Women of Influence Event Inspires 300+ Professionals to Be Bold

Monday, March 12, 2018

Main News Photo

Inspiration is a sweet thing.

Keynote speaker Rosie O’Neill, co-founder and chief creative officer of Sugarfina, and other entrepreneurial executives shared their stories of inspiration and passion that led them to make bold business moves, during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s March 8 Women of Influence event at the Irvine Marriott.

O’Neill told the professional women and men in attendance how she started the luxury candy boutique for grown-ups after being inspired by the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie,  she and her now husband Josh Resnick saw while on a third date.

She also shared the top ten strategies for success that she consistently draws upon. Among them she offered: be dramatically different, tell your story at every opportunity, and obsess over your brand.

With a dramatically different business model, Cassandra Miller, CEO of See Jane Go, told of her concept for an all-female ridesharing company. She also illustrated the power of seizing opportunities during difficult times by sharing details of her turbulent life story.

“I knew I had to do something that was different,” Miller said of overcoming obstacles.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, retired MSgt., United States Air Force, CEO of Dynamic Vision International, Inc.; shared five strategies for overcoming obstacles when negotiating, including possibly the most powerful; learning to be comfortable with silence.

Master of Ceremonies Kim Shepherd, chairwoman of Decision Toolbox, a provider of recruitment solutions, kept the program rolling with high-energy and humor. Her participation this year was an encore to her charismatic panel participation at last year’s event.

Greater Irvine Chamber Senior Director of Operations Jessica Welch opened the program with a discussion on advancements women have made in business and in the world.

“Over the past nine years women-owned businesses grew five times faster than the national average, and California is ranked as the fourth best state for women-owned enterprises,” she said.

Welch also pointed out that in California, 129 new women-owned businesses are established every day, leading all 50 states. Additionally, she said women-owned firms represent 37 percent of all businesses in the state, and those in Orange County employ over 8,000 people alone.

Acknowledging the 300+ professional women in attendance, Welch said, “It’s been a pleasure to watch this event grow over the past five years, and meet hundreds of inspirational women such as yourselves.”

Topping off the event was a Champagne reception and Sugarfina tasting experience.

CLICK HERE to view event photos.

For more information on becoming a part of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s powerful business network, contact Dinh Ta at (949) 502-4119.

Category: Chamber News, Events