Being a Trailblazer

This is my final piece of content--and quite honestly, open "love letter"--to Generation W, a client I have had the honor of working with for the past five years.  As I transition into new opportunities, I am unbelievably proud of the work this organization has done (and continues to do) to elevate the voices of women and girls everywhere.  

Back in 2010, I had the privilege of seeing Donna Orender present for the very first time.  It was during the Marketing to Women Conference in Chicago and, as the manager of the event’s online community, my role was to grab inspiring quotes from the speakers.  I must have quoted twenty-five different people over the course of that event, but all these years later, it was one phrase from Donna’s closing keynote that has stuck with me: “It’s hard to be what you can’t see.”

During the time of that event, I was having trouble “seeing” what I could be.  Having left a long commute and full-time job to become a freelance writer with a more flexible schedule, I was having trouble assimilating into my new normal.  I didn’t seem to fit the stereotype of a work-from-home mom or that of a budding entrepreneur, and I worried that perhaps taking a break from corporate ladder climbing meant that I somehow was taking a break from being ambitious.

But then came Donna. She was a trailblazer, always taking risks, pushing forward through barriers and obstacles, and changing her environment. But Donna knew being a trailblazer didn’t stop with simply blazing a trail.  it was making sure others could follow your path.

You become the BE others can SEE.

I left that conference and immediately started the ball rolling on creating my own company. And, fortunately for me, my own trailblazing path would soon cross again with Donna Orender as she launched Generation W.

I have been the behind-the-scenes online content creator for Generation W pretty much since its beginning, watching W grow from an event into a bonafide movement including the addition of Generation WOW, Generation WORKS, and WOWsdom. I’ve had a front row seat as this platform has grown to elevate the voices of even more women and girls--creating a lot more BEs that others can SEE. 

I talked with Shelley Brindle as she started her journey to become Mayor of Westfield, NJ. I followed Taylor Richardson on her quest to get more girls to follow their STEM dreams. I sat backstage and listened as Fran Kinne shared words of wisdom with our WOW girls. And, most recently, I got to announce in this very newsletter that Afghanistan’s first female airplane pilot, Niloofar Rahmani, was granted asylum in the U.S.

From blogs to stories to social media to newsletters, I have always felt that every message I created and every word I have written was a small part of a bigger, world-changing mission. And today, as I create my very last piece of Generation W content, I am filled with nothing but gratitude for the opportunity to work with great people, to learn about life-changing missions, and to be a part of the Generation W story.