Unbeknownst to me that when I attended the 2013 WOTC Event in New York City, I would be introduced to a woman that has changed my life, and the lives of everyone she touches.
If you have known me for more than a minute, you will know that I do not like to venture out of my home office. I don’t travel and if I do, I get very anxious and have contingency upon contingency plan.
Having been a member of The Channel Company, and its other previous monikers for 22 years, it was time for me to venture out to one of our most renowned events, entitled The Women of the Channel.
As the name would imply, it focuses around women making an impact in the technology channel, and really the world in terms of giving women an equal voice in the playing field.
I secured a ride, and a room, concerned that I would be out of my element, prepared for inclement weather, power outages, and all that could go wrong. It turned out to be one of the greatest events of my life.
I could barely believe the caliber of talent I was surrounded by, and each speaker outdid the next.
Regina Calcaterra was one of the final presenters of the day, and although I coordinated my schedule to catch a particular train, once she started talking, all bets were off. I got lost in her story, and stayed till the bitter end.
If you are not familiar with Regina, I urge you to become familiar. Words can’t really describe the magnitude of her reach. She began her talk, and I remember thinking to myself, what an attractive put together professional. After hearing her journey in and out of homelessness, I was haunted and thought to myself, I have to meet her, and help make a difference. Not only did she survive, but she thrived, and is a best-selling author of two New York Times best sellers, a partner in a prestigious law firm, and a huge proponent in reforming the foster care system.
As I mentioned, I had already missed my train, and figured I would introduce myself and see how I could find a way to give back. Her story was so poignant to me particularly because it took place in my backyard and even more upsetting was the fact that I had no idea of the homelessness problem within my community.
Although you may think the story tragic, it is actually a story of hope, determination and an illustration as to how everything we do and say matters. We can impact others by a simple sentence of encouragement.
I devoured Regina’s first book Etched in Sand and knew at that point, that I could volunteer my time, my money and my connections to make an impact.
Through a lot of investigative work, I was introduced to the Long Island Coalition of the Homeless, and had the privilege of meeting Greta Guartion, the Executive Director. Greta and I hit it off instantly, and I am beyond inspired by her good works on daily basis.
Since our meeting my perspective and view of how important paying it forward is will never be the same.
This was all the result of that one day three years ago. In addition, three of the impressive speakers have Skyped into my book club, and gave us insight that you cannot get from reading the book on your own.
People love interacting, networking and helping each other. If you are constantly thinking of how you can be a better person and do for others, you will expand your circle and surprisingly you will be the one receiving the rewards.