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What the MA Conference for Women Means to Me

As a long time supporter and admirer of the outstanding work that the Massachusetts Conference for Woman brings to empower woman, I would like to share with you why this year’s theme ‘IMAGINE’ encourages my involvement with the conference to be different this year.

In 2008, I attended my first conference as a volunteer. In that year, I learned lifelong lessons from Holly Robinson Peete, Suzanne Bates, and WOWOWOW, The Women on the Web online community.

That day marked my career as a faithful volunteer to continue supporting the outstanding work of the Conference and helping women succeed.

Over the years, I have committed to bag stuffing pre-conference day, making volunteer buddies on site, and even secured a part-time job supporting the work of another volunteer I met at the conference. I also had the honor of seeing the active involvement of Gloria Larson, the president of my alma mater , Bentley University. Other favorites I’ve learned from were keynote speakers Gloria Steinem (2010), Suze Orman (2009- MY FAV), and last year, Marion Jones, my celebrity look-alike …so everyone says..LOL.

From all the Be the Change Awards and stories of the winners, I can hardly wait for July-August to roll around to submit my request to be a volunteer, follow the annual themes, and make what I’ve learned become something real in my own life. I keep little pieces of the conference with me in a binder as sources of inspiration, and have even kept my cell phone bag from the young boy and girl award winners that supported our troops. Rob and Brittany Bergquist, founders of Cell Phones for Soldiers, remind me that even within the hearts of our young people, we can imagine and be inspired to do our part.

The Conference continues to thrive through the works of women, and men who support women. Every year I seek new ideas and points of view, and last year participated in the first Small Business Boot Camp, co-hosted by Tory Johnson, of Spark & Hustle. As a business owner for the last six years, making time for this Conference is important, and a full day I do not want to miss! It was the first year I did not volunteer on the pre-conference day and the first year I imagined, and believed, that I could contribute to the conference through my life in a much more impactful way.

In 2012, I want to make a difference for others who have been encouraged by this Conference and share my desire to empower women, as I have been empowered by women before me. From the volunteer shifts to the keynote speakers, panelists, local leaders, mentor match advisors and social media experts, I have experienced it all.

With this letter, I share my story and testimonial for the exceptional work of the Conference and how it is truly a part of my life. I would never imagine that my contributions as a volunteer and attendee would bring me to the place that I am today — being and feeling as significant as the women I have heard as experts, year after year.

This is my year to make a difference. This year’s Conference theme ‘IMAGINE’ encourages attendees and volunteers to find their path to purpose and make a difference…and with your help, I will add to that same energy!!

Live Purpose Driven in 2012,
Latonia Francois
The Business Tutor