Celebrating International Women’s Day

BRAVE, NOT PERFECT.   If I could only choose one thing to take away from this women’s leadership conference, it would be Kristi Hemmer’s message of empowerment to be “brave, not perfect.”  This really resonated with me.  I appreciated her description of the many times she chose the option that looked perfect on paper and then later realized she was miserable.  Once she started choosing the “brave” option, the one that was right for her, she had a good life.  She describes herself as “unapologetically me” and left us with the question…”What is “perfect” stopping you from doing today?”

This all-day leadership conference was held at the Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis and sponsored by ACG Minnesota, MNCREW and Corvus North.  It was targeted toward women leaders and aspiring leaders in commercial real estate, mergers & acquisitions, law, corporate finance, and nonprofit leadership. This first annual event was sold out.

The event began with inspiring talks by these women, each leaving the audience with thought-provoking questions:

  • Kristin Hemmer, Founder/President of AWEinc
    • What is perfect stopping you from doing today?
  • Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, Founder/CEO of Amalia LLC & WeMN.org
    • What are you doing to fulfill your dream?
  • Jennifer Smith, CEO and President of Innovative Solutions
    • Are you evaluating your decisions through your core value lens?
  • Sue Hawks, Best Selling Author
    • Are you using both your intellect and intuition to make decisions?

Keynote speakers included Diana Pierce and Crystal Washington.  Roundtable breakout sessions focused on negotiating for what you want, women in the boardroom and unlearning to learn.  On an individual level, be prepared and know your value were key themes.  Boards have precious few seats; therefore, they need to make sure that there is both a cultural and content fit.  For companies, boards are making strategic decisions and need board members that have advanced thinking, can work well with others, and can advance initiatives.

The day provided engaging and thought-provoking speakers, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities.  Special thanks to Pam Moret, Director/Chair of the Bush Foundation and Jeanne Crain, President and CEO of Bremer Financial Corporation for the opportunity to meet and connect further on a number of strategic topics including boards and innovation.

For more photos from this event, please see the Gallery.