2014 W.I.S.E. Summit Summary

The W.I.S.E. Summit has continued to offer a robust agenda of community service, educational and networking opportunities as evidenced by the growing numbers of attendees. Read the recap of our 3rd Annual Summit below or click this link to download a PDF summary.

Who we met

W.I.S.E. 2014 Summit networking was sensational and yet different from the previous two years’ successes. After all, many of us knew each other that much better from previous Summits and we also had many first‐timers attending as well. 

It was simultaneously exhilarating and fun catching up with old friends and just slightly challenging remembering the new names and faces – the fab registration book with photos helped.

Endless blue skies and an unexpected green verdant desert landscape in Phoenix, Arizona, were the exquisite background to a busy few days of reconnecting with friends and business associates, improving leadership and management skills, sharing of ideas, and making outreach to assist the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona.  Many members took advantage of the low hotel rates negotiated by Mary Ritchie and the ISA staff and flew in early to hike, relax poolside with leisurely lunches, and shop at fashionable boutiques offering unique southwestern treasures including silver belts, colorful scarves, and beaded accessories.  Never enough in our closets!

Our first Monday evening in Arizona was an engaging poolside party at the Marriot Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes Resort under a spectacular starry night. The theme was October Breast Cancer Awareness Month and W.I.S.E. members showed their solidarity and support of breast cancer awareness by showing up in brilliant shades of pink.  Pink was everywhere and we sipped on specialty pink cocktails amid colorful tabletops and umbrellas. Authentic Mexican food and pink margaritas were abundant and there was laughter and hugs as members reconnected and reminisced as only girlfriends can do.

W.I.S.E. member, Kim Gordan, shared her compelling personal story of breast cancer: the fears and treatment, family issues, both pluses and challenges, and eventual fight back to health and life. It was sobering and inspirational and everyone present cried and laughed and was able to relate from their own experiences knowing cancer survivors and victims.  

Tuesday evening’s event was a short shuttle ride away to an unusual rocky outcropping overlooking the vast desert valley floor called “Rustler’s Roost.”  The famous hilltop butte is a boot‐stomping fun hangout for locals and tourists alike with finger‐lickin’ good ribs, spicy beans, buttered corn and ice‐cold beer.  Yeah, we fit in perfectly! These great venues only serve to break down any barriers of shyness (not us!) or reluctance to engage (never!). The bus ride back to the Marriott was filled with our off‐key sing‐along to Sister Sledge’s “We are family. I got all my sisters with me. We are family. Get up ev'rybody and sing.” And we certainly did.

Of course, the entire point of the fun evenings and events is to create an atmosphere where business associates can become closer business associates, eventually develop friendships, and further cultivate business opportunities. We find we have much in common but also much to learn from each other and the free sharing of ideas is genuine and beneficial to each and all. 

See what others are saying about the Summit!

“Everything was great but the best was getting to know all of the women. Some events like ISA are so large; we don't have the time to get to know one another. This was a great experience.”

“Meeting incredible women that have been successful in this industry and educational/panel discussions amongst diverse career backgrounds.”

“Opportunity to interact with many women in same and similar industry. Speakers and topics were relevant to women and what we all do.”

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