Women’s Leadership Summit – Napa

I was honored to be invited to the 2017 Women of the Channel Leadership Summit, held in beautiful Napa, CA.  I’ve always been a girl’s girl.  I enjoy being friends with women, working with women, collaborating with women and learning from women. Sadly, the workplace isn’t always conducive to such interworking female relationships. In fact, I’d venture to say it seems more designed to pin women against each other instead of support one another. If we want to raise the glass ceiling, demand equality in pay and leadership opportunities, and encourage collaboration then we have to start with each other and be stronger as a group than as individuals.

I think Taylor Swift said it best, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women”.  I’ve been on the side of catty, jealous and deliberate sabotage by other women.  It’s not only devastating to the target of those acts, but detrimental to all of us.  When men compete aggressively they are driven and powerful, but when women do so we are catty and bitchy.  So, why we would perpetuate the stereotype by actually being catty and bitchy to one another I will never know or understand.

This isn’t a post about the negative interrelations of women.  It’s about looking at women for inspiration and being an inspiration as well.


The Leadership Summit was held at The Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa Ca.   It’s a beautiful resort with a few unique amenities, like a bowling alley in the bar and a gym partially exposed to the outdoors.  I would recommend this location for corporate meetings, conferences, or even family reunions, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the average vacationer.  It’s only a fifteen minute drive to downtown Napa, but it feels remote and limited in food and actives.

For example, though the bowling alley was a fun and unique addition to a resort’s restaurant and bar, your choices were limited to that of traditional bar food.  I was able to find a beet salad, but the rest of the menu was all fatty and fried.  There is a high-end restaurant on the property, Siena, which is great for dinner one night, but not for casual dining.

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I had no place to be until the networking event Monday evening, which left the day open for a little wine tasting fun.  I was at the summit with Tegile’s VP of Marketing, Kristy Morris, who was also recognized on CRN’s 2017 Women of the Channel List. Kristy and I have both been at Tegile for a little over 2 years, and although we’ve worked together and hung out a time or two, I didn’t know her well. She has an impressive career with technology start-ups and is the kind of woman that does support other women.  It was fun to spend time with Kristy.  It provided the opportunity to learn a bit about her, her career path, and get advice and mentorship for my own career.  We even got to be a little silly.

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Kristy and I ate lunch at Caledon where we sat outside on their patio (covered in this picture) and shared a cheese plate.  We both ordered the beet  and goat cheese salad.  Delish!!  I highly recommend this cozy Napa dining spot.

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Caledon Napa, CA
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Beet Salad @ Caledon Napa, CA

The Perfect Bite Challenge was a pre-summit networking event.  Kristy and I were seated at a table with 4 other women where we were taught how to hold a wine glass, which flavors are paired best with different grapes, and given a group challenge to come up with the “perfect bite” – one single bite to be perfectly paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

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We were given an assortment of ingredients with a bucket of crostini and created the “Smoked Berry Prosciutto Bite”.  We didn’t win, but we had a blast.

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Tuesday was the official kick-off of the leadership conference, and like any busy work day I kicked mine off with a workout.  I filmed the At Home Leg’s workout from my previous post in my hotel room.  You can find it here and here.

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Afterwards, I went to the resort fitness center, which gets the Fit Frequent Flyer stamp of approval.   It has a good variety of weight equipment and cardio machines, but the coolest part is the wall in front of the treadmills that is completely open and exposed to the outside.  Made my boring treadmill run feel like it was outdoors.

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That afternoon I attended two Dale Carnegie training sessions: Building Meaningful Rapport and How to Disagree Agreeably.  If the name sounds familiar it’s because Dale Carnegie is the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People.  A must read for anyone in business, especially sales!  Get a copy here.

I loved both sessions immensely!  What seems like common sense, i.e. building rapport, can still require so much skill and perfection.  Did you know that 85% of our success is based on attitude and skill?  Leaving knowledge accountable only 15%.  Interesting right? Lesson being, according to Dale Carnegie, that if you are simply a friendlier person you have most of the attributes needed to be successful.

I wasn’t able to stay both days, so I unfortunately missed a lot of content and networking that happened on Wednesday.  If I’m invited to go next year, I will do a better job scheduling to ensure I can attend the entire conference.  I did get to attend the opening keynote session on Tuesday night and am so glad I did.
FullSizeRender 8I’ll leave you with some messaging from Sue Enquist, UCLA player, coach and UCLA’s first All-American softball player. This fiery spit-ball made me want to get up right then and there and go be amazing. Doing what it didn’t matter. She was just that good. Here is a woman who made here career on coaching and mentoring strong, talented women.  She shared an exercise she did in negative self-talk with her softball champions to demonstrated that even most talented, successful, and decorated individuals still have a nasty voice in their head saying they aren’t good enough.   We all have that mean negative voice that makes us doubt ourselves, and that’s ok. It’s part of being human.  Sue says, don’t get down about having the negative thoughts, just balance them with positive thoughts. Most importantly, “let the strong voice have the last word”.  Hell Ya!

Thanks for reading!



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