The History of The NRWA

The NRWA started as a regional group of 11 people in 1996. Vivian Belen is credited as the true founder of The NRWA. Her indomitable spirit and zeal led to formation of a local chapter of the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), which evolved into the Northeast Resume Writers’ Association, a regional group catering to the needs of resume writers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. The first meetings centered around continuing education on an array of topics encompassing writing, business development, the growing importance of the Internet, and business management.

At the end of 1996, it was decided that there was a critical need for a member-driven organization, one that was not motivated by profits but one that met the needs of resume writers through education, training, mentoring, and networking. In November 1996, the group voted to go national and created a nonprofit professional trade association for resume writers – The National Resume Writers’ Association.

The formation of The NRWA was announced with plans of going national on January 1, 1997. Within four months, membership topped 100.

The 11 individuals who laid the groundwork, developed the mission, and authored the first code of ethics, was comprised of Marty Weitzman, the first president of The NRWA, Vivian Belen, Deb Dib, Doug Dib, Judy Friedler, Phyllis Shabad, John Thorn, Fran Kelley, Gerry Palmer, Rhoda Kopy, and Bev Baskin. This group of dedicated individuals is considered the co-founders of The NRWA.

Because The NRWA is a volunteer, member-driven organization, it was the first to have an elected Board of Directors. Under the leadership and tireless efforts of its first president, Marty Weitzman, The NRWA was a pioneer in the resume-writing industry and can boast many firsts.

In keeping with the mission of The NRWA, the focus was on creating the preeminent standard within the resume-writing community. Through the dedication of Pat Kendall and the Certification Commission, a multi-step certification process was developed. Pat guided the program until becoming president in 1996. Sally McIntosh assumed the role of Certification Chair until 2008.

The NRWA was the first resume writers’ organization to actively seek out member input in their annual conference planning, including program development, fee structures, and location selection. The first conference (Chicago, 1998) was chaired by Judy Friedler and Kathy Keshemberg and drew more than 80 people, at the time probably close to 40% of the membership. Over the years, due to the hard work of conference planning committees, The NRWA conference consistently has been the most affordable in the industry, time and again surpassing attendees' expectations and providing something of value to each and every attendee, whether they have been in the industry for one year or 20 years.

The NRWA was the first resume-writing organization to create a Web site, and the first to use its Web site not only as an external resource but an internal one as well, providing invaluable tools to the members, tools that addressed not only writing but business management resources, as well.

Conferences have been held in:

1998 Chicago, IL
1999 New Orleans, LA
2000 Las Vegas, NV
2001 San Antonio, TX
2002 Philadelphia, PA
2003 Seattle, WA
2004 Nashville, TN
2005 Stamford, CT
2006 Phoenix, AZ
2007 Savannah, GA
2008 San Diego, CA
2009 Annapolis, MD
2010 Ft. Worth, TX
2011 Portland, ME
2012 Charleston, SC
2013 Chicago, IL
2014 Denver, CO

Past Presidents:

Marty Weitzman, 1996 to 1999
Pat Kendall, 1999 to 2001
Greg Bridgeman, 2001 to 2003
Linda Matias, 2003 to 2005
Kevin Morris, 2005 to 2006
Kathy Sweeney, 2006 to 2007
Robyn Feldberg, 2008 to 2009
Charlotte Weeks, 2010 to 2011
Marie Zimenoff, 2012 to 2013
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