March is one of my favorite times of the year.
It’s Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, a time to honor strong women leaders (of whom I know many!) and to renew our call to #BuyWomenOwned and expand opportunities for women entrepreneurs. (Check out our campaign media kit to help amplify the message.)
Of course, it’s officially March Madness, the most exciting time for college basketball fans (Go Vols!).
And perhaps most importantly, it’s the time we gather together for the annual WBENC Summit & Salute, our signature event dedicated to fueling the success of women-owned businesses.
We are fresh off the heels of the 2019 Summit & Salute and I could not be more proud, refreshed and excited for this network, our partners and advocates, the inspiring women business owners, and the incredible corporations dedicated to their success. A huge thank you to our Presenting Sponsors, Accenture, Bristol-Myers Squibb, EY, Ampcus Inc., and ASAP Solutions Group, LLC for their support and dedication to this wonderful event.
I also want to give a shout out to all of our sponsors, attendees and Regional Partner Organizations. The collaboration and engagement were truly amazing and each and every one of you played an integral part in our success.
We really shook things up this year with the introduction of the WBENC Business Lab, Opportunities Almanac, Corporate Member Professional Development Summit, and our own spin on March Madness, WBENCPitch, a tournament-style pitch competition. Congratulations to our tournament champion Jane Henry of SeeHerWork, who is revolutionizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for women. (See Jane’s feature on Good Morning America!)
I hope you enjoyed hearing from our keynote speakers Bill George, Eartha Jean Johnson, and Becky Frankiewicz, as well as the executive panel from the energy industry. My personal highlights include honoring the sixty 2018 Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises throughout the event and celebrating the 2019 Women’s Business Enterprise Stars during Salute! Dinner.
I was also honored to pay tribute to the amazing Cheryl Snead at the Cheryl W. Snead Memorial Fundraiser. Thank you to all who contributed to honor Cheryl’s legacy and spread the #cherylsneadeffect.
Now we set our sights on Baltimore! We are full steam ahead planning our 2019 National Conference & Business Fair, which will take place June 25 – 27 at the Baltimore Convention Center. We look forward to bringing forward many of the innovations we introduced at Summit & Salute, as well as our unmatched Business Fair where we are expecting upwards of 350 exhibitors.
You can learn more about the event and register here. The Early Bird Deadline is right around the corner! WBEs – make sure you register by April 2, 2019 to be eligible to participate in 1:1 MatchMakers.
Lastly, I want to thank you all for your insights and feedback on our events and programming. We are listening and continuing to evolve and innovate in order to provide the most value to all attendees and sponsors.
If you attended Summit & Salute, what was your favorite new program or initiative? What are you most looking forward at the National Conference & Business Fair? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
President & CEO