Heidi Hanna: How to Channel Your Stress to Help You Succeed
September 19, 2018Our good friend and Generation W and WOW speaker Heidi Hanna shares how to channel your stress to help you succeed in her recent TEDxSDSU Talk. ... >> Read more
Why You Need a Mentor
August 24, 2018Donna Orender recently sat down with Fast Company to explain how young women should take hold of their careers and how beneficial mentorship can be.  One of our favorite quotes: "I didn't suppose there was any other way but to take me seriously." Watch the video here. Want to inspire the next generation of leaders by being a mentor?  Sign up now and join us for Generation WOW.  ... >> Read more
Jamaican Immigrant I Am, Resilience is my Name
May 3, 2018‘Immigrant’ is becoming a dirty word. The word conjures either images of lazy outsiders who seek to use up the resources of hardworking Americans or large groups who seek refuge from battle-torn or disaster-ravaged regions, offering nothing in return. True stories, deeply personal stories are hidden behind scary statistics. So as American immigrants, we have lived in the shadows for generations, seeking to quickly integrate into American culture and not trigger the rejection that so often shifts the American Dream into the sometimes bitter reality of our American Nightmare. It’s why parents who come to our shores with visions of freedom and speaking different languages quickly warn their children to hide their accents and native tongue for fear that speaking multiple languages or accents from certain countries are visible stains of being an outsider vs. a banner of diversity. As immigrants, we too operate on myths and pass these on ... >> Read more
Afghanistan’s First Female Pilot Granted Asylum
May 2, 2018We are excited to announce that Niloofar Rahmani, Afghanistan’s first female airplane pilot who spoke at Generation W, has been granted asylum in the United States. Niloofar left her native Afghanistan in 2015 to receive training in the U.S. and to escape death threats directed at her and her immediate family. Now, U.S. authorities have recognized it is too dangerous for her to return home. “I’m really happy and thankful to all the people who made this happen, ” Niloofar said, during an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “All I want now is to go back to my dream of flying.” Watch the video of her story that we shared during this year’s Generation W below and click here to read more from the Wall Street Journal. ... >> Read more
Inspirational Quotes from Generation W 2018
April 13, 2018What a day!  It started as soon as Donna Orender spoke these opening words: "What is it about this concept of RISE & SHINE that makes us smile?  It's about thinking that tomorrow we get another go at this crazy world, this life that is ours to reckon with, this life to make OUR TIME.  And once we do RISE, there is this optimism that it will be a good day, but more than that, that we have the ability to MAKE it a good day.  We will shine!" The energy of the room was electric as positivity radiated throughout the auditorium.  We want you to keep that energy and positivity going as you continue to RISE & SHINE in your life, your career, your community and in this world.  Here are some of the inspirational quotes shared by this year's speakers: ... >> Read more
5 Quotes to Celebrate International Women's Day
March 8, 2018Happy International Women's Day!  Here are 5 quotes to inspire your thinking today.           ... >> Read more
When Adversity Makes Us Stronger
February 26, 2018Hey, our kids are angry, as they very well should be. Like Howard Beale in the classic movie "Network, " they are standing up and saying, "We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take this anymore." THANK GOODNESS! for the voices, the passion, the anger and unfortunately the pain of our kids, who are doing their utmost to move the needle and create the desperately needed change to keep our kids, our teachers, and our school workers safe. Busloads of students and chaperones made their way to our state capital to meet with elected officials earlier this week and, inspired by their efforts, two national events are scheduled in mid-March in hopes of creating a collective voice for change from a community that feels their voices have not been heard—and quite frankly, that their voices do not ... >> Read more
Diamond or Cubic Zirconia?
February 22, 2018The blog is inspired by Javetta Fleury.   "Be yourself, but always your better self."--Karl G. Maeser Women are born to love, but most of that love is focused externally. We find many people worthy of love in our lives, but very few of us find ourselves as worthy of that same love and acceptance. I know from experience; my journey to authentic self-worth started much later than I wish it had. So when I was given an opportunity to develop my own after school program for a group of inner-city girls, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had a vision: to equip young girls with a sense of value of each other and themselves. Together, we would foster healthy relationships, provide wider cultural exposure and promote professional and personal skills that would empower them ... >> Read more
5 Motivational Quotes from U.S. First Ladies
February 19, 2018When #MondayMotivation is also Presidents Day, we couldn't help but share 5 motivational quotes from some of our U.S. First Ladies:                                                                                         ... >> Read more
Generation WORKS on Facebook LIVE
February 5, 2018In case you missed Saturday's Generation WORKS (or just want to once again be inspired), here are some of the Facebook Live videos from our volunteers. Enjoy! Generation WORKS at R. V. Daniels Elementary Generation WORKS at Saint Augustine Boys and Girls Club Generation WORKS at Feeding Northeast Florida Generation WORKS at Children's Home Society ... >> Read more
WOW Mentors and Mentees Create Vision Boards
January 22, 2018Last Saturday some of our WOW mentors and mentees got together to create vision boards. It was a great afternoon of fun and fellowship as we created vision boards that would help us start the New Year off right.  Here are some images from our day--thanks, Toni Hernandez for the pictures! Want to be the first to know about our next WOW event?  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.             ... >> Read more
Images from Jacksonville's "Day of Action"
January 22, 2018According to, an estimated 1, 000 people from throughout Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia participated in the ”Day of Action” rally co-hosted by the Jacksonville and St. Augustine chapters of Women’s March Florida at the Landing. Here are some of the images from the day captured via social media. You can see more great images here. Do you have some images to share? We would love to see them--post them on any of our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.     Signs at the Women’s March at #Jacksonville Landing @ActionNewsJax — Brittney Donovan (@brittneyANjax) January 21, 2018 Hundreds take part in Women’s March at #Jacksonville Landing on Day of Action — Jacksonville FL (@GreaterJAX) ... >> Read more
Inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
January 15, 2018There really is no better way to get motivated on a Monday than by reading these words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.                             ... >> Read more
Oprah's Golden Globes Speech
January 8, 2018Even if you didn't watch last night's Golden Globes, you probably have heard about the speech that seemingly made an entire world hold its collective breath.  In accepting the Cecil B. de Mille Award (which, by the way, she was the first African American female to receive this honor), Oprah Winfrey gave us what many are calling the moment of the night.  Below is her acceptance speech--the perfect way to motivate us all on this Monday.     ... >> Read more
How to Set Your Intentions for Success with Diverse Friendships
January 6, 2018This post was originally published here. I’m happy to say that my friends vary in age, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds. I talk about anything and everything with my friends. For instance, not long ago my friend Doris and I had a very frank conversation about sex. Doris – whose nickname is D.C. - is 92. She shared something about sex with me that every woman should know. I don’t want to tell you what she said. It might ruin the impact of her message. But you can hear her hilarious comment shared by me on this clip from the Queen Sugar Finale special. One of my dearest friends is Queen Sugar actor Nic Ashe. He is 22 years old. That’s almost a third of my age. Yet we talk on the phone sometimes like high school buddies. I enjoy ... >> Read more
Your One-Word Resolution
January 1, 2018Studies show that over 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions do not keep them.  Are you part of this majority?   In 2018, we challenge you to stop the resolution list and instead focus on one word that will inspire, motivate and empower you to be all you can be in this new year. So, what’s your word?  To get you started, here are some of the one-word resolutions our Generation W community are using this year: Opportunity Motivated Happy Intentional Balance Faith Gracious Possibilities Hope Become YES Wisdom More Grace Simplicity Imagine Fierce Accelerate Joy Silence Progress Focus Need help discovering your word?  Our friend Heidi Hanna recently shared this link from Finish Strong, Start Stronger that helps you get "crystal clear on everything you want to create and achieve in the new year." Let us know what your one word is for 2018 by leaving a ... >> Read more
A Letter to my Daughter Who is Struggling with Math
December 26, 2017In 2015, I met Mary Bishop while doing a story on women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. Mary is a scientist who has worked in research and data analysis in life sciences since 2015. She holds a B.S. (magna cum laude) in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from FSCJ. When I spoke with Mary, she told me that her teachers in high school discouraged her from considering careers that required math. “I’d been told by one of my teachers that I ‘just wasn’t good at math, ’ so I never explored science or math as a career.” She stayed on her artistic path (she was a drama student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, with plans to go to New York and become an actress.) After four years of waitressing with no acting jobs, Bishop returned to Jacksonville ... >> Read more
Let the Generosity of Spirit and Kindness Illuminate the World
December 19, 2017This is the point of the holiday season when I am sure I will not get done what I need to get done--I will not prevail in my desire to be thoughtful and exceed all expectations (unrealistic though they are) that I have set regarding visits, gifts, cards, and connections. Sailing into the holidays is always a wish, but it always feels like a sprint with the accompanying hyperventilation required so that I don't faint from a lack of oxygen. I am sure many of you can identify. That said, there is a community of spirit during this time that we all embrace. The multitude of happies and merries makes me smile and reminds us all that we are connected in a much larger way than the news reports seem to suggest with their constant blare of stories focused on what divides ... >> Read more
Monday Motivation: Pop It!
December 4, 2017Inspired by a recent Instagram post from Alicia Keys, we thought all of us could use a dose of this dad's motivation for his daughter. Repeat after us: Pop It! A post shared ... >> Read more
Generation WOW 2017: That's a Wrap!
November 1, 2017What a day! We are all riding high on the positive & the possible after today's exhilarating Generation WOW.  We will soon be sharing more great images and quotes from our day, but for now, enjoy these moments caught via social media:   "For the girls out there, today is just the beginning" @DonnaOrender motivating the team as we prepare to start the @Generation_Wow event — Michelle Cook (@Wunulub) November 1, 2017     Kicking off @Generation_Wow with a little musical inspiration to try everything!!! — Laura Crosby (@Laura_Croz) November 1, 2017     ... >> Read more
Catalina Alers-Alers' Instagram Take Over
October 30, 2017We loved having Generation WOW speaker Catalina Alers-Alers take over the WOW Instagram page last week.  In case you missed it, we are sharing her inspirational images below. We can't wait to see Catalina at Generation WOW on November 1st!   "Graduation day at UNF was bittersweet for my family and me. My dad's death is the best worst thing to ever happen to me. That's not something people normally say about losing a parent. But at the time, I was dragging my feet in community college without any real focus. Losing my dad was a catalyst for getting my butt in gear to make him and my mom proud so their hard (REAL HARD) work of raising me didn't go to waste. Coming out stronger from a tragic event is never easy, but it can be done."⠀ ... >> Read more
Laura Morey's Instagram Take Over
October 25, 2017We loved having Generation WOW speaker Laura Morey take over the W Instagram page yesterday.  In case you missed it, we are sharing her images below, all representing people who inspire her. And, don't miss seeing Laura at Generation WOW on November 1st--click here to sign up to be a mentee or mentor. Carmen Townsend - JT Townsend Foundation⠀ "Carmen Townsend's son, JT, was a high school athlete who had a devastating spinal cord injury on the field. JT’s strength & positive attitude led to the creation of the JT Townsend Foundation, an organization that provides adaptive equipment to people with disabilities on the First Coast. Carmen is part of the foundation, even after JT’s death, helping with recipient applications and continuing JT’s mission."⠀ ... >> Read more
See Michelle Cook's W Instagram Take Over
October 23, 2017We loved having Generation WOW speaker Michelle Cook take over the W Instagram page on Friday.  In case you missed it, we are sharing her images below. And, don't miss seeing Michelle at Generation WOW on November 1st--click here to sign up to be a mentee or mentor.   "I wake up every day with a purpose. Every day I commit to doing “something” for the good of our community and my family." ⠀ ... >> Read more
8 Great Quotes from Sanyin Siang during our #GenWChat
October 13, 2017Yesterday, we had the honor of hosting our monthly Twitter Chat with Sanyin Siang.  The focus of our discussion was on how to launch a new idea or career and the advice and insight shared by Sanyin is inspiring us to keep on launching.  In case you missed it, here are 8 great nuggets of wisdom from our Gen W Chat host.  You can also click here to see the entire hashtag (#GenWChat) conversation. Want more inspiration and tips on launching? Pick up Sanyin's new book, The Launch Book.   If we are launching in pursuit of becoming our best selves, then we may not yet know what’s truly possible. #GenWChat — Sanyin Siang (@SanyinSiang) October 12, 2017     A healthy ... >> Read more
Taylor Richardson's WOW Instagram Takeover
October 12, 2017We loved having Generation WOW speaker Taylor Richardson takeover the WOW Instagram page yesterday.  In case you missed it, we are sharing her images below. And, don't miss seeing Taylor at Generation WOW on November 1st--click here to sign up to be a mentee or mentor.   "This is my idol Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel to space. She inspires me to "never be limited by other people's limited imaginations!" ⠀ ... >> Read more
Betsy Nilan: Why Cancer Made Me Hate Lasagna (video)
October 2, 2017If you missed seeing Generation W speaker Betsy Nilan on the stage at TEDxHartford, you can watch her amazing story below. As the daughter of our friend Mary Ann Wasil, the founder of The Get In Touch Foundation, Betsy shares her story of growing up knowing your mom was going to die of breast cancer.  After the passing of Mary Ann in April 2016, Betsy took over as the president The Get In Touch Foundation, a global breast health non-profit focused on teaching individuals of all ages on the importance of breast health through their Girls’ Program and Daisy Wheel. The Daisy Wheel tool has 8 tips on how to do a breast self-exam and is provided FREE to schools all around the world. The program is currently in all 50 states and 34 countries. We are so proud of you, Betsy! ... >> Read more
Women Inspiring Women: The Right Partners Make All the Difference
September 6, 2017Solving your own problem is how most successful businesses get started and is exactly how Amber Gearhart found herself as an entrepreneur. After moving into their first home, Amber was on a mission to find a cover for her toothpaste. Yes, her toothpaste. “My husband doesn’t like to share his toothpaste so he would write his name on the tube in big black letters, ” said Amber. “It was so unattractive and distracting, especially in our clean and organized bathroom.” After searching online and in stores, Amber couldn’t find anything to solve her problem. So, she created her own solution. TubeCoverz is a decorative silicon sleeve designed to easily slip onto a soft-sided toothpaste tube and fit snugly, giving boring tubes of toothpaste—or tubes with names written in black marker—the style they have been missing. In addition, the sleeves ... >> Read more
5 Great Quotes to Share for Women's Equality Day
August 24, 2017In 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as "Women's Equality Day", a date selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality, a mission we take seriously here at Generation W. Here are 5 great quotes on equality that you can share via your social networks.  Looking for more great inspiration? Click here for more quotes.                       ... >> Read more
Leadership Lessons of Coco Chanel
August 15, 2017In addition to being one of the greatest fashion designers of all time, Coco Chanel was also one of the smartest of entrepreneurs, building a brand that even today is one of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses. As we celebrate her birthday later this week—she would have been 134!—we wanted to share some of the leadership and business lessons we have learned from this fashion icon.   Always Believe You Will Succeed “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” It isn’t that successful leaders do not think failure exists, they just believe that it isn’t the final outcome of their endeavors. Believe that you will succeed and even the challenges you face become moments of learning, pushing you closer to your goal.         ... >> Read more
Like a Boss
August 14, 2017There is nothing better than diving into a great article about gender equality and seeing two amazing friends—and members of the Generation W community—quoted (shout-out to Gerri Elliott, prominent business woman, board member, and founder of Broadrooms, and Shelley Diamond, Chief Client Officer at Young & Rubicam!). The New York Times article made the social media rounds a few weeks ago because it addressed a topic that continues to get deserved attention: Women as CEOs. More specifically, what is stopping more women from taking the helm? Gender bias comes in many different shapes and sizes, some more obvious than others. We hear stories of how women are less comfortable with self-promotion yet can be criticized for being too ambitious. The conversations around how women are not genetically suited to be engineers (“Google’s Ideological ... >> Read more
The Gift of Female Presence
July 31, 2017GoldieBlox, the toy company with a focus on promoting engineering as a career for young girls, recently launched a new #BeLikeHer campaign celebrating female role models in sports, politics, and STEM. The video does a wonderful job showcasing the importance of role models. Finding powerful and positive role models for young girls shouldn't be hard, right? After all, so many of them instantly come to mind (and can be found in the GoldieBlox video) such as athlete Serena Williams, NASA engineer Mary Jackson, and comedian Kate McKinnon. We're even seeing more women take on strong, fictional characters like Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jodie Whitaker becoming the first-ever female Doctor Who. There isn't a lack of female role models to choose from, however, there is no doubt that greater visibility would be a benefit to all. I ... >> Read more
Inspiration for Mandela Day
July 18, 2017 Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. It was launched on his birthday, July 18, 2009, via a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly. “It is in your hands to make the world a better place, ” he said a year earlier. Mandela Day calls on us all, every day, to make the world a better place as we celebrate his life and legacy in sustainable ways that will bring about enduring change.  Inspired by Nelson Mandela's own words, what will you do to make this world a better place today--and every day?       ... >> Read more
Watch BlogHer's #WinningWomen Panel
June 28, 2017Did you miss seeing Donna Orender moderating the powerful #WinningWomen panel during #BlogHer17?  We really couldn't think of any better way to get some wisdom from our Wednesday than listening to Laurie Hernandez, Jessi Miley-Dyer, Dani Rylan and Gabrielle Reece talk with Donna about the athlete inside us all.  Here are some great quotes from the panel as well as a link to watch the entire, glorious conversation. “There is so much strength and power in being loving because there is nothing stronger than that, and so I want to remind women, when they’re in business, don’t act like men. Just be really strong, badass women. Because of the love part – I think we feel like we have to act like a guy. You don’t.”--Gabrielle Reece “Sports really taught me, more than ... >> Read more
One Woman is Helping Kids Embrace Diversity
April 18, 2017When Vanessa Hodgerson, associate general counsel for Adecco, attended her first Generation W in 2016, she didn’t know what to expect. “It was an entirely new environment for me, so I went in with the goal of taking three things away from the experience, ” Vanessa said. “At the end of the day, I had a list of twenty-five things that resonated with me.” A few years earlier, Vanessa and her husband had adopted a full sibling group of three bi-racial children. By their third year of parenting, Vanessa was actively searching for “racial mirrors, ” especially for her daughter. “As a white mom raising a daughter who presents black, I suddenly had this awareness of what life looked like through her eyes, ” said Vanessa. “I realized that although kids do not necessarily understand the prejudices associated with color, they ... >> Read more
I Am a Young Woman
April 6, 2017I am a young woman, and I live in a world that believes my youth makes me incapable and my womanhood makes me weak. I am a young woman, and I live in a body that others assume is a dull, unintellectual thing. I am a young woman, and all my life, the world has tried to convince me that I am lesser than. But I’ve got a secret weapon. I am a young woman, and I have grown up with GenerationW. In many ways, I have grown up on this stage. Since I was thirteen years old, GenerationW has been my secret weapon. It has given me a voice. It has given me confidence, joy, empowerment, knowledge, empathy, and passion. Its message has pushed me and its community has inspired me. From the first moment I sat down as a GenWOW panelist four years ago, to last year’s ... >> Read more
Thank You for the Magic at Generation W 2017!
April 5, 2017The days following GENERATION W, my spirit continues to soar as we read through the many kind words and notes sent to us from attendees, speakers, and partners.   “What an incredible day at #GenW! Big thanks to the speakers for reaching us to lead w/ imagination, innovation, and inspiration.” –USF Sport and Entertainment MBA “It was a glorious day.”— Dr. Heidi Hanna “The energy at this event was life-changing.”—Kim Possible “My spirit is so full.”—Iesha Jackson “What a great way to get recharged!”—College and Scholarship Help “Thought-provoking, inspiring…” —Darren Dailey My heart is filled with deep gratitude knowing that GENERATION W has impacted—and continues to impact—the lives of so many. As Sherry Spearman wrote: “I keep catching myself referring back to the many inspirational ... >> Read more
The Changing Face of Law Enforcement
March 18, 2017Last year I read the first two pages of Jay Newton-Small’s book, Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works and I was hooked. A day and a half later I was smarter and wiser. I was particularly taken by her research around women in law enforcement. As we have engaged on the issues around diversity and trust, understanding how vital they are to safe communities, we were motivated to dig deeper. There is an evident win here and we wanted to learn more. What has developed is a unique opportunity to meet amazing women who lead their communities, building one of our most important assets: Public Trust. The Changing Face of Law Enforcement will be part of our GENERATION W discussion as we welcome four “Women in Blue” to our stage: Sheriff Sadie Darnell, Alachua ... >> Read more
The Wow of a 13-year-old and the Wisdom of her Gram
March 17, 2017Calla:         Hey Gram…. I’ve started thinking about helping to make my community a better place. I think it’s very important for young girls like me to speak up and create change. I started at my school. Did I tell you that I submitted an idea to my school about teacher recognition awards? I realized that students got all types of athletic and academic awards, while teachers never received anything. I made a proposal and it went all the way to the head of the middle school. The plan did not initially get approved, but I am working to change it so the plan can be implemented in my school.   Gram:     Wow! I love that you are thinking of ways to make changes that will make the world a better, easier place to live. I am excited that although your plan didn’t get approved initially, you are still ... >> Read more
Break Out of the Ordinary
March 13, 2017On Wednesday, March 8th, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. The importance of this day extends well beyond the temporal bounds of the calendar, as it provides a much-welcomed focus and attention on the issues and opportunities for and about women. A day of focus has great value and on MARCH 31, we will continue that focus, as GENERATION W will provide a strong finish to Women’s History Month.  It is really fun to share with you all of the talented people who will join us this year. It is always special when we break for lunch and everyone has a chance for a more intimate experience at a session of their choosing. I thought it would be great to share with you just how compelling each of these opportunities is. Choosing is tough as the options are rich, the presenters impressive ... >> Read more
Happy International Women's Day!
March 8, 2017Celebrating all the strong women of Generation W and WOW! ... >> Read more
The Future Is Now
March 6, 2017The future is NOW, can you see it, can you feel it? Most importantly, are you ready? This year’s GENERATION W theme of Imagination, Innovation, Inspiration, is at the heart of everything we do. The creativity and thoughtfulness required of each of us as we embrace the future, the now, is front and center. GENERATION W will feature amazing thinkers and doers who will challenge us, and encourage us. Leadership will be front and center as the amazing Joyce Russell, President of Adecco Staffing US, will share her life lessons on leadership gleaned from a stellar career leading in a business where people have been her core focus. Dr. Olenda Johnson, who teaches leadership at the US Naval War College, will bring her unique perspective as she prepares senior military personnel to lead our country. When you talk about imagination, there is ... >> Read more
Why I'm Ready to Embrace Ambition
March 2, 2017Next Wednesday, fashion icon Tory Burch will be launching a new campaign called “Embrace Ambition.” According to the New York Times, the campaign will feature famous people (both male and female) “reclaiming a word that has often been used to vilify women.” In short, I love this campaign. And, by the way, I haven’t even seen it rolled out yet. This is the perfect example of what I talk about every single day at Go Girl Communications.  When you are leading a brand to impact change in the world, you need to do more than just sell products and services, you need to start a movement.  This particular campaign not only inspires women (and men!) to make a difference, but it also gives them an opportunity to directly support a cause they can get behind: The Tory Burch Foundation. It ... >> Read more
Throwback Thursday: Generation W 2014
March 2, 2017During Generation W 2014, we had a panel discussion on personal leadership and becoming the CEO of yourself. Great quotes from this session on how to become your best self including this gem from Andrea Mail. Read more great quotes from Generation W 2014 here.   And, if you haven't done so already, grab your tickets for Generation W 2017 here.      ... >> Read more
Monday Motivation: Be Authentic
February 27, 2017Just the motivation this Monday needed from Generation W 2014 speaker Carla Harris.  Nice reminder to also bring your authentic self to this year's Generation W--tickets available now:   ... >> Read more
Experience A Day That Will Last A Lifetime
February 18, 2017Between Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14th) and Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17th), this entire week seems to be one filled with nothing but love and compassion. It appears to be perfectly timed—after all, I for one am still riding on the wave of goodness from Generation WORKS (click here to see images from the day!). I have always said that when people come together—especially women and girls—magic happens. And we see it in full W force when we all gather to improve and invigorate our lives. This year's GENERATION W focus is on just that, the pace of change, the excitement of innovation, the exhilaration of imagination and our ability to be inspired. We will explore how technology keeps evolving in our face-paced world. Did you know we can create our own bones? ... >> Read more
All the Single Ladies
February 15, 2017Celebrating Singles Awareness Day?  Let these 5 single ladies help you get the party started by reminding us all that the most important relationship we have in this world is with ourselves.                  ... >> Read more
Monday Motivation: Be the Best
February 13, 2017Motivating words for this Monday from Generation W 2014 speaker Sharon Wamble King. Be sure to join us for more motivating words from this year's Generation W being held on March 31st at the University of North Florida.  Get info and tickets here.   ... >> Read more
In Pursuit of Thoughtfulness and Intention
February 12, 2017Talk about generating energy and inspiration. Spending a day working alongside some of the very best people in our community, all invested in creating sustainable change is so rewarding. It is the kind of impact you can see, the kind you can feel and the kind where your touch made it happen. Power to the people!                                                                                                 We ... >> Read more
Are You Passionate, Curious & Challenged?
February 9, 2017Those three ingredients are a sign you are on the right path according to Generation W 2015 speaker Alyse Nelson from Vital Voices. Be sure to join us for this year's event--click here for info & tickets.   ... >> Read more
Best of the Bowl
February 6, 2017It's a tough job, but I'm happy to sacrifice my time watching The Super Bowl (and stuffing my faces w/nachos) in order to bring you the commercials I thought won with women.  Here's my list of the Best of the Bowl 2017:   Audi #DriveProgress Big Game Commercial – “Daughter” Gender equality told beautifully through the eyes of a father leaving us all thinking: What do we tell our daughters?   84 Lumber Super Bowl Commercial - The Journey Begins There was some controversy regarding this ad with the full version being viewed on the 84 Lumber website (which was overloaded with users).  But, what I love is that this is a story about a mother and daughter--letting us see a different face in regards to immigration.   Inside These Lines Okay, I really would have liked to see more women represented in ... >> Read more
Monday Motivation: Maya Angelou
February 6, 2017Being normal is totally overrated--thanks for the reminder, Maya Angelou! ... >> Read more
2017 is the Year of the Red Fire Chicken
February 3, 2017As 2016, the Year of the Monkey, departs, we welcome in the Year of the Red Fire Chicken on February 3. In the Chinese Zodiac, the tenth year of the cycle is represented by a rooster, but this year, the stars indicate that the fowl in question is a female. People born in the year of the Rooster tend to be honest, bright, communicative and ambitious. They’re attracted to new things, but often lose interest quickly. I guess that makes them flighty… As I was preparing this post, it occurs to me that there’s a big difference between the male rooster and the female chicken. Confidence (cockiness) is literally named for the male of the species, while the female name (chicken) denotes lack of courage. Actually, “Red Fire Chicken” sounds like a lot of women I have known over the years. They are bright and ambitious. In fact, ... >> Read more
We Will Miss You, Mary Tyler Moore
January 25, 2017We were saddened by the news that Mary Tyler Moore has passed away.  Mary first became famous for starring as Laura Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke Show", but she is probably most remembered for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" where she played Mary Richards, an "independent, never-married woman"--making her an icon for the feminist movement. Thank you, Mary, for inspiring women everywhere to believe that we truly were "gonna make it after all."  ... >> Read more
Seize the Opportunity
January 25, 2017As we prepare for this year's Generation W (which is set for March 31st at the University of North Florida--click here for info & tickets), we love taking a look back at speakers who shared their words of wisdom from the Generation W stage.  This quote is from Sharry Cramond, Executive VP of Marketing and Communications for Southeastern Grocers, and is the perfect wisdom for this Wednesday. ... >> Read more
Wise Words from Mary Lou Retton
January 24, 2017Still known as "America's Sweetheart" in some circles (or are we aging ourselves by making that reference to the '80s?), Mary Lou Retton is celebrating her 49th birthday today. Retired from gymnastics for more than 30 years, the Olympic gold medalist continues to inspire many through her words and actions--including this gem below:    ... >> Read more
Words to Our Future and Younger Selves
January 23, 2017On this National Handwriting Day, we celebrate the power of letter writing by sharing with you some of the words of wisdom that our WOWsdom! The Girl's Guide to the Positive and the Possible contributors have written to their future and younger selves.  What would you write to your future or younger self?          ... >> Read more
Happy Birthday, Janis Joplin!
January 19, 2017Janis Joplin paved the way for women in rock and continues to inspire female musicians today. "Even when I was 10 or 12 years old and first heard her sing, " recalls Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. "you knew she was feeling what she was singing. And I knew she was funny, because every picture I'd seen of her growing up, she was always laughing, like she was having a good life." As we celebrate her life and legacy today (she would have been 74 today!), we are sharing one of our favorite Janis quotes that reminds us how important it is to always be present. ... >> Read more
Generation WORKS: #tbt 2016
January 19, 2017Throwback Thursday A great message from last year's Generation WORKS:  it isn't just being part of our communities that is important, it's being the HEART of our communities.   Join us on February 4, 2017 as we work together to be the HEART of Jacksonville--transforming the city we love and impacting the lives of those who call our community home. Click here for information on all the agencies we will be working with and the projects we will be tackling during this year's Generation WORKS.... >> Read more
The Wisdom of Winnie
January 18, 2017Who knew that we could find so much wisdom and so much inspiration from our childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh?  As we celebrate author AA Milne's birthday today, here is one of our favorite Winnie quotes.  It reminds us of coming through the doors at Generation W--you never know what you'll learn, how you'll be inspired, and who you will connect with when you venture out of your "corner of the Forest." Join us at Generation W for a day of imagination, innovation and inspiration!        ... >> Read more
Happy Birthday Michelle Obama!
January 17, 2017First Lady Michelle Obama has one busy week!  Today we celebrate her birthday by thanking her for all she has done to educate, inspire and connect women and girls throughout the world.  Happy Birthday, Mrs. Obama!   ... >> Read more
Happy Birthday Betty White!
January 17, 2017Betty White is an inspiration to us all and today she celebrates 95 years of living a life out WOW.  Happy Birthday, Betty! ... >> Read more
Inspiring Quotes from the Golden Globes
January 9, 2017Hollywood award season has officially started with last night's Golden Globes.  It was great to see actors like Tracee Ellis Ross (Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical) walk away with their first Golden Globes and we all had a few tears in our eyes watching Meryl Streep become just the 14th woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the evening.           ... >> Read more
The Power of Asking WHY NOT
December 5, 2016In the crazed run-up to the holidays, distractions abound everywhere: another news alert, a click bait headline, email pop-ups, voicemails blinking, text messages flashing, social media notifications, and online retailers advertising another “can’t miss” flash sale. With every pulse of my phone vibrating incessantly in my purse or on my desk, there is this ever-present urgency to do something else. And, usually, not what I need to be doing in that moment. So, what's a girl to do? Short of creating more hours in a day, which would give me an invaluable superpower, I must choose wisely how to spend the precious hours that feel like they are always escaping me.  And then, there is that moment, almost daily, when i need to take a breath and check my guidance system. We all know how easily that can run off course. So much ... >> Read more
Post-Election Discussions with our Daughters
November 10, 2016Our good friend and Generation W speaker Michele Ganeless has written a beautiful piece for Medium on the conversation she had with her 8-year-old daughter the morning after the election.  "I had to go with what she knows. And she knows love. She knows kindness. She knows compassion. So that is what I led with, " writes Michele. Here is an excerpt of what she told her and "will continue to echo in the weeks and months to come": 1) We need to double down on our own outpouring of love and goodness in the world. It’s the only way to combat the hatred that clearly exists. We are fortunate enough to be part of a warm, loving, diverse community in New York City. Not everyone is so lucky. We need to be grateful for our ... >> Read more
Some Post-Election Inspiration
November 9, 2016This is the tweet that is inspiring us this Wednesday--thank you, Elizabeth Banks Glass ceiling is so high and hard. Never stop climbing and banging. — Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) November 9, 2016 ... >> Read more
Quotes from TEDxJacksonville
October 24, 2016What a weekend!  We are still flying high on the inspiration of TEDxJacksonville.  The speakers, the performers, the audience...every single part of this Saturday event was filled with energy, giving us all a little more courage to stand for what we believe to know is true and make an impact in the lives of others.  The Talks will be available online soon (we will certainly let you know!), but for now grab a little motivation for your Monday by reading through some of the great tweets sent out during the event: TWEET THIS "94% of women in leadership have played sports." ~ @DonnaOrender "Sports are a pipeline for leadership." #FearLessJax #TEDxJAX — TEDxJAX (@TEDxJAX) October 22, 2016     How many times have you heard "You can't because you're a girl." Very inspirational ... >> Read more
International Day of Peace
September 21, 2016The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21 each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire – personal or political. ... >> Read more
Theresa May on Fashion and Politics..
September 13, 2016... >> Read more
Stop Looking for Evidence of What You Don't Want
September 9, 2016You know that uneasy feeling you get when you know you’re doing something that’s not good for you … but you keep doing it anyway? Maybe you’re staying in a job or a relationship that isn’t really working, or you keep making excuses for why you don’t have time to go to the gym. Whatever’s causing you to be out-of-alignment, it gives you that awful, knot-in-your-stomach, uncomfortable-in-your-own-skin, shifty kind of feeling. I’ve been feeling that way a bit lately. As a coach who’s trained to intuitively pick up on these inconsistencies in other people, it’s particularly uncomfortable to get this feeling myself. I realized I haven’t been the best at walking my own talk in one major way the past couple of months, so I’m outing myself in the name of getting back on track. I’m forever telling ... >> Read more
Serena Williams' One Goal..
September 7, 2016... >> Read more
The Value of a Clean Slate
September 6, 2016The first day of a new school year is like New Year’s Day for me. Seeing the new notebooks, highlighters and pens so carefully packed in the dirt-free backpacks symbolizes a new beginning—a chance to start with a clean slate, so to speak. For a brief moment, I forget all about the endless nights of arguing over homework, the fights with friends and the seven pairs of gloves lost somewhere between the bus stop and our front porch. “This is my year, ” I say to myself in the mirror. But, before long, the school year begins and the fresh, clean notebooks are soon tattered and torn. The schedule gets hectic, the homework gets hard and my children and I find ourselves longing for the lazy weekend afternoons which never seem to appear. I guess that’s why I have always ... >> Read more
Who Is Your Beyoncé?
September 1, 2016Right after Michelle Obama gave her speech during the Democratic National Convention,  a tweet went out asking "Do you think Michelle Obama is Beyoncé's Beyoncé?" Even the most successful and confident women among us has another woman they admire--someone who pushes them to the next level, empowers them on their journey.  "As executive sponsor of Thomson Reuters women's network and with a day job that keeps me circling the globe, I encounter women every day who inspire me by how they are increasingly stepping up to lead- often times breaking through tough cultural and societal barriers to do so, " says Debra Walton, chief product and content officer, financial & risk for Thomson Reuters. "One of the key motivators for women to do this must be that they see possibilities for women -  that inspires me to try hard every day to be a strong and visible role model ... >> Read more
Simple Answers for Moving Forward
September 1, 2016Over the course of our lives, we will have to recover from all kinds of experiences. However, within every challenge there lies a doorway to a higher, more invincible you. Adopt an empowering perspective to see yourself through.   Did you make a “bad” choice? Time to choose again. Did somebody die or otherwise leave you? Then now is the time to say goodbye. Did someone lie or fail to play by the rules? Let go of what you can’t control. Did your dreams or plans go up in smoke? Start dreaming new dreams and making new plans. Did you “never” expect to be where you are? Discover that you can rebuild your life at any point!   At times it can feel like you’ve lost everything. But, you haven’t. You still have YOU! And you are everything you need. Locked inside of you is all ... >> Read more
How Amazing People Happen...
August 31, 2016We believe behind every successful woman is another successful woman who has inspired her, supported her and pushed her towards her goals.  Join us as a Generation WOW mentor at University of North Florida on November 2, 2016.  Click here for more info & registration.                        ... >> Read more
What We Need to Do to Get to Gender Equality
August 30, 2016... >> Read more
10 Great Quotes for Women's Equality Day
August 26, 2016“Society as a whole benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender, may have the opportunity to learn respect, responsibility, advancement, and remuneration based on ability.” – Sandra Day O’Connor     In 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as "Women's Equality Day", a date selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality, a mission we take seriously here at Generation W. Here are 10 great quotes on equality from some of our most popular online stories:       "...I'll be happy when people can move on from that, and things ... >> Read more
Images & Words from Women of Influence
August 25, 2016So proud of all the women who were honored yesterday during the Jacksonville Business Journal's 2016 Women of Influence luncheon.  "Jacksonville has momentum when it comes to developing human talent, " said Rear Admiral Mary M. Jackson during her keynote address. Here are some of the great quotes and images from the day (thank you, Twitter!).  You can find more great images and quotes by following the Twitter hashtag #jbjwoi or connecting with @JaxBizJournal. TWEET THIS   Always a fun time with @ESSomers ready to congratulate @ElanaElanamd #jbjwoi @JBJEvents @FLBlue #womenrock! — Amy Ruth (@alruthHR) August 24, 2016       My observation is today's #JBJWOI winners who give a ... >> Read more
How to Get out of Analysis Paralysis
August 23, 2016A client of mine is a teacher for elementary school kids. Every day, she gives her kids some free time in the afternoon to play games, be creative, and generally take a break from structured learning to have a little fun. A few weeks ago, after she explained all of the different “stations” they could play at during free time (coloring, origami, music, games, building with blocks, etc.), most of the kids ran off to their favorite station. One little boy, though, stood paralyzed at the front of the room, tears welling in his eyes. My client crouched down and asked him, “What’s wrong, sweetie? Why are you so upset?” “I like all of these stations. It’s too hard to choose one, ” he said, fully crying now. My client told me later, “You have no idea how much I related to him in that moment! ... >> Read more
Kristen Wiig on Equality in Comedy
August 22, 2016  ... >> Read more
10 Great Quotes from Female Olympians
August 18, 2016The 2016 Summer Olympics may soon be coming to an end (Closing Ceremony is set for Sunday evening), but the quotes and images from some of the world's best female athletes will stay with us long after the flame has been extinguished. Here are 10 of our favorite quotes from some of our favorite 2016 Olympians: TWEET THIS   [caption id="attachment_7047" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_7048" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_7049" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_7050" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Yahoo! Sports[/caption]   ... >> Read more
An Olympian and IOC board member reflects on a life in sports
August 6, 2016 "Sport is such a reflection of society, and when you have equal numbers of women and men, it reflects on how you value women and where you place them in society." - Angela Ruggiero A few years ago, I interviewed Olympian Angela Ruggiero for our COLE LifeChat Series.  Angela was recently elected to executive board of the International Olympic Committee and is now one of 2 Americans on the 15 member board.  A medalist and four-time Olympian on the US Ice Hockey Team, she was inducted last November into the Hockey Hall of Fame - the fourth woman and second American woman to do so.  In celebration of  the start of the Olympics, I thought I'd share my 2013 interview with Angela, where we talked about finding trusted mentors, her life in sports, and ... >> Read more
Our 10 Favorite Pat Summitt Quotes
June 28, 2016We were saddened to hear of the passing of Pat Summitt.  Pat served as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, achieving the most wins in NCAA basketball history of any coach, male or female.  "She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many, " said her son Tyler Summitt in a statement this morning. "She was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure." The inspiration of Pat Summitt will continue to impact us all.  Here are 10 of our favorite Pat Summitt quotes:  [Tweet This]     "There is always someone better than you.  Whatever it is ... >> Read more
The Gen W Summer Bucket List
June 24, 2016We kicked-off this week by celebrating the first official day of summer and while the sun is shining brighter a bit longer these days we want to encourage our entire Generation W community to tackle those goals on your summer bucket list. Wait, you don’t have a list? You’re in luck…we asked members of our community to share with us what they will be doing between now and the end of the summer and came up with a list that you can claim as your very own. 5 things you need to do this summer:  [TWEET THIS]   Visit a New Place According to Lonely Planet’s Robert Reid, when we spend time traveling to new places we “stretch the perceived time of our vacations, expand our memories in a youthful-like way and return home with more creative ... >> Read more
Donna Orender Talks Women's Leadership on The Chat
June 23, 2016Generation W's Donna Orender visited with the ladies of The Chat yesterday to discuss the Study on Women's Leadership Presence, a collaborative project Generation W is doing with the University of North Florida [Tweet This]. According to research by author Jay Newton-Small,  once women reach "critical mass" or 20% to 30% of a group, company or organization, change starts to happen for the better. Watch now to learn more about the study and why understanding and implementing gender equality practices will make Jacksonville a leading city. ... >> Read more
TRUST Is the Starting Point
June 17, 2016On June 29th,  Generation W and the Cummer Museum will host a discussion on race, equity & community. [TWEET THIS]   For hundreds of years, art has been used as a powerful tool in bringing to light important and often sensitive issues, igniting conversations and inspiring each and every one of us to action. Art, in all of its forms, encourages people of every shape, size and color to participate without judgment. It is a platform built on trust and, as the saying goes, art is an imitation of life, serving as a reflection of the diverse voices and cultures that are the fabric of our communities. So, how do we individually contribute to make better communities, positively impact our neighbors, and realize the upside potential of the  present and future of our families? As the pressure on communities across America rises, and the divides within them ... >> Read more
We are The United State of Women
June 14, 2016Today, the first-ever United State of Women Summit is being convened by the White House to rally all of us together to achieve gender equality.   As part of the Summit's promotion, a diverse group of powerful women (including such names as Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Tina Fey and Tory Burch) created this inspiring and motivating film--confirming what our Gen W community has always known when to comes to women:  "When we do better, everyone does better."   Follow #StateofWomen via your social media networks today to stay updated on the Summit and make your pledge to join the movement by visiting­erator.  ... >> Read more
Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder on The Chat
June 1, 2016Did you see Generation W speaker Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder on the The Chat yesterday?  She joined the ladies to discuss race and stereotypes.  In case you missed it... ... >> Read more
Video Goes Viral Just In Time for Mother's Day
May 5, 2016Ready for your pre-Mother's Day cry?  Singer Nichole Nordeman's "Slow Down" video, with it's focus on kids growing up way too fast, has gone viral thanks to Facebook.  With Mother's Day this weekend--and college/high school graduations happening all month--the video was perfectly timed to tug at the heartstrings of parents everywhere.  If you haven't found this on your Facebook feed, give it a listen--and pick up some tissues before you press "play."       ... >> Read more
No Place I'd Rather Be
April 25, 2016NO PLACE I'D RATHER BE....the rhythm and the lyrics carried me onto the Generation W stage, can it be two weeks ago (you can give it a listen here)? As we continue to get such wonderful feedback about life changing and life-enhancing experiences, there is no doubt that Generation W is an experience that has impact. That impact comes in many forms. It comes from sharing our stories, allowing others to learn from our challenges and celebrate with us in our achievements. In those moments of sharing, we build community...we build trust. We saw that happen during our Mission to Serve panel when a female Lieutenant, one of the first to serve on a submarine, stood up in the audience to ask advice for balancing motherhood and the military. When Admiral Jackson responded with such grace and insight, ... >> Read more
Melissa Ross Remembers Prince
April 23, 2016Thank you, Melissa Ross of First Coast Connect, for this wonderful tribute to Prince.  "I think the reason so many women responded to Prince was subconsciously we appreciated the way he validated us with what historians and authors call the 'sacred feminine, '" says Melissa. Click the video below to see and hear her segment.   ... >> Read more
Gerry Laybourne's Advice to Lisa Gersh: "Say Yes"
April 22, 2016MyDomaine recently profiled some of today's most powerful women regarding the meaningful words and phrases that empower their confidence and boost their internal motivation.  While there are lots of good nuggets in this piece--especially if you are looking for your own internal motivation--we loved seeing our good friend and Gen W speaker Gerry Laybourne mentioned by Goop CEO Lisa Gersh: Her phenomenal success can be attributed to one word: yes. In an interview with MyDomaine, Gersh said it was her former partner at Oxygen (and best friend and lifelong mentor), Gerry Laybourne, who advised her to “learn how to say yes.” She explained, “Learn how to say yes to an idea and make it work. It does not mean that you will agree with every idea and implement them, but you will always work through the idea, ... >> Read more
Five Years of Inspiration--Thank you!
April 8, 2016As I said at the beginning of this day, every year, I come to this stage always filled with gratitude. Gratitude for those who share with us their stories, gratitude for our partners who share in our vision and gratitude for all who come to the beautiful campus of the University of North Florida (our wonderful hosting partner) who share in our day. I am especially grateful to the Generation W team for the energy they bring to this event each and every year. The production team - Glenn, Jackie, Dana, Ames, David and Lisa...they always go above and beyond and this year, coordinating our live stream made it possible for Generation W to inspire even more people, truly showing the world that we are all Generation W. From taking care of our guests to guiding our speakers to connecting ... >> Read more
Gen W Words of Wisdom
April 8, 2016We’ve pulled together some of the great words of wisdom shared by our speakers from the Generation W stage. Grab some quick inspiration by reading & sharing these quotes. Search our #GenW hashtag for even more great quotes and images of the day. "There is nothing more motivating than your passion to serve." Rear Admiral Mary M. Jackson "You don't want to hear what someone did. You want to hear *why* they did it." - Rear Admiral Mary M. Jackson, USN Commander, Navy Region Southeast "Do not apologize for being a mom." Michael R. Jackson, Command Master Chief, Navy Region Southeast "You can be an amazing mom and an amazing professional at the same time." -Rear Admiral Mary Jackson on motherhood in the military "There's that ... >> Read more
The Week of W has Arrived!
April 4, 2016As we dot i's, cross t's and stuff attendee bags in these last few days before Generation W, I'm reminded that in our universe, there are two kinds of energy  – potential and kinetic. Potential energy is stored within an object and only becomes kinetic energy when the object moves. During the Week of W, we are KINETIC, not to be confused with frenetic. And from what we can tell, there is a tremendous amount of energy, excitement and momentum continuing to build as Friday nears. For those of you who will be joining us on Friday, we CANNOT wait to see you. For those who are unable to make it this year, we are really pleased to be sharing the energy of W with you via LIVE STREAM! Click here (or visit our YouTube page) to ... >> Read more
Donna's Hi: The Power of Inspiration
March 18, 2016Over the last several weeks we have been pouring over images, videos and quotes from the past four years of Generation W – it is a definite labor of love and amazingly rewarding. It's like going through a big box of family photos – picking up each one, sharing a story about the people, the places, and reminiscing as a collective group about the wonderful memories each one touches in us. There have been some amazing words of wisdom shared from our Generation W stage. "No matter what your talent, no matter what you do, you have the power to create change, " said speaker Elizabeth Gore back in 2012. That power to create change has been a thread woven throughout the Generation W program each year as we recognize the power we have inside each and every one of us. "If ... >> Read more
Three Brands Celebrating International Women’s Day
March 8, 2016As the founder of an agency focused on marketing to women and moms, I always take note of how brands embrace the interests of their female consumers. So today, as we take time to celebrate International Women's Day (be sure to visit the International Women's Day site and take the #pledgeofparity), I am taking a look at three brands who are using this day of celebration as a way to promote gender equality as well as highlight the rich diversity of the female demographic.   Microsoft, "Make What's Next" Microsoft launched a new campaign, "Make What's Next", to encourage girls to enter tech fields.  The TV ad, which aired during early morning news programs, shows young girls talking about why they love science but failing to name any inventors besides men (don't worry--a montage of female inventors is included).  "We want girls to know that there are ... >> Read more
ThrowbackThursday: #GenWORKS on Twitter
February 11, 2016We are "throwing back Thursday" to last Saturday's #GenWORKS.  Here are some of the great tweets that were sent throughout the day--see more by following the #GenWORKS hashtag on Twitter and Instagram! >> Read more
Generation WORKS: Making a Difference
February 2, 2016My good friend Sanyin Siang, who is such a generous leader, serves as the Executive Director of the Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics. She recently wrote a profound piece for her LinkedIn blog on how to become a creative altruist. Her inspiration was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who, as Sanyin writes, "calls us to actively seek ways to elevate the needs of others within our society." When we elevate the needs of others - when we intentionally find ways to help others - we elevate ourselves in the process. All I can say is AMEN! As we make our final preparations for Generation WORKS, I am reminded by the coming together of our community just how motivated we are to make a difference right here where we live. Whether it is a fresh coat of paint, ... >> Read more
Start 2016 with Generation WORKS
January 8, 2016The turn of the year provides a big RESET button. It is a chance for us to move forward with our best attempts at making our resolutions real and our desire to make things happen – happen! It is a time when the pages of our new notebooks are ready to be inscribed with our new stories as we look ahead refreshed and ready, armed with our hopes and inspired to make a difference. It is because of our collective desire to make a difference that Generation WORKS, a great day of leadership, friendship and service led by women and girls, came to be. Last year, more than 450 volunteers came together on a beautiful Saturday morning to help transform the lives of our neighbors. It is amazing what paint, landscaping, elbow grease and caring can do for our community and ... >> Read more
Gen W Profiles of 2015
December 30, 2015As we prepared for Generation W 2015,  we collaborated with our friends at WJCT to feature these six magnificent women.  Here is a look back at their Gen W Profiles and the words of wisdom they shared that continue to inspire us all.  Click each individual name to be taken to individual profiles.       Pam Paul:  “I just hope that I can encourage that spark, whatever the spark is, in others because that would be the best thing I could ever do, is just give people the sense that you have to weigh in and get involved, because otherwise standing on the sidelines doesn’t work very well.”         Marty Evans:  “I cannot ... >> Read more
Life Lessons from an Ultra-Marathoner
December 22, 2015Having trouble getting inspired to make (and keep!) that list of resolutions? Giselle Carson, president of the Jacksonville Bar Association and Ultra-Marathoner, has 3 lessons she has learned from her first ultra-marathon experience that will help each and every one of us hit the ground running (pun intended) when January 1st rolls around:   Lesson #1: We have more in us than we can imagine As you plan for 2016, I invite you to think big and challenge yourself. On Sunday, I did my first ultra-marathon - a 50K run in the beautiful Guana Preserve. I was up at 5:00 am, drove to the Guana Park, lined up at 8:00 am and ran for the next 5 hours and 20 minutes. I had plenty of time to reflect on important life and ultra-marathon lessons. I knew running a ... >> Read more
The Gift of Clarity
December 21, 2015With so much going on in the world, you become very aware that it is a daily struggle to find the time to think, to be, to truly celebrate and get the most Happy out of these Happy Holidays. While it is hard for the holidays to sneak up on you with sales beginning earlier and earlier each year, I find that I am always surprised that it is THAT time of year once again. And, so here we are, adding an "IER" to the word we most commonly use: BUSY, as if we could get any busier, trying to pick thoughtful gifts and create beautiful packaging on top of the everyday whirl that we know as our lives. But what I remind myself, and I need to, often these days, is to take a step back and make sure to ... >> Read more
4 Tips to Holiday Networking
December 2, 2015I’ll just say this upfront: I’m not a fan of networking events. While I am a complete and total extrovert who actually enjoys the thrill of public speaking, I can never seem to get excited about general networking, especially during the holidays. As the mom of three, my calendar is already packed with holiday obligations and as my children get older, quality family time is at an all-time minimum. But, as an entrepreneur, I realize the value of networking and holiday social events have actually become one of my best-kept business building secrets. Here are my tips for making the most wonderful time of the year one of the best networking seasons of all:   Say Yes Although your holiday dance card may seem pretty full this season, never miss an opportunity to network with colleagues, friends, clients and ... >> Read more
The Power of Gratitude
November 27, 2015I really do believe that being grateful is a gift that keeps on giving. This is not to deny that life is hard, filled with challenges and unpleasantries. It is. But we can choose to be grateful, to recognize the blessings that we have, and I feel bolstered by the evidence quoted in Arthur C. Brooks' recent New York Times article that suggests that we can actively choose to practice gratitude and that doing so raises our happiness. Being grateful is one of the enduring messages delivered to our Generation WOW high school girls whose enthusiasm and energy filled the Robinson Theatre at UNF in early November. It was there that the leaders of today, our outstanding Generation W women, connected with our leaders of tomorrow, our Generation WOW girls, for the opportunity to learn about the ... >> Read more
Satchel of Stones
November 25, 2015I live between two worlds, one foot firmly planted in the present, the other on the shaky ground of living with stage four metastatic breast cancer. I live most often in the present, choosing joy over despair, choosing love over fear, choosing life over the inevitable. But when the ground shakes, it’s never minor. I said good-bye from this world to two beloved friends in just as many weeks, both moms with young children, 7, 8, and 15-year old children. Gone from this world in the prime of their lives, Kelly and Tami will certainly live on in the hearts of their children and in those of us who loved them dearly, but it’s not enough. Memories are just not enough, no matter how we attempt to romanticize the loss to ease the pain. The beautiful lives ... >> Read more
Kiera Geraghty: Embrace Femininity
November 3, 2015The first few sentences of Generation WOW girl Kiera Geraghty's recent opinion piece for the Times-Union is inspiring: "As girls, we are often cautioned about what we must overcome to become leaders. We’re told it’s a man’s world, and that we have to prove that we can be a part of it. I don’t believe that, though. I don’t think I need to subscribe to the idea of a male-dominated society to be successful. I believe I can embrace every feminine part of me and still grow up to change the world. I believe we’re supposed to be a society of people, not everyone else trying to succeed in a man’s world." Bravo, Kiera!  As we make final preparations for tomorrow's Generation WOW,  click here to read the rest of Kiera's article and meet some of the amazing Generation ... >> Read more
5 Things Every College Student (and Entrepreneur) Needs to Know
November 2, 2015Last weekend I spent two days at my alma mater. I wasn’t there for an alumni event or even Homecoming, I was there to participate in Family Weekend. My daughter is a sophomore at my college--and it has taken me a little over a year to stop calling it MY college. It’s her college now—her experiences, her opportunities, her friends. But every single time I arrive on campus I am met with flashbacks of my own days on campus and begin to make a mental list of all the things I wish someone would have told me when I was a co-ed. In fact, some of those are the same things I wish someone would have told me when I first became an entrepreneur. Such as…. Take a Business Class The summer of my junior year I was encouraged to head ... >> Read more
Carol Sawdye: "The most powerful woman I know"
October 23, 2015This is a blog post from Carol Sawdye, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer for Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, regarding this weekend's Informed and Strong Summit Every October for the last couple of years, I’ve been traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the Fortune Most Powerful Women (MPW) Summit.  Thanks to the vision of Fortune senior editor at large (and fellow University of Virginia alum) Pattie Sellers, the event has evolved from an informal gathering of interesting women to the hottest ticket of the year, a must-go event if you are female and a leader in politics, business or the arts. This year’s guests included IBM chief Ginni Rometty, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns and First Lady Michelle Obama, to drop just a few names. Impressed? Me too. You can’t help but come ... >> Read more
A Different Side of this BIG PINK MONTH
October 21, 2015October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or as we say at The Get In Touch Foundation, Breast HEALTH Awareness Month. Last week I posted something on my Facebook page that had a bigger response than anything I’ve ever shared before. All positive, all supportive, all deeply life giving. While putting together this monthly blog post for Generation W, I struggled with how to share a different side of this BIG PINK MONTH for those of us living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, also known as Stage 4 Breast Cancer. And then I realized I needed to just say it, just like I did in my Facebook post.   October 13: Today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. 11 years ago today I had a bi-lateral mastectomy after 16 weeks of grueling chemotherapy. I enjoyed 7 cancer-free years while having monthly injections to keep the ... >> Read more
What Did You Want To Be When You Were 10?
October 8, 2015Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were 10? For me, I wanted to be the editor of Tiger Beat magazine. I’m not even sure ifTiger Beat is still around—and if it is, it’s probably in digital format—but, back in 1978, Tiger Beat was my favorite thing in the world. I would create this big, elaborate Tiger Beat office in my basement—complete with my TV tray desk and unplugged rotary dial phone. I would have pretend phone conversations and interviews with the cool kids of my time—you know, Andy Gibb, Shawn Cassidy, Donny Osmond. I would write out my interview questions, conduct the fake interview and write the story. And, I would do this over and over again. Alas, I never became the editor of Tiger Beat magazine, but some of those traits are still with me. I ... >> Read more
TIME, The Great Equalizer
October 5, 2015TIME, it really is the great equalizer. We do not know how much of it we have, but we can all agree that whatever it is, it is never enough. I recently had someone send me an email regarding his efforts to find some more time. It made me laugh as I wrote him back: "If you can find more time, please bottle the secret and I will partner with you to sell it." So today's message is about taking a few minutes of your precious time to mark your calendars, if they aren't already, for GENERATION W on APRIL 8, 2016. Based on the feedback we continue to get, it could be some of your best time spent. Speaking of time, it is hard to fathom that we will all be celebrating the 5th year of educating, inspiring and connecting. ... >> Read more
For women in sports, the time is now
September 29, 2015An advertising executive I admire once said, “There comes a time when it’s time.” I suppose when you are an athlete, you believe that any time you hear the whistle blow, the gun fire or the national anthem sung, it is your time. For girls in my era, just to get the time of day would have been an accomplishment, with resources slim and respect scarce. Even with the passing of Title IX spurring opportunities and growth in girls’ high school sports participation, we still didn’t feel that time was on our side. The final score was just one indicia of success, as we were on the continuous search for the basics, like fields to play on, court time and, most importantly, respect. And then the clock struck 2015 and there was ticker tape, women coaching men in the NBA, and Serena, who made us all stand taller. ... >> Read more
If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. - Unknown
September 15, 2015 I am nothing if not optimistic. Determined to live life in search of the often-elusive silver lining and the rainbow after the storm might make it seem as if I never have a bad day, experience disappointment, or become rocked to my core with fear. Au contraire, my friends, au contraire! When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer nearly twelve years ago and trying to come to grips with not only a cancer diagnosis, but the reality that my body would soon experience some very serious changes, some temporary, and some permanent, I discovered that standing in a steaming hot shower and screaming at the top of my lungs was an incredibly helpful exercise to begin the day. My kids – and my neighbors, I’m afraid – came to expect this daily primal ritual. I ... >> Read more
What We Can Learn from a Time of Transitions
September 8, 2015  HAPPY LABOR DAY!!! Growing up in the Northeast, Labor Day was the official end of summer as school would immediately begin on that Tuesday. Since moving South, we have adjusted to the August start of school and, while still a bit of a jolt to my equilibrium, the rhythms of school - for those of us who still have school-aged children - can be a welcomed relief. Of course, it is a time for transitions. I had been singularly focused on the remaining precious moments left with our twins as they readied to become college freshmen. And as the tears inevitably came, and candidly still do, I became aware of the first-time nursery school children, first-time kindergarteners, first-time middle-schoolers and high-schoolers - very aware of the emotions welling up in their moms and dads. Transitions are life's ... >> Read more
What’s YOUR Riptide?
August 20, 2015by Mary Ann Wasil @maryannGIT   Yesterday was my 18th weekly chemotherapy treatment in a row. This latest twist in my “wellness challenge” has been a monster riptide and I am often asked how I deal with this constant uncertainty of living with metastatic breast cancer that goes from “stable” to “active” in the blink of an eye. I don’t know for sure, but if I were a betting gal, I’d bet my entire shoe collection that every single one of you reading this has dealt with something completely out of your control at least once in your lives. For me, life is like a day at the beach; sunny, cloud-free, warm sand, cool clear water, and I feel safe enough to go for a swim. My illness ... >> Read more
How to End What Doesn't Have an Ending
August 19, 2015"We do not have to know how to end what doesn’t have an ending, " writes Tina Lifford in her latest blog. "We only need to commit to taking the small steps that are ours to take." As Tina wraps up her recent blog series exploring racism, she takes a look back at the strategies she has shared for strengthening our inner selves and how this strength empowers us along the path to social change.  "Attention to these strategies will keep you strong for the long haul, " adds Tina.  Some of her insights: A recurring issue or setback is not a sign of failure, but rather it is evidence that additional healing is needed. Discovering what lives inside of us empowers our ability to change. Our past experiences and interpretations create default assumptions that we must begin to challenge. Click ... >> Read more
What It Means to Be a CITIZEN
August 7, 2015"Racism is here. It is inescapable. It affects us all. And it is time to stop trying to distance ourselves from this truth, " writes Tina Lifford in her latest blog.  "Instead, we must face it. See it. Call it by its name." As Tina and the rest of the cast of CITZEN:  An American Lyric prepare for the show's preview week and opening day,  they helping us all discover what it truly means to be a citizen. Here's an excerpt:   Birth is a hard process. It does not matter if you are birthing a child, a project, relationship, performance, or a new relationship with racism. Every birth pulls at our very flesh - pushing us into discomfort and tearing at our seams. This is how new life finds its way into the world. ... >> Read more
Change Racism? Behave Like an Ensemble
July 30, 2015 "Racism is taught. It takes practicing specific thoughts to become racist. When you lump people together in broad and sweeping generalities -- see every black person or white person the same way -- you are part of an old regime, "  writes Tina Lifford in her latest blog for Huffington Post, "5 Doable Ways You Can Change Racism." Here's an excerpt:   Working together with this cast makes me certain that there exist far more of us good citizens who are capable of respecting one another, creating environments of safety, exercising our curiosity in productive ways, dialoguing and seeing one another as more alike than different. These are simple doable strategies. In these ways, we good American citizens can begin to behave like an ensemble, and ultimately rewire the debilitating and dangerous sense of ... >> Read more
July 23, 2015by Mary Ann Wasil @maryannGIT     Each week I make the short trip from my home to Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, to receive a lifesaving chemotherapy treatment for my stage four metastatic breast cancer. For the last 11+years I have been making the trip to Suite B, at least once a month, oftentimes every three weeks, many times every two weeks, and more recently every single week – always on a Wednesday. In eleven years I’ve never gone longer than a month without spending a Wednesday, aka, my “spa day, ” at the cancer center. Since my recurrence 4+years ago, I have made it a silly ritual to snap a photo of my feet up in the “chemo-recliner, ” post it to Facebook, and ... >> Read more
Challenging Assumptions and Reactions to Racism
July 22, 2015Is it possible for us to address a challenging situation without always "leaping to default assumptions, or falling back on conditioning that would automatically label this encounter a racist moment"?  That is the question Tina Lifford addresses during her latest blog for Huffington Post, "When Is Racism Just Your Perception?" "Remember the old saying, 'How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time'? When it comes to racism, we can change our relationship with this elephant, one response at a time, " writes Lifford. Here is an excerpt from her latest post:   I asked myself, "Is this girl a racist?" I caught myself readying to categorize her rudeness in the same racist context as the scene in the play. I stopped myself. If she is ... >> Read more
Excitement around U.S. Women's World Cup Win Proves a Point
July 16, 2015by Donna Orender @DonnaOrender     Sports Illustrated writer Andy Benoit recently tweeted that "women's sports weren't worth watching." It's not something that I haven't heard a multitude of times as an athlete and as a sports executive. What was particularly wonderful this time was the incredible response it generated, including  Amy Poehler and Seth Myers' video that put Andy on the defensive. It was so great to see the wide spread celebration and support for the success of the U.S. Women's National Team who won the World Cup Championship in a dramatic and convincing fashion. The ticker tape parade for me was a dream that I wished could did! And, what puts Mr. Benoit even more in his place is that viewership peaked at nearly 27 million viewers ... >> Read more
Tina Lifford Takes Us on a Journey to Explore Racism
July 15, 2015"It's too much. It's too much,  are lines from a new play that I'm in rehearsals for, about the subtle everyday experiences and burdens of racism that we all perpetrate, " writes Tina Lifford in her latest blog for Huffington Post. Tina, who is currently in rehearsals for the world premiere of CITIZEN: An American Lyric,  is doing a series of blogs while she is mounting the stage show--taking us all on a journey of exploring racism through the lens of working on this play not only as an artist, but also as an inner fitness trainer focused on emotional healing. Here is an excerpt from her latest post:   But BEING BLACK IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Racial abuse and bullying are.  "Isms" -- racism, sexism, elitism -- are the abusers and bullies of humanity. ... >> Read more
New Study: 72 Percent of Girls Feel Held Back by Society
July 8, 2015“Girls can’t be brave” and “girls aren’t strong” are limiting phrases seemingly from a bygone era, but a new Always social experiment reveals that many girls today feel limited by society’s expectations about women. In fact, data from the most recent Always Confidence & Puberty Survey, shows that 72 percent of girls feel held back by society, which they feel dictates what they should and shouldn’t do.  Additional findings from the study: More than half of girls (53 percent) ages 16 to 24 feel they lacked the confidence to do whatever they wanted to do after puberty. Almost all girls (89 percent) feel there is pressure to conform to the way they’re supposed to feel and act. Sixty percent of girls believe that society’s expectations have a negative impact on their life. Girls are almost twice as likely as boys ... >> Read more
"I see progress for the nation in So. Carolina"
June 29, 2015With the tragedy in South Carolina still sitting strongly in our hearts and minds, we found ourselves uplifted and filled with hope as we read our friend Tina Lifford's latest blog post.  "The Inner Fitness Project’s focus is on navigating the emotional terrain and discovering how paying attention to our individual healing can guide the healing of our communities and nation, " Tina writes. How do we begin to heal--not only as individuals, but as a nation?  Here's an excerpt from her post:   Repairing an emotional wound begins with acknowledging the hurt sustained. It further involves learning to rigorously observe our thoughts, become aware of old patterns and interpretations, challenge default assumptions, and, most importantly, choosing to make healing a priority. The path of healing this national issue is the same process with ... >> Read more
Are You an Inspirer?
June 23, 2015By Mary Ann Wasil @maryannGIT   INSPIRER: To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence: a leader who inspires by example.   My friend and shero, the great “Inspirer” and advocate for the poor, Sister Simone Campbell, says that “We must let our lives be broken open, to let our hearts be touched by other’s sufferings, and to share our own.” In order to be humble, we must first be humbled. In order to inspire, we must first be inspired. I consider it a great honor to have been invited to inspire you once a month on the Generation W blog with pearls of wisdom I can assure you are gifts from the many great “Inspirers” I have been blessed to know during the course of my “one wild ... >> Read more
Saying Hi: Stay Positive and Embrace Change
May 26, 2015So is there a time of year when we aren't so busy? Seems like I was just sitting down to write about Mother's Day, I do like Mother's Day, but in just a blink of an eye our focus has shifted to Memorial Day, graduations and summer vacations. Our twins are graduating from high school in just a few short days. How did that happen? And where are your friends that are supposed to be telling you, that while you know your job as parent is to raise your kids so that they can confidently and ably fly away, that it actually does happen? You are so focused on the raising that you never really focus on the actuality of flying away.  And who is preparing ME for this process? This is no doubt a momentous time for our family and ... >> Read more
Learning to Acknowledge our Unattractive Habits
May 21, 2015When was the last time you were able to objectively see yourself--the good, the bad and even the ugly?  For most of us, acknowledging some of our less attractive habits and tendencies is not an easy process.  But, according to our friend Tina Lifford, it is a necessary one.  "One of life's true accomplishments is to become self-observant and flexible enough to become who you most desire to be, " writes Tina in her latest blog.  "To get there requires that we all learn and commit to practicing inner fitness tools."  Here's an excerpt from her blog:   I remember the conversation that set me on the path to being more vulnerable. I was chatting on the phone with my friend Ehrich. We respected and trusted one another, and spoke almost daily. ... >> Read more
Advice from Mom: Focus on Moments, not Milestones
May 12, 2015 Last Sunday I had the honor of participating in Listen To Your Mother Chicago (LTYM). When I told my own mother that I was going to be reading an essay I wrote about motherhood on a stage in front of hundreds of people her response was pure beauty: “I hope you don’t talk too fast.” Typical Mom. You see, my mom doesn’t get too excited—or too upset—about anything. I grew up in a house where birthdays were celebrated with a simple cake and nice dinner with your siblings and weddings were special days we got to spend with family and friends. And when sad things happened, my mom would give a brief teary-eyed talk before launching us into the plans that would move us forward. I used to believe this lack of emotion over big life events meant ... >> Read more
Mother's Day 2015: No Gulping
May 8, 2015By Mary Ann Wasil Survivor, President, CEO & Founder The Get In Touch Foundation  My mom raised six children with 15 years separating the oldest from the youngest. My dad was a teacher, a high school principal. We lived on the first floor of a two-bedroom apartment and my grandmother, my dad’s mom, lived upstairs. We grew up in P.T. Barnum territory, on the “east side” in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the alley between our homes was a magical and bumpy bike path, our front porch was our playground, and the row houses between our home and our great aunt’s just a block away was one giant maze of fences and laundry lines. We had one air conditioner and one car. We walked to church and to the grocery store, and to Skydel’s, the department store three blocks ... >> Read more
Saying Hi: We Are Strong, We are Invincible
April 20, 2015I am still singing Helen Reddy's, "I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR." How about you? "I am strong, I am invincible...." As I mentioned during Generation W, that song holds a special place in my heart; filling my eyes with tears on the lay-up line no less, while playing in the first women's basketball game ever played at Madison Square Garden. It was a moment of "wow" filled with a sense of opportunity, possibility, optimism, and gratitude. This time, as Helen sang, it was the audience of Generation W that filled me with an overwhelming sense of opportunity, possibility, optimism, and gratitude. Together, all of us, in that beautiful UNF theater, felt and still do feel, that guided by our PASSION and PURPOSE we are, as Helen sings, "more determined to achieve our final goals." So much ... >> Read more