100 Women in a Room: HEELS Bootcamp

100 Women in a Room: HEELS Bootcamp

I walk up the steps to sign in to the event, greeted friendly faces.

Everything is ready: name tags, a table of giveaways, a speaker’s table, the podium and microphones.

By the time my daughter and I arrive, the room is almost full. Women are greeting each other, finding their seats, catching up. Many seem to know each other from networking groups around town. Several women have come together: mothers and daughters, c0-workers, aunts and nieces.

The room is filled with noisy chatter and excitement.

Several teenagers stake out a spot at a table in the back.

A videographer is setting up, and I strain my eyes to look for Alicia in the crowd.

There she is, saying hello to some women who just arrived. She towers over them; tall to begin with, she is sporting her signature (4 inch?) red heels.

I met Alicia several months ago for lunch and in that first conversation, she told me about her plans to bring a group of women together for an event. She asked me if I’d be willing to speak, and she followed up later with a formal invitation.

I didn’t know the whole, story, though, until she stood up to speak at yesterday’s event.

Some trusted friends and advisors questioned her ability to create an event for women in our area. They told her they’d seen people try it before and it didn’t work. Women here don’t participate in those types of events, they told her.

Undettered, Alicia persevered, assembling a dynamic team of presenters, an inspiring keynote speaker, and a group of participants eager to learn and relate to each other.

She called her event the 1st Annual HEELS Bootcamp. Heels are an important part of Alicia’s story, because to Alicia, heels represent her ability to be herself and express her uniqueness. She created the acronym HEELS (Helping Energize and Educate Ladies Sooner) to express her desire to make a difference for young women as she inspires and encourages them to achieve more.

The message of the day, condensed: Who you are matters. You have a unique difference to make in the world. You are the only one who can do what you were meant to do.

Alicia’s life demonstrates the message in a powerful and inspiring way.

As my daughter and I left the event, she bubbled with enthusiasm. Can we come next year? That was so awesome. I loved meeting and talking with all the women. Everyone was so nice! You did awesome with your talk, Mom. I wish I had brought more of my business cards. Alicia is so pretty. Wasn’t it cool how… The tiramasu was so delicious. Cami listened intently to the speakers, taking notes. She boldly introduced herself, talking with grown-ups with ease and grace.

Having experienced the event firsthand, I will highly recommend this event to my local friends next year, especially friends who could bring their daughters to share the experience together. The day included an amazing mix of friendly networking and inspiring content, organized and executed expertly by a passion-filled difference-maker.

Thank you, Alicia, for your persistence in bringing this group of 100 women together. I really can’t wait until next year!

Filed As:  Cami, women

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Thanks for the great review of the Heels event. I wanted to attend – knew Alica would do a great job – hope it happens next year as I want to take my Granddaughter who was a camp this year. Your post did a great job of letting the rest of the world know about the success of the event.

    Enjoy the last of the summer with your daughers – hope to meet you someday for some coffee/chocolate and maybe share some recent reads. Linda

  • Indeed the event seems empowering which can be replicated with greater participation from women and their daughters with great enthusiasm. Such approach can also be powerful to empower community at large where people have trouble with enormous livelihoods issues. Thanks for sharing wonderful experience.

  • Becky, WOW. Thanks for the wonderful write up. What a great event. HOW powerful that we had women of ALL ages learning from each other. I’m certain we all learned just as much from the youth as the youth learned from us. To Deepak’s point, this sort of event can definitely bring together a community and so glad he knew within the body of your blog that was a goal of mine.

    Our own mayor acknowledges that our community considers themselves, “Second class citizens”. We can’t change the world (or a community) until we start with ourselves. Until Toledo knows they are great… Toledo can’t be great. I’m willing to start with every woman here until we know that Toledo is an amazing place to work, live and be ridiculously amazing.

    Stand tall,


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