Celebrating Courage on Small Business Week

What a week it has been for Denton’s women in business!

This week has been proclaimed as Small Business Week by the Governor and it was impeccable timing for back to back celebrations!

As coincidence would have it, the annual Women in Commerce (WINC) Red, White & Jazz wine tasting fell one day before the inaugural TWU Hub Celebration of Courage. Both events were memorable to say the least and made for an ideal showing of support for women professionals in our community.

A vibrantly decorated room at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center and smooth jazz stylings by 3DB welcomed over 100 of Denton’s business women for Red, White & Jazz on a beautiful spring Tuesday afternoon.

Volunteer wine experts stood ready at their stations to deliver samples of a wide variety of reds, whites and bubbles. Caterers displayed assortments of hors d’oeuvres and desserts from beautifully adorned appetizer stations. Guests filed in lines to sample wines, nosh on apps, and to purchase tickets for the possibility to win one of several exciting raffle prizes.

The program kicked off with welcoming remarks from emcee and committee member, Pat Sherman, WINC Chair Carolyn Corporon, and host Tracy Bayes-Boothe with the Greater Denton Arts Council who shared information about opportunities for women to support the arts.[Wild Women for the Arts]

“It really is my passion that women help women” stated Carolyn Corporon with Sally Beauty.

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[Click here for complete collection of event photos]

LaChristian Taylor and Brad Napp with the office of the Governor were also in Denton for National Small Business Week and made a special appearance at the event. LaChristian briefed attendees on the Governor’s Commission for Women which intends to make Texas the #1 state for women in business. [Click here to learn more]

The program concluded with a stunning and artistic performance by the TWU Dance Company students entitled “Take 5.”

Fast forward to Wednesday morning and there we were again, celebrating the success and courage of women business owners in our community at the TWU Hub Celebration of Courage. Seven thirty came early for those of us who had been “wining and dining” the evening before, but nonetheless the excitement and good energy were palpable.

Dr. Tina Mims, Executive Director of the TWU Hub, welcomed a room-full of eager guests in the majestic Hubbard Hall Banquet Room, festively decorated with maroon and white balloon arches and beautiful, earthy centerpieces.

The Denton Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Center were invited to set up booth space to inform attendees about Women in Commerce and services and resources offered to small business owners, along with other entities that offer small business resources.

The program kicked off with a reading from Dr. Mims about a husband’s expectations for his wife in the 1950s. Boy have things evolved…and thank goodness!

Following the welcoming remarks from Dr. Carine Feyten, TWU Chancellor, was a witty and humorous account of what its like to be a woman in charge of multiple businesses by Kelsie Banahan from Sanger.

Very soon, we were all participating in a choreographed dance number led by TWU Dance Department retiree, Gladys Keeton, complete with pom poms and celebration of good times!

The keynote was delivered by none other than WINC committee member and CEO of GSATi, Cindy Tysinger, who delivered a very inspiring address. After experiencing serious health problems at a very young age and being told what she could NOT do, Cindy made it her mission to do exactly the opposite. Atta girl!

40+ years later of growing businesses, working for corporate America, and taking the leap of faith to start her own IT company and taking it global, here are a few “nuggets” of wisdom Cindy had to share with us:

  • If it is your passion and your love, you’ll find a way.
  • Share your failures.
  • Think BIG! Don’t let anybody steal your dream.
  • Protect your cash!

The event also featured an exercise which encouraged guests to help each other solve a problem by first offering a wild suggestion and subsequently passing the buck to the next person to narrow it down to something more realistic and focused. Lots of great discussions ensued from this unique method of problem solving.

And finally, we were left with a list of parting words form Dr. Mims as reminders to live by:

  • Embrace unknowns
  • Engage in diversity (Not only in the traditional sense, but in thinking as well)
  • Celebrate courage
  • Work passionately
  • Permit screaming (Not to scream at a person, but simply to let it all out)
  • Be curious
  • In all things, surround yourself with cheerleaders
  • All others, off the boat!

It is safe to say that the Denton community is on to something when it comes to supporting the women entrepreneurship base as well as cultivating women leaders within their business organizations. Its no wonder we were recently recognized as the #5 best city for women in the workforce! [Access article here]

I am immensely proud and inspired to be part of such a community, and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the courageous “boss women” who live and work here. Cheers to that!

The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.

–Serena Williams

By: Angelica Del Rosal, MBA

Special thanks to Red, White & Jazz sponsors: Sally Beauty, Greater Denton Arts Council, Hannah’s Off the Square, Extreme Cuisine Catering, Wildhorse Grill and 5 Star Rental.

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