April 10, 2011
The Connecticut Women’s Alliance (CWA), an organization dedicated to the advancement of women and girls through educational programming and events, recently hosted The Connecticut Women’s Conference at the Farmington Marriot. The day-long event featured a keynote luncheon by bestselling author, Joan Anderson, honored the CWA’s first Woman of Distinction Award winner, Stamford resident Louise Moss, Executive Director and co-founder of Women’s Mentoring Network, and unveiled the Mary Jones Believe Team Make-Over winner, West Hartford resident Jenifer Simson Hartt.
To commemorate the event, CWA has chosen the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, one of the oldest women’s rights organizations in the Country, as their 2011 Charity of Choice.
“We are grateful to the Connecticut Women’s Alliance for their generous support,” said Alice Pritchard, Ph.D., executive director, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund. “The funds will be used to further our mission of empowering women, girls and their families to achieve equal opportunities in their personnel and professional lives.”
“We are thrilled to have united so many women from different walks of life in a celebration of womanhood and self-fulfillment,” said Wendy Leahy, president, Connecticut Women’s Alliance. “The conference gave attendees an opportunity for self-growth while recognizing the achievements of remarkable women.”
Among those recognized at the conference were CWA’s Woman of Distinction Award winner, Louise Moss of Stamford. Moss serves as Executive Director and co-founder of Women’s Mentoring Network, a grassroots organization serving Lower Fairfield County by promoting sustainable economic security for disadvantaged women and their families. The agency provides employment and education services to approximately 275 women and their families annually.
Following the presentation of the CWA’s Woman of Distinction Award, keynote Joan Anderson shared her journey through womanhood and encouraged attendees to embrace their own life journeys. “We are as unfinished as the shoreline along the sea. We are meant to transcend ourselves again and again. We should never plateau. We must embrace being unfinished,” Anderson said. She then concluded her address by encouraging attendees to connect with one another. “We are trained as women to compete and keep everything to ourselves,” she said. “The power is in sharing.”
In addition to recognizing Moss and featuring Anderson, the conference unveiled the Mary Jones Believe Team Make-Over winner, Jennifer Simson Hartt of West Hartford. A qualitative market researcher and entrepreneur, Simson Hartt won four weeks of personal training and group fitness classes provided by Carolyn Phillips, Fitness Expert, Owner of Fit Behavior in Rocky Hill; four private life coaching sessions provided by Marge Piccini, Success Coach; 90-minutes of personal shopping and styling session provided by Debbie Wright, Style Expert, Owner of Project Closet; hair makeover provided by Karen Roche, Hair Stylist, Owner of The KUR in West Hartford; makeup application and photo session provided by Anya Products in Hartford; and, as an added benefit, an Investment review and plan provided by Sylvia Guinan, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in Essex.
The conference also included speakers, panels, workshops, exhibitors and book signings to inspire women to courageously pursue their true purpose. The featured panel, Courage and Conviction: Taking the Leap, which kicked off the event, was moderated by L. Kay Wilson, Esq., and featured insights from Teresa Younger, executive director, Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), international speaker, author, and psychotherapist Dorothy A. Martin-Neville, PhD, Carol A. Harnett, M.S., GBDS, and Tracy E. Casey, CCDP/AP, Director of Diversity, Aetna.
During the panel, Dorothy Martin-Neville, PhD, shared thoughts on the roles of women in society. “What made Mother Theresa so great was the revelation that we (women) are all in this together,” she said. “We are what the next generation has to lean on.”
Panelist Teresa Younger added that women need to dedicate time to connecting and growing. “Women don’t take enough time out of their busy daily lives to come together to network, learn and celebrate,” Younger said. “Women need to be rejuvenated. Conferences like this give women an opportunity to rejuvenate, be inspired and reflect on themselves.”
The Connecticut Women’s Conference was sponsored by: Sun Life Financial; WDRC, The Talk of Connecticut; CG WEBhelp; Co-Communications, Public Relations & Marketing; TonSha Marketing & Printing; Hutchinson Financial Services, LLC, Ben & Jerry’s, Bearingstar Insurance, Cynthia Lang Photography, Harvest Moon Ink, and, Accounting Software Services.