Words cannot express how thrilled we are to meet and interact with many of you at our “Decades of Excellence” conference held recently. We are so very proud of each of you and your numerous accomplishments.
Our keynotes were spectacular. For the opening welcome breakfast, Sarah Michel set just the right tone in introducing us to the concept and workings of “Networthing,” her brand of making effective connections.
Barbara Corcoran superseded our expectations with her warmth and willingness to be photographed hundreds of times, and signing autographs. At the luncheon, her message was funny, informative and inspiring.
Susan Solovic shared her insightful wisdom on Friday morning, based on her best-selling book content and giving us a glimpse into her upcoming newest book.
There were amazing presenters at our 13 workshops where each of you interacted with one another asking questions, providing answers and ideas. The surveys have been counted and the entire conference received superlative ratings.
The capstone to the conference was the Friday evening Awards Gala, and we were delighted to have Susan Solovic as our emcee. She did a spectacular job with audience engagement, presenting our awardees, and adding to the energy already in the room. With a dinner of filet mignon and sea bass, to the high-value audio-video production services (provided by sponsor Multi Image Group), everything about the Gala was enjoyably top-notch.
NWBOC Trailblazer Award: Tana Davis, Davis & Dash Accountancy and Phyllis Hill Slater, Hill Slater
NWBOC Private Sector Advocate: Linda Stevenson, PNC
NWBOC Conference Advocate: Linda Haneborg, Linda Haneborg & Associates
NWBOC Board Member Extraordinaire: Nancy Zurbuchen, Motional Multimedia
NWBOC Heroes: Phyllis & Larry Holifield, Priddy & Holifield, CPAs
NWBOC Global Leader: Terry Neese, founder of Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) that provides training for women business owners in Afghanistan and Rwanda.
And, recognition was given to 20 women business owners by inducting them into the NWBOC Decades of Excellence Hall of Fame for having certification for over 10 consecutive years.
There were two big announcements made at the conference:
The first was the unveiling of THE ZONE, which is gives certified companies online access for the purposes of connecting, buying, selling, and supporting one another. Many women sat down with Nancy Zurbuchen of Motional Multimedia for a demonstration of THE ZONE and were greatly impressed. For those who didn't attend the conference, you should have received an email regarding your log-in and password. In creating THE ZONE, we have responded to your request for a method to search for one another in a user friendly way. We are also providing corporate and government buyers and supplier diversity officers with log-ins so they can also search for women-owned companies to do business with, and this is another reason why your information needs to be updated and current.
However, the most stunning announcement at the conference was that the gross sales of NWBOC-certified companies is over $14.5 billion! Ladies, congratulations! It is an honor and privilege to work with you. You requested another conference next year, so we are moving forward and will be announcing the dates shortly.
We certainly want to express our gratitude to our sponsors without whom we could never accomplish this event: AT&T, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, PNC, IGPS, Multi Image Group, Asset Valuation and Marketing, Data Blue, LLC, Express Employment Professionals, Enterprising Women, MBE Magazine, and Team Services, Inc. Without them, this conference simply would not have happened, so we encourage all to support our sponsors in any way possible.
In addition, our Exhibitors made a tremendous impact on our attendees and deserve recognition. Many of the exhibitors also conducted one-on-one meetings with our registrants which provided an excellent opportunity for our attendees to present their companies to potential buyers and/or supplier diversity officers.
Lastly, we want to recognize the tremendous efforts of our staff and volunteers: Terri Neil, conference coordinator; Tiffany Barkley, conference administrator; Lynn Gabriel, Certification Administration; Alma Maglio, Communications; Josh Lange, Administration; Avery, Betty, Beverly, Brian, Drew, Helen, Judy, and Melissa.
Link to 2014 Decades of Excellence page!