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7 awesome things that happened at NEW Forum

Friday, July 29, 2016  
Posted by: Rob Wray
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Members of the Walgreens team at the NEW Executive Leaders Forum 2016.

By Rob Wray

As communications and engagement director of the Network of Executive Women, it has been my privilege to attend every one of the 10 NEW Executive Leaders Forum women's leadership events held since 2007.

Each Forum has been unique, but this one was notable for several reasons:

1. There were more men than ever before. There were more than 35 men in attendance -- more than 12 percent of the Forum audience.

2. We honored Trudy Bourgeois. The founder and CEO of the Center for Workforce Excellence was surprised -- and moved -- when NEW Board Chair Karen Stuckey called her up on stage to recognize her 10 years as Forum conference designer. Watch the tribute video in case you missed it.

3. Ava DuVernay. This was not the first time the Forum had a Hollywood connection (Geena Davis and Drew Barrymore have appeared previously). But "Selma" director Ava DuVernay added a powerful perspective as one of the few African-American women who has broken through behind the lens in Hollywood. Her next film is an screen adaptation of "A Wrinkle in Time" for Disney.

4. Tara Jaye Frank. Forum moderator Tara Jaye Frank of Hallmark won rave reviews for her leadership insights and onstage presence. One attendee said, "I would like to see more of Tara Jaye." You will, at next year's Forum in Santa Barbara.

5. Old home week. The Forum included Leader Talks by successful women who have helped guide NEW since its early days: Michelle Gloeckler of Walmart, Julie Hamilton of Coca-Cola, Kim Nelson of General Mills and Alison Kenney Paul of Deloitte. Key takeaway: Stick with NEW and you'll go places!

6. Cutting loose. Attendees celebrated the Forum's 10th anniversary by hitting the dance floor and showing off some amazing moves. See the celebration slideshow our Facebook page -- the pictures say it better than I can.

7. A bold vision. Vice Chair Lisa Walsh of PepsiCo and Board Member Trish Adams of Target explained why their companies are supporting the NEW Future Fund. Fifty-fifty gender parity in the industry's leadership is a big goal -- we're going to need a more powerful NEW to get there. Find out more.

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