If you felt the earth shift on Saturday, April 9, 2016 it’s because over 700 women and a handful of brave men gathered to celebrate women leaders and activate the power of being unstoppable at The Women’s Center 30th Annual Leadership Conference in McLean, VA.
The keynote speakers and breakout leaders shared their wisdom and experience of being in a position of unstoppable power and conversely, where they felt ‘blocked’ and how they transformed the block into a strength-building moment. Women from all walks of life, all levels of industry, varied backgrounds and the gamut of ages, gathered to celebrate what we all have in common: the ability and desire to lead others in positive and even transformative change.
The conference had an array of inspirational events, a panel of women leaders, three impressive and accomplished keynote speakers, and 12 wildly powerful breakout topics. The panel of experts were Christianne Ricchi of Ristorante i Ricchi, who brought an entrepreneurial perspective in hospitality, as well as Toni Townes-Whitley of Microsoft and Alison Gleeson of Cisco, both of whom told stories of survival and excellence in the traditionally male-dominated technology industry.
Three keynote speakers provided perspectives on being unstoppable from a career in public service (The Honorable Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force), to a passion for innovation and a personal mission to save lives with biotechnology (Dr. Martine Rothblatt, Chair and co-CEO of United Therapeutics), to a desire for political influence and change (Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, 10th District Representative). Finally, conference attendees could choose from 12 concurrent breakouts that featured personal branding, leadership innovation, public speaking, creativity, and health.
Throughout the conference, the attendees were exposed to story-upon-story of passion, perseverance, moxy and even humor to transcend obstacles to create both personal success as well as inspiration for women in the workforce. The theme of being unstoppable was palpable throughout the event. Alison Gleeson’s quote from the morning’s panel set the tone: “If you don’t have butterflies in your stomach, you’re not challenging yourself enough in your position”.
Evans Incorporated is pleased to have been a part of this inspirational day. Evans continued our tradition of supporting the Conference as a Copper Table Sponsor, and brought 10 of our own leaders to participate. As a woman-owned business focused on human centered change, Evans Incorporated is uniquely aligned with The Women’s Center’s mission of significantly improving the mental health and well-being of the community through counseling, education, support and advocacy. In fact, Evans’ CEO, Sue Evans, is an active member of TWC’s board, and throughout the year many staff members participate in volunteer activities.
It feels appropriate to end where we started, with the phrase “Powerful as one, Unstoppable together”.