retrieved via instagram @deecmarshall on 4-4-16
retrieved via instagram @deecmarshall on 4-4-16
retrieved via instagram @deecmarshall on 4-4-16

“Win, Rock, Rule!” Every word of that statement holds power and a charge to be great. In the words of Dee Marshall, superstar life coach, author, international speaker, TV lifestyle expert, and founder of Girlfriends Pray, “Live a yummy life!”  On March 31st, hundreds of women gathered for Dee’s annual women’s empowerment networking event to #WinRockRule their lives. With feminine inspired handheld epithets, journals and clackers all provided while Beyonce’s music rocked the DJ’s turntables, the room was ripe for the celebration!

Keynote speaker Michele Thornton, SVP of Media Sales for Centric TV and author of Stratechic, delivered a truly motivating message. She challenged the event attendees to not just sit, listen and take notes, rather to take action. Michele expressed the importance of knowing that the experience is not limited to meeting people at a networking event, but establishing relationships beyond the day. If  the mission of this form of collective is to network, then do so by creating bonds that enable one another to reach goals.

Photo Fun with the Stratchic Michele Thornton (Photo T. Coleman). Retrieved on 3.31.16
Stratechic author Michele Thornton (Photo T. Coleman).

EGL had the opportunity to ask Michele Thornton how she wins, rocks, and rules in her life as a superwoman media executive, as well as a wife and mother

At this stage and journey in my life, it means nothing if I don’t help someone else. That’s critical for me.” Thornton went on talk about the importance of your time and who is worthy of it. I had to learn to value my time. I discuss it in my book, Stratechic. When dealing with time you have to be very proactive. Be present. I am a communicator so I need to be strict about my time, intentional, and direct.  Time has to be planned out in order to be effective. Remove the scramble; this will enable you to be confident.”

From the mouth of the woman responsible for the concept behind rebranding Centric Television as the first network specifically designed to target African-American women, EGL loves her authenticity. Hearing Michele Thornton’s spoken words and the points she makes in her book Strategic are true gems.

Nicole Doss-Founder, The Prestige Society; Lucinda Cross, The Activate Movement; Tawana Coleman, Founder, Speak Free Communications (Photo T. Coleman)
Nicole Doss, Lucinda Cross, Tawana Coleman

So many amazing shero stories and accomplishments filled the event powered by Prudential’s #WomenInspired initiative and other sponsors such as Comcast NBC Universal, Barnabas Health, Wells Fargo, and Cornell University.  The first panel of the evening, “Prudential presents Career Transition” consisted of Andrea Agnew, VP of Human Resources/Central Division Comcast Spotlight; Silvia Tergas, Financial Planner, Prudential; Kirsten Branigan, Esq., Law Office of Kirsten Scheurer Branigan, P.C.; Rakia Reynolds, President, Skai Blue Media; and Victoria Neidigh, VP of Strategic Initiatives Comcast NBC Universal.  The women shared stories of their challenges, perseverance and triumphs. Rakia Reynolds discussed having “bricks thrown at her” but not letting it stop her from becoming who she was destined to be. Andrea Anew impressed that through her scope of experience thriving is centered on holding true to your values about, “People, principals, my purpose, and my paper.” She also affirmed, “How you do anything, is how you do everything.” Definite food for the soul.

Photo by Tray Kearney Instagram @wtraykay
L-R: Dee Marshall, Andrea Agnew, Kristen Branigan, Victoria Neidigh, Silvia Tergas, Bottom Row L-R: Rakia Reynolds and Michele Thornton. (Photo by Tray Kearney Instagram @wtraykay).

The final panel “Barnabas Health presents Master Class” was filled with emotion and tears. Gracing the stage was Mary Ellen Clyne PhD., President, Clara Maas Medical; Michellene Davis, Esq., Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Barnabas Health; and moderator Tyi L. McCray, PhD., Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Cornell University.  The love shared amongst the group was touching. An unlikely group of women spoke on the topics of adversity and overcoming obstacles. Clyne who was dealt tough blows growing up in a dysfunctional family full of abuse and poverty overcame it all to ultimately become a chief decision maker and a humble leader. Davis, who spoke with strong self-assurance and a no-nonsense manner, relayed her career experiences of standing firm in her beliefs and not faltering when tested. These women spoke of resilience in their walks through life.

T. Coleman and Toya Beasley Networking at #WinRockRule (Photo T. Coleman). Retrieved on 3.31.16
T. Coleman and Toya Beasley Networking at #WinRockRule (Photo T. Coleman).

The ceremony concluded with awards going to three special women who showed determination in achieving their goals. Honoree Toya Beasley, radio personality on NY’s 103.9 FM and Founder/CEO of SistaFriendz, was full of gratitude. Host Dee Marshall was teary eyed as she awarded her colleague and friend for her outstanding work.

Life Coach, Author, TV Lifestyle Expert and Founder of Girlfriends Pray the fabulous Dee Marshall
Founder of Girlfriends Pray the fabulous Dee Marshall

One attendee, life coach, author, and TEDx speaker, Lucinda Cross, founder of the Activate Movement had this to say:

I win, rock, rule by making a living by living my life. I lost one of the greatest role models, my mother, and since then I vowed to enjoy my slice of life against the odds. This event was networking on steroids! Every connection I made just got sweeter and sweeter. A room full of purpose pushers. I didn’t want to leave!

Thank you Dee Marshall for creating such a “yummy” event that connects and elevates women.

Written By: Tawana C. Coleman

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