Business Friends Who Celebrate Women and Life

Fresh Flowers.  Fresh Fruit.  Fresh Vegetables.  Old Friends.  That’s what you find early in the morning at the Farmer’s Market.   What a way to Celebrate Life!

Here you see me with the legendary Hedy Ratner.  Doesn’t she sizzle?  Well, she really does is so many ways.  She’s 77 (!), rides her bike regularly and is always full of energy.  Importantly, Hedy has been on a mission to empower women for decades.  With her partner Carol Dougal, Hedy is the co-founder of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC).  Headquartered in Chicago, the WBDC is a 501((c)(3) nationally recognized leader in the empowerment of women in business in the Midwest.  Founded in 1986, and now in the enterprising hands of CEO Emilia DiMenco, the WBDC has served over 85,000 women, held 13,000 entrepreneurial workshops, worked to get $82 million in business financing and—$1 BILLION in government and corporate contracts.  Now THAT sizzles!!

Full transparency, I am proud to have served on the Board of Directors for the WBDC.  As an entrepreneur, I know first hand the challenges of being a woman in business, and particularly as a woman of color and a baby boomer.  The WBDC supported me for years and Hedy, Carol the staff and board were always there with not only words of support, but with contacts,  financing options and real opportunities to grow.  I felt honored to help give back to the organization, and mentor other women in their journeys to build their dreams.

As the photo shows, relationships are fun, but can also be powerful initiators of business growth, breakers of barriers and beacons of change.  I think no matter what your age, it’s so important to know your purpose, live it and align yourself with like minded souls who can move the world forward with positive energy.  It’s not fluff.  In today’s climate, it’s critical to have and encourage positive energy in your circle to bolster the negatives that are coming fast and furious at us every day.

So, I salute Hedy–a true Sizzler–for her positive spirit, her dedication to the empowerment of women and her joie de vivre!  It is a French phrase that means the cheerful enjoyment of life, of conversation, of eating, of anything one might do…of simply being alive that matters.

Embrace it and Sizzle On!





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