First I have to start by saying that we were as spoiled as possible at the Conversations with Coca Cola Conference I attended earlier this month! There was no detail left undone, no want left unattended to and complete amazement all around with how well we were treated!
That being said, the most important things that I got out of this conference which I was so completely honored to have been invited to, was that Coca Cola supports, promotes and understands women and women’s issues more than any other company I have ever seen. Add to that their amazing dedication to health – YES health – and social and community support and you will, as I did, stand up and applaud what they are doing!
But, this conference was – surprisingly enough – not centered around Coca Cola at all! I know – shocking, right? Sure, there were the speakers and the red and white was everywhere (we were at their headquarters) but I felt that the conference was more about supporting and educating and promoting me and the other bloggers in a way that sometimes is lacking!
For example, the first speaker was one of us! Megan Calhoun is the founder of an amazing blogger support network, SocialMoms.com. When I started in this crazy business she was one of the first to give me a chance and let me use my social networking skills to get my name out there, as well as the name of her client. I feel so strongly about what she is doing and how she is helping bloggers like me that I pulled her aside in the bathroom at the conference and thanked her. Even with 30,000 mom bloggers in her network, she knew who I was and that impressed me!
I loved listening to how she “stumbled” upon this business and how, through focusing on her goals and maintaining a high quality of standards, she managed her network to substantial proportions. And in a very short amount of time. While managing marriage, kids and taking care of herself as well! I was a full circle moment for me as I listened to her explain the challenges and successes that she has had. When she was done, I was more aware of how a mom can use her resolve and dedication to be all that she can be.
Topping Megan was going to be hard! But Coca Cola pulled out all of the stops! After an amazing lunch by Subway, it was time to work out! Yes, work out at Coca Cola! See, I told you it was not just all about Coke!
We were then introduced to a beautiful, inspirational and energetic woman who taught me something valuable in her time with us. I AM worth it! Monica Vazquez is the official trainer for Subway Restaurants and she is an inspiration because, before she made fitness her life, she worked hard to lose 65 pounds and KEPT IT OFF!
You KNOW that I hung on every word she said. She is a real life woman with a real life story that we all can relate to! She first talked about moderation… something I need to learn… and the importance of getting up and getting moving. And the moving does not even have to involve the perfect clothing, fancy shoes and major work out routine that can drag us down on our busy days! It can include just getting UP and getting moving! Park in the last space in the parking lot! Use milk jugs to “lift weights”, use your coffee table to do triceps lifts. Whatever. But a body in motion stays in motion! Check out more of her story and tips on her website, FitnessbyMonica.com!
See more Coca Cola Conference fun below:
So I did!
“On your climb to the top there must have been mistakes. What advice would you give those of us who are trying to climb to the best we can be in our profession to avoid the same mistakes?”
The answers were enlightening. ‘Know your limitations”. ‘Focus on one thing at a time. If your with your kids, be with your kids. If you are working, work.’ ‘Take time to enjoy what you are accomplishing.’
Not at all what I expected. All of the women on the panel, from the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, Sonya Soutus to Ceree Eberly, senior Vice President and Chief People Officer -and a single mom juggling motherhood and work on the tightrope we can all relate to, the women were honest, open and real.
The panel was engaging, not afraid to speak their minds, open and honest about their struggles and left me feeling like we were all in it together. As women, mothers and business people. It was truly a highlight!
After the panel we got to take our inspired selves and make vision boards for where we wanted to go from here. Both professionally, personally and creatively. I LOVED this part of the day and was impressed with myself that I could even do it! I found that above all, in life and on here, I wanted to be HONEST. I want to be known as someone who has integrity and can tell you the truth, even when it is hard. I want to raise my daughter’s to be that way as well! And so, as I envision branching out into other aspects of my life, I want to maintain that goal.
We rounded out our trip with a fun day at World of Coca Cola! If you have never been, make it a point when you are in Atlanta! The place is a mecca of History, imagination, education and fun! I even stood thisclose to the vault that holds the actual formula to Coca Cola! I was impressed by the technology that they used to enhance the story and learned more about a company that is striving to maintain it’s history as it leads the way into the future!
This is a day trip because you will not see it all in one trip! Try to mix your own formula, be enthralled by the amazing memorabilia and laugh at the theories and substitutes people have come up with over the years to debunk the fantasticness that is Coca Cola!
And finally, at the end of this very long post that I hope you read every word of, take a few moments to learn about the very important initiative, LivePositively.com that Coca Cola is pouring their hearts and souls into! “To Live Positivly” all you have to do is find your inner optimist.” Learn all about the program, vote for your favorite park that you would like to see Coca Cola help revitalize, see who will carry the Olympic Torch, check out RecycleBank and how Coca Cola is trying to use more natural, recycled materials and even understand how they are making labels easier for every day consumers!
This was truly an amazing, once in a life time trip and I, from the bottom of my heart, thank Coca Cola for the invitation. Impressed that they never market to kids under 12 and leave soda drinking decisions totally up to the parents, amazed that employees can sit in for each other at meetings so they never miss a child’s play and excited about the research and science you put into making sure you have a myriad of products that fit every lifestyle, I learned more about you AND ME on this trip!
And I think you.