Empowerment and Equilibrium: A Reflection on the LSPAA Women in Leadership Event

In the spirit of Women's History Month, the Leadership St. Pete Alumni Association (LSPAA) hosted an unforgettable gathering, "LSPAA Women in Leadership: Navigating Pathways to Empowerment and Equilibrium." This event, held at the esteemed James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art and generously sponsored by Pyper, Inc. Branding & Marketing, became a beacon of inspiration, learning, and community.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined us for a day rich with empowering narratives, a meditation session, and herbal tea. Under the guidance of our Leadership Development Committee, chaired by the dedicated Allison McKown (class of 2023), we celebrated National Women's History Month with over 30 LSP alumni. Together, we paid tribute to the monumental strides women have made in leadership roles across various sectors.

The event commenced with a stirring keynote address by Lola B. Morgan from A Griot's Corner (class of 2023), setting the tone for a day of insightful exploration. Jamie Van Cuyk of Growing Your Team (class of 2022) skillfully moderated a panel discussion featuring distinguished leaders:

-Celeste Collins, Ed.D., Executive Director of the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center, (class of 2019)

-Ginger Reichl, President of Pinstripe Marketing, (class of 2007)

-Alison Barlow, Executive Director of the St. Pete Innovation District, (class of 2008)

-Kacee Howes, Managing Director of the St. Petersburg office of Northwestern Mutual, (class of 2022)

Their shared strategies, insights, and wisdom on navigating power dynamics, fostering inclusive team cultures, and achieving work-life balance illuminated the path for many.

A serene 20-minute meditation led by Monica DeChaine (class of 2022) allowed us to center our minds and bodies, preparing us for the holistic healing that followed. Brittney Frazier of Crafted by Nour, LLC. (class of 2023), concluded the formal program with the distribution of herbal teas, a symbol of the nourishment and care we must continually afford ourselves.

Special acknowledgment is due to our LSP alum sponsors: Debbie Sokolov of The James Museum for providing the beautiful venue and Lindsay Petty of Pyper, Inc., who chaired the LSP Class of 2022 and ensured the event's success as our program sponsor.

The reflections shared by attendees, both men and women, underscored the universal value of the insights gained. Men expressed newfound understandings of the challenges faced by women in leadership, while women found solace in shared experiences and strategies for navigating their professional journeys.

A poignant closing tip reminded us of the importance of self-care: Block time on your calendar for whatever you need—self-care, family time, or simply a moment of peace. It's a sacred practice that sustains us through our busiest days.

As we transitioned into a yoga session, we not only de-stressed the day but also learned techniques to carry into our work lives, fostering a sense of equilibrium amidst our responsibilities.

Our deepest appreciation goes to The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art and Pyper Inc. Branding & Marketing for their support in making this event a reality. Their commitment to empowering women in leadership and fostering community connections is truly commendable.

As we look forward to making this an annual event, we are reminded of the collective strength and wisdom that emerge when we come together to support and uplift one another. Let this event serve as a beacon of hope and a reminder that, together, we can navigate the pathways to empowerment and equilibrium, creating a brighter future for all.

"Here's to strong women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them."

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