By Katherine Larkin-Wong • February 28, 2015•Ms. JD, Conference
We are one week out from welcoming the Ms. JD Community to San Francisco for the Stronger Together Conference and we could not be more excited. (Don't have your tickets yet? Well get on it! Click here.) I'm particularly excited to show off the city that I now call home.
One thing that was particularly important for me in planning this conference was to give you a taste of our city but not just of San Francisco ... that would never be enough for me ... I wanted to give you a taste of all of the incredible women and minority-owned businesses that live and work here. Below, I'll give you a sense of some of the businesses you'll experience through the Ms. JD Conference. Let it be known that I HIGHLY encourage you to use each of them for your own purposes. Because it's important that we not just talk about being STRONGER TOGETHER but that we actually walk the walk and SUPPORT other women and minority-owned businesses.
I'm not sure that it's possible for me to say enough good things about Gloria McGee and her business, Glowingly Events. A marketing professional by day, Gloria is working to grow Glowingly Events as one of her true passions ... and let me tell you it shows! You'll see Gloria's incredible work at the Ms. JD Honors where she was responsible for (1) finding us the incredible space at Madame Tussauds (2) designing the very special Stronger Together look and theme for the room and (3) ensuring that our guests have an incredible time by sourcing many of our other vendors. I think everyone who walks through the elevator doors will be gobsmacked by Gloria's creativity and her instant connection to Ms. JD's mission. It has been a true joy working with her and I cannot wait for everyone to see the results of our collaboration. If you're looking for someone to help you design the perfect corporate event, party, or wedding, Gloria is someone you should seriously consider hiring.
When we decided to host the conference in SF, I knew that we had to have at least one meal come from La Cocina, a food incubator in San Francisco. La Cocina's Mission is simple: "[T]o cultivate low income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities. We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Our vision is that entrepreneurs gain financial security by doing what they love to do, creating an innovative, vibrant and inclusive economic landscape." I've been sampling the deliciousness that La Cocina turns out at farmers markets and food truck events, like Off-the-Grid, for years. More importantly, I identify deeply with their mission and have been really impressed by the women entrepreneurs whose businesses have grown thanks, in part to La Cocina.
Specifically, I'm thrilled that we'll be sampling food at the Ms. JD Honors from Minnie Bell's Soul Movement. Fernay McPherson is the chef behind Minnie Bells who says that her inspiration for her "Soul Satisfying Food" came from "the two women who fostered her talent and passion in the kitchen." Now if that isn't the ultimate Stronger Together story ... I don't know what is! if you've read my blog posts before, you may also know that I have a soft spot for Southern Soul Food so I'm particularly excited to have Fernay take me back to the Bayous!
I'm also extremely proud of the women-owned businesses in Ms. JD's Career Center including Boon & Gable and Law School and Bar Exam Toolbox. Including these businesses in our day and getting their support for your goals is just one small way at that we can all be Stronger Together. A number of women-owned consultancies have donated goodies for the Ms. JD Reception Raffle. Other vendors you won't necessarily be able to identify. For example, all of the linens on our tables at the Conference support a women-owned business in San Francisco's Mission District. Finally, don't forget this awesome list of men and women who will be dishing out their best advice at the conference! It's a pretty diverse group itself. (And just one more way Ms. JD is committed to walking the walk.)
As much as possible, we've tried to source other items from women or minority-owned businesses. Sometimes, I will admit, our budget got in the way. But at least we considered it. That is the least that we can all do.
So, as we all approach the Stronger Together Conference, please let me know:
- What does your organization do to try to source from minority and women-owned businesses?
- What else can we all do? Do you have recommendations for sourcing women and minority owned-businesses that we can all use?
Tell us about it in the comments or write your own post. We want to ensure that we keep walking the walk!