|Michelle and Shonda. As an aside, I love both dresses.|
All of which I did yesterday, willingly and with a huge smile on my face all day long.
Yesterday was the Pennsylvania Conference for Women at the Convention Center, and Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker. That was all I had to hear back in July, when one of the partners at the office where I work part-time was trying to sell tickets to the two tables the firm had purchased. When I heard the ticket price - $175 - I hesitated for a moment, but honestly, when I am ever going to get the opportunity to hear Michelle Obama speak, except on television, at pretty much any price?
Add to it an entire day of other speakers, workshops, lunch, networking, wine and who-knew-what-else, and I ended up convincing myself it was a bargain.
|Just a FEW people|
So there I was, at the Convention Center from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., surrounded by TWELVE THOUSAND women and a few slightly cowed men. And it was fabulous. Motivating, inspiring, fun.
The morning session (post-coffee and pre-workshop) was Carla Harris, Shonda Rhimes and Shawn Achor. I really only knew Shonda (who doesn't?), but Carla Harris was fantastic. Picture Oprah on Red Bull, and you have the energy level.
Two breakout sessions in between, and then a fairly mediocre box lunch, but with Brene Brown, Kathy Sledge leading an enormous group sing-and-dance-along of "We are Family," and then an hour plus conversation between Shonda and Michelle Obama. Which was amazing.
|A surprise guest|
And it didn't hurt that President Obama showed up on videotape at the end to wish her a happy anniversary. You could hear the collective "Awwww" from thousands of women as we all melted just a bit. Honestly, I think everyone there would like their partner to say those words, in that tone of voice, with that little embarrassment. Not much of an ask, right?