Last night MyCity4Her attended an intimate event at Little Havana presented by S2 Financial Partners, a financial services firm located in Hunt Valley. The premise of the event was a mixture of networking opportunity, some education, food, wine, some highlighted vendor/partners and special guest speaker was none other than the formidable Lynne Brick. It is interesting to note that more and more company’s are planning “women centric” or women business development focused events.
An enthusiastic attendee (who preferred to remain nameless) shared this thought “I guess people realize who often is the one controlling the purse strings at home – and its not always the man, I like that this financial services firm considers women enough to offer them an evening of education and information of their own.” We’d have to concur that a definite trend is emerging and more and more businesses are realizing that targeting marketing specifically to women in business, is a smart and lucrative business development strategy.
The private, invitation only provided an evening for the 45 or so guests (mostly business women with a few
good men sprinkled in for good measure) to get to know one another better, do a little business development over refreshments and spend a rather humid, unpleasant evening in the cool comforts of Baltimore’s upscale nightclub, the Havana Club. Attendees included Amanda B. Coleman-Phelps (General Manager, Nelson Coleman Jewelers), Bridget Lowy (President, Dartrans), Hollis Thomases (CEO, Web Advantage), Georgia Thomas (Programs Manager, Smart CEO) and Marjorie Cota (VP of Market Development, Mind over Machines), Mary Ellen Morrison (Executive Director, Hunt Valley Business Forum) to name a few. It was refreshing to see some new faces…
For those who haven’t been, the Havana Club offers a well-appointed intimate setting, state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, and extensive wine list. The Havana Club is part of Steve F. De Castro (CEO of Big Steaks Management). Big Steaks management was established in 1998, and is a restaurant management group headquartered in Pikesville, Md. They operate nine Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations across Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina. The also own and operate the Havana Club, Baltimore, Maryland’s hottest upscale nightclub and only indoor smoking venue.
Sallyann Koontz when asked why an upscale ” cigar bar” and restaurant made the ideal location for this women in business event she answered ” We love women in business, it’s a large part of our clientele, when the client came to us with this idea – we thought – what a great opportunity to bring women in and show off. ” The Private Dining Manager enthusiasticly continued ” we actually have a lot of female clients, they love the cozy, rich interior, women are a huge part of our clientele.”
The highlight of the event was the short, but very inspiring talk given by none other than one of Baltimore’s most successful, and inspirational women entrepreneurs Lynne Brick, President of Brick Bodies Fitness Services (Brick Bodies, Lynne Brick’s Women’ s Health & Fitness & Planet Fitness.) Lynne had this to share about her participation in the event ” Any opportunity for women to come together, to learn something worthwhile, is good. It’s great to be here.” The vivacious entrepreneur (who was also a guest on the National MyCity4Her Radio Show – Today’s Businesswoman this past Tuesday August 7, 2012) got the group moving with shoulder rolls and shared some of her secrets for a successful, healthy life.
#1 – Retrain your brain – Lynne advises to make a point of developing healthy habits, eliminating negative and limiting thoughts and focusing on what you can do, not what you can’t.
#2 – Plan – Lynne shared “planning today determines your tomorrow – literally.” She encouraged attendees to plan fitness and fun into your life.
#3 – JUST DO IT – Lynne advised whether it’s fitness, finances or your dreams – it’s important to retrain your brain about the possibilities, plan for what you want and JUST DO IT. She continued “Some days you’ll have to run like heck, some days you’ll get to coast and just take a walk in the park, some days you’ll have to walk backwards and revisit where you’ve been and the choices you’ve made…but move, and JUST DO IT!”
The crowd was visibly inspired and impressed. Sallyann Koontz spent most of the time ensuring her staff was taking excellent care of the guests and admitted “You know it may be August – but we’re already focused on holiday dining, so I want to make sure these women have an amazing experience as we’re hoping they will come back to visit” Ms. Koontz a hospitality professional and marketing expert offered up these tips for hosting a successful business event:
#1 – Make a point to order the food your guests will LOVE and enjoy
#2 – When it comes to business development, or promotional type events – RESPECT PEOPLE’S TIME! Keep the event on schedule, to the point and allow enough time for your guests to know one another.
#3. Focus on quality not quantity – in all your choices. Whether it’s the guest list, the food, the refreshments, etc. It’s about creating something memorable, in a good way.
More pictures of the event can be found below, for more information about S2 Financial partners click here.