How Three Women Came Together and Gave Birth to a Conference
In 2004, Patty Levesque and Lisa Watters, two friends from Asheville, attended the Women & Power: Our Time to Lead conference in New York City. They were so inspired by that conference that they brought back videos of every single speaker and panel to share with other women in their community. The response was tremendous (in fact, they ended up having to screen the videos in two six-week series of evening gatherings.)
Then, in the fall of 2006, Patty and Lisa attended the Enlightened Power: How Women Are Changing the Way We Live conference at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in upstate New York. Again, they were so uplifted and inspired by that experience that they wanted to share it with others back home.
Towards that end, Lisa wrote an article about both conferences for local magazine WNC Woman, which was published in January, 2007 . "My ultimate dream," noted Patty in the article, "is [to have] a conference similar to Omega's to bring women in our area together."
Little did they know that a woman named Maureen McDonnell would read that article, contact them and help make this dream a reality.
Maureen, who had moved to the area a couple of years earlier, has spent the last ten years as a professional conference coordinator, most notably for the Autism Research Institute's national Defeat Autism Now! conferences.
In her initial email to Patty and Lisa, Maureen wrote, "The reason I am writing to you is that I too have been dreaming about a conference for women in the Asheville area. There are so many of us here working on ourselves. We need each other, and we need great empowered women to come and inspire us to keep up our work so the world can experience the influx of positive healing feminine energy that it desperately needs."
The three women began meeting regularly (always around good food) as well as keeping up an ongoing email discussion. They soon discovered that they all shared a similar vision for (and excitement about) having a women's conference in Asheville.
The process of creating this conference has been magical (as these things often are). Great ideas, divine inspiration (okay, maybe those are both the same thing) and, of course, amazing and talented women, have come into these three women's lives on a regular and extraordinary basis. Some things feel destined to be, and that's how this conference has felt to them.
They feel honored and blessed to have served as midwives.
The rest, as they say, is her story ...