As we round out the last few weeks of 2017 and take time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, I’ve been reflecting on what an incredible year we’ve had here at WBENC. Celebrating our 20th anniversary has been so rewarding because it’s provided us with the opportunity to reflect and honor how far we’ve come in the last 20 years, and also get energized for the years ahead.
With the support of our wonderful sponsors and dynamic network, we have accomplished a lot this year. From breaking attendance records at our signature events to launching several new education programs for WBEs, it’s truly been a banner year for WBENC and our network. One of my personal highlights was honoring all of the WBE Stars from 1998 to the present at the Summit & Salute in New Orleans – such a great group of women! I was also honored to launch the Legacy of Leaders program to help recognize those who have demonstrated such a commitment to the WBENC network over the years. And of course, I loved celebrating, connecting and collaborating with all of you in Vegas at our National Conference & Business Fair.
As we approach our 21st year, I want to extend our gratitude to you – our network – for all that you do. To our board, ambassadors and the Forum, thank you for helping to so successfully steer WBENC to such great growth and achievement over the years. To our Corporate Members and sponsors, none of this would be possible without your commitment and support, and we sincerely thank you for your continued dedication to breaking down barriers for women-owned businesses. To our Regional Partner Organizations, thank you for being such a vital part of the WBENC family and our collective growth over the years. And to our WBEs, particularly the WBE Stars and Women of Distinction – we are amazed by the passion and perseverance you display on a daily basis in your businesses and communities. We are honored to have all of you as part of the WBENC network.
So, who is ready for 2018!? The WBENC team is already working full-speed ahead on our 2018 events, programming, resources and opportunities. We even have a special announcement that we look forward to sharing in January – stay tuned!
Until then, enjoy this delightful season and remember to #ACTIntentionally and support #WomenOwned as you do your holiday shopping. For our part, the WBENC team is doing a Women Owned Secret Santa (the ultimate #Hes4Shes!) gift exchange and we look forward to seeing the amazing gifts produced by our talented WBEs.
Until next year!
WBENC President and CEO