After a good amount of anticipation and the incredible efforts extended in planning the WIS Mid Year Conference, a group of 10 or so WIS council members (including our Chair, Elizabeth Moslander, Co-Chairs, Brittany Galli and Loye Manning) arrived in sunny and warm Nashville on May 3rd , to lead, inspire and set the tone for what would be just over two days of innovative learning and planning for the WIS Council.
It is said that a lot of “winning” needs to start with a “beginning”. This expression underpinned our experience in Nashville. We found ourselves deeply enveloped in conversations about “Who We Are” “What We Stand For” and most of all, “What Do We Want To Be”? These questions represented monikers that are aimed at building an enduring “Legacy”, that will not only forge a path to success for Women in our industry today, but also provide an enduring roadmap for the future .
We opened our event with a meet and greet dinner Thursday evening held at the beautiful hotel that would be our home for the next few days. For some, this dinner was an opportunity to reconnect with friends and peers, for others, like myself, this was new territory with new faces and unknown outcomes. All interesting and potentially out of the regular social comfort zone! Yet, what was most remarkable about this opening night dinner, was the immediate warmth extended to and from all the attendees; these accomplished, hard working women, (many of which were still honoring work requirements by responding to emails and phone calls) made it a point to genuinely connect and make their council peers feel welcomed. Instantly, you could feel there was a silent commitment that everyone was ready to exchange ideas and provide some serious thought leadership! Admittingly, the great southern cuisine and other associated Nashville specific libations also helped break through any initial trepidation one may have had and that is a good thing!
The next few days were spent on building on ideas around our Council offerings. We had the distinct pleasure of meeting and listening to our Key Note speaker, Margaret Levine, VP Corporate Security, Bridgestone. Margaret shared great insights on key success factors for female security practitioners with a dedicated view on getting to the executive level! Her story was remarkable, full of relatable and actionable information for all to take back to the office. Other topics from our overall discussions included; using technology (like the WIS Slack app) as an enabler; how to best garner executive buy in; approaching difficult conversations with peers and superiors; and the conference favorite, “How Will We Leave Our Mark” , in our industry and as a Council! Being new to the council, I could not help but be taken by the level of knowledge, the mastery if you will, that these women possessed -hence, why I added the “Ocean’s 8+” tag line to this submission. Thankfully though, we are all serving on the right side of the law!
The group was also able to spend time outside of the boardroom to take in some of the wonderful local music and culinary experiences that Nashville is known for -important to do, we all know this is where the valuable networking happens!
For those that are reading this and are thinking about attending next year, know that there is absolutely great value in doing so. You can patently expect to learn, mentor and be mentored by a group of professional women that want to lift, support and guide each other to bestow excellence in our careers and our lives. Hope to see you in Denver in 2019!