Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Big Award Ceremony

Just got back from receiving the Anna Maria Arias Award at the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 27th National Convention and it was amazing.

It was the first time I've left Citlalli and Dad for 2 nights and miracle of all miracles... they survived! (Quite nicely, might I add.)

The awards ceremony was elegant, beautiful, emotional, inspiring... a heartfelt tribute to Anna Maria Arias and the women of her legacy.

As much as I enjoyed myself, I have to admit that the festivities weren't all about me or the other awardees.

Oh no, not by a long shot.

Another woman stepped up and occupied a joyful time in the limelight.

If you really want to know...


Bunny is this bouyant, energetic woman with more enthusiasm than people half her age. She'd never been to a convention like this before, never been "networking", yet she handled herself like a pro. Armed with a pocket of my business cards, she went forth with my segunda mama Nora from Las Comadres and together they conquered the convention hall.

Key people... the kind that you have to muster up nerve to talk to ... came up to me. Did they say, "Oh hello, Nancy and congratulations"? Not at first. First they had to say, "Oh Nancy, I just met your mother and she's WONDERFUL!" She is a PR machine without even knowing it. (Here she is having drinks with Doug from Wells Fargo).

Out of the corner of my eye I'd see her talking with her hands telling people all about how I help Latina business owners, adding her own little touches like a story or two about grandkids, how she discovered Shakespeare at age 70, then expertly weave it back to business. It was really amazing. She was deputized on the spot and is now my Corporate Relations Specialist. Gotta get her cards now! This is raw natural talent.

We met several cool people from Wells Fargo Bank (they co-sponsor the award), LATINA Style magazine, and the US Hispanic Chamber. The Expo hall was filled with everything from the phone company to official delegations from Latin America. Imagine a mariachi strolling the aisles as you're amassing a bounty of SWAG.

The award is gorgeous and it is proudly on display. Last night I went to a Comadrazo for Las Comadres and showed a DVD with clips of us all. (Remember I wrote about the film crew in my house?)

I had been advising several clients to get massages recently to alleviate the stress they've been under, and decided to treat myself to a hot stone massage the day after I arrived. It feels good to be back home, back in touch with clients, and feeling the euphoria linger.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Where did Summer Go?

Weather wise, it is hot as H-E-double toothpicks, but it's not really summer. The days are getting shorter, the kids are back to school. August was really a great month, and here are a few snippets from my life.

Yet another niece heading to college!
OK, we've got Kati and Julia at art colleges in the Bay Area, now high school senior Allie is looking to come to SoCal for college next year. I hope so- I told her she could do laundry at my house and babysit! (See how I snuck in babysit- genius, pure genius).

She came down with my sister Jeanne and toured some colleges and I am crossing my fingers that she gets accepted at the one closest to me.

While they were down here, my other sister Suzanne/Zan/Suzy/Sue met us at Jeanne and hubby's friend's house for an incredible dinner. We had the most amazing meal. Let me just say, when you are going to dinner at a famous food writer's house, you bring a plant. Or a scented candle, or a book, or anything but food. Why? This guy is DA HOOK UP for gourmet food. Humboldt Fog cheese, burrata or "mozzarella crack" as I call it, cured meats that I can't pronounce, etc etc etc. The only thing I could offer was a correct pronunciation on the famed restaurant La Guelaguetza. Other than that I just ate, smiled, and appreciated!

Us 3 sisters kept the air full of conversation and good cheer. (Don't you love our Osmond family smiles?)

August 28 I had the absolute good fortune to attend Handmade Galleries customer appreciation party. Andy Spyros is my hero! She put on a great party and I shopped til I dropped in her store. I have stocking stuffers checked off my list for the holidays.

Citlalli and Andy's daughter Zoe had a blast running through the store (nothing broken). Zoe showed Citlalli the ropes of how to play in the store without causing major damage. I don't know how they did it, but they did. Zoe is the older and wiser one.

This month has travel to Philadelphia (my nerves are shaking!) for the heretofore unidentified award, then off to the Crafty Chica Cruise, then up to the Bay Area in October. I'm not used to all this excitement but I'm loving it while it lasts.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Can you keep a secret?

Well, I don't know if you can keep a secret, but I sure can.

Yes I can, yes I can, yes I can.

I sure can.

OK, you dragged it out of me, but I'm not letting you in on everything:

Last month I posted an entry referring to a big award I was applying for and guess what:
I got it!

I'm not saying which award (the organization giving the award wants us quiet til they officially announce it), but it's prestigious, a huge honor, and will help me further develop my coaching work to help Latinapreneurs (my term) find personal and financial success.

I fly back east in September to get the award at a big snazzy event. I'm really excited because I'm bringing my mom and it will be Citlalli's first time ever spending the night without me, just dad. They'll be fine... remember, they love to watch Bob Marley DVDs.

On Friday a film crew (1 guy doing the work of 3 people still counts as a crew in my mind) came and filmed an hour of me that will get sliced down to a 30 second snippet. They'll flash that on the screen as I accept the award (I'M NOT TELLING YOU WHAT AWARD YET! OK!?!) I think their idea was to avoid long winded acceptance speeches. (I kept my acceptance speech for Entrepreneur of the Year to under 3 minutes- I know to keep it short and sweet.)

The funniest thing is that this past week has been the week I decided to redo my office, and living room. House=disaster. The goal of this film shoot was to capture me in my work environment. Hmmmmmm. Need to think creatively.

I called my extremely talented artist friend Erin and asked if she could stage an area in my house that we could use as a substitute office. She was awesome! We had to take about a million of Paco's books down (Advaita, Zapatistas, Dreads, Reggae, Politics, Native Struggle, etc), stack them up under the kitchen counter, then recreate this space as my ideal office. She did a great job turning my dining room into a dream office- Maria Sanchez art, my grandmother's molcajete, certificates of recognition from Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez and Linda Sanchez, pictures of my family. I sort of felt like I was moving into an IKEA vignette.

I invited my comadre Alicia Maciel over and asked her if she could pose as my client for the film shoot. Since my business is mostly virtual,I don't have a client meeting space, but we made it look like we were really going at some good strategizing. (Actually we were, we were going to meet later that day to talk about licensing and intellectual properties, so we just had our meeting while being filmed).

This has been a whirlwind, I totally hit the wall of exhaustion after all was done, but perked up enough later that day to do a girls night out w/ my moms group.

Whew! More exciting info to come...