LDC & UNF: Women Leading the Future Conference

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Lindsey Mask, Katherine Tallmadge, Margie Warrell, Pat Mitchell

By Punch Passport Correspondent Lori González Lazzarini

I had the marvelous opportunity to assist the “Women Leading the Future” conference hosted by Ladies DC http://www.ladiesdc.com/ and the United Nations Foundation (UNF) http://www.unfoundation.org/ held last Saturday, April 30th.  The best way to express how I felt once leaving this event is for you to imagine a picture of wonder woman. After listening to all the astounding speakers I felt like nothing is impossible if I just set my mind to it.  I learned so many things at this conference!  In truth it was invaluable to my self-esteem as a professional woman.

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Lindsay Mask Founder of Ladies DC

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Margie Warrell

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Raea Jean Leinster, violinist

First, I want to provide a bit of info on the hosts of the conference.  Ladies DC is a remarkable premier young women’s professional networking group in Washington, D.C. which focuses on women helping women.  UNF is working profusely to empower women and girls around the world. At the moment, UNF is deeply engaged in petitions to stop child marriage.  I loved how Elizabeth Gore, Director of Global Initiatives at UNF, mentioned in her opening remarks that between babies, BlackBerries, business, and boys its hard and incredible how women find the time to get everything done.  This is so true. We are more awesome than Rock Stars!

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during the panels

during the panels

Afterward, Margie Warrell, who is an extremely well-known Executive Life Coach, took the stage and WOW! She was so inspiring.  I was genuinely awed.  She said things that I LOVED like: “women are more powerful than they give themselves credit”; “we need to be prepared to stand out” ;“unless we are willing to make mistakes we are not going to be able to achieve what we want in life”; “if you are not risking failing, you are not thinking big enough”; “ women are prone to hysteria”; “ we are all called to do what inspires us”; “courage is action and the presence of it”; “diversity is what makes the world richer”; “great leaders are not people that shy away from problems, they say: Bring it on!”; “it is not about being better than other people, it is about being the best version of yourself and celebrate the individuality of those around us”; “emotions are contagious, address negative emotions immediately.”

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Julie Lombard LDC Co-Chair and Kimberly Glenn LDC Publicist

I could probably create a reference to every single one of those statements because in the world we live in, we as women, face all sorts of situations that sometimes make us feel like we really should look into the whole cloning business, to sign up for a clone of ourselves.  But now I feel like I can reflect back on Maggie’s words and think: I can do all that I need to do! She made me feel empowered and this was only the first conference of the day!

Afterward, we had a break to mingle and then we went on to a panel discussion with four women that can only be described with the word IMPRESSIVE.  The panel was comprised of: Hope Gibs, founder of Inkandescent Public Relations, http://inkandescentpr.com/, a PR publications, media relations, marketing firm that helps small businesses get the visibility they need; Joanna Robinson, founder of Lunar Massage, http://www.lunarmassagedc.com/, an affordable, no-frills therapeutic massage studio for busy professionals and DC area residents; Liz Chadderdon, founder of the Chadderdon Group, http://www.chadderdongroup.com/, who created messaging, strategy, and persuasion mail for presidential, congressional, state, legislative, and municipal races in 25 states; and Paula Jagemann, founder of Someone With, http://www.someonewith.com/, home, health, and medical supply company created to support women with breast cancer.   Yeah, I know! A really hard act to follow, but what they communicated in their panel discussion was that it is possible to do so.

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The scene at Cities – Becky Lee of Becky’s Fund

Another woman that impressed the heck out of me was Joan Amble. She is the Executive Vice President and Corporate Comptroller of American Express Company. I felt like I could relate to her on another level because she is a CPA like me, and worked many years in public accounting, like I’m currently doing.  So it was such a privilege for me to listen to this super woman talk about her experience as a woman leader in the accounting world.  She said fantastic things such as:  “We need to put our best high-heel foot forward”; “leave the drama out of it, don’t make it personal”; “take time to build relationships with other women”; “whenever faced with a life changing decision consult your personal board of directors for constructive advice and guidance”; “the best two fashion accessories to have are courage and confidence” and my personal favorite which was “sometimes men in meetings say the worst ideas in the world, but they were brought up with such bravado, that we as women should use as models when we feel fear of speaking up!”   I just loved everything she said and will definitely use these words as inspiration on a day to day basis.

Finally, Pat Mitchell, who has been network correspondent, documentary producer, network executive, was president and CEO of PBS, and now is president and CEO of The Paley Center for Media, wrapped up the event with the final conference.  She was so AMAZING. She empowered all women to help other women, to do what they don’t think possible, to vote, to run for public office, among other many things.   It was just very humbling to hear the story of someone who had to go through so many adversaries, and came out the other way so successful and putting women’s name at large.

Additionally, I attended the Cocktail Reception at Cities Lounge http://www.citieswashington.com/, and had the opportunity to meet Becky Lee, founder of Becky’s Fund http://www.beckysfund.org/cms/, a national non-profit organization committed to addressing and preventing the occurrence of domestic violence through advocacy, research and support for survivors.  She was originally scheduled to be one of the panelists, but had an emergency related to the work she conducts to help victims of domestic violence.  I learned that Becky’s Fund is having an event this Saturday, May 7th, 5th Annual Fundraiser “Investing in Hope”, at the 2011 Virginia Gold Cup. Tickets are running out fast so make sure to get one soon!

The Cocktail Reception was fabulous just a perfect closing to a magnificent event. Props to everyone that was involved with the planning of such a successful day and night!

**Post and photos by Punch Passport Correspondent Loreana S. González Lazzarini, gonzalez.loreana@gmail.com, @lory_dc. By day Lori is a CPA at an international accounting firm and when she can, she continues to fill up her passport with her numerous globe trotting travels.***

About Loreana S. González Lazzarini:
Post and photos by Punch Pioneer Correspondent Loreana S. González Lazzarini, gonzalez.loreana@gmail.com, @lory_dc. By day Lori is a CPA at an international accounting firm but has a passion for the entrepreneurial spirit, advanced technology, and the continuing landscape of startups.
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