9th Annual Go For the Greens Business Development Conference for Women Entrepreneurs
Last week Pat Birmingham, WBENC’s VP of Marketing & Technology and Amanda Zack, Project Manager, Marketing, represented WBENC at the 9th Annual Women’s Business Development Conference in Orlando, FL at the Disney Boardwalk Resort. WBENC is a longtime supporter and sponsor of Go For the Greens, and Pat is a member of their Board and Executive Steering committee. The conference brought together 200 WBEs and corporate procurement professionals for three days of networking, educational sessions, and inspiring speakers. There were also MatchMaker sessions held throughout the event, organized and orchestrated by Nancy Allen, President and CEO of WBDC, FL.
One of the highlights of the conference was a general session “interview” with General Ann Dunwoody, the first woman in U.S. military history to achieve a four star officer rank. General Dunwoody’s insights on building a high performing team, leadership, and diversity of thought captivated the audience. The interview was conducted by Major General Amy Courter, national president of Women in Defense. The session certainly set the tone for the theme of the event: Rally Your Troops! Other sessions included many people from the WBENC community, including Benita Fortner, Immediate Past Chair, WBENC Board of Directors and Director of Supplier Diversity for Raytheon Company; Estrella Cramer, Corporate Supplier Diversity Director, UPS; Billie Bryant Schultz, CEO of Cesco; Betty Manetta, president & CEO of Argent; Sheri Orlowitz, founding partner, Artemis Holdings Group; and Leslie Saunders, president of Leslie Saunders Insurance.
Nancy Allen was recognized with the Mary Schnack Award, given annually in Mary’s memory, an active member of NAWBO and part of the Go For the Greens Family, who lost her battle with cancer in 2012 after a life dedicated to helping women business owners all over the globe. Congratulations, Nancy!
Terri Griege, founder and CEO of the Powered by Hope Foundation, inspired us on Friday as she described her intense battle with colon cancer. Although diagnosed as stage IV, Terri did not let that get in the way of competing in Ironman World Championships, the World Championship Half Ironman, and running in all six World Marathon Majors. According to Terri: “When you hear the words ‘You have cancer’, you have just entered the greatest race of your life.” Her foundation is predicated on H-O-P-E, which stands for “How Ordinary People Endure”.
The last day was focused on networking and doing business on the golf course, with both 9 and 18 hole scrambles. After a morning of fun on the golf course dotted with customized pink flags to raise money for Rally for the Cure, the event concluded with a luncheon. Congratulations to the co-founders, Cindy Chace and Diane Sears, on another great Go For the Greens!