Saturday, April 25, 2009

Powerful Panel Discussion in Beautiful Ventura

I have just had the privelege of helping to organize and facilitate a panel discussion event for Soroptimist International of the Americas Camino Real Region's Spring Conference being held (right now!) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura, California.

Yesterday afternoon at 2 PM, approximately 150- 160 women (some of whom attended the conference only for this event) had the privelege of hearing the following fabulous women speak as panelists in our event:

HEIDI FLOYD, Development Ambassador, Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer is committed to eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by providing financial support for research and research-related projects. Nearly $8 million has been raised since the Foundation began its efforts. Heidi’s job, simply put, to spread awareness across the nation about the Foundation and its commitment to the research it funds.

RENEE WHITE FRASER, Ph.D., Fraser Communications. Renee Fraser is the founder and CEO of Fraser Communications, a well-known LA-based advertising and public relations firm. Fraser Communications has represented United Way and many other nonprofit and corporate clients for fifteen years. A research psychologist, Renee teaches graduate courses at the Annenberg School at USC, and focuses her teaching, her business, and her volunteer efforts in ways that help to improve the lives of society, especially women and minorities.

ADRIENNE HOREN, VP/Investments, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Founded in 1832, Janney is an integral part of the United States’ financial history, holding the second oldest continuously operated membership in the New York Stock Exchange. ADRIENNE HOREN, a Soroptimist member since 1995, is an experienced financial consultant with Janney. She is the trusted advisor to Soroptimist International of the Americas.

TERRI CADIENTE, Author, Life Coach, Stuntwoman. Terri, an Associate Certified Life Coach helps restore dignity to women and girls through her company Strength and Grace, Inc. the Ragdoll Restoration Foundation; a new documentary ‘Stuck in Traffic’ that addresses the issue of sexual slavery; and the ‘Raising the Bar’ program that provides girls with a parent in prison opportunities to better their circumstances. Terri has generously offered a portion of the proceeds from her new book, Live Courageously: Choose to be the Real You, in which Terri shows readers how they hold the power of choice in their own lives, to SIA.

TRISH GRINNEL, Marketing Executive with Melaleuca, The Wellness Company.
Ms. Grinnel joined Melaleuca after 20+ years in Corporate America, 15 in Telecommunications. Melaleuca is a 24-year-old, Idaho-based, INC 500 company that manufactures safer, more cost-effective products for everyday use. Melaleuca's commitment to quality and giving back is exemplified by the 2005 BBB Hall of Fame award, the prestigious Circle of Humanitarians" Award given by The Red Cross, 2006, and "The Others" award given by The Salvation Army, 2007.

Wow! Their credentials and their own businesses and organizations are exciting in and of themselves. But just imagine what can happen when you put those five women on a panel together.

Not only did each woman have a story that inspires and engages, but together, their combined energy, excitement, emotion, and hope filled the room and brought us to our collective feet. We want some of that electricity to rub off on us and power our lives. It already has -- those of us who attended were enlightened and empowered. Each woman represents a different professional background and each woman gives back in a unique way, but each of these women is fueled by her passion and that passion, individual and collective, was palpable and contagious. We were greatly touched.

The discussion was captured in a digital film and hopefully can soon be posted in its entirety for the benefit of all.

I am honored to know each of these five amazing women and look forward to to the privelege of working with each one again in future.

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