Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers addressed a sold-out crowd at the 8th Annual WLP Symposium sponsored by Florida Blue, held at A La Carte Event Pavilion on Thursday, October 24, 2013. The energy in the room was palpable and you could feel the connection among the 600 attendees who gathered to discuss women in global leadership.

This was a day to celebrate women in leadership and during the luncheon program Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy ’83, ‘91 whose service to women in the community reflects the mission and values of WLP was named the recipient of the 2013 WLP Community Leadership Award. Additionally, the first ever WLP Community Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mrs. Louise Lykes Ferguson to acknowledge and honor her tremendous efforts and remarkable lifelong success in making a difference for women in the Tampa Bay region.

Dee Dee closed her luncheon keynote with a homework assignment for women. Pay attention to your words, she said. Listen for lack of confidence, passing off credit you deserve. Participants seemed eager to do their homework. In addition to Myers’ talk, panel sessions featuring local women and USF alumnae who are leaders in global business, environmentalism, humanitarian issues and philanthropy inspired conversations about women leading the way for one another to help improve our community and others around the globe.   Women left feeling energized and united in the cause to help support women and improve our community and the world, underscoring what WLP is all about, women supporting women!

The WLP Symposium raised more than $90,000 to support WLP’s efforts to provide scholarships, faculty research awards, and enhanced mentorship opportunities for students and young professionals. This will allow students like Geornesia Moses (an excerpt from a recent note included below) to pursue her educational dreams.

“Thank you! Attending the Symposium was was life-changing for me. I have greater focus on my goals and a new perspective on how to reach those goals. I don't think I've ever been around so many AMAZING women all at one time! It was an experience I won't forget.” -Geornesia Moses, WLP Scholarship Recipient

Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the conversation and the mission of WLP. We appreciate your support! A special thanks to all of our sponsors and especially our presenting sponsor, Florida Blue, for allowing us the opportunity to provide an educational forum for members of the Tampa Bay community.