By KENYA KING
Nearly 700 of the nation’s leading African-American female executives, managers and business owners recently gathered in Orlando, Fla., for Black Enterprise’s seventh annual Women of Power Summit held at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes on Feb. 15 -18. The summit offered an array of professional development training and lifestyle workshops including everything from investing and money management to social media and networking. The event also delivered a host of opportunities for leisure and wellness activities such as belly dancing, golf and tennis clinics and a concert featuring Grammy-nominated singer Eric Benet.
Numerous women from the Atlanta metropolitan area attended and participated in the event. Scarlet Pressley-Brown, director of external affairs and community relations at Delta Air Lines, attended the summit this year for the first time. “It has been absolutely phenomenal. I expected a lot. It met my expectations far beyond anything I would have imagined. The women here are truly focused. They’re driven. They’re getting it right and they’re sharing their expertise. They’re sharing their insight. It’s about sisterhood and they’re making sure that we all get there together,” she said.
Melody T. McCloud, longtime Atlanta obstetrician-gynecologist and founder of Atlanta Women’s Health Care, also participated as a guest speaker on a panel about women’s health. During the session titled The Naked Truth: Uncovering our Sex, Weight, Health and Beauty, McCloud spoke candidly about women’s stress levels and sexual well-being and shared insights from her book “Living Well Despite Catching Hell: Black Woman’s Guide to Health, Sex and Happiness.”
A popular discussion during the summit covered the topic “rule-breakers and game changers.” Pressley-Brown, who says she plans to leave Delta effective March 15 to become the vice president of marketing for the Center for Civil and Human Rights, expressed enthusiasm for moving into the next chapter of her career and seeing what the future holds for her.
She stated that the rule-breaker/game-changer session was one of her favorites, as it embraced the notion of taking risks and reaching your highest ability.
“We were reminded that that’s what corporate America is all about. That’s what life is all about,” said Pressley-Brown. “But when you do find that there are obstacles in the way. When you do find that there are those who would try and prevent you from having what you truly want, need and desire, she [the presenter] used a cliché. She said “when they’re throwing bricks at you, to use that as a foundation for building. So just catch the bricks and keep stacking them up and getting higher and higher,” said Pressley-Brown.
“So, I planted that in the back of my mind. Because I’m with Delta Air Lines and it’s been a wonderful 12 years