ORLANDO, Fla. -- Let's call September 2013 the month of the conference, shall we?
I traveled three of four weekends for blogging, social media and networking conferences. Two of those conferences, including the Hispana Leadership Summit, took place in my childhood home state of Florida.
I felt incredibly honored to be among two of my MomsRising (Latina) colleagues as well as strong Hispanic women from all professional backgrounds. We were inspired by motivational speakers, sessions on how to balance work and life, and of course, many opportunities to network with one another.
Our opening breakfast session was a Susan G. Komen-sponsored zumba demonstration at 9 in the morning. I am an exercise buff, but technically, this session took place at 6 a.m. for me, California time. Ouch.
Nonetheless, my co-worker Nina Perez and I donned pink and made it!
Next stop? I attended a session with top social media leaders. Photo below from left to right: Myrah Duque, the community manager and entrepreneur behind Coupon Mamacita; Migdalia Rivera, my MomsRising co-worker and founder and manager of Stiletto Media and Latina on a Mission; Cristy Clavijo-Kish, CEO of Hispánicize and co-founder and co-manager of Los Tweens community; Elianne Ramos, social media guru and activist who is the Vice President of Communications for Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM); and Lorraine C. Ladish, the Editor-in-Chief -- and author of 17 books! -- of Mamiverse.
And what's a Latina fiesta without a raffle? The winners of baskets with spa products were two women I admire: my co-worker Nina and Diana Rodriguez, the founder and community manager of the Spanish-language Entre Compras y El Hogar. Also pictured is the fabulous Myrah Duque aka "Coupon Mamacita".
So...this was an interesting lunchtime keynote. Bert Oliva is a life coach and motivational speaker, who at times, borders a stand-up comedian. He actually had someone in the audience swallow fire -- see pic -- and emphasized the importance of being bold and gregarious (like him) and not backing down from attaining your dreams.
Perhaps it's because I just read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, I couldn't help but think that conferences like Hispana Leadership Summit could include more personality types in business than just your obviously extroverted person. Then again, I think even those of us who are hard-core networkers have a quiet side as well.
I noticed that during the closing salsa party at the conference, Oliva held back despite the pressure we applied for him to join us on the dance floor.
...And I loved this. Hispana Leadership Summit had us all dress in white and took a professional shot of every single one of us who attended the summit:
In case you were wondering, I am in the middle section, three rows from the top on the righthand corner. I am pumping my fist. :)
I had some close-ups taken with my cell phone. Here's one in the party after the shoot, including two ladies I have yet to mention: Denise, founder and moderator of the Run DMT community and Bohemian Babushka, who helped me thwart the Florida bugs with a homemade natural concoction.
And how could I possibly visit Florida without seeing some childhood friends? My dear friend Teresa, who I had not seen in 8 years, and her lovely family:
Until next time...