International Association of Women Recognizes Cathy Monk as a 2018-2019 Influencer

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - CHICAGO - Aug 14, 2018 - The International Association of Women (IAW) recognizes Cathy Monk as a 2018-2019 Influencer. She is acknowledged as a leader in entrepreneurship. The International Association of Women (IAW) is a global in-person and online networking platform with nearly one million members, 1000+ in-person and virtual events, over 100 local US-based chapters, and international chapters in several cities in China.

“I’m pleased to welcome Cathy into this exceptional group of professional women,” said IPDN President and IAW Spokesperson Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.”

When her marriage of nearly 40 years dissolved due to her husband’s infidelity, Cathy Monk was understandably angry, frustrated and stressed. But she channeled those emotions into something that gave her confidence and helped her release the pain and resentment she was feeling.

Feedback from other gym members encouraged me to explore the idea of making and selling punching pad socks.

Cathy Monk

Co-Owner and CEO of Grujmatch.com

“As an aspiring archer, I had been working out with a trainer to improve my upper body strength and stabilize my core,” Ms. Monk said. “When he learned of my situation he literally pulled out a pair of boxing gloves and punching pads and told me I needed to start boxing – to let go of pent-up anger and frustration and learn how to control the emotional extremes.”

Realizing how much boxing was helping her, Ms. Monk decided to give herself some incentive to hit the pads even harder: she created a prototype cover for the punching pads with a comical image of the two offenders  (her husband and his mistress). “The covers were originally a personal thing – a laugh and a means to an end,” she said. “Feedback from other gym members encouraged me to explore the idea of making and selling punching pad socks.”

Ms. Monk did some research and determined there were no other products like her punching pad socks, which are a temporary cover for punching and kickboxing pads, so in late 2017, she got to work designing and developing customized pad socks. By May 2018, she and her business partner Bryon Garcia officially launched Grujmatch.com. From images of cancer cells to photos of competitive opponents to inspirational images, the e-commerce company offers punching pad socks that can be personalized with images that “inspire you to take control.”

As CEO, Ms. Monk manages the day-to-day operations of her company, from bookkeeping to sales to marketing. Since her professional background was in academia, (Ms. Monk was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth in England and is a trained bookbinder) Ms. Monk acknowledges that learning how to run her own company has been daunting. She credits her business partner, along with “a community of family, friends, neighbors and fellow archers,” with helping and advising her along the way. “Whenever I hit a roadblock, someone from my community showed me how to move it,” she said.

Passionate about all that boxing encompasses, including the technique and the motions used in practice, Ms. Monk is committed to getting the word out about its emotional and physical benefits. “I am aware that I need to create more buzz,” she said. “I also need to figure out how to remove the fear factor. I experienced great trepidation the first time I put on the boxing gloves – the embarrassment factor of not knowing what I was doing and making a fool of myself coupled with the fear of accidentally missing the punching pad and hitting my trainer. But after the first try, I was empowered!”

Awards & Accomplishments: Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Careers Education/Guidance, University of Reading, Reading, UK; Bachelor of Arts, Stephens College, Columbia, MO, English; Guildford College of Technology, Guildford, Surrey, UK, Fine Bookbinding and Conservation

About IAW
The International Association of Women (IAW) is a global in-person and online professional networking platform that provides nearly one million women the forum, professional development and services needed to thrive in an interconnected world. Through 100+ local chapters, international chapters in several cities in China, and 1000+ in-person and virtual events, members cultivate valuable connections, develop professionally, and promote themselves and their businesses. Founded in Chicago in 2017, IAW is a division of Professional Diversity Network, Inc., an online network tailored to provide diverse professionals in the United States with access to employment opportunities.

Source : International Association of Women
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