Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Icelandic and American Women make a powerful combination

We hosted a reception for a group of American and Icelandic women entrepreneurs and educators to provide an opportunity for networking and sharing experiences. From the United States we had an impressive group that included Marie Therese Royce, senior executive with Alcatel-Lucent; Tina McCracken, owner and manager of a family-owned home building business; Marita Thompson, Senior Contract Negotiator; Barbara Shuster, senior executive with Marriot International; Dr. Kathleen Brown, education consultant and horse enthusiast; and Valerie Callanan, professor of Sociology at the University of Akron. Valerie marked the occasion by presenting me with a stuffed kangaroo, Zippy, her university’s mascot. Our Icelandic guests included executives and entrepreneurs from a broad range of sectors including whale-watching, travel and event organizing, the airline industry, the arts, fashion, software development, beverages, business consulting, personal coaching, and diplomacy. It was quite impressive to witness how quickly our guests connected, found common ground, and identified opportunities for their respective companies. I would not be surprised to learn that long-lasting friendships began at the gathering.