I celebrated International Women's History Day by having lunch with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Ladies!!! (and gentlemen too), we have been consistently celebrating Women’s History with our Westside Gazette readers all month long using my “On the Scene” column. Its time that we #CreditHer, and I am excited to report that this edition of “On the Scene” is no different. Be on the scene with me as I salute all of the women involved in an epic journey that led me to have lunch with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg on International Women’s History Day!
In the month of February, based all reports, algorithms and personality, I was chosen by Facebook to sit on a panel during their “Boost Your Business” event to speak on how I had been using Facebook to expand my business. I was honored (and quite frankly shocked) to be chosen, but I credit my social media success to my mentor, friend and the CEO of Uncommon Marketing, Suzzette Turnbull. Let’s #CreditHer! When I was initially laid off from my job of 7 years in 2013, Turnbull gave me an opportunity to do digital marketing on one of her freelance projects and even provided me with the social media training necessary to get the job done. Those skills changed my life as I know it, giving me the confidence 5 years later to speak as a panelist for the #FacebookBoost event.
A few weeks later, I was contacted by Facebook again to see if I would like to tour their headquarters with 7 other women who are doing amazing things in their communities. Unbeknownst to Facebook, I had a long standing flying anxiety, however thanks to my travel buddy, Sabrina Moore, CEO of Fabulous Gold Standards, I was able to make the 6 hour flight to Menlo Park near San Francisco, California. Let’s #CreditHer
It was there at Menlo Park on Facebook Campus that I met ladies who impacted my thought process like never before. These ladies: Maria Povarchik from Israel is the admin for SuperGirls, a women’s empowerment Facebook group with over 90,000 members. Vanessa Puopolo is the leader of Bad Moms (not Bad Mothers) Club, a Facebook (outreach) community with over 37,000 moms. Angel Moore, who started as a receptionist at the Alameda Fair, used Facebook to grow the fair’s following from 0 to 100,000 people while recruiting 25 fair employees. She is now Director of Marketing for the 150 year old fair and continues to move up the corporate ladder to this day. Joyce Wang used her birthday to fundraise almost $4,000.00 for AnnieCannons. Jessica Hubley is the founder of AnnieCannons, a non profit organization that helps women who are survivors of sex trafficking acquire skills in code and tech. And last Natalie Rockefeller, is a volunteer for Women and Children First: The Center Against Family Violence. She raised over $4,100.00 to save lives and to give second chances. Collectively, these women are an inspiration to many using positive feminine energy daily to empower others. Let’s #CreditHer.
It was the icing on the cake to thereafter have lunch with Facebook COO, author, activist, and Leanin.org Founder, Sheryl Sandberg. The energy doubled when she entered the room and simply asked if we would share our stories. She had read our bios previously but wanted to hear how we were able to #leanIn and #PressForProgress in person. This was a pleasant yet unexpected surprise, and somehow, during our 1 hour lunch, all 7 of us became the focal point. As women who help women, we naturally bonded and the conversation took off. We focused on our causes and the communities we serve while sharing stories of inspiration, working together, inequality in pay and race, confidence building and the importance of giving back.
As I gave the my own testimony of going from a secretary to being unemployed to starting my own business, I reached for the tissues to catch my tears as I recalled all of the women that helped me along the way with prayers, money, advice, encouragement, and referrals. My elevation from the bottom required the village, and God placed wise women in my path to lead that charge. Let’s #CreditHer because it was not a journey I had to take alone. Popsugar.com quoted me as saying, "We are the educators of the world, we are the nurturers of the world, we have the communities that we're part of on our backs — and we carry them wearing our high heels. Accordingly, I am hosting a recap event Tuesday night at Reign Restaurant & Cocktail Bar. Details will posted on my Facebook Page.
I further told PopSugar Reporter, Laura Marie Meyers, that "seeing all the diversity in the room, it reminds us that woman is woman, and we all have this amazing responsibility that we take on with a sense of pride." Ladies, as we continue to impact society and bring about social change, our celebration continues, Happy Women’s History Month! #CreditHer.