What makes now different than any other moment in history is that for the first time, women understand we are all somehow connected. Big business, entertainment in Hollywood, technology in Silicon Valley, and finance on Wall Street—women have discovered the key to achieving more: the power of our voices.
It is only together that we will be able to make the changes we want to see in the world.
Equality, equal pay, more women on Boards, in Leadership, and in Office, and teams that are diverse. Like it or not, we all have to motivate, get up and get out, and start to speak up so we can become the trailblazers that will make the change.
The Power Of Our Voices was the title of the 32nd Annual Leadership & Legacy Awards, or as we call it, the NAWBO-LA Gala. President Schenae Rourk’s vision came to life in this beautifully designed event that was produced by our very own Board Member and Gala Co-Chair, Cynthia Lopell of CL2Productions. As the Programming Chair and a Board Member, I’d like to brag about CBS2 News co-anchor and our MC, the incredible Pat Harvey, the esteemed presenters, and trailblazing award recipients. More on that in a moment…
I’d also like to make special note of what Laura Yamanka , the recipient of the Legacy Award expressed so eloquently when she accepted her award on behalf of all women: It’s not me. It’s not you, But rather, it’s all of us.
What stands out most
First the attendees walked the exhibitor hall and indulged in the wares that ranged from jewelry design to shoes. Or learned about propelling their businesses forward by using such services as graphic design, Metro’s small business program, or the special business incentives showcased by the State Treasurers office.
We listened in awe to inspirational messages from Trailblazer Award winner Barbara Burrell. Erika Girardi’s husband, Thomas, accepted the Innovator Award on her behalf and blew us all away with his wit and grace. Woman Business Owner of The Year winner Jayme Bella from Greenerways Organic made me look at my cleaning products with a critical eye. Public Corporation of the Year went to Southern California Gas, and Public Agency of the Year was won by Metro. But what stands out much more to me than the stories that make you think and nod in agreement, are the women themselves. They truly embody the attributes of strong female leaders.
NAWBO-LA is proud to showcase that our own diversity and inclusion goals are met every single year. We don’t just advocate for women in business, we make sure we put it in action. Women from all religions, races, and ages attended this annual event to foster the power of community. The hallways were filled with small-, medium-, and big-size business owners and sponsors who mingled and networked with even more business owners.
The lost art of connection
Truth be told, as business owners we spend too much time furiously typing away at our computers. And if you are like me, you may be addicted to the rush that the little the ping on the phone brings. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I heard something that made me think twice. It was Catherine Francis, facilitator of SCE workshops, who said, “It’s not going to happen in your office, it happens OUT THERE.”
Just like that it became clear to me that to grow our businesses we need to (drumroll) leave the office! I know, it’s shockingly simple. A personal conversation with an in-real-life person is a reprieve and refreshing change from an endless onslaught of emails asking you for something. This gala provided the experience to feel alive and be seen. Good times where had by all.
Special thanks go to…
Noteworthy contributions were made by our generous sponsors, like Bank of America who facilitated a jam-packed workshop on small business. And to everyone else who filled the goody bags and provided what’s needed to make this event a smashing success. The countless hours of dedicated volunteers… it truly takes a village.
What’s left to say?
For anyone who’s met me, you know I am not one for too many words, unless you put me on a stage and ask me to talk about Balanced Leadership and Entrepreneurship. But I am known for hurricane-like action. So here’s my pitch…
If you were once a member but let your membership lag, please join us again. We want YOU. If you are a member but have not attended an event, a connects, or a signature event, please go to the events page and find one and say YES immediately. If you are coming to our events (yay!) please contact us and find out about the many committees so that we can find a spot for you to get involved.
NAWBO-LA is a dedicated group of women committed to making an impact. We’d love for you to join us and as President Schenae Rourk said, there really isn’t a better time to join than now.
Beate Chelette is the Founder of The Women’s Code and serves as the Programming Chair for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-LA). Once $135,000 in debt and a single mother, she successfully sold her business to Bill Gates in a multi-million dollar deal.
Beate’s supports organizations two-fold. Beate provides leadership development programs for organizations that want to implement the ROI of Balanced Leadership through The Women’s Code, her signature system that educates leaders and helps companies achieve gender equality. The Women’s Code creates and implements programs that improve organizational culture, foster productive work environments and help companies improve their people ROI.
As The Growth Architect she creates outreach and sponsorship programs through customized Entrepreneur skills training following the 5 Star Success Blueprint that shows step-by-step how to grow, build and scale businesses.
Beate is a respected speaker and mentor and is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome”, a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.”
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on Leadership or Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect here.