BEND, OR -- Successful Central Oregon businesswomen shared their experiences and offered advice as part of the Bend Chamber's 'What's Brewing: The Year of the Woman in Business' event, last night.
Humm Kombucha CEO and founder Jamie Danek said not paying attention to negativity, but focusing on her vision, has lent to her success. "When I go into the day, for example, I never, ever, ever think, 'I'm a woman. How am I going to do this differently?' I just do it. I'm just going to do my thing. And all these stats and stuff that you can hear? I just don't pay attention to them because, I think, maybe they're true, and they probably are, but I need to go my own way because, otherwise, I get caught up in this story of whatever's happening." She added, "All these years later, and I seriously never wake up in the morning and go, 'God, I'm a woman, there are all these things against me.' I wake up in the morning and I go, 'There's so much opportunity'!"
Former CEO of First Interstate Bank, Patti Moss, said diversity is necessary to make a strong team. "Listening is really important. There's a lot of different diversity, but if you have diversity, and you don't listen to it, it's just not going to be as successful."
Investment partner of Seven Peaks Ventures, Corey Schmid, said true success comes from making your own opportunities. "Go give it a go. If it doesn't work, what's the worst that can happen? I didn't know to ask. I had to wait for someone else to present it to me, and that was a learning moment. There's lots of those, so keep your eyes and ears open for them."
Talena Barker, Founder and CEO of new startup Mission Limelight, says when she started up her company just over a year ago, she was heartened by learning so many other women are entrepreneurs like she is, and she's hoping to share that community with others. "In looking at what our options were going to be as a startup company, it was really shocking to me, looking at the sheer numbers of women who are starting businesses. There's a lot that goes into being a woman in business, and so, how can we identify some of these issues, and then address them, educate, elevate, advocate."
Bend Chamber CEO, Katy Brooks, emceed the gathering and said it's important to show women what's possible in the world of business.