Blogs

Wonder Woman in Business, Renee Branson

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Renee Branson

Resilience.Bounty

Combining 20 years in education, counseling and non-profit management, Renee Branson's passion and purpose is helping individuals, teams, and organizations cultivate resilience. After years of working with survivors of trauma and the caregivers who help heal them, she became enthralled with what it is that allowed people to not only survive, but thrive through their greatest crisis. The answer is resilience. The more valuable lesson is that resilience can be taught, strengthened, and cultivated.

As a Certified Resilience Coach (CReC), Renee provides clients with immediately usable tools to increase resilience, well-being, and optimism in the workplace. She works with lawyers, legal marketers, business professionals, non-profit leaders, and others to help them understand and incorporate resilience in their own professional lives and in the teams they lead."

Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360.COM

Administer the PR6™ resilience assessments, presentations, and workshops on the six domains of resilience for professionals and business organizations. These include law firms, practice groups, non-profits, and business teams within an organization. This allows leaders to address organizational strengths and weaknesses and to implement growth plans through coaching, consultation, and the Driven™ app-based tools.

Common Use Case Scenarios:
-On-boarding new associates
-Newly formed teams/divisions
-Management training programs
-Organizational restructuring, mergers, large-scale organizational change
-Crisis recovery
-Underperforming/dysfunctional teams

Photos in Renee’s Words…

Photo 1:

Branson Beach Photo: The entire Branson tribe. We don't all get together in one place very often, so this was pretty special. 

Photo 2:

Buckeyes: I am a born and bred Buckeye. I grew up in Ohio and graduated from Ohio State. Fall would not be complete without at least one trip to the Horseshoe to see my Buckeyes play football. This photo is of me, Tim and the boys along with my brother and his family. 

Photo 3:

With Tim Corcoran at COLPM: This is proof we can still get fancy. :) 

Photo 4:

Parent's Weekend: While my oldest didn't choose OSU for school, we love to spend Parent's Weekend with him and his fraternity. 

Photo 5:

Sydney Opera House: I have always been passionate about travel. The only place tied with Sydney as my favorite place is Barcelona. I took a week long solo trip there and the experience was life-changing. There are so many places still left on my bucket list! 

Photo 6:

Tough Mudder: I talk about grit being a domain of resilience. I've done 5 Tough Mudders, 2 marathons, and over 20 half marathons. I learned grit from the physical limits that I've pushed. 


Renee Branson

Connect with Renee:

Website: https://reneebranson.blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/resilience.bounty/?tn-str=k*F

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reneebransonmancc/

Email: rb@reneebranson.blog

Phone: 434.326.6620



Wonder Woman in Business — and Politics — Joni Wickham

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Chief of Staff, Kansas City

Joni Wickham

Joni is all about grit, grace, and getting things done. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Joni and her indisputable southern accent arrived in Kansas City almost 10 years ago after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. In her eight years with the mayor’s office—the majority of them spent as Chief of Staff—Joni has proven herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader. She directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics, and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues. An artful negotiator, Joni helped steer Sly’s major development projects in Kansas City while raising the city’s profile at the national and international levels. Her front-row seat at City Hall shed light on how local government is still very much a man’s world, and this motivated her to create a first-of-its-kind women’s empowerment initiative, which has been implemented in several major cities.

Prior to her time at city hall, Joni worked with the American Federation of Teachers, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and in the office of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. While a student at Meredith College, where Joni received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies, she studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. An accomplished alumnus of University of Missouri where she earned her Masters of Arts in Political Science, Joni was the recipient of the 2019 University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs Mel Carnahan Public Service Award.  

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“New study shows lack of women in local government.”


Connect with Joni Wickham:

Email:

joniwickham@gmail.com

Twitter:

@jonismithkcmo

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joni-wickham-5ba08a156/

 


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FreemanMeansBusiness.com


Wonder Woman in Business -- and Wine -- Christine Clair of Willamette Valley Vineyards

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Christine Clair, Winery Director

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Christine's love for Oregon wine began at an early age looking up at Willamette Valley Vineyards out the window of her room as the vineyard and winery took shape on the slope of the Salem hills. Christine has always been a familiar face at the winery; as a young girl she would sell her friendship bracelets in the tasting room and run through the vine rows as training for her school’s soccer team.

Christine worked at the winery as a college intern and started making wine while she was a senior to launch her own brand based in Southern Oregon. She also worked as the Director of Troon Vineyard, which earned the accolade Top 10 Hottest Small Brands by Wine Business Monthly under her leadership.

Her life-long connection and passion to fulfill the founders' dream of making world-class Pinot Noir led her back to the winery where she now leads winemaking and vineyard operations, as well as direct sales and marketing. She is training to replace the Founder/CEO upon his retirement.

Christine's effort to establish a national presence for the winery's Pinot Noir was featured in the article "America's Best Value Pinot Noirs" by Wine Enthusiast (November, 2015).

Christine was also honored with Portland Business Journal's 2017 Forty Under 40 Award.

In 2015, Christine co-founded a new company division, Oregon Estate Vineyards, with Jim Bernau, dedicated to building boutique wineries on some of Oregon's most intriguing vineyard sites to continue to create and share the Oregon wine story. The wineries include Elton in the Eola-Amity Hills focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Pambrun in the Walla Walla Valley with Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-based varietals, Maison Bleue in the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater with Syrah and Rhone-based varietals and Bernau Estate in the Dundee Hills focused on producing méthode champenoise sparkling wine from biodynamically-grown grapes.

In 2018, Christine helped coordinate the Oregon Solidarity wines to help Southern Oregon winegrowers who had their contracts canceled just days before harvest. We team up with other Oregon wineries to collaboratively make and sell the wines with the net proceeds benefiting the  Rogue Valley Vintners to support vineyards in the region.

Christine is a graduate of Oregon State University and holds numerous wine certifications from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust. 

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Christine Clair, Winery Director

My conversation with Christine was quite robust and all that was missing was a goblet of the good grape in hand. You too will certainly enjoy the conversation we had in the podcast below:

Christine Clair, Winery Director

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Contact Christine

Email: christine.clair@wvv.com

LinkedIn: in/christine-collier-clair-5b378b15

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What a Dynamic Wonder Woman in Business, Julie Stapel of Morgan Lewis in Chicago!

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Julie Stapel

Employee Benefits Attorney Extraordinaire

About Julie…

Julie helps clients negotiate investment-related agreements of virtually every type, including investment management, trust, securities lending and transition management agreements, as well as many different types of trading agreements. She represents employee benefit plan investors in all types of private fund investments, negotiating fund documentation and side letters to address ERISA and other risk management issues. She also counsels financial services and investment management clients on ERISA compliance. 

Co-leader of the firm’s Fiduciary Duty Task Force, Julie also advises on fiduciary governance, including the formation and operation of benefit plan fiduciary committees.

She works with plan fiduciaries to implement ERISA compliance best practices and manage fiduciary risks. She also helps clients remain in compliance with ERISA’s ever-changing reporting and disclosure obligations.

Julie speaks frequently on ERISA-related topics. She has spoken before the Committee on the Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA), the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), the John Marshall School of Law, and at various events sponsored by Pension and Investments magazine. In addition to these speaking engagements, she regularly addresses client fiduciary committees and investment staff, performing fiduciary training and presenting updates on changes in the law. She is also president of the Chicago Chapter of Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB).

Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, she was a partner in the employee benefits and executive compensation departments of an international law firm, resident in Chicago. Before that, she served as general counsel to a registered investment adviser, gaining experience with ERISA and its impact on investment managers and collective investment funds.

For the Fun Part…

Americans began listening to game shows on the radio and were immediately hooked on the excitement and thrill of competition. As television came of age in the 1940s and ’50s, game shows made a natural transition to the new medium. There’s something about watching contestants match wits onscreen: We love to play along, shouting answers at the television.

“We play games at home, we play games at parties, we go to clubs and play games. Americans love games,” says Bob Barker, host of the long-running “The Price Is Right.” Some game shows were edgy, such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” or they could be educational, such as “Jeopardy.”

Having fun with celebrities became a staple for Julie Stapel. She is bright, dynamic, witty, and has a lot of grit. Just as she tells stories of her lifelong love of game shows, I can bet the celebrities tell stories of Julie Stapel.

Here is her latest great moment on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”?

Julie Stapel

Contact Julie…

Julie K. Stapel
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
77 West Wacker Drive, Sixth Floor | Chicago, IL 60601
Direct: +1.312.324.1113 | Main: +1.312.324.1000 | Fax: +1.312.324.1001
julie.stapel@morganlewis.com | www.morganlewis.com

Connect with Julie…

LinkedIn:

in/juliestapel/

Twitter:

@JulieStapel


A Dang Great Podcast with the Amazing Judy Dang

Judy Dang and I had the most moving conversation. I was literally moved to tears. I have never actually teared up on a podcast but I did on this one. She is an amazing example of owning your story, living through the power of vulnerability and thriving as a successful business woman, authentically.

With clients across the US, Judy is a corporate productivity trainer and coach whose mission is to help professionals work smarter, not harder. Clients who work with Judy achieve their goals faster because she helps them clarify their most meaningful goals and creates clear steps to get there. She's also their accountability partner and keeps them on track to achieve what they thought was nearly impossible.



Relevant Videos

Workshop intro: https://youtu.be/Yj0v-_ARlJ4

Testimonial: https://youtu.be/1WJ_wQgPpUw

Sample talk: https://youtu.be/YIgda6PIvbo

 

Judy Dang, Principal

Judy Dang, Principal

Contact Judy Dang

Website: https://www.avidatwork.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/judydang/

Online scheduling calendar: https://calendly.com/avidatwork/25

Phone: 415.933.8676

Email: Judy@AvidAtWork.com

FreemanMeansBusiness.com

FreemanMeansBusiness.com


Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom — A Great Time Was Had By All!

Deborah Farone of Farone Advisors presents at Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom, Dec. 13, 2018.

Deborah Farone of Farone Advisors presents at Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom, Dec. 13, 2018.

Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom Inaugural Event

What an exciting week this has been. The highlights of my week included breakfast at the beautiful Lowe’s hotel with the more beautiful, Deborah Farone. We enjoyed conversation, connection, laughter and genuine camaraderie as we talked of the Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom events, life in legal marketing, people we know, love and trust, issues women face in the industry and in life, in general — good and bad. She talked about her book, due out next month, “Best Practices in Law Firm Business Development and Marketing,” which resulted from more than 60 interviews with law firm chairs, CMOs, general counsel and other leading innovators in the US and in Europe. We shared laughs and pictures of our younger selves and our handsome husbands — who actually look alike. It was among the best parts of my week, I will say.

Deborah Farone has authored numerous articles and white papers and speaks regularly on the topic of professional services management and branding. Deborah’s new book is titled,   “Best Practices: Business Development and Marketing for Law Firms”   published by PLI Books, and includes the perspectives of law firm leaders, GCs, CMOs and other area experts on topics related to increasing revenue through business development techniques.

Deborah Farone has authored numerous articles and white papers and speaks regularly on the topic of professional services management and branding. Deborah’s new book is titled, “Best Practices: Business Development and Marketing for Law Firms” published by PLI Books, and includes the perspectives of law firm leaders, GCs, CMOs and other area experts on topics related to increasing revenue through business development techniques.

Another highlight was picking up my genius women in business friends for life, Linda Hazelton, Kimberly Rice and Pamela Cone from the San Francisco International Airport. Those women certainly proved to be my sisters in this, helping me to haul equipment and furniture, set up the space, track attendees and arrange what would ultimately be a near-perfect event — in my opinion. I believe others who spoke and attended may share these sentiments, as well.

On the evening of December 13, 2028, we have successfully inaugurated, Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom and a great time was had by all. The feedback we received was wonderful and people did not want the evening to end. We featured the fabulous Deborah Farone as our speaker and had the wonderful Laraine McKinnon to introduce Deborah. Here is a look at what you missed if you could not attend:

At about 5:20 PM, people started trickling in the San Francisco Wine School (in South San Francisco), right across the street from the two most beautiful buildings in the City, City Hall and the Grand Avenue Library. Both are Carnegie buildings on the historical register and afford visitors to the city a sense of history and charm all at once.

South San Francisco City Hall as seen from the San Francisco Wine School.  Artwork by Melissa Mahoney.

South San Francisco City Hall as seen from the San Francisco Wine School.

Artwork by Melissa Mahoney.


Yours truly stood and thanked Kristin Campbell, the COO/CFO of the San Francisco Wine School for hosting us at her beautiful facility with its magnificent arched windows and high ceilings. Kristin said a few words about the wine school and how it got started. Founded in 2011, the San Francisco Wine School was a new kind of school—one that allowed students to achieve the highest level of wine certification through an accessible, modular path of study. This modular path allows each student to create a unique educational experience to meet their goals. The San Francisco Wine School opens up the world of wine to serious wine students everywhere. They help people of all levels break into the wine industry, advance their careers, or simply pursue their passions. Founded by Master Sommelier David Glancy, they are the largest wine school in the country offering the most thorough approach to wine study.

I mentioned friend and artist Melissa Mahoney of MahoneyArtWork.com. Melissa’s latest painting series is titled, “Vortices,” a few of which were on display at the wine school. She says Vortices draw all that surround them into their powerful currents. She's interested in these masses of energy and how they can contain and then transfer their energy. Melissa believes — and I do too — in Ikigai. According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai—a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai—the place where passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect—means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning. It’s also the reason many Japanese never really retire (in fact there’s no word in Japanese that means to retire in the sense it does in English): They remain active and work at what they enjoy, because they’ve found a real purpose in life—the happiness of always being busy. 

I then introduced the amazing Laraine McKinnon. Laraine is an advisor to Emtrain, and an unconscious bias expert. Laraine is a passionate supporter of diversity in the workplace; she focuses on blending behavioral science (managing unconscious bias, organizational behavior), big data and practical implementations to transform workplace cultures. Laraine has led high-performance customer success and sales teams at BlackRock and Barclays Global Investors, and founded strategic consulting firm LMC17.

Laraine McKinnon of Emtrain

Laraine McKinnon of Emtrain

Laraine introduced her role in The Women’s CLUB of Silicon Valley and how excited she is to welcome other CLUB members to the event. There were many — and for that I am truly grateful. These women in business drove in from Palo Alto where the CLUB meets and we host our mentoring circle monthly.

Laraine introduced Deborah Farone who has had the unique opportunity to play a role in developing the best practices in professional services marketing by working with the most respected and demanding professionals in the world.

Deborah Farone of Farone Advisors, LLC

Deborah Farone of Farone Advisors, LLC

Over the past two decades, Deborah has carved out a niche by distinguishing herself as the chief marketing officer of two of the country’s most successful law firms and the founder of both firms' business development and communications departments. But before entering into the legal marketing profession, she sharpened her communications and business development skills by working at a global management consulting firm. When she applied for her first position out of college, she didn’t take no for an answer when applying to the PR firm she had her eye set on for her first job. After receiving numerous letters stating the firm was not hiring, the third letter she submitted to the firm along with a press kit demonstrating her experience did the trick.  She was hired as a coordinator in the firm’s new business department. 

Most recently, Deborah was the CMO at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  On the business development side, she worked with colleagues to create a business and industry intelligence unit to help generate business opportunities, craft practice development plans and prepare partners for all forms of presentations.  She also spent a large part of each day working with individual lawyers on their own business development plans. On the communications side, she dealt with crisis communications, as well as strategic public relations, social media, the Firm’s website and all marketing communications.  Prior to joining Cravath, she was the chief marketing officer at Debevoise & Plimpton. Working with professionals at these extraordinary firms, with their talented lawyers and staff, and focusing on innovative practices, has allowed her rare experience into how to craft effective marketing programs geared toward growing business.

Deborah joined Debevoise & Plimpton from Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson), where she coordinated national press relations and marketing efforts. Prior to joining Towers, she worked at Ketchum Communications (now Ketchum, Inc.). While she started in the new business department at Ketchum, she was quickly promoted to work on accounts for both investor and public relations clients.  Her clients included publicly-held and private companies in the financial, professional services and consumer product sectors.

Part of marketing involves educating and coaching and Deborah has enjoyed doing this in the academic arena as well as professionally. She has served as an adjunct Assistant Professor on the faculty of New York University and has taught several courses, including “Effective Marketing and Public Relations for Professional Service Companies” and “Marketing and Public Relations for Law Firms,” the first courses of their kind offered by a major university.  

Deborah is a founder of the CMO and CIO Roundtable, an invitation-only group of the leading law firms that meets annually to discuss best practices and stay abreast of trends in the legal profession and in marketing.  She is a past President of the Legal Marketing Association’s New York Chapter and past Chair of the New York City Bar Association's inaugural marketing communications committee. She is also a charter member of the Luxury Marketing Council and a member of Ellevate.

Deborah serves as an Advisor to the Chair of the Lawyers for the Library Committee of The New York Public Library. She has also served as an appointed member of the International Trademark Association’s public relations task force, as Chair of the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s “Meet the Media” committee and an officer of PRSA’s professional service committee. Deborah also serves as an Advisor to the Chair of the Lawyers for the Library Committee of The New York Public Library.  

As a recent recipient of the Legal Marketing Association's Legacy Award, in recognition of making a distinguishable mark on the profession as a whole, Deborah feels strongly about helping others achieve their success. She has been honored at the YWCA’s Women Leader Luncheon and serves as a member of the organization’s Academy of Women Leaders. For many years, Deborah had served on the Board of Directors of The Girl Scouts Council of Greater New York.  

We were all delighted to hear Deborah speak on lessons learned in childhood that carried her through to current-day successes. She makes it clear that we write our own story. As Susan Kostal wrote, “Heard Deborah Farone last night at Susan C. Freeman's Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom. My quick takeaway: one's professional development is contingent upon one's continued personal development. Such great advice, with numerous actionable examples.”

Deborah Farone’s talk was captivating.

Deborah Farone’s talk was captivating.

While Deborah’s talks generally focus on the business issues that face professional service firms, this talk was much more personal in nature.  She began by asking us to think back to when we were children close our eyes for a moment and imagine it.  Once we opened them, Deborah continued to walk us through a wonderfully colorful and meaningful talk full of stories and life lessons, leaving us with actionable tools that, if used, would change our lives for the better. She encouraged us to think about life in terms of writing our own stories and finishing our own paths.  She described four tools to help get us there, as well as useful findings and encouragement:

Tool one:

Accept yourself, knowing you have strengths and weaknesses, and that if you want, you can master the weaknesses and accomplish great things.

Tool two:

Know in your heart of hearts, even with the limitations, you should not to settle. You can create the life you deserve.

Tool Three:

Use the art of planning to write your plans and place them into small, manageable steps.

Tool Four:

Treat yourself well and take care of the three Bs – Body, Being and Brain.

Deborah’s words were so very well received. She captivated us with advice, humility and humor. And yes, she is really funny! It was such a welcome message. She is a gifted storyteller. We, in that room — and across this country — need to hear and to heed her words of wisdom.

The Realities for Women in Business in the United States

For years, we women have kept our heads down and played by the rules. We’ve been certain that with enough hard work, our natural talents would be recognized and rewarded. We’ve made undeniable progress. In the United States, women now earn more college and graduate degrees than men do. We make up half the workforce, and we are closing the gap in middle management. Half a dozen global studies have found that companies employing women in large numbers outperform their competitors on every measure of profitability. Our competence has never been more obvious. Those who closely follow society’s shifting values see the world moving in a female direction.

And yet, as we’ve worked, ever diligent, the men around us have continued to get promoted faster and be paid more. Motherhood, especially, triggers assumptions that women are less competent and less committed to their careers. People often assume that women can’t be all-in at work -- and all-in as mothers as well. This assumption has a staggering impact on women’s careers. In one study women with children were 79 percent less likely to be hired, only half as likely to be promoted, offered an average of $11,000 less in salary, and held to higher performance and punctuality standards than identical women without children. Women GCs earn a staggering $125,000 less than their male counterparts.

The statistics are well known: at the top, especially, women are nearly absent, and our numbers are barely increasing. Half a century since women first forced open the boardroom doors, our career trajectories still look very different from men’s. 

Lead Daringly

In this blog, I share with you, the reader, this powerful excerpt from Teddy Roosevelt and I wonder how many of you have heard this excerpt from his speech, “Man in the Arena”? For those who haven’t, here it is and for those who have, I know you’ll love to read it again.  

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

First, I asked that the audience write down their #1 core value that they hold most sacred. There were pens and index cards at the tables. People wrote down the answers.

What are your core values?

What are your core values?

I asked them to choose a core value—a belief that is very important to them, that helps guide them, that gives them a feeling of purpose…where they might ask, “Is this who I am at my core”?Then I asked, “Do you translate this core value from an ideal to a behavior? If so, how? Think about a time when your behavior was a direct result of this core value.”

I shared the fact that for me, one of my core values is grit, which means: Courage, Moxie, Mettle, Spirit, Tenacity, and Perseverance, for a few examples.

One behavior that results from this core value is the courage to stand up and speak out on behalf of what I believe is good, fair and right. Those who follow me on social media know what I mean. When my behavior is aligned with my values, I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually connected with my Self and others. I asked that the audience discuss their core values and discover if there is another person there who shares that same value. I then asked that one volunteer from each table to offer to share their core value and what behaviors align and result from that core behavior.

I asked the audience, “What is a behavior that supports your #1 core value? What’s an example of a time when you were fully living into this value? Courageous women throughout the room stood to share their core values. One that struck me in particular that struck me was Judy Dang (CEO of Avid at Work) who shared about her mantra, “I am adequate to my life.” I love this. I too believe, “I am enough.”

I remarked that Loraine made an incredible contribution unknowingly when she shared about her work directly with key clients who are trying to create positive and productive environments where people can do their best work and be recognized for it. She is leading the way on tough workplace issues like sexual harassment and unconscious bias, helping resolve problems and change behaviors. Her behaviors are clearly aligned with her core values. This is quite meaningful.

If you behave in a way that is aligned with your core values, you are never silent about hard things. For example, do we have lessons to learn about gender? What about race? Absolutely. We have to think about factors like race, age, gender, class, sexual orientation.

We mustn’t talk about these issues. We must listen about them. As uncomfortable as that may be, to opt out of conversations about these issues is the epitome of privilege.

As Brene’ Brown says, “Silence is not brave leadership, and silence is not a component of brave cultures. A brave leader is not someone who is armed with all the answers. A brave leader is not someone who can facilitate a flawless discussion on hard topics. A brave leader is someone who says, ‘I see you. I hear you. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to keep listening and asking questions.’ We all have the capacity to do that. We all have the ability to foster empathy.”

As I facilitated the exercise mentioned above, Heather Morse called out about LinkedIn’s new capability allowing people nearby to connect through the mobile app by sharing with you (once enabled) who is nearby and simply connected on the spot. It was well received by all.

In an attempt to unplug and connect in a meaningful beyond what business cards and technology do for (or some might argue to) us, I would like you to consider this exercise:

If you were an attendee at the Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom kickoff event, I ask that you share your contact information with two other attendees you did not know before you arrived. I ask that the three of you meet for coffee, tea or lunch to learn more about each other, personally and professionally. 

You can ask 1) what it each trying to achieve in their business setting, 2) what is each trying to achieve in their personal lives, and 3) what referrals can they make to the two others and perhaps invite as guests to the next month’s Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom event. If you need guidance on great questions to ask, just email me at Susan@FreemanMeansBusiness.com and I will help.

After your coffee, tea or lunch, I would like you to email me what you learned about the other people and whether there is any meaningful connection you have made where you would feel comfortable referring them to another person or other people unknown to them.

While there, I know that four of the women connected in such a meaningful way, business relationships have already resulted. I know that Deborah Farone has already been asked to speak again, this time in Chicago.

San Francisco Wine School, 415 Grand Avenue, South San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Wine School, 415 Grand Avenue, South San Francisco, CA

Later in the event, Master Sommelier David Glancy wowed the audience with a Champagne sabering (sabrage). Sabrage is a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber, used for ceremonial occasions. The wielder slides the saber along the body of the bottle to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck of the bottle open and ready to pour. David is one of only twelve people in the world to hold both the revered Master Sommelier diploma and a Certified Wine Educator credential. A certified French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Professional, and Certified Specialist of Spirits, Glancy has earned the credential for every program he teaches, and more.

David Glancy educating us on the food and wine pairings.

David Glancy educating us on the food and wine pairings.

We then headed to the wine pairings and gourmet food for a little wine education. The audience truly enjoyed the wine pairings (and for those who do not drink alcohol, we had sparkling water in keeping with the “Bubbles” theme.) The menu included sparkling wines from around the world, caviar, lamb, duck, assorted cheeses and the ever-popular See’s Candies chocolates (headquartered and manufactured in South San Francisco). On the tables were remarkable floral arrangements by Flowers by Sonia.


Please join us throughout the year for this remarkable series of women who dare to lead with authenticity and vulnerability. The next event will be at the San Francisco Wine School on January 10, 2019 featuring Vivian Hood, CEO of Jaffe. 

For more information on the  Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom  2019 SPEAKER SERIES, visit:    Freeman Means Business “Events” page

For more information on the Bubbles, Bites & Bits of Wisdom 2019 SPEAKER SERIES, visit:

Freeman Means Business “Events” page