It’s been four days that I’ve been back to Chicago from Grand Cayman and all I can say is I’m a changed person. I felt that since you bestowed the opportunity to attend Engage10 thru a scholarship it would be a good idea to tell you what I learned out of my time at Engage10 and what really made a big impression on me.
Having my friend Ali Phillips (who also happened to be my roommate!), Harmony Walton, Liene Stevens and Donna Von Bruening moderate a panel about how to get the most out of Engage was a brilliant way to kickoff the summit. Afterwards, I felt like there was not ONE person I couldn’t approach (Speakers included) and introduce myself to, because as Ali, Harmony, Liene and Donna reminded us all that we were there to meet one another, and learn from each other. As I wrote in my scholarship essay, this was truly the main reason why I wanted to attend Engage10, and it didn’t disappoint. I met so many amazing people, everyone was so incredible and sincerely interested in me as I was in them.
Afterwards, I went to register and Ali wasn’t kidding when she said “Wait til you see this swag bag”. She was right! You were not messing around. That was THE swag bag! It was loaded with tons of ideas I can take back to my clients for their weddings… and of course the yellow Havaianas in my size were the perfect touch. Thank you!
The next day started with meeting more people, somehow I never got tired of meeting other attendees because there was an interesting story behind all of them. And it led me to the next presentation which made a big impact on me. I’ve been trying for a long time to find business minded folks like me. Others whom I can relate to that juggle work, friends, children and life. I’ve really have never had someone who I can relate to because not everyone “does it all, and does it well”. The next day Cindy Novotny gave one of the best motivational speaking engagements that I’ve heard in a long time. She reminded me that in the middle of my packed schedule, juggling two small children, staying happily married, running a household, traveling between jobs and a forging a business I have found balance doing what I love to do, and it’s okay because I’m enjoying myself and it’s working for me.
You also talked about the top ten innovators…. and a few of them live in my beautiful city of Chicago. Thanks to Engage10 I know all of them personally and plan to make it a point to work with them in my future events. Within these innovators you validated what I already suspected, that a talented woman named Bernadette Smith from 14 Stories in Boston is taking the gay and lesbian wedding world by storm. Along with I Do Films & Avery House will forever change how my clients look at their photography and video with the launch of their new innovation.
One of my favorite evening events were the Dine Arounds. Oh yes, the Dine Arounds, I have a secret to tell. I got the golden ticket! I was invited to have dinner with Marcy Blum and Todd-Avery Lenahan. They were very gracious hosts making sure they talked to every single guest and engaged everyone in conversation. Plus, the boat ride to dinner was a great way to start the evening.
I’m not going to keep going on and on (this post is long enough) but I met new friends, I found an accountability partner thanks to Simon ( Beverly don’t forget 9-9-10! ), Colin Cowie thought me that luxury is truly all about the service you give your clients, Todd Fiscus reminded me that it’s all possible but you have to put a lot of hard work and try different things as there really is no magic formula. And of course, how can I forget Randy & Todd who reminded me that I need to go do some power shopping for a new wardrobe.
I want to finish off by saying…..Thank you for giving me a priceless gift. It is one that will live with me today, tomorrow and always. Thank you for the gift of education. I’ll see you at the Breakers in October.