Today was the first full day of the CWIMA National Conference, which began with 7:45 Morning Prayer, followed by the Opening General Session with music by Carole Brewer and worship led by Rachel Mann. Danna Demetre and Thelma Wells had an informal chat called “Table Talk.” When Thelma was asked by Danna about the greatest influence in her life, she told of her great grandmother who was the Godly influence in her life during the years she endured abuse at home. Ruth Graham, daughter of Billy Graham, brought a message of encouragement based on Psalm 143.
This was followed by a panel of the five regional connection directors sharing news and stories from their region. And before you knew it, we were at lunchtime. I was admittedly a little surprised to discover that the main entrée that looked a whole lot like salmon, really WAS salmon and not chicken. it was a scrumptious meal.
So now feeling “fat and happy,” I was able to get ready for my “Putting the Power of Social Media and Branding to Work for Your Brand” workshop. We had a room full of ladies eager to learn about social media. I got so excited about presenting my material, I lost track of time and almost cut into my co-presenter’s lecture. Carol Doyel of LivingBetterat50.com did a great job of sharing how they build a powerful fan base for her online publication. Special thanks to Ryan Bunting for videotaping the workshop.
There were other media seminars in the afternoon as well: author Debra Pegues on “Fighting the Fears that Foil Your Future.” Also an Expert Evaluation Seminar featuring Linda Olson, Karol Ladd, Wendy Pett, and Tracey Mitchell offered attendees a chance to practice their pitch for critique by the panel.
And no self-respecting gathering of women would be complete without a shopping expedition, which is exactly what took place following the workshops…a trip to Sam Moon. Although I was not able to make the trip, the word is many shopping bags made their way onto return shuttle. I had an outside meeting with a couple of film friends who were in town during the free time.
The evening event was a western bling shindig so everyone was decked out in their shinest western attire in true Texan form. We all thoroughly enjoyed the Mexican buffet as we were treated to the beautiful voices of Erica Lane and Rachel Mann. They sang a patriotic song they co-wrote. Erica ended the evening with an accapella version of “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Keynote speaker Pat Smith shared her story as first runner up in Miss America, wife of a Dallas Cowboy, Emmett Smith (“Dancing with the Stars”). She dealt with insecurity over her husband’s career and disappointment over her own. During this time, God led her to start a women’s conference, Treasure You Girlfriends Christian Retreat. She then got an invitation to join Women of Faith as a speaker. After hearing a sermon urging her not to give up on her dreams, she finally got a chance to host a “The View” type TV show entitled “The Broadcast.” She encouraged the women to “Be a light. Use your platform for good.”
So thus ends Day 2 at the CWIMA National Conference. Look for more news tomorrow and photos from the Gala Awards dinner.