If positive energy was a commodity to buy, the first Women in Wellness (WIW) West Coast Leadership Conference would be a charging station.
Most of the attendees, predominantly female, had met previously at industry events. Somehow though, this day felt different. The event was designed to help attendees expand their horizons and according to American Spa’s Editor in Chief and event founder, Julie Keller-Callaghan, the purpose of WIW is to present ways women can support each other and learn to take care of themselves personally, professionally and financially.
If you’re a fan of the WIW Facebook Page, you’ll be familiar with inspiring quotes like Madonna’s “As women, we have to start appreciating our own worth. Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to collaborate with, to be inspired by, to support and be enlightened by.”
The agenda was carefully crafted by Callaghan and her talented team. Callaghan was motivated by the fact that women are still making less in the workplace; they’re still less likely to ask for exactly what they want in a job or apply for one they are not 100% qualified for.
There were three keynotes, three workshops, lunch outside by the pool, plenty of networking breaks and even a ‘Meditation in Motion’ Energy Break with Lisa Fasullo, the Founder of the Center for Transformational Movement.
Back by popular demand from the very first WIW conference in NYC in 2018 was Jen Groover, a serial entrepreneur who opened the day by encouraging attendees to get rid of limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors while elevating relationships and using the power of perspective to succeed.
Lauren McGoodwin, CEO of Career Contessa talked about determining your greatest assets and using them to your advantage to advance your career or your business.
A panel of wellness pioneers, including Swedish skincare guru Kerstin Florian; the game-changing spa uniform designer, Noel Asmar and DermaplanePro founder, Rikki Kusy outlined what it takes to launch and run a company in today’s wellness industry.
Newcomers to the space included millennial influencer, Stacy Ike, who headed one of three workshops: Fight for Your Fairytale. Stacy told her story of how her dream to work with Oprah came true. Her three main takeaways: identify your fear; be willing to dedicate the time to understand what you really want and what it takes to get there, and be in your purpose.
Another workshop deciphered female traits and archetypes – CAREGIVER, CULTIVATOR, LEADER, CHAMPION, COMMUNICATOR, TEACHER, and INTUITOR. Both men and women can use knowledge of these types to become more effective leaders.
The day ended with a presentation on Harnessing the Power of Happiness by Tia Graham, Founder of Arrive at Happy. Her personal journey inspired the admonition to choose joy and find out how happiness can increase creativity, engagement, productivity and loyalty.
A glance at the Inspiration Wall and the Photo Booth snapshots during the celebratory cocktail party showed that attendees certainly choose joy during this event!
By Kim Marshall
Founder at The Marshall Plan