Renowned photographer & author Mary Ann Halpin
Words cannot express how much Mary Ann, Leslie, and I appreciate all that you so selflessly gave to bring the first Fearless Women Tampa Bay Conference and Gala to fruition and to take part in an inspiring gala and motivational conference. We truly appreciate the thanks that many of you sent our way and we are so glad that so many of you felt empowered and connected in some way after meeting each other and participating in this event. Below is one of the articles written by Lena Hunt with Celebritize You, as well as a link to a slide show and video from the event. Lena's words truly represent the inspirational moments that inspired some to fly from the East and West Coast and drive 19 hours to attend!
From the speakers who so graciously gave of their time and special thanks to those from out of state, we salute you and appreciate all that you did to prepare for the event - Dr. Kathleen Hartford & Melody Pierce, Francesca Szarnicki, Tami Gomez, Rosemary McDowell, Forbes Riley, Sheri' Taber, Amy Wettig, Dr. Jennifer Hayes, Ellen Schuster-Nastir, Dr. Florence Alexander, Lena Hunt, and to Donna Rippley of Realize It Coaching who so graciously volunteered to speak at another event as we ran short on time - she is truly a Fearless Woman and we will let you know when we can reschedule an event so that you may hear Donna speak in the very near future.
We would also like to send a special thanks to the sponsors and exhibitors and appreciate their kind words and support as it was YOU who truly helped us pull this off in a short period of time! Sponsors included St. Pete Times, Tampa Bay Rays, Parenting Magazine, Dr. Kymberly Caporale, Visionary Centre for Women, Omnia Group, Phive, Charity Chicks, Dermazone/Kara Vita, Blue Cross of Florida, Becker & Poliakoff, Meridian Homes & Land, Celebritize You, Gsati, CoolCat Graphics, Minuteman Pess, Las Palmas Appraisal, Bacchus Charity, eWomen Network, Accessoreez, and Get Connected Tampa Bay Magazine. Special thanks to Laura Simon and the St. Pete Times for advertising this event and to ABC Action News and the Tampa Tribune for covering the gala and conference!!
Exhibitors included Ameriprise Financial, American Express, Aflac, Boresha Coffee, Kara Vita, Phive, Private Quarters, Miche Bags, Trajan Insurance, AnswerFirst, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Lilli D's, Boldly Unique, Omnia Group, The Gift Box, Zilergy, GPS Marketing, ADT Security, Bethany's Group, Sue Adams - Artist, Schakolad Chocolate Factory (who made the fabulous gifts for the nominees with a gold chocolate picture frame with their picture - truly amazing).
To Troy Anthony Designs, Makeup Artist Nina "The Diva" Durham, Lena Hunt with Celebritize You and all her fabulously beautiful models, Donna Green, and photographer Carol Gallagher - many thanks!
Also special thanks to Denise Link who was truly the lady behind us who ran the event and for all of the wonderful volunteers including Lori Rhea, Stephanie Petto, Pat Chung, Kelly Bower, Veronica Life, Christina Link, Jennie Cabrera, Karen McCloskey, Mary Stroker, and Rhonda Gully, Amber Aaron, and Jennie Cabrera, as well as the Wheels of Success Volunteers Lisa, Veronica, and Rhonda.
The accommodations were AMAZING and special thanks to Debbie Boehning the event coordinator at the Renaissance who learned to make changes on the fly with us and to Bill Gurney, and Jeff Davidson and their staff who helped keep us rolling throughout the weekend! I HIGHLY recommend the Renaissance for your upcoming event.
To Susan Jacobs and Wheels of Success - the inspiring story of the the domestic violence victim who received the "new to her car" (and who will remain anonymous in print) inspires us all to be truly Fearless Women. There was not a dry eye in the house after hearing her story at the Gala.
Sarina Fazan of ABC Action news was the Emcee for the Red Carpet Awards Gala and her story is truly inspiring and we owe a humble thanks to her for so elegantly speaking throughout the evening!
We also want to thank our Fearless Women Award nominees Sue Churuti, Deborah Duffey, Susan Jacobs, Karen Krymski, Ryane Shields - you are ALL winners - and to Lisa Ford & Karen Gillman - founders of Charity Chicks - CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED THE FIRST RECIPIENT OF THE FEARLESS WOMEN TAMPA BAY AWARD!
The Tampa Bay Unsung Hero nominees all had such compelling stories and to hear the obstacles they have overcome and all that they have accomplished against the odds was truly inspirational! Nominees included Sylvia Alvarez, Yolanda Lee, Shelley Harper, Kelly Ann McKnight, Lt. Col (Retired) USAF Karen Mertes, and Laura Simon. This inspiring award was graciously received by Josephine Schaaf, founder of the Bacchus Charity.
To the ultimate Fearless Woman herself - Mary Ann Halpin - who is bringing together women from not only the United States, but who will be taking this event to the UK and Uganda in 2012 - we truly appreciate all that you have given to help bring women together and to understand how we can all make a difference in some way and feel empowered as we battle the odds and overcome life's struggles! We have other videos that will be forthcoming, so stay tuned for more updates on this event and others and keep checking out Fearless Women Tampa Bay on our Facebook page!
Warmest regards and humble thanks!
Leslie Belcher & Linda Conley
Organizers - Fearless Women Tampa Bay -