Association leadership conference addresses the things that go unsaid

A new event for female association event leaders planned for June in Washington, D.C., will focus on the conversations that aren’t always discussed in the office—personal brand management, fearless leadership and even menopause. Michelle Mason, president of ASAE, described The Exchange as a place where women can show up with their authentic selves, make critical connections and broach sensitive topics with honest, candid conversations.

Many of the speakers are inspirations from outside the meetings industry who will share their experiences to bring fresh ideas to the discussion. Smart Meetings sat down with some of the speakers to ask what they hope attendees will take away from the day.

Confident Style: Maria Pinto

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Fashion futurist Maria Pinto has evolved from dressing celebrities in extreme luxury styles to empowering women to feel appropriately chic and confident, whether in the boardroom, on the show floor or in their personal lives. Her deconstructed couture is comfortable, purposeful and functional—a combination that can be difficult to find.

“At this point, I am leaning in on sustainable clothing, core basics of a wardrobe rather that the frosting,” she said. “Dressing should be fun and empowering. It also needs to be easy to pack and wear so you can be a better version of yourself.”

She will be sharing her journey of building her company and what she has learned from her customers. “I have evolved over the years just as women’s bodies change from decade to decade and I want to support them with a balance that can take you into a business environment and go wherever you go.”

Read More: IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum Created a Safe Space

Continual Improvement: Michelle Korsmo

red haired woman in blue coat smilingPinto will be joined on the stage by National Restaurant Association President and CEO Michelle Korsmo. She is focused on the potential for inspiring growth. “It is important for those of us in the association community to be thinking about continuous improvement. Gathering and networking with your peers is essential to refreshing and engaging your brain so you can do your day-to-day work better,” she said.

Korsmo said she has known and valued the work of Maria Pinto for more than a decade. “She comes at the business of fashion in a way that really connects with professional women, helping them provide a lot of ease in their wardrobe at the same time, bringing a lot of style and creativity to how we show up and present ourselves every day.”

Korsmo’s goal is to help attenees think about fashion and work in a different way. “We need to think tactically about how we do our jobs and how to get better at our jobs and hearing from Maria Pinto will allow us to get some inspiration on bringing creativity into our day and it will be fun,” she said.

Taste of Success: Carla Hall

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As a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef” franchise and later on ABC’s “The Chew,” chef, entrepreneur and author Carla Hall encouraged everyone to cook with love. She believes food connects us all, a belief she strives to convey through her work, her cooking and in her daily interactions with others. She is currently featured on Food Network as a judge on competition shows such as “Summer, Thanksgiving, Holiday and Halloween Baking Championships.”

Her latest cookbook, “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration,” was published in 2018, landing on annual “Best Cookbook” lists across the country and receiving an NAACP Image Awards nomination.