I'm Making a Big Leap … But I'm Also Still Here
Every single week, I talk to many people who are contemplating big leaps into the unknown, and I invariably encourage them to make those leaps. I’m a big believer in leaps. I've made many in my life and career, and now I’m making another leap. Thanks to the gracious accommodation of my SheKnows colleagues—and the experience and talents of the events team I’ve built over the past eight years—I am able to shift to a consulting role with SheKnows Media in 2017, freeing me up to be able to work on some other projects that are calling my name.
So, what does this mean in practice? I will continue to be deeply committed to making sure we put on a kick-ass conference by, with, and for this community. Specifically, I am becoming the BlogHer conference program chair. I will continue to deliver on keynote and program strategy, and work with our event advisory boards, both industry (which we'll be announcing soon) and community. And I will continue to be this community’s online and on-site champion and host.
But I will also be able to pursue other passions in a totally above-board manner. Like what? Well, I am passionate about advising (and hopefully instigating) entrepreneurs and business people to the next-level leaping they want to do. I am also actively working on creating new channels in which to share and propagate my perspectives on a range of topics. (You know I have perspectives!) I know that all sounds super vague right now—but never fear; I'll keep you all apprised of all my new initiatives as they start to take more shape. Get ready to rumble!
All of this is made entirely too easy because of my team. When I say (as I often do) that this team really does all the work around our conferences, I’m only exaggerating a tiny bit. Led by Lori Luna, who has been my lieutenant for eight years now, the SheKnows events team is (as we have long called ourselves) Team Small But Mighty! This team will continue to kick ass producing the one-of-a-kind conferences we have produced for 12 years.
Our work was only enhanced two years ago, when we joined the SheKnows Media family. Our merge brought new branding, multi-media, and production values, along with an expanded network of women doing amazing things, into our events. SheKnows President Sam Skey has been a true partner these past two years, and I know she absolutely shares my passion for the mission of the BlogHer conference and community.
Lori is going to be joined by two additional SheKnows executives, who will be heavily focused on and invested in the conference: Jennifer Gaonach, our SVP of Marketing, will be leading a newly combined Events and Marketing team (now known as Team Medium But Mighty). Jennifer Denton, our VP of Community Programs, will be collaborating with the team to program the conference, but also in creating more programming throughout the year for our key corporate initiatives, like The Pitch, Hatch, and Wine & Gyn.
I believe this combo has been powerful and effective—and I have frequently shared that of all the many M&As (mergers and acquisitions) I’ve been a part of and seen, back to my earliest days in tech during the original dot-com boom, this has been by far the smoothest and most mutually advantageous integration of two companies I know of.
Again, this is the best of both worlds for me, and I intend for it to be so for SheKnows and the #BlogHer Conference and community, too.
Thank you to everyone who continues to be part of this journey, including my SheKnows colleagues who have worked with me to find a way for me to continue, yet evolve.