Today's women leaders are proactive and diverse, pushing for social protections, leading industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, and breaking down barriers. The Hampton Roads Chamber is proud to serve this region as an Impactful Advocate and Inspiring Ignitor, setting the conditions for businesses to succeed. The Historic Cavalier Hotel & Beach Resort Club in Virginia Beach was the host sponsor for the Power of Women event with President of Atlantic Union Bank Maria Tedesco as our keynote speaker. Shanna Kabatznick, Founder of FABWOMEN, also led a great interactive session and displayed interactive calls to action, highlighted in her newly released book "Called To Lead."
Stephanie Hall, Director of Catering and Convention Services for the Historic Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club, spoke about the common denominator that makes women successful in her field. "We are passionate, we have perspective, we have a voice, we are flexible, we are mentors, we are tough with a little self-care and creativity with keeping ourselves motivated."
Nneka Chiazor, Vice President of Governmental & Public Affairs with Cox Communications, was unable to attend due to company COVID-19 safety protocols; however virtually mentioned that Cox Communications is prepared to work with the Hampton Roads Chamber in advancing women in our region; "We share the Hampton Roads Chamber's Commitment to women, especially to women in business."
Wealth Director of Atlantic Union Bank Lisa Morgan was our speaker sponsor and introduced our keynote speaker. Tedesco shared some personal characteristics on what has helped her achieve success "Set goals and achieve them. I am very goal-oriented, both in my professional life and in my personal life. It is how I live; it provides me motivation and inspiration; and quite frequently, accountability."
Tedesco spoke about stepping up to the challenge and let the experience create a better you; "Just because something is hard doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It actually means the opposite; you should do it."During Morgan's speech, she reminded the audience of a milestone set by Tedesco, "One thing I think is cool is that Maria is the first women President in Atlantic Union Bank's 119-year year history.
Speaking up is one of Tedesco's most important topics, and she shared a quote by Maya Angelou that speaks volumes of women empowerment, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." A powerful quote that resonates with many women today and has sparked women's empowerment.
Dr. Dena Krishnan, Director of Cardiac Rehab at Bon Secours Cardio-Oncology Programs,
shed light on women in Cardiology at a recent conference where over 20,000 Cardiologists from all over the world attended, but only 400 of those cardiologists were women. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men. Dr. Krishnan reported that even though heart disease has not been at the top of the priority list in the past, impactful advocacy and regional collaboration have taken place, and more light is now shining on the topic. "We work together to try to be creative and to find ways not to break the heart and do what's best for the patient."
Shanna Kabatznick, Founder of FABWOMEN, brought high and interactive energy to the audience during the interactive breakout session. Kabatznick felt inspired by Tedesco's
sharing a moment about imposter syndrome and how it affected her in the past. "When I started FABWOMEN, I was like, who the heck do I think I am growing a networking group and empowering women? But there were people outside of me that saw something in me that I didn't see in myself." I didn't call myself a leader; I didn't call myself an influencer; they started calling me that or looking at me to lead them.
Women improve lives and inspire a better future for all. Powerful agents of change, decision-makers, business owners, corporate leaders, and today hold positions in the highest office in the land. Change is here, pivoting more and more each day to the positive to create better opportunities for women in our region. Our Power of Women series will continue on November 19, virtually at 10 AM with Elizabeth Duncan-Hawker, Author of "Collecting True Friends". To register for this event, visit hamptonroadschamber.com/events.
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