WINners at the first WINniversary

“WIN started with an idea and friends,
and grew with friends we didn’t know we were going to make.
You are the structure and flowers of WIN,
and it is an ongoing joy to get to see this flower open.”

~ Valerie Beck

Tuesday was a celebratory day for me. I was inducted into Women’s Innovation Network’s Hall of WINners, which is such an honor. The Hall of WINners consists of people who supported WIN with loyalty, a positive attitude, commitment and innovation. My fellow inductees are lovely ladies (and one man) who truly reflect those traits, and who are becoming friends as I get to know them better.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

“I knew right away (from the first Spa & Cupcakes)
that this is the right place to be”

~ Erica Smith 

What’s even nicer is that I don’t feel like I did anything special. How cool is it to be recognized for just being yourself?

copyright Maike's Marvels

 Photo by Yasmina Marie Slimani of Belle D’Argane

“WIN is warm, inviting and neverending smiles.”
~ Mary Doherty-Monahan 

We had a fabulous luncheon. Lee Wing Wah prepared a lovely array of dishes that I soon lost count of, which were set out on lazy susans so we could serve ourselves buffet style. The lovely Kelly Baskin sang Seasons of Love to open our festivities.

“I’ve met terrific people.
I like the fact that Valerie is genuinely concerned that
business owners meet people they can do business with.”

~ Gayle Newcomb 

Valerie Beck and Erica Thomas presented a look back, which is nicely summarized in this video (I blame the giggles on champagne bubbles):

Of course, it wouldn’t be WIN without a look forward, and Valerie announced the new imprint, WINning books, the publishing arm of the Women’s Innovation Network. The web page with more information will launch soon. The inaugural book is available via this link.

“In 1942, the men were at war and all businesses were run by women.
In the 1950s the women gave up the businesses.
I’m glad to see we’re all back in business.”

~ Marcia Miller, (Erica’s) Mom of the Year

In addition, upgrades to WIN’s member web site were announced, with an upcoming searchable directory, a listserve, and a document cloud for event details and past fireside chats. We will also expand to other cities.

“WIN is supportive. You can call or e-mail anyone for help.”
~ Fernanda Hopkins 

We were then inducted into the Hall of Fame, and pulled off a surprise gift for Valerie and Erica (yay!).

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

 Photo by Yasmina Marie Slimani of Belle D’Argane

“I see energy and positivity in WIN, and that’s Valerie.”
~ Joy Beck, (Valerie’s) Mom of the Year

Swirlz Cupcakes provided special lemon-cupcakes for dessert, with pearls on top!

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

“I now ask myself: ‘What would Valerie do?’” 
~ Pam Rose, Swirlz Cupcakes

Kelly Baskin brought the house down with This Little Light of Mine.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

I had a vendor table alongside Belle D’Argane, Lia Sophia and LimoBank, which was fun as well.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

“WIN is all energy, all business, all innovation”
~ DaShan Thomas, Man of the Year 

I had saved up for the bracelet Mary loaned me at the Candy Gala, so it was double fun to shop for sparklies myself.

photo copyright DaShan Thomas

Photo courtesy DaShan Thomas

It was a lovely afternoon with great momentum to kick off year 2 of this fabulous organization.

photo copyright Women's Innovation Network

Photo courtesy Women’s Innovation Network

More photos available here.

“I look at all you beautiful ladies and I see
you grow your business with a positive attitude.
A positive attitude is what we need as women about ourselves and about our business.”
~ Sheena Freeman, (DaShan’s) Mom of the Year

ADDENDUM: As of March 10, 2013, I no longer support the WIN Board and its actions. However, I do support small business, women-owned businesses, and the gracious hosts of past WIN events.

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