logo1We will be updating this space all day with great quotes & images from today’s Generation W.  Keep checking back for latest updates.  We are getting ready to begin!

8:10 AM:

Here we go!  Starting things off feeling “brave” w/ the RSVP Singing Group.    The audience is clapping and singing along!  Great way to start the day!

8:15 AM:
Donna Orender (@DonnaOrender) takes the stage:  “As we learn to trust ourselves a little bit more, we learn to trust each other a little bit more.”  Ahh….yes!

  • “You come as representatives of you–your businesses, your communities, your families.  We are all part of Generation W and that’s where the power is.”
  • “Today is about imagining the possible.  When we imagine it, we can do it.”
  • “There is power in this room.  We are united in the feeling that making a difference is possible and achievable.”

Carla Harris (@carlaharris), Vice Chairman Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor, Morgan Stanley, takes the stage and gives us Pearls of Wisdom:

  • Perception is the copilot to reality:  “How people perceive directly impacts how people deal with you.” Choose 3 adjectives you want people to describe you when you are not in the room, 3 adjectives that describe your company’s values and find where those intersect.
  • You must be comfortable taking risks.  “When everyone else is besieged with fear and ducking, YOU have clear vision.  Now is not the time to keep your head down.”
  • No one can be you the way you can be you. “Bring your authentic self to the table.”

Final words:  You must have an expectation that you will do well, that you will succeed.


First GenW Poll:  Who do you think makes better leaders?  Audience answer:  Gender not a factor

Gerry Laybourne (@glaybourne),  Serial Entrepreneur & Advocate for Women and Children takes the stage with her friend John Gerzema (@johngerzema), NY Times Best Selling Author to discuss how some of the best attributes of great leadership are actually more associated with women than men (think, balance. humility, openness, patience & connectedness).  According to John’s findings, two-thirds people think the world would be a better place if men thought like women.  Some great quotes from their session:

  • “I was an early understander of that women in business were a strategic advantage to any company.” Gerry Laybourne
  • “If you cannot toot your own horn, toot another woman’s horn.”  Gerry Laybourne
  • “We are in a new world with many old minds.  The task of a leader is to adapt yourself.” John Gerzema
  • “Feminine values are the operating system of the 21st century.” John Gerzema

Myths They Busted:

  • It’s a man’s world.  Look at the skills mentioned above, “the skills leaders think they need, are not necessarily the skills they need.”
  • It’s all in your title.  “Stop thinking about yourself, galvanize the people and create an environment you would want to work in.  Focus on the greater good of the company, not yourself.”
  • Soft skills are for sissies.  “These skills were used in really tough, difficult situations.  These skills are vital in the context of things such as being competitive.  The people we met for this book were anything but soft.”
  • Perfectionism is the path to heaven.  “Being perfect isn’t about being perfect, it’s crippling.  If you feel you have to get it exactly right, it’s paralyzing and keeps you from making progress.  My new motto is ‘think harder, try easier’.”
  • Women crack under pressure.  “Our biology is NOT to crack under pressure.  There would be no babies in this world if women cracked under pressure.  When the going gets tough, I don’t see women taking their marbles and go home.”
  • Only men can lead in crisis.  “There was this narrative of crisis and challenge with all the people we met for this book.  They had accomplished so much but had the ethos of a student–filled with humility and openness.  The majority of people believe women actually have a better ability to be patient and plan for the future.”
  • Only YES men wanted.  “Yes men are the sign of weak leaders.”
  • Women are overly emotional (from the audience).  “Women might get emotional when a co-worker has breast cancer or a bully was horribly rude, but they don’t make emotional decisions.”


Gerri Elliott (@gerri_elliott) leads a panel on taking leadership personally with Sharon Wamble King (@kingwam), Lisa Shalett (@GoldmanSachs), Andrea Mail and Michele Ganeless (@ComedyCentral).  Personal leadership is becoming the CEO of yourself.  It allows you to become your best self.  Great quotes from this session:

  • “Be the best you can be no matter where you are” Sharon Wamble King
  • “Having passion about something other than just the business you are working in, makes you a more well-rounded person.”  Michele Ganeless
  • “Sometimes having a plan traps you in that plan. Be open be agile and be around smart people.”  Lisa Shalett
  • “What we love and what we are passionate about are what gives us the perseverance to to succeed in life.” Andrea Mail
  • “Our strengths are not just what we are good at but our strengths are doing what we love.” Andrea Mail
  • “If there’s a day I didn’t learn something, there’s a day I don’t feel fulfilled.”  Sharon Wamble King
  • “I’m like a kaleidoscope, there is one path, and as I turn it the colors change and it gets more interesting.”  Sharon Wamble King
  • “Worst advice I received, ‘keep your head down’.  I still hear that advice given to so many women and that is a career killer.  You need to take ownership for your own opportunities.”  Lisa Shalett
  • “Assume positive intent.”  Michele Ganeless
  • “People who are successful in life–not just career–are not deterred by making mistakes.  Pick yourself up and learn from it.” Andrea Mail


Tina Lifford makes us laugh and feel inspired with a little help from “Pixie” from the audience.  Awesome.  “There is more possibilities than we see at the moment.”

10:50  Break is over and we get to watch this great video:

Dr. Richard Lapchick (@richardlapchick) is sharing his “Imagine the Possible” with us.  “Sports has the opportunity to bring about gender and cultural change.  The power of sport can bring about positive social change.”  His life story is amazing and proves that statement over and over again! A much-deserved standing ovation.


Get ready for the panel led by Tiffany Dufu (@tdufu) on the Conversations We Should, Would or Could Have…But Don’t with Pamela Culpepper (@PepsiCo), Dr. Richard Lapchick (@richardlapchick) and Melinda Wolfe (@pearsonplc).  How can we engage in these conversations in meaningful ways–how do we make them fruitful?

  • “There is nothing good from using the N-word” Richard Lapchick
  • “Judgement comes out of fear” Pamela Culpepper
  • “We have a fear of someone changing our mind and a fear of changing someone’s mind.  I am going to enter into this conversation because I believe there is a good that will come out of it.”  Pamela Culpepper.
  • “Get rid of your pride and embrace the idea that you don’t know.  Be open to being ignorant and prepared to learn.” Melinda Wolfe
  • “Unconscious bias is deeply prevalent in our lives.  Pay attention to when your bias is kicking in so you know how it is affecting the environment around me.  Own our unconscious bias.”  Melinda Wolfe
  • “Practicing disarming can be the beginning of a very fruitful conversation.”  Pamela Culpepper
  • “The question you can start with, ‘What are you afraid of?'” Pamela Culpepper
  • “Pick your battles–there are people who you can’t get into these conversations with.”  Melinda Wolfe


Damarys Ocana (@DamarysOP) is leading a panel on Latinas Creating Change with Oscar Suarez, Annie Grogan (@theHILLofNEFL). Elianne Ramos (@ergeekgoddess) and Patricia Lizarraga.  “It is not only imperative for our community that we reach success, it’s imperative for the strength and success of all communities”–Damarys Ocana.

  • “I believe the Latina culture is entrepreneurial by nature–there has always been a culture that you can start your own things.”
  • “Latinas are open, are willing to learn constantly, are not afraid of asking questions.”
  • “If you put everyone else first–if you are working towards making it better for everyone else, it will come around and be better for you too.”
  • ‘If you have equity in your firm, equity will rise to the top’
  • “It’s not about giving up who you are–giving up your history and your culture–it’s about knowing when to bring it out.”


Are you a digital native?  Great video opening with the question “To post or not to post?” Next speaker Angie Orth (@angieaway) (great #GenW blogger!) created the video for Generation WOW, but it’s message is valuable to all of us.  Five big takeaways:

  • Social media can take you as far as you want to go
  • What you share today could affect your opportunities tomorrow
  • Different age groups view online behavior from different perspectives
  • What you share online matters more today than it ever has before
  • Your posts can say so much more than your resume

Top ways we fail at social media?

  • Attention Seeking
  • Bullying
  • Complaining
  • Comparing
  • Illegal

Treat your social media the way brands treat their social media–we are minded again, we are certainly the CEO’s of our own lives.  Before you post, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I seeking approval or attention?
  • Does my status reflect a fleeting emotion?
  • Is this statement kind or helpful?
  • Is this something I would say in person?
  • Is this a moment to protect?

It is our job to be role models for the younger generation on how to use this amazing medium.


Mary Kellmanson prepares to share her own Imagine the Possible–which is “getting us to lunch.”  Love it–she’s wonderful! The women of Winn Dixie have prepared 1300 lunches for all of us–so excited!  Great shout out to participate in the Gen W community and stay connected!

Be back after lunch!



2:00 PM

We’re back!  Great energy from all of the breakout sessions and now settling back in for another round of inspiration!  Thank you RSVP for singing us into the afternoon session.  You are amazing!  Check them out:

Mary Ann Wasil (@maryannGIT) shares her Imagine the Possible.  Wow, what a moment…with no history of breast cancer, Mary Ann was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and all she could focus on was her kids.  “I didn’t have a history of breast cancer, but now they did.”  She created the Get in Touch Foundation–“Doing good for others made me feel good.”    If you were told you had 5 seconds to live, would you spend even 1 second being unhappy?  I would not, I choose joy.”

Great transition into our next panel:

Doing GOOD and Doing Well panel is taking the stage with moderator Shelley Diamond (@shellwoman), Allison Keller (@PGATOUR) , Saudia Davis (@GreenHouseEco), Kristin Keen (@RethreadedInc) and Sandy Bartow (@JAXChamber).  We are talking about “doing something bigger than ourselves.”  YES!

  • “You can create a company of people that are not only smart, but they want to do more.”  Allison Keller
  • “What women need is knowledge.  Knowledge is power.” Sandy Bartow
  • “Really invest in authentic and genuine relationships.”  Saudia Davis
  • “If you’re not making some mistakes, you are not trying hard enough.”  Allison Keller
  • “Who I am is what changes the world.  When I live into who I am–and give it space–that’s really when change happens.”  Kristin Keen
  • “Every person needs to realize they are important.  From business owner, support organization, corporate life–all of it plays a critical role into the greater good.”  Sandy Bartow
  • “If you are going to be able to get a head and find opportunities, you must take risks.”  Saudia Davis

If you live into your dream, you will create your own definition of what doing well really means.  Beautiful.


We are celebrating female One Spark 2014 Creators:

Great opportunity for the audience to support more great teachers like Mrs. Cook  via Power Up Jax with cards being handed out to the audience.  We are all “Happy”!

Brief break before we are back to our great program!


Al Letson (@Al_Letson) shares a “poem for the ladies.” Just wow.  “Play like a girl and win like a woman.”

Donna Deegan (@donnadeegan) gets ready to lead us in a great–and we just know it will be inspiring–panel on Generation Wisdom with Pam Paul, Rometa Porter and Fran Kinne.  “You can’t have wisdom without compassion”–Donna Deegan.

We can’t begin to write about the inspiration found in the stories of these women.  When you are feeling discouraged, just spend some time talking to women who paved the way.  Advice these wonderful women have for women now?

  • “You can excite, promote and do these things if you keep a positive attitude.” Fran Kinne
  • “Life isn’t about me, it’s about others” Fran Kinne
  • “Now we know that each of you can do something that no one else can do.  There’s no end to what you can do.”  Fran Kinne
  • “You must persevere. ”  Rometa Porter
  • “Your success is built on what you can do for others.” Rometa Porter
  • “I spent too much time studying…and now I just do it.”  Pam Paul
  • “Find an outlet for your passion and that will help you make it in the corporate world.”  Pam Paul
  • “I hope some of you will run for office.” Pam Paul
  • “There always has to be a first–persevere and open the doors for others.” Rometa Porter
  • “If you have enough persistence they cannot say ‘no’ to you.”  Fran Kinne

A “Happy” dance with #HappyJax–great moment of dancing and laughing with the audience.  And, seriously, I don’t think we will ever forget seeing Fran Kinne and the rest of the Generation Wisdom panel dancing with Jaxon de Ville!


Yvette Hayter Adams and Elizabeth Paulson are getting ready to lead the Generation WOW panel–always one of the great moments of Generation W.  “We want young women to ask for what they need and tell us what they have to offer.”  The wonderful girls of WOW read to us personal letters they have written to their real or imagined mentors.  Powerful statement in the importance of being a part of a young girl’s life.

Amazing moment:  Audience member stood up to offer the opportunity to help connect these girls with internships in Jacksonville, Winn Dixie offered to help one of the girls with getting a part-time job,  Generation WOW!

Here are some of things that young girls would like help with from mentors–want to help?  Contact Yvette and Elizabeth for how you can get involved–in or outside of Jacksonville:)

  • How do I play to my strengths?
  • How do I keep my self-confidence?
  • How do I manage my time?
  • How do I make sure I get into college–and receive a scholarship?
  • How can I get an internship?
  • I could use your help with my academics.
  • How do I stay motivated?
  • How do I ask for what I really need?

Audience advice to the girls:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail
  • Create your own opportunities
  • Understand people that tear you down are coming from a place of fear.  Live into your glory and keep going.
  • Just remember some of things you already have planned may change.  Change is good.
  • I have learned from you today–thank you!
  • Don’t think about your age, think about what you are aspiring to do.

Final thoughts:  Any mentor is a good mentor.


Delivering the MALE–time for a little male perspective on the day’s events moderated by Donna Orender (@DonnaOrender).  Joining her on stage is Pat Geraghty (@patgeraghty54), Howard Halle (@WellsFargo), John Delaney (@UofNorthFlorida) and Frank Denton (@jaxdotcom).

What about the men–how do we get integrated?

  • “More guys need to understand that if we are going to change things, they need to be involved in Generation W.” Howard Halle
  • “Two things I heard today–was Generation Wisdom.  The barriers they knocked down, the dignity in which they carry themselves..remarkable.  To contrast that with the next generation–remarkable.” Pat Geraghty
  • “The sisterhood thing is very real. The energy, enthusiasm…it was inspirational.” Frank Denton
  • “A commonality of values.  My daughters don’t think there is a glass ceiling anymore.  That’s wonderful.” John Delaney

Are you aware of what keeps women back?  What do you think it is?

  • “I don’t think we are not working on it, I just think we need to work on it faster.” Howard Halle
  • “Imagine the possible, but make it so.  Someone has to take responsibility for that.”  Howard Halle
  • “We are making purposeful strides to not only mentor, but sponsor.”  Pat Geraghty

How has having a daughter shaped you as a CEO?

  • “You are closer to your daughter than anyone you work with.  It opens your eyes.”  Howard Halle
  • “It has accelerated some things for me. Encouraging them to be strong reinforces the messaging about looking at things through their eyes.”  Pat Geraghty

Advice for your daughters:

  • “Be supremely confident in doing whatever it takes to achieve your dreams.” Howard Halle
  • “Once you’re married you have to live near your dad.”  John Delaney
  • “I’m so very proud of you.  You are great examples of the new generation of women who will change our world for the better.”  Frank Denton
  • “Your mother and I love you and just care for you as much as we can.  Know that–take that confidence into the world.”  Pat Geraghty

The world is a better place when all of us our connected.


Donna Orender prepares to tell us her Imagine the Possible moment and wrap things up on another successful Generation W! “It’s an amazing journey because we get to do it together.” The perfect way to introduce us all to Generation Works–a day of service when we all come together to “fix something.”  Women wielding the weapons of mass construction–Generation Works!

We move from imagining to doing–and make something very special happen.