• May 2015
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Cassie Hoag, past president, NAWBO OC  

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Thursday, September 11, 2008
Of women and politics...
Thursday, January 08, 2009
New year, new hope, new paradigm
Truly Remarkable Women
The 13th annual Remarkable Women Awards hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – Orange County’s biggest event honoring women – took place on Friday, dispensing the usual big dose of inspiration, humor, tears and cheers. With a unique perspective this year as co-chair, I’ve been coming off of a multi-day high from the event. I’m now in the reflective phase of a pleasant decompression and am struck by the utter diversity of this year’s honorees. They came from such distinctly different backgrounds, with few similarities in education, career path, vision and drive. Yet, all are supremely successful. It makes me wonder: What do you say to someone who seeks to be recognized as a Remarkable Woman? What’s the path to such a prestigious acknowledgement? How does one achieve remarkability?

From thefreedictionary.com:

1. Worthy of notice.
2. Attracting notice as being unusual or extraordinary.

OK. That’s somewhat helpful. Remarkable women are more than notorious; they’re worthy. And although we all know that someone or something can be remarkable in a negative sense, clearly NAWBO narrows its awards down to the extraordinary. Pretty intimidating – unless you’ve been to one of these events and basked in the stories that the honored women tell.

Yes, they’re remarkable. But they’re also genuine, accessible and humble, with as many false starts and mistakes under their belts as the rest of us. Whether graduates of the Ivy League or school of hard knocks, these honorees are down-to-earth, identifiable and real (Orange that is). As impressive as their accomplishments are, it feels like there’s just one degree of separation between them and us mere mortals.

NAWBO leads the in women’s awards in Orange County because it takes the time to tell its main honorees’ stories. Beyond the impressive accomplishments, this format exposes the beauty, the connectedness of these women, in spite of their differences, and makes them all that much more tangible.

The Remarkable Women 2008: Tammy Taylor of Tammy Taylor Nails, Sue Ellen Cooper of the Red Hat Society, Gina Kay of InHome Care Solutions, Dee Elliott of King Relocation Services. Each has a wonderfully unique history and perspective. No stereotypes here. And, thank goodness, there’s no prescribed formula at play. We’ve come a long way, baby. We’ve arrived at a place where success is solely linked to accomplishments, results and legacy.

Want to be a remarkable woman? Go for it! And do it your own special way – with your own flair and style and interpretation of the world. We have a seemingly endless supply of remarkable women candidates in Orange County. May that always be the case!