The Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce's mission has always been to bring people together and strengthen the community. On Thursday, November 10 the chamber did a wonderful job of furthering this mission by holding its first-ever empowering women’s brunch. Over 120 community members gathered to get inspired and encourage one another to go out and make a difference.
“The Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce really just wanted to put together a women’s event that would empower women and bring all of us together. We thought it would be really valuable for the community. I’m glad we were able to pull everything together and pull this off,” said Deann Patena, president and CEO of Crossroads Chamber of Commerce.
The event was the perfect mixture of educational and encouraging. Catherine Hill, PNC client and community relations director, started out the event with some facts about the adversity women face in their daily lives, particularly when it comes to finances. To her, the event was a great way to continue spreading awareness and meet new people who want to achieve the same things.
“Drawing everyone’s attention to the issue of female financial inequity is so important, and awareness is the first step in addressing the problem. Data shows that congressional district one has the widest income gap between men and women in the state. Events like this give us the opportunity to keep this conversation going, and I love meeting so many strong, inspiring women who share my passion for this issue,” said Hill.
Afterward, Carey Yukich, the author of the novel "Push Through," came forward and inspired the room with her own personal story about how she faced and overcame adversity in her career. She then encouraged guests to share their own experiences.
“Hearing people share their stories is such an incredible thing. I know we all have stories, and being vulnerable and letting them out and sharing them with others is really hard, but it’s also important. It allows them to reflect on their lives and figure things out,” said Yukich.
The combination of the information with Yukich’s inspirational story instilled an urge in everyone to go out and make a difference.
“Inspiration was such a big part of today,” said Hill. “When you take the information about income disparities between men and women and combine that with someone like Carey who can encourage us to start addressing the problem individually, it’s very powerful.”
With the event being so successful, the chamber of commerce team is already looking to the future and planning how they can continue to inspire change and empower more women.
“We’re definitely going to do it again next year, but we’re really hoping it continues to grow and turns into more things. Eventually, we’d really like to turn it into a half-day program with breakout sessions and things along those lines. I’m looking forward to it,” said Patena.
Overall, the women’s brunch touched many people’s hearts. Stories were told, tears were shed, and smiles were shared. The event brought so many people together, and because of that, the future is sure to be so much brighter.
“It was incredible--the energy in the room was phenomenal. I hope everyone left feeling energized and that they feel like they can push through. You don’t have to go from where you are to a superstar. You just have to keep pushing; that’s what will make a difference and that’s how change will come,” said Yukich.
To learn more about the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce, visit crossroadschamber.org.