Women’s Empowerment Event

March 12, 2020

On Monday, March 9th, Drexel’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship hosted the second annual Maguire Women’s Empowerment Summit at the Behrakis Grand Hall in Philadelphia, PA. The event brought together women from both Drexel and the surrounding community for a day filled with empowering speakers, interactive workshops and networking sessions! 

The first speaker of the day, Dana Band of The Dana Band Group, combined speaking and interactive engagement to open the room and allow others to share their stories, which made for a much more intimate networking session while still being informative. Her four tips for tribe-building success are:

1. Make the first move

2. Pick your curious questions

3. Be open because you don’t know who you’ll meet

4. Really listen

Dana’s session was followed up by a luncheon interview with mother and daughter entrepreneurs Claudia Timbo, of CompanyVoice, and Sunny White, of Xavier Creative House. Both shared their amazing stories about starting their own businesses and offered great advice to all in attendance about putting yourself out there and creating an opportunity from nothing. When asked for her secret to success, Claudia said it’s “to be open. I find whenever I go somewhere, something happens, just put yourself out there, opportunities are everywhere.” With this attitude, Claudia eventually founded, grew and sold multiple successful companies. It came as no surprise that Sunny would inherit her mother’s entrepreneurial spirit and go on to start her own business as well! Sunny shared her mother’s best advice with the audience in an emotional and heartfelt tribute to everything she taught her.

Next, the conference continued with a keynote by Valerie Gay, Deputy Director for Audience Engagement and Chief Experience Officer at the Barnes Foundation, focusing on personal decision making and how important it is to one’s life. Her discussion, titled Decisions and Seizing The Moment, polled women in the community in advance of her session to get anonymous insight into other people’s lives and the directions their decisions have taken them. Valerie also discussed her career path and how she became a successful serial entrepreneur, finding happiness both in and out of her career. With her infectious personality and empowering presence, Valerie easily captivated all attendees with her thoughtful advice and great anecdotes.

The wellness workshop followed the keynote, beginning with sleep expert Thanuja Hamilton, Md, as she gave a very informative session on just how important it is to get quality sleep. She asked everyone to stand up if they got 5 or more hours of sleep, and remain standing as she continued to ask all the way up to 8 hours. At which point, only 3 audience members were left standing. While we face many day-to-day distractions and are experiencing the trend of never-sleeping entrepreneurs, Thanuja stressed that “there is enough time in the day, you just have to make sure it’s quality time,” so disconnect from your electronics and make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Lastly, Hally Bayer, of Philly Power Yoga & Thrive Pilates Health Fitness, told her empowering story, what inspired her to get into the wellness space, and how she found happiness in her life. She captivated the audience with what led her to eventually start her own pilates studio and her continuous journey to help others through mindfulness, meditation, and wellbeing.

Lastly, the day was wrapped up with a Proving Ground Pop Up supporting the many women entrepreneurs of Drexel!

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