The Massachusetts Conference For Women 2009

Rethink: to think about again


Resolve: to reach a firm decision about


Renew: restore to freshness and vigor


These words were the theme for The Massachusetts Conference For Women this past Thursday. As the year winds down, I’m thinking more about how these words apply to the present and my dreams for 2010.

Two things that I’ve learned this year are to be bold and ask for what I want. That’s the only way to make things happen. It’s a constant struggle and learning process, but I’m getting there.

2009 turned me into a very big dreamer. I’ve always been a hard worker, very logical, and always trying to do the right thing. But between the economy and feeling pulled toward a new direction, my old logic wasn’t working. When things don’t work out, it’s time to rethink, renew, and get creative.

Just my attendance at this conference was the result of this thinking. I didn’t have the money to attend, but really wanted to go. I figured I’d test the if there is a will, there is a way theory.

Long story short. I sent an email explaining my situation. Spoke to someone. Emailed my resume to some other people. Sent more follow-up emails and was able to attend free as a volunteer.

It made me wonder how many other times I could have done what I wanted to, but hadn’t tried hard enough. Where there is the will, there is a way. I resolve to remember and constantly test this theory. Just a few days ago, it helped me to get a Christmas wish.

So many amazing women spoke at the conference, but I was only able to see a few. The panel discussion View From the Top: Women Leaders Share Their Success Stories was very inspiring. I especially like how they responded to questions about how to deal with obstacles in your path.

Kate White, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan

"To find oil, you have to drill. Take action!”

She mentioned “sugar lips” and that you catch more flies with honey.

Leigh-Ann Durant, Associate General Counsel at EMD Serono

"High walls can keep you from something dangerous or can teach you how to use a ladder.”

"Be creative. Don’t take no for an answer."

"The definition of success changes over time. Be open and work hard."

Maureen Fitzgerald, Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors

"Stay focused on the end goal.”

“Set clear goals and keep learning.”

They all discussed the importance time management and that you need to set aside time to reflect. Then we had lunch.

Sometimes food is just fuel. I was grateful to have it. However, next year more attention to the food would go a long way.

During lunch, there were several speakers. Brittany Bergquist won the Be The Change Award, which was a spa vacation for two from Canyon Ranch. What an amazing story! When she was only 13 years old, she started the Cell Phones for Soldier Program. Through recycling used cell phones for money, she has raised over six million dollars and sent 600,000 prepaid calling cards to American troops, so they can call home.

If Brittany didn’t fill us all up with her can do spirit, then we were overflowing with it after Suze Orman took the stage. What a rock star! She had music as she entered with her cute black leather jacket. Go Suze!

She told us how she got to where she is today from being a 30- year- old waitress making $400.00 a month. What a story! She said two things that I really love.

“When you are going down one path, God permits U-turns.”

“Do what is right versus what is easy and it will make you the woman that you were meant to be.”

Then she started talking about the economy and the situation that many Americans are finding themselves in with big banks. The banks are raising interest rates, charging all kinds of fees, and as Suze put it, “The banks have turned their backs on us!”

Then she told everyone that if they have credit cards with balances and their bank isn’t treating them right, that if they can, they should transfer their balances to a credit union credit card. I was so glad to hear her say this. I agree. On her website, she has a list of credit unions. And here, I’m also adding a link to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for further credit union information.

Unfortunately, I had to leave before the end of her presentation. But, I had a great time volunteering at the Rework Career Fair, which was presented by Tory Johnson, CEO of Women For Hire. I’m so glad that I had the chance to attend the conference.

If you’re interested in going next year, it will be on December 9, 2010. Save the date! And if you want to read more about the conference, you can follow on twitter and search on twitter by using #masswomen.

As I've had time, I've been reading through the conference brochure and read about some of the other speakers. I noticed the designer Sigrid Olsen. I would have loved to hear her speak. One of my favorite T-shirts ever was by her! Well, she's on a new path with her creative ventures. She's selling all kinds of beautiful things. Plus, she's hosting inspiration retreats, which look really fun. It would have been interesting to hear her talk about how she's reinvented herself. Well, I'll be reading her website to learn more.

That's all for now!

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Tracy said…
Hugely inspirational post, Anali! "Rethink, Renew, and Get Creative." This is my motto for next year! Happy Day, my friend :o) ((HUGS))
El said…
Very inspirational post. Sometimes it's hard to stay on track. Thanks for the motivation.
Wow, I feel empowered! Thanks so much for posting this! Sounds like it was an amazing experience.

Thanks for stopping my blog. You know I'm digging yours too!

Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner?
Lisa Johnson said…
tracy - Happy Day to you too! ; )

el - You're welcome! As always, a much appreciated comment.

alex - Thanks for the visit! I'll be stopping by yours again soon too. I'm falling behind in my blog rounds lately.
Kelli said…
Conferences can be so inspiring!
You came away with lots of good things, that's for sure!
I'm off to check out Sigrid Olsen now...
Lisa Johnson said…
kelli - I hope you enjoy her site! ; )
Such great advice from the conference! And, thanks for sharing your own experiences and how your views and actions have changed this past year. I know that will give many courage. I know I've stepped outside my own comfort zone more this year (sometimes in really big ways) and the rewards have been huge! I always say to myself, what's the worst that could happen? The Law of Attraction says that if you ask for it and make it known you want it, "it" will come to you. ;-)

Here's to a great 2010!

Lisa Johnson said…
shirley - I'm raising my glass to 2010 as well! ; )

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