Posts Tagged ‘woman keynote speaker’

Healthcare, Resilience and All That Jazz

May 15, 2012
 Speaking to the New Orleans Association of Health Underwriters  was cool on many levels…
NOAHU hosts an annual Benefits Expo for their members with  sponsors like United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield at exhibition booths providing all the latest in health care info. Industry speakers in the morning spouted stats ‘n’ facts relevant to this group and I learned some alarming news on obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in this country and how it will affect health care costs for us all moving forward.
Needless to say these folks are not happy campers in the Obama Care field.
After my lunchtime keynote on “Learn from Lady Gaga: Extraordinary is the New Norm!”  they WERE happy campers feeling glad they attended the expo and leaving with new ideas & fresh motivation
(OMG! such shameless self promotion)
Cool Level # 1.
NOAHU’s President Rina Tikia & Treasurer Jennifer Toupes were two fine examples of New Orleans southern hospitality at its best. Monday night they took me and another speaker from Baltimore out to dinner at The Palace Cafe in the heart of downtown. I was amazed and delighted how crowded and lively the whole place was after the double whammy of Katrina followed by the BP spill. People were still coming in for dinner at 10 p.m. when we left! (Houston is such a snooze fest on Mondays – what about your city?)
Cool Level # 2.
I was taken on a whirlwind daytime tour by an old friend Marc Lenoir who has been working there for the past 8 years. Marc is from Belgium and drives like Batman in a BMW (ergo the word ‘whirlwind’) We drove throughout the city and surrounding areas at the speed of lightening but I was once again struck by the number of people I saw on Bourbon Street and around Jackson Square. Tourism is alive and well and once again thriving in New Orleans. Let the good times roll on!
Cool Level # 3.
From healthcare underwriters & major companies to shopkeepers & small businesses, ‘Nawlins adds a new image to its renowned brand of jazz and food – RESILIENCE.
Your success depends on the ability to persevere through the storms of competitive  chaos and the spillover effect of economic turbulence.
 Oh When The Saints Come Marchin’ In…………Who Dat???

Guilty by Association

October 17, 2011
                                                                                                                                              ABWA speakers

Last Friday I was the lunchtime keynote speaker for one of the largest and oldest women’s associations in the country: The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). The Katy chapter in Houston organized a one day conference with a great line up of speakers pictured here from left: Eleese Lester, Michelle Scism, chapter President Francie

Lockwood, Tina Gandy national ABWA President, guess who in blue? and Stephanie DeWagoneer.

Having spoken to numerous ABWA chapters over the years, it was a delightful surprise to be recognized by numerous attendees and in particular, Tina Gandy. Tina was in the audience ten years ago when I spoke at an ABWA symposium in Bryan, College Station. Tina and her twin sister Lina have a very successful marketing & graphics design company called TwinzCo. Ten years ago Tina was a self-described shy violet who ran from attention and was terrified of speaking in public.

Fast forward to now…

Tina Gandy just stepped into the role of National President of ABWA with thousands of members across the country. She gave an impassioned 40 minute presentation on how membership in this association has boosted her self confidence and contributed greatly to her success as a business woman through networking opportunities and educational programs. Powerful testimonial from a former wallflower!

As a professional speaker I am a member of the  National Speakers Association -Houston chapter (  It was the smartest thing I ever did when I began speaking in the 90’s as it cut at least five years off my learning curve through its educational and mentoring programs. The second smartest thing I ever did was to form a mastermind group of peers within NSA. We met once a month to brainstorm challenges, speech topics, marketing ideas and trends in the speaking industry. Priceless!

By associating with more experienced colleagues, my level of competence on the platform improved dramatically. They challenged me, they encouraged me, they held me accountable.  

Who are YOU aligning with for professional or personal development?

Be careful. Be picky. Remember: you’re guilty by association.