Inaugural TEDxBethesdaWomen Delivers the ExPerience of a Lifetime
You knew the event was a success when so many people in the SRO crowd lingered long after it was over. They networked, shared laughs and took pictures with the speakers. Yes, it was an inaugural event, but in so many ways, the 12 speakers at TEDxBethesdaWomen were only the beginning.
Organized by Jane Smith of Still Sassy and sponsored by On the Marc Media, the day-long event December 5th at Bethesda’s Imagination Stage shared the accomplishments of those on stage. “If we want to succeed,” Intrigue Expert Sam Horn told the standing room only crowd, “we must intrigue.” And intrigue, they did indeed. Every story, every piece of sage advice and every little nugget of wisdom was met with open minds, laughter, tears, and several standing ovations.
The audience got a Russian lesson from CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty, a peek at the challenging life of Romanian immigrant and activist Marga Fripp, and even a glimpse of Miki Agrawal’s underpants (which she designed and is marketing as a way to contribute much needed supplies to women in third world countries). WebMD’s Dr. Pamela Peeke taught everyone to love their calves, muffin tops and B.O.B.s (Belly Over Belts), because “body shaming won’t get you closer to your goals.” Some of the topics were tougher to digest than others but, as Agrawal reminded the audience, “when we don’t talk about uncomfortable issues, change doesn’t happen.”
The day also held some fun surprises for the presenters as well as the audience. Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College, was so moved by actress Kate Campbell Stevenson’s earlier presentation that she opened her own talk with an off-the-cuff acapella song. Emcee Molly Mahoney Matthews announced at the top of the program that her daughter had just given birth to a healthy baby girl only 12 hours earlier, so the audience signed a giant birthday card for the newest member of her family.
Towards the end of TEDxBethesdaWomen, business developer Ellie Giles, Ed.D., explained to the audience that “to design your destiny you must look into your personal sparkle and believe you belong at your next destination.” As the crowd trickled out of the auditorium, the impact was clear: they would spend time thinking about just that–their “next destination.” But only after lingering to enjoy a few final moments at where the journey took them this day.