Today at Rabobank was all about empowering and inspiring women in the community through the 28th Annual Bakersfield Women’s Conference. It’s an event that takes a whole year to plan. Where women not just from Kern County but all over the nation share ideas and messages of inspiration.
“Today is an opportunity really for self-growth motivation and really to network and connect with one another,” said Norma Rojas-Mora, the vice chair for the Bakersfield Women’s Conference. The Rabobank Convention Center was taken over by women today as the 28th Annual Bakersfield Women’s Conference was in town.
More than 1,000 women attended to shop around 85 vendors and listen to 28 speakers, with topics ranging from finances to wellness. Connie Perez-Andressen has attended the conference for a couple years and as a new mother found interest in learning about her new lifestyle. "As a mother, a working mother being able to provide my kids a healthy lifestyle and also being involved in the community is very important to me," said Perez-Andressen.
This year's theme was a new you starts now, a motto this year's keynote speaker, Laila Ali...daughter of famed boxer Mohamad Ali...hopes every women focuses on. "I believe in being able to reinvent yourself as many times as you want to," said Ali. And teaching them to use that strength to take control of their own lives. "We let fear hold us back and a lot of times that fear comes from worrying about what others are gonna say or what they are gonna think. We only have one life to live and have to do you so i encourage people to live that way," said Ali.
Vendors, speakers and organizers hoping attendees left with a sense of support and community that can help them in the future. "As women sometimes we don't give ourselves permission to be amazing, to be great to own our she power, so our hopes this year is that women will walk away fully in their power, owning it, and starting a new you, whatever that new you means to them," said Arleana Waller, an executive board member. "We're moms, we're business women, we're wives we wear so many different hats and the more that we're supported I think the stronger our communities will be," said Ali.