As a socialite, I absolutely need to stay abreast of community happenings and NETWORK. It is vital.
I was invited by the wonderful Jasmine Johnson and attended with much eagerness the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Milwaukee Chapter’s (NCBW) first part of its three part panel series, “The Un’Corked Truth.” This event took place at Vino 100 (a quaint wine lounge which you should definitely check out in Wauwatosa). http://www.vino100tosa.com/
NCBW kicked off the series with “The Cost of Doing Business as an African-American Woman, “THE PERCEPTION EDITION.” Black women panelists offered frank discussion not only about the challenges our gender encounters regularly in the workplace but shared personal testimonies of triumph resulting from hard work and acceptance and assertion of your strengths and character. The awesome Genyne Edwards notably of MOSAIC and Cardinal Stritch’s African American Leadership Program; Gwen Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources at Assurant Health and Dr. Debi Miller, President and CEO of Global Communications Strategists presented engaging insight as panelists that definitely has me excited for the next edition. “Get there early to relax… There is great comfort in just being in the moment … then you are clear and crisp,” Edwards shared with us regarding important meetings. Dr. Miller pointed out, “Sometimes we’re our own baggage… we undervalue OURSELVES.” She encouraged that allies and lobbying encourages people to have a conversation about your skills OUTSIDE of meetings.
Afterward, I was able to network with some of Milwaukee’s most talented, career-established women that belong to the NCBW chapter. I met Faithe Colas of Black Nouveau and the Salvation Army and told her of my aspirations to become a successful event planner. I was in awe because I check her out on public television all the time and I could not believe she and I were just having this candid conversation. Before I knew it, she was introducing me to her friend, who then introduced me to the next person. It was great, I was being handed business cards left and right and sadly had none of my own to return to my new acquantances. L
Again, these women were so open and honest with their feedback regarding my aspirations, it was refreshing and I felt incredibly blessed to be a part of this network. Fortunately, I was representing with my Zeta pin on my blouse and while we all were setting up to take pictures, the moderator Denise Calloway noticed it and exclaimed, “Are you my Sister of the Dove?” That and the humbling connections that came about made my night! I did walk away with two lasting lessons:
ONE: NETWORKING is the lifeblood of an entrepreneur. You also have to follow up with new connections.
TWO: GET BUSINESS CARDS! LOL The ol’ *let me get your number and pull out my cellphone* routine is dead.Peep the pic... I'm the one with the copper 'fro in the back! :)