Wow! What an incredible night the Grace Hill event was!!! I don't know what I was expecting. It wasn't that! I have never felt more proud and honored about the business decisions I have made than I did last night.
The response to my speech was amazing. I couldn't believe it! People really liked it and connected to it and appreciated it. I heard people verbally agreeing with what I was saying and at one point gasping in shock at our benefits. It felt like preaching in a gospel church--total and complete audience participation! The applause afterwards was incredible. So this is what it is like to have a moment of fame. I like it! hehe.
Afterwards, woman after woman approched me. They hugged me. They shook my hand. They told me their stories--stories of trying to raise their children and be a professional and how the two do not go together. They told me that I "got it" and that if my company could do this, why couldn't many more. They appreciated me and that in itself is the most touching part of the evening for me. I received tons of cards and requests for mine by many people (of course, I had NONE on me!). A children's book illustrator also asked if I would be interested in authoring a children's book called "Working Mommy" that she would then illustrate. I am telling you--I was mobbed by people all the way to the elevator--and it was surreal.
So many people were there to support me, including my mom, Kathy, Rachael, Stefanie, Ron, Fred. I am so glad they were there. Rachael brought me flowers. The staff all signed a card for me and I was given that as well by Stefanie. I received a really nice award--the Larry Parker Award for Outstanding Entrepreneur 2009. A resolution was taken in my name and presented to me by the City Alderman that read of my presentation of the award. My portrait was unveiled and a duplicate in 8x10 was given to me. On and on and on...it was simply dreamlike.
My staff is amazing! Rachael and Stefanie were beaming and that made me feel so special and good. I am sure my mom and aunt were but they were at the other end of the row of chairs and I couldn't see them. However, I talked to my mom later and she was really impressed with the whole thing.
The mayor and a senator also stopped by to say a few words earlier in the program. Carla B. who is the assistant at Grace Hill was there. She is a really neat woman. She and Rob talked quite a bit and she said some really kind things about me to him. Lance, the photographer, whispered in my ear, "Girl, you almost made some people cry!"
I wish everyone could have been there. I really do. Thanks to everyone -- especially Boulter and Mark -- and Rachael and Stefanie and Kathy and Neil -- and all our engineers -- I am deeply grateful to and for all of you!