ABWA

ABWA. Empowering Women.

By Andrea Mejía

Click aqui para español->ABWA

When I arrived in New Orleans a few years ago, I decided to start my own business. This endeavor provided to be a more daunting task than I had expected. However, I found organizations along the way that were, and continue to be, fundamental in the growth and continued development of my company.

I dedicate this month’s rendition of Vivir Mejor to the American Business Women Association (ABWA), a professional national organization that specializes in honing women’s leadership skills, providing women with continuing education, and highlighting and raising awareness and recognition of the empowerment of women in business.

The ABWA was founded in 1949 after World War II. During this war, many women were forced to enter the workforce for the first time to fill employment and production gaps left behind by the millions of men who were serving their country domestically and abroad during combat operations. The ABWA was established to provide support and training for women who seek and undoubtedly deserve equal business opportunities.

Since its inception, ABWA has continually served women in the workforce and in business at the local and national level. The mission of ABWA is to gather businesswomen of diverse occupations and provide opportunities for them, so that they may better help themselves and help others grow personally and professionally by providing leadership, education, networking support, and national exposure and recognition.

As a businesswoman, I can attest that belonging to this type of organization is essential for both, personal and professional growth, and relying on the support of other women in business is instrumental to this end. ABWA offers formal opportunities for continuing education, accrediting its members in business management, public speaking, and marketing, among many others. Women who are considering establishing their own company, or those who’ve already started, should explore what this organization can do for their respective businesses.

The opportunity to reach out to other women who have already paved their way and achieved success in their fields and to listen to their stories is uniquely supportive, since we can all relate to each other. Being able to interact and network with other women in business for a few hours can help recharge energies and may even result in referrals and in generating innovative ground-breaking ideas!

 Our future is in our own hands; it’s in the hands of women nationwide fighting and struggling to succeed all while competing and striving to provide valuable substance in the business forum. We can, and must, help each other succeed and there is no better manner of achieving this than by providing a booming, boisterous referral and unyielding support for every one of your brilliantly empowered female colleagues.

Andrea Mejia

Writer/Escritora

Better Living/Vivir mejor

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Publisher's Note

Mixing Traditions

It is no cliché. New Orleans has a wonderful mix of traditions that add to the charm of this amazing city. With the holidays in full-swing, we can enjoy holiday-centered, free events like simple walks around traditional neighborhoods to see the elaborate Christmas decorations, Caroling in Jackson Square, attending the gospel and jazz concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine Church, watching the technological light display during Luna Fête, and visiting the beautifully decorated hotel lobbies in town, among others.

 There is one tradition in Louisiana that is so unique and that I hope to experience this year: The Bonfires on the Levee. Just thinking about seeing the pyres, the fireworks display and its reflection on the river during a cold night and having a warm drink while learning about this tradition from our River Parishes' neighbors sounds like an amazing way to soak in some of the culture around us.

Though the original purpose of the bonfires is unconfirmed, fitting the storyline of Papa Noel following the lights on a pirogue being pulled down river by alligators to deliver presents is such a tale. It involves a mix of many elements that are unique to the culture that has shaped the city of New Orleans.

I just love being able to experience different traditions and learning about the ways diverse groups of people who have made New Orleans their home, celebrate the holidays

Happy Holidays!