OWIT South Florida’s International Business Woman of the Year (IBWOY) Awards got me to put on my stilettos!!
On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, over two hundred local business men and women gathered at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral for the 9th Annual International Business Woman of the Year (IBWOY) Awards luncheon, organized bythe South Florida Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT-South Florida). As the PR Committee Chair of the IBWOY organizing taskforce, I was in charge of promoting the event with the media and getting the word out through the various social networks.
It was easy to promote the event, as I could relate to the theme of “In the Heels of Growth - Is Your Company Running on Flats or 4-inch Stilettos?” on a number of levels. For one, women are the only species on earth talented and daring (or crazy) enough to run on stilettos on a daily basis, without breaking our ankles, tripping or falling and still managing to look fabulous in the process. Second, even as businesses face challenges in the current economy, entrepreneurship will be vital in the . According to the latest Census Bureau Report, the number of women-owned businesses totaled 7.8 million in 2007, up 20.1 percent from 2002. By comparison, men-owned businesses totaled 13.9 million, up 5.5 percent from 2002.” So, not only is entrepreneurship key to economic growth, it is being led by women-owned businesses, Logos PR included. Last but not least, success can only be achieved through collaboration. Everyone needs a strong support network and this event clearly showcased the powerful network of women professionals available in South Florida. A network full of eager mentors and highly-qualified professionals that seasoned and aspiring women leaders alike can tap into on their quest towards success.
The women that were honored this year by OWIT South Florida are not only deserving, but have truly made significant contributions to the international trade and business community in Florida. The Award categories were for Large Company, Small to Medium sized Company and Service. I enjoyed the acceptance speech given by Carmen González-Sanfeliu, Vice President of Latin America and the Caribbean for Intelsat, Ltd. who shared that she got to the top in a male dominated industry through perseverance and hard work, and without the need of an engineering degree. Following Carmen was Patricia Hernandez, Partner at Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Ferri LLP, who emphasized the importance of mentors and how she personally looks forward to mentoring future leaders in her industry. Lastly the audience heard from Pamela Fuertes, Vice President of International Development Programs for the Beacon Council, who works tirelessly to get businesses to relocate to Florida and shared her great appreciation for those leaders in her life that invested and supported her development.
The event’s keynote speaker, Donna E. Shalala, University of Miami President and winner of the 2010 Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, delivered a motivational address on “The Timeless Nature of the International Business Woman”. Her words were inspirational, full of humor, encouragement and useful advice.
I also met some AWESOME women who are active in their communities and are helping to further international trade while enhancing the status of women in the industry all over the world.
During the event, OWIT South Florida took the opportunity to celebrate National Scholarship Month and hosted a Silent Auction that raised over $4,000. The proceeds will fund one or more scholarships for women pursuing a degree in International Business at a local University. It is great to see local organizations giving back to their local communities especially when it is promoting the education of our future leaders!
Overall, it was a fantastic event and I look forward to participating again next year.
You can visit OWIT 9TH ANNUAL AWARDS – International Business Women of The Year 2010 Facebook photo album to see all the pictures from the event which were provided by Andrew Quarrie from www.Silverpulp.com.