Women’s Spring Luncheon and Market Faire for API Women in Business

  • Monday, July 23, 2012 2:16 PM
    Message # 1017652

    The OCA Sacramento Business Advisory Council, in partnership with Wells Fargo presented an exciting Women’s Spring Luncheon and Market Faire, Thursday, May 21, 2012. The event brought API women in business together for a day to connect, collaborate, and engage. They celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by featuring a powerful API business women speaker-panel who shared their insight, success and determination as entrepreneurs and leaders.

    The luncheon featured the following speakers:

    Mona Pasquil, Appointments Secretary to Governor Brown

    Rubylyn Blakely, Regional Sales Manager of Wells Fargo

    Margaret Wong, President & CEO of McWong International, Inc.

    Tina Macuha, Newscaster for Good Day Sacramento-KMAX-TV

    Moderated by: Pamela Wu, Director of Communications

    UCDavis Law School

    Since this was an invitation only event, I was grateful to be included. The room was filled with women my age who helped break barriers in the business world and younger women who needed to hear the speaker’s stories and words of strength and encouragement. Their words were not only empowering, they were refreshingly candid and open. This encouraged questions from the floor that got to the heart of matters women in today’s world share, whatever their aspirations. Guests asked sincere, heart-felt questions about serious issues they face and the discussion that followed was honest and collaborative.

    Because we weren’t assigned to sit at tables with people we knew, our tables were a mix of age and culture, representing Asian, African American and me, an older Caucasian woman. There was time for us to talk and it was made easier to talk with people I didn’t know because of the atmosphere of encouragement and honesty. Once the speakers were finished, we introduced ourselves and felt and instant bond.

    A woman at our table spoke up. She was a quiet and soft-spoken. She seemed emboldened enough by the panel discussion to speak about her life. She said she wondered if there was still time for her to accomplish something. She knew there was a burning desire for something more in her heart, but didn’t know how to find out what that meant. She was college educated and had a career in business that had never given her life meaning. Her children were grown and were either in college or had graduated. Was it too late she asked?

    Our table was the perfect combination of women for her to risk being this open. We asked her questions about her life, and we gave illustrations from our own lives. I talked about starting my present career late in life after an accident. Others talked about finding your passion in life and shared their stories. The woman wasn’t sure what to do to take the next step. The woman to my right told her about the mentorship program and pulled the information out of her packet and gave it to her. We all encouraged her to take the first step, to talk with someone from OCA , and work with a mentor to uncover her dream. And we told her it is never too late.

    This was a powerful example of what can happen when people are authentic and generous with their time and knowledge. I never experienced women coming together like this when I was working my way up the ladder 30 years ago. It would have been so amazing to not feel so alone and to benefit from the wisdom of others. If this was an example from one table at the event, how many other people were encouraged and motivated to take action and share their stories free from the cultural biases, competition and uncertainty we often face in the outside world?

    This was a powerful experience for me. It made me feel that the world is changing for the better. Experiences like this remind us that we are all are made stronger by empowering and supporting each other.


    Patricia Cole

    Last modified: Monday, July 23, 2012 2:30 PM | Anonymous

Embracing the Hopes and Aspirations of Asian Americans 

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