewood. Miss Gatewood sent out 500 invitations and 200 women responded. In December of that year, the club was incorporated and in 1925 they purchased the Martin Mansion, historic Ghent, as their home.

The early Woman’s Club sponsored a speaker series that included Ruth Rhode, Minister to Denmark, President Herbert Hoover and many Governors and Authors. This lecture series was the precursor of the Norfolk Forum, which is enjoyed by many today. The club hosted activities for the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, sponsored a legal aid clinic, pushed for prison reform, marched for women’s suffrage and sponsored the Crepe Myrtle Festival, a forerunner of the Azalea festival, now known as the popular NATO Festival. They also conducted classes three days a week beginning in 1927 for what was the beginning of the Norfolk branch of William and Mary that later became Old Dominion University.

Over a century later, the Martin Mansion is still home to the Woman’s Club of Norfolk.

The Woman’s Club of Norfolk is relevant to women today as a private Club, with members of all ages, and fosters a positive and encouraging environment for all members, with a focus on activities and programs that support philanthropy, education and women’s entrepreneurship. The Club also directs the Gatewood Martin Mansion Foundation, the preservation and fundraising effort for our over 100 year old Mansion, and grounds.


We are a private club. Prospective members must be proposed by a member and sponsored by two additional members. If you do not know a member, please contact our Membership Chair at membership@womansclubofnorfolk.com . Prospective members are invited to attend our annual welcome meeting each September. All member applications require board approval and applicants must be at least twenty-three years of age. We offer several member tiers based on your activity interest. For more information, contact our membership chair at: membership@womansclubofnorfolk.com

Public Program & Events

Entrepreneur- Palooza!

At the Woman’s Club of Norfolk, we strive for growth and empowerment of women in every possible aspect. The series we are offering promotes entrepreneurship. It will consist of 4 one hour Lunch and Learn sessions, which will take place bi-weekly beginning April 3 and ending on May 15. 

 Each event will begin and noon and end at 1:00pm. Cost: $10 which includes a box lunch by Tessa’s Creations!


April 3rdMichelle Pippin – Founder and CEO of Women Who Wow -an online alliance of women entrepreneurs – Michelle will kick off our series on entrepreneurship with an overall discussion of what it means to be a woman entrepreneur and key tips and strategies of beginning and maintaining a successful business.


April 17thHarry Brown -Attorney at Law – Harry will be presenting a basic discussion of different types of business entities, specific programs for women-owned businesses, and tips on business and corporate legal considerations when starting a business.


May 1stGeorgie Marquez – Founder of Andre Marquez Architects, Inc. -Georgie will discuss her personal experience of starting a business -questions she didn’t know to ask, unexpected hurdles, and how she has promoted excellence and longevity with her business.


May 15thCathy Harris-CPA CCSP at Harbor Tax Group, Inc. -Cathy will discuss financial considerations involved with beginning/continuing a business such as financial planning and readiness, unexpected costs and payroll.


To register to attend, go to http://bit.ly/EntrepreneurPalooza

Ongoing Programs We Support

Community non-profits, as well as, Susan G Komen & Women for Women International