The Esther Network’s Women’s Empowerment Conference and Honoree Luncheon was unveiled in Treasure Cay on Nov. 8-9. For this year’s conference, Tara Moss, The Esther Network’s founder, chose the theme: Born to Win.
A teen session was held at the Treasure Cay Community Center on Saturday morning and continued on to the Honouree Luncheon at the Spinnaker Restaurant. Attorney Carlene Farquharson of Alexiou, Knowles & Co. was the first speaker, and delivered a presentation on: “Legal Tips for Wills.”
Next, Sherika Brown of The Iron Network spoke on the topic: “Know Your Worth,” and the importance of relationship assessments. “Your Wealth Begins with Your Health,” was the name of Anastacia Lewis’s presentation. Lewis is a Diamond President at Ardyss International. After experiencing the downturn in Grand Bahama’s economy, she held fast to the opportunity that Ardyss presented, and after four years she continues to be successful.
“If you master product distribution, you master wealth,” she emphasized. “Your wealth is right there in front of you, but because you are in the wrong circle, the wrong set of people has your attention. Your health is your wealth, and Ardyss is in the business of reshaping your body, and your bank account at the same time.”
Following lunch, David Rolle, a Bahamian fashion designer, gave tips on how to dress for success according to body shape (pear, wedge, rectangle, apple and hourglass), as well as hints on makeup application, and wearing appropriate accessories. He ended with nine things each woman should have in her closet: skirt suit; buttoned-up, long-sleeved blouse; dress pants; black, flat shoes; black heels; nice pair of jeans; correct underwear; basic make-up (powder, mascara, lip gloss); and wristwatch.
Tanya Duncombe from TRD Ministries answered the question: “Who Are You?” in her presentation. Tanya was the eldest of five children and grew up in impoverished circumstances. As a result, she began to feel as though she was insignificant and tried to fit in, but fitting in hurt who she was because she was not functioning as her true self.
Her discovery of who God was led to her own self-discovery.
“I never imagined my life taking on this turn…I always knew that the hand of God was on my life, but I never knew how these series of events would take place,” Tanya reflected. “Today I stand before you as a minister in the Lord’s church; as someone who is in college obtaining their degree. I never thought that would happen because all I saw was poverty, rejection and hurt as a child.
“I stand before you – doors are opening, and I am able to speak into the lives of great people. Someone like me who came from nothing, but purpose has a way of troubling the finite mind, and God has our purpose to connect with our destiny.”
In her remarks, Moss said there is a need for women to come together more to empower each other and to push one another to the place where we are supposed during her presentation – “Giving Birth to Your Vision/Dreams.” She said that God has placed a vision or dream in each one of us, and He has equipped us with all that we need to fulfill those things. However, Moss explained that because God does not come to the earth physically, He comes to the earth through each of us.
Finally, the Hon. Loretta Butler-Turner, FNM MP for Long Island, was introduced as the keynote speaker. Her topic: “Leading as Women in the 21stCentury.” One of the things she addressed was Bahamian women being able to pass citizenship on to our children.
Butler-Turner said that the luncheon was designed to empower, motivate, build self-esteem and confidence, celebrate success, to promote entrepreneurship, the contribution of women to the growth of Abaco and The Bahamas, and women who are making a difference through mentorship.
“’Leading as Women in the 21st Century’ is very much the topic as women are taking on leadership positions previously held by our brothers – the men,” she said.
Butler-Turner mentioned women like Sheryl Sandberg, who was featured among Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women’s Business list. In Sandberg’s book, Lean In, she speaks about the dynamics of being a female and being a high achiever in the world.
While women are valuable, she told them that they must also realize the value of family as their support base. She highlighted significant milestones like the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and talked about a regional coalition that is being developed to help push more women to the table.
“The empowerment of women is about human issues; nations are stronger, healthier and more productive when women are involved,” she opined. “Women are not looking to take over, but to share in the responsibility.”
Women’s Empowerment Honorees were: Michelle McIntosh of Daughters of Royalty Inc. in Cedar Harbour; Kimberly Rahming of Change Ministries International’s Pink Pearls; Bertlyn Cornish-Linden, Friendship Tabernacle Church’s Gifted Girls Inc.; Iris Henchell, branch manager of FirstCaribbean International Bank; and Angie Collie, founder and managing director of Auskell Advanced Medical Center.
The conference ended with the “Passion for Fashion” grand finale event, and guests were invited to mingle and shop for clothing, accessories, handbags, cosmetics, shoes and more. Giveaways included Michael Kors handbags, MAC cosmetics, and gift certificate from all participating clothing and shoe boutiques.