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Beautiful Insights from the Women’s March

January 22, 2018

Inspiration from the CNY Women Rising Weekend and Women’s March

The last image I recorded during our “CNY Women Rising Weekend” was of two little girl basketball players racing across the gigantic Carrier Dome basketball court in front of thousands of people to shoot a once-in-a-life-time bucket in the very tall adult basket. The crowd erupted when one girl sunk one big shot. The image of them on that court reminds me of the will of millions of women marching together across the United States and world for their future where anything is possible.

As I awake this Monday Morning with an overflowing female heart after an uplifting and active weekend, three images cross my mind. These are the visuals and words I want you to remember along with the thousands of photos of women marching as sisters in solidarity:

* Five 18 year old female college students attending the march and rally at Art Rage Gallery turned to me after hearing my “See Pink. Buy Pink. Live Pink Mission” and asked me where there was a woman-owned business they could “spend their money” at immediately engaging in my mission. We shared the names of a couple and they left. Within the hour we ended up at the same restaurant, as these young feminists, and joined them in more conversation and cheers to women. They offered to volunteer for my company. The world looks hopeful with them as our future. One of them wants to be the President of the United States; I told her I would work to get her elected.

* A brave woman addressed a crowd of forty women sharing her story of rape, survival, incarceration and eventual triumph leading her to complete Bachelors and Masters degrees and entering a Ph.D. program. She also runs a business to help incarcerated people transition back into society. As she relived her history and talked about her future she was strong, resilient and determined to make her life experiences help others. She was simply amazing.

* In the middle of the CNY Women Rising March, we stopped at Art Rage Gallery to listen to empowering female presenters, artists and musicians. The opening singer started with the song “Amazing Grace” and then Audra Day’s “Rise Up” song filled the room as men and women, black and white, gay and straight people all started singing, dancing and celebrating each other. I wish FOX news was in the center of the room witnessing this inclusive audience of American people. An 85 year old woman also spoke of her life growing up after the 19th Amendment was signed and a 25 year old Muslim American shared her story of being an immigrant in a country where “She loves America as much as anyone else.”

The weekend was simply beautiful – really beautiful. If only the harshness around the globe could be enveloped in this peaceful pink power long enough to let it seep into their hearts and change their minds about injustice, inequality and cruelty towards other humans, they could change. Women prove our world is good. We rise up to show this. We rise up to share the message and demonstrate how it can be done and how we can live.

Let these examples rest in your mind, heart and spirit for the next year until the Women’s March again. I hope it transforms you enough to live a life that is female focused, kind, peaceful full of equality and feminist services to make a difference in your community. My company Women TIES will continue to spread our mission of “See Pink. Buy Pink. Live Pink.” until everyone understands it.

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She Believed She Could, So She Did – Insights on the Women’s March on Washington

January 19, 2018

As the Anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington approaches and we launch the CNY Women Rising Weekend in Syracuse with a business networking event tonight (1/19), the Women’s March on Saturday (1/20), and the SU Women’s Basketball Game on Sunday (1/21), I want to inspire you with this repost about my experience marching in DC last year. If it moves you, please join me this weekend. View details at http://www.womenties.com. Tracy

Women TIES

Inspiration and wisdom from the Women’s March on Washington for women entrepreneurs

shedid

“She believed she could, so she did,” is the saying on the bracelet on my left arm given to me by my friend Susan Bertrand of Maureen’s Hope Foundation, worn all the way the Women’s March on DC and back. Not only did I believe but so did the 110 women who traveled with me via bus with an friendly bus driver who performed a light show for us as we sang Donna Summer songs when the trip got long.

After landing in Fredrick Maryland for the night before the March, I threw a dinner reception for all these women who did not know each other. Some were in their 70s, a few in the 20s, some African American and some white, a few were Jewish and others Catholic but we instantly bonded over one cause, one…

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Women’s Work is Not Done: Women In Business, Women in Sports and Women’s Rights

January 18, 2018

Wednesday Wisdom and inspiration for women, women entrepreneurs and female business owners

“I am not afraid….I was born to do this,” was the first thing my half opened eyes saw at 5:30 a.m. this morning. This miraculous quote was stated by Joan of Arc in the 1400s.

As you may or may not remember, Joan of Arc was a peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England. With no military training, Joan convinced the embattled crown prince to allow her to lead a French army to the besieged city of Orléans, where it achieved a momentous victory over the English and their French allies. After seeing the prince crowned King Charles VII, Joan was captured and tried for witchcraft and heresy and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of 19. By the time she was officially canonized in 1920, the Maid of Orléans (as she was known) had long been considered one of history’s greatest saints, and an enduring symbol of French unity and nationalism.

Why remind you of this brave women’s life? It is to point out that women have been brave humans leading the way in this life’s real and unseen battles for centuries. Today with more freedoms then our sisters of the past, women manage businesses, run for political office, compete in high level sports and travel to the moon, we must not forget the centuries of struggle. In 2018, most women live blessed lives in comparison to other generations; yet we mustn’t be complacent and stop striving for a better life for females.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves,” was the other quote I read this morning by British writer Jane Austen. It speaks to the way I feel about women. The adaptation to this quote in my words is, “There is nothing I would not do for women entrepreneurs and women in general. I have no notion of loving women by halves.” Whether you are white or black, straight or gay, worth millions or hundreds, selling quilts or mortgages, black or white, old or young, it does not matter to me, you are women and I am dedicated to you and your success. When you have a burning passion in your heart make sure you share it with the world to honor the women who have lived and persisted from the 1400s to 2018.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you that women’s work is not done. We are still not in enough board rooms, speaking on the Senate Floor or running multi-million dollar companies. We still don’t have permanent protection of the 19th Amendment, earn the same pay rate as men or see full arenas when we play sports. In 1968, the popular Virginia Slim ad focused at women stated “You’ve come a Long Way Baby” and women had but not far enough. Please take today to contemplate what freedoms you have and what still needs to be done to make your life and those of other females better.

As Women TIES proudly co-hosts the “CNY Women Rising Weekend” in Syracuse this weekend, I hope you are moved to join me to promote women in business, women’s rights and women in sports. As Amelia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.” Come fly with women this weekend, embrace your role in today’s world to better it for females today and the generation to come. I need you with me.

Women – How the Love of Sports Can Enrich Your World

January 15, 2018

Inspiration for women and females

It all began attempting to schuss down the ski slopes when I was 7 years old, learning how to water ski when I was 9 and sailing at 12. My love for sports was most likely a genetic predisposition being born to two physical education teachers and coaches who owned a ski shop while living next to a beautiful lake. We never watched television on cold winter or hot summer days we were outside living the life of sports enthusiasts. Forty years later it make perfect sense I get high going outside in any temperature to ski, swim or run.

Not only did we participate in many sports, we loved watching sports. My parent’s ski shop basement, where we waxed skis for customers, always had an aerial ski jumping athlete attempting big air. I watched excitedly really wishing I could do that one day but that kind of ski opportunities weren’t available for girls back in 1972. But I could dream and attempt some jumps on a snowy mogul hill run one afternoon. No wonder I love watching Shaun White with all his tricks.

Down the street was a country club where my friend Lynda and I would challenge each other in a round of tennis while other girl friends were doing something else. We were as competitive as Billie Jean King and Chris Evert thinking we were playing the Wimbleton 1973 match against each other. My friend beat me and it took me a week to talk to her again! 3 years later you would find us watching the 1976 Olympics as Nadia Comancei won gold. My friend Lynda was an elite gymnast who would leave our school for a year to train and live in Pennsylvania with her coach for a year. Oh, how I missed my sports buddy.

Whether it was cheering for the Los Angeles Dodgers while my family cheered on the Yankees or me cheering on Fran Trankenton and the Minnestota Vikings while the popular Dallas Cowboys had my family’s heart, sports has always been an instrumental part of my life and spirit. It is no wonder I didn’t have a complete meltdown when I got to run in the 2017 Boston Marathon with the one and only Kathrine Switzer, a female icon in sports for so many women.

I challenge any woman looking for inspiration and empowerment to start watching and participating in more sports. We need you to also fill the stands of women’s sporting events and motivate your young daughters, nieces and granddaughters to get involved with sports. I can tell you after a 53 year love affair with sports as a spectator and participant that my life has been enriched beyond measure.

In 2018, I hope you are inspired to not only watch the February Olympics but to get out there and start participating in sports. You don’t have to do high flying aerial tricks or speed down hills like my favorite Olympian Erin Hamlin but get out there breath in the fresh air, give your body a boost and you’ll find your spirit and heart are elevated to a new high.

All I can say in closing is, “Thanks Mom and Dad for giving me the gift of the love of sports.”

P.S. If want to join us on January 21st in Syracuse as we try to break the attendance record at the SU Women’s Basketball Game, click here and join us. Bring some women and girls with you.

An Average Day Becomes Awe-Inspiring

January 8, 2018

Inspiration and wisdom for women and women entrepreneurs

The frigid subzero air stunned me as I walked out to get the Sunday paper. I thought to myself, “This is not your average morning temperature,” as I shuffled through the snow making my way back quickly to my warm house. Little did I know Sunday was not going to be an average day. I knew for sure the day would unfold watching football playoffs and the Golden Globes since I love sports and events, but little did I know it would remind me as stunningly, as the cold air, about something deeper.

I decided to use my courtside tickets at the Syracuse University Women’s Basketball game at 1 p.m. because my spirit soars cheering on female athletes. As I entered the Dome I ran into four women dressed in orange who I had communicated with the night before. They wanted to get involved with our “CNY Women Rising Weekend” happening in a couple weeks. Before we could sit down, my friend the female SU Deputy Athletic Director passed by giving me a hug. Serendipity was working.

Just like men have done for years, the four of us women spoke about business, getting more women to attend a women’s basketball games and engage women to start golfing more together for personal and economic ties. It was if we planned to have this business meeting at the dome; yet we were there to support our community’s female athletes. The team’s victory coincided with my feelings in choosing to attend the game.

As my day progressed watching the Golden Globes, I saw my new acquaintance Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement on the red carpet of the Golden Globes. I sat next to Tarana just five days earlier at New York State Governor’s Address in Albany. We shared 4 hours together talking about the #MeToo movement since we were both invited there for that reason. As we hugged goodbye that day, I said to her, “Let me know how I can help spread the news about your work going forward.” To see her on the red carpet in Hollywood seemed surreal.

This “average day” ended as I listened to Oprah’s amazing Golden Globe speech. As she spoke, I flashed back to 1998 when I appeared on her show via video about a lesson I had learned from one of her shows. What an honor to appear for 60 seconds on her iconic show. Although I wished I was selected to be in her live audience, just like I wished I was at the Golden Globes live, I counted myself blessed to be chosen to have such awe-inspiring moments with women.

This morning I heard more than one actress say they were dedicating half of their time to their profession and the other to activism. Although I’ve been an activist for women entrepreneurs through my business and community rolesthe past twenty years, I know after yesterday I will be more vocal and bold in my efforts to change the world for women in more areas including business, sports, equality and life because as Oprah said, “A new day is on the horizon.” I ask you to join me and follow Women TIES for some ways to be more involved.

Inspiration for a Frigid Business Day: “Ode to E.X.”

January 5, 2018

On a cold..darn cold day..when working alongside my large 7′ window as I watch the thin snow bands slide by, I find inspiration in the simple things like listening to my favorite musician Dave Matthews, watching my son’s tropical fish swim happily in warm water or read an old poem created as a Christmas gift to surprise the son waiting for his first cell phone. Besides enjoying these pleasures, I am working on a significant local Women’s March and helping to fill the Carrier Dome on January 21st to help break attendance for the Syracuse University women’s basketball team.

Pleasure constantly comes and goes. When I think about how cold my fingers are trying to type this blog post or the numbness setting in my toes, the pleasure is gone; but as soon as I focus in on Dave’s music, glance at nature or remember fond memories of the heart pleasure returns. When thinking about how to be a better woman entrepreneur in 2018, I take clues from this Ying and Yang always working to improve my services, products and programs for my constituents while avoiding anything that might disenfranchise them from my company. Life is a balance. Warmth is a balance (especially today).

I have been avoiding putting my writing, which so many people love, into books or speech form. 2018 might have to be the year I incorporate that into my professional repertoire while fighting for women’s rights, pay inequality changes, getting more people in the seats at women’s sporting events and promoting women entrepreneurs. We must work on our core services and revenue generators while finding time in the cold of the day to plan for something new (besides a heat wave).

To inspire you to work and be creative on this chilly day, I am sharing that special poem that delighted my son one Christmas Day telling him he was getting a phone without coming out and handing it to him. I hope the humor and creative writing warms your heart and stirs your own imagination to create new products, services or goals for your own business. Here we go:

What I Love About E.X.

When I want something fast, I call Fed Ex.
When I want fun that lasts, I call little Lex.
When I am pretty hungry, I grab the Chex.
That’s why I love E.X.

When I’m hungry, I go to Boom Boom Mex Mex.
When it’s bball and I’m not starting, it’s “what the hex?”
When I call my brother, it’s come on “Tbone-Rex.”
That’s why I love E.X.

But the number one reason I love E.X.
is not about Fed Ex, Lex or Chex Mex,
It’s about how it makes me feel instantly known,
connected and not so far out and alone.

My true love for E.X. has to do with the T’s
the one in the front and the one at the end,
the full spelling of which will make my knees bend,
as I type my first words and ask it to send.

Oh, I’ve waited forever to enjoy this E.X.
all summer at Boom Boom Mex Mex and with Lex.
I know I’ll have less time to eat my Chex Mex
because my fingers will be busy as I finally TEXT.

Lex = Cousin Lexie
Boom Boom Mex Mex = Restaurant in Camillus New York
Dave Matthews = My favorite

Pink Hope in 2018 For Women

January 4, 2018

Inspiration and wisdom for women entrepreneurs, females and women business owners

As I awoke knowing I would be heading to Albany for a special event I looked out my back window to see the morning sky turning from grey to deep pink. It wasn’t your typical orange glow but the exact hue of my company’s brand color. I knew it was a message from above that 2018 was going to involve more to do with women – women in business, female athletes and women activists.

By the time the first business day of the New Year ended, I had received an invitation to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address in Albany the next morning, communicated for the third time with Billie Jean King inviting her to our January 20th event and had Twitter contacts with Patricia Arquette and Marianne Williamson about the state of women. If you don’t believe Twitter works, think again because all of my communication that day had to do with Twitter and using different hashtags especially #MeToo.

I entered the highly secured Empire State Plaza to find the woman who invited me to the State of the State Address. The room was filled with a ceremonial energy I haven’t experienced since President Deborah Stanley’s swearing in ceremony at SUNY Oswego. I found Kelli, Women’s Affairs Director for the Governor, and was shown to the “MeToo” row. We were told when the Governor mentioned us to rise and stand to be recognized. I had met Kelli in May by accident when I went up to her at an event and told her I thought I knew her. We didn’t but that chance networking encounter opened the door for a new relationship and my invitation to Albany. If you don’t believe networking works, think again.

Because we had to wait a couple hours until the Governor spoke, I had lengthy discussions with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and her partner Luz Marquez Benbow and Connie Vasquez, a Manhattan attorney and recent New York City #MeToo March Organizer, all three child rape survivors. I told them of my sexual harassment experience at my first corporate job which seemed to pale in comparison to their experiences. We agreed although that every woman’s story in this arena is essential and should be heard to inspire government action for future prevention.

Just like the annual Presidential State of the Union addresses, the crowd rose and clapped when they agreed with the speaker. Our #MeToo line rose when the Governor mentioned the legislation we were most interested in. When the entire address was finished, I had a new respect for state addresses, a reminder citizens must be involved with legislation and their government and gratitude for meeting a couple national women of influence. As I hugged my new friends good-bye and drove home late, I remembered the pink sky.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom has lessons for you to take away today. First, do not underestimate the power of networking and approaching a woman you don’t know to start a conversation because she might be more important than you can imagine in your future. Second, don’t underestimate the power of a hashtag! The #MeToo hashtag is one of the most significant ones in today’s world for women. Remember hashtags lead you to a subject page on Twitter where other like minded people gather. Find new contacts there. You might just find some national women to connect with. Third, say YES to invitations and go with the thought the experience will embolden and enrich your life in some way.

I truly hope you will join me our business networking event with speakers during our CNY WOMEN RISING WEEKEND events on January 19th because we have some really new, interesting women for you to meet, learn from and connect with to lead you somewhere different in 2018 or strengthen your personal and business mission even more. Success can equal networking, Twitter and saying Yes.

The YouTube Video Link for Governor Cuomo’s remarks on proposed women’s legislation is here.

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