Brase hosts Women In Business Luncheon at BrandSource Summit
A week prior to their Orlando Summit, I joined the BrandSource buying group as the director of membership. As a member of the Women in Consumer Technology (CT) group, I was excited to learn Anitra Brase was hosting a Women In Business luncheon on Monday, Feb. 29. Brase works for BrandSource as the appliance program director and is also championing Women In Business, a group formed in early 2014 to support female professionals in the appliance, furniture, mattress and CE space. With the theme of empowerment, education and inspiration, the gathering didn’t disappoint. The house was packed with more than 65 women and men, leaving standing room only.
The program, moderated by Brase, featured four guest executive speakers including: Leigh Donadieu, senior accounts manager/buying groups, Electrolux Corp.; Carol Campbell, vice president of NAPCO Media and founder of Women in CT; Elizabeth Door, vice president of North America-global strategic sourcing, Whirlpool Corp.; and Dawn Secklinger, head of talent and leadership management LG Electronics. Each woman presented unique philosophies and shared her take on staying true to your ‘word’ and your ‘story.’
Additionally, participants discussed resources on how to connect and network with other individuals in the industry, how to successfully build up leadership teams, statistics on how women are taking over male-dominated industries all over the world, and how to bridge the gender gaps in our professions. And imagine really healthy food being served at a convention luncheon!
Campbell presented the Women in CT Connect Circles module “Managing Difficult Conversations” to luncheon attendees. Carol, also the publisher of Technology Integrator, launched Women in CT in 2009, and the organization has been rapidly gaining momentum. The Women in CT Legacy Awards Reception at CES honors four accomplished female professionals working in this male-dominated industry and The Women in CT Forum, co-located with CE Week in NYC (June 21), will feature Gail Sheehy as keynote speaker.
Brase presented The Women In Business Trailblazer Award, created to recognize an inspiring and dedicated woman related to the BrandSource family. The first-ever WIB Trailblazer Award was bestowed on Donadieu, to acknowledge leading the way despite adversities and challenges along the road. Twenty years ago, Donadieu set out to get her Bachelor's degree. Her plan was deferred for a variety of reasons including back surgery, two children, her successful career and a move to Charlotte, N.C. This past December, while attending a BrandSource Leadership conference, she took and passed her final exam, completing her Bachelor's (Cum Laude) at the Bryan School of Business. She earned an enthusiastic standing ovation as the first WIB Trailblazer Award winner.
Last, but certainly not least, the Women In Business Lounge was open Tuesday during BrandSource Expo hours, offering a place for women to recharge and relax in a serene environment. The WIB Lounge, sponsored by Whirlpool, provided complimentary manicures and mini massages. A champagne and dessert reception was held in the evening, celebrating working women in all industries.
We invite industry members to acknowledge female professionals everywhere during our next Women In Business gathering at the BrandSource Fall Convention, happening Aug. 28 to Sept. 1st at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To learn more, contact Anitra Brase at Anitra.Brase@BrandSource.com or 714-502-9620.
Jeannette Howe is Director of Membership for BrandSource. BrandSource is the appliance, furniture, mattress and CE division of member-owned Associated Volume Buyers [AVB]. Howe can be reached at Jeannette.Howe@BrandSource.com or at 714-422-0746.