This year’s Women’s White Collar Defense Association Annual Retreat, formerly known as “Spa Day”, took place last night in New Orleans. It was another raving success. There were over 175 women from all over the country present for an afternoon and evening of networking. This is the fourteenth year that women in the white-collar field have made an effort to connect around the ABA white-collar conference. When the group first met there were 8 women and today the association has over 800 members with an annual retreat that reaches maximum capacity around 175 women. For the past couple years there have been wait lists of women that want to attend and of firms that want to sponsor. The energy and excitement of the women in the room was palpable.
Karen Popp of Sidley Austin, who was one of the original eight, is a driving force behind the association’s continued growth and success. She addressed the women yesterday during both the afternoon and evening events and is an inspiration for the group and for anyone in the field. She shared how networking with women in the field has grown her business and contributed to her success. The women of Collora, LLP including but not limited to Maria Durant and Eve Slattery deserve a lion’s share of praise for the time they put into organizing the event year after year. Maria gave special thanks to the consultant firm sponsors and law firm sponsors that made the event possible this year. Finally, Marjorie Pearce of Ballard Spahr addressed the women and encouraged every woman in the room to get involved in the clemency project and donate their time to help. Check out the clemency project through NACDL, which directs you how to contact them to volunteer.
Every year I attend this event I am reminded about the power of connecting with other women in the field. Consider what eight women who put their minds together were able to create; a powerful network for women in the white-collar field. It is a shining example of what we can accomplish when we join together and commit to helping one another. Just imagine what 175 women can do!