The Women Behind Capital Region Women’s Conference

Posted 09/19/2013 | By HealthCorps

With Lisa Oz as the headlining speaker, and Co-Chairpersons Michelle Brouchard, President of HealthCorps, and Winnie Comstock, President of Comstock Magazine, the Capital Region Women’s Conference, taking place on September 27th at the Sacramento Convention Center, is shaping up to be a full day experience that will help attendees of all ages to address their daily challenges of time management, energy, desire to grow personally and professionally, and balance all the demands they face.

Here are some thoughts from the co-chairs as they prepare for the event:

Michelle, how did you become involved in the Capital Region Women’s conference? Why is this event so important for you personally?  

As the President of HealthCorps, I have been thinking for years about how we could best engage women to help bring about change in their children’s lives on the health front.  Over the last year I had had conversations and meetings with various women to bounce off the idea of a Woman’s Conference to discuss solutions for the health of our children, our communities and the world.  The universe must have heard our talks because the amazing Winnie Comstock Carlson, a true maven in Sacramento, came to me out of the blue and said “Hey.  How would you like to co-host a Woman’s Conference on Health & Wealth”? (She is the founder and publisher of Comstock’s Magazine, the preeminent business magazine in Northern California).  I jumped at the opportunity, as I not only thought this was important for HealthCorps; it was near and dear to my heart.

I fought hard in my youth to go off to a women’s’ college (Wellesley) as I had been thinking about the particular issues women face since my early teens and am a true believer in the power of women getting together and bringing about cataclysmic change.  There is a REAL need to further the cause of women.  We can heal the world but remember that we only got to start voting in this country in 1920.  My grandmother, who is still alive, was born in 1918 so when she was born, my great-grandmother, who I knew well, could NOT VOTE.

Which causes will this event help to support?

Net proceeds front his event will go to HealthCorps (which is devoted to ReShaping a New Generation) and Eskaton (which is devoted to Transforming the Aging Experience).  It’s a pretty poetic partnership!

Who are some of the selected speakers at the event?

Women are coming in from all across the nation.  Dr. Oz’s wife, Lisa, will be speaking about the importance of health relationships, the power of family and community and the importance of women in leading the way for those they love.  She is launching The Lisa Oz Show on Veria Living on September 16th.  Dr. Oz’s sister Seval Oz, will also be speaking.  She works at Google on the Self-Driving car project.  We are also especially excited about Dr. Elisabeth Lindsey from the national Geographic Society, Health Author and former NBC broadcaster Christianne Klein, The CA Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross, and Branding Legend Roy Spence who is about to launch his new book “The 10 Essential Hugs of Life”.  But there are many, many more just as exciting folks also participating in the event.

What is the goal of the conference?

The goal is to put women in touch with other women as well as life and technological tools that will help them achieve their goals and dreams towards better health and more wealth.  We are especially excited about testing the use of Google+ as a communications tool before, during and after the conference.

Who should attend?

Any woman in California (or beyond!), who has a desire to enhance her financial, physical and mental well-being.  We deliberately kept a low General Admission price of $50 to make the day more accessible to a wider range of women.  It’s a great bang for your buck, as there will be great giveaways.

Can a one day conference really achieve significant education and inspire change in the attendees?

As the great Dinah Washington once sang “What a Difference a Day Makes!” Absolutely!  Every day is a new day upon which to write the story of your life.  We fall in love in a day.  We have children in a day.  We get a new job in a day.  We meet someone who changes our lives in a day.  We start a new business in a day.  And…as Scarlett said…”After all… tomorrow is another day.”

Can you share some of the sponsors of the event and why you think they were motivated to support this particular event?

The California Endowment and their spectacular COO Kathlyn Mead (who is also speaking at the event), stepped up the to the plate, right off the bat.  The Endowment is devoted to fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians and the mission of the conference dovetails with their work.  Kathlyn really understands the power of women to make change as well as the importance of building “community”.  Wells Fargo is a generous sponsor as well and they have wonderful initiatives to help improve financial literacy for women.

The CA Walnut Board is not only doing tremendous work to improve the health of the nation through educating them about the importance of healthy fats, specifically Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA) Omega-3 fatty acids, and they are very supportive of female chefs.  These are just some of our great sponsors.  There are many more.  It has been heartening to see how many companies are out there ready to lend their support to women.

Winnie, can you tell me a bit about yourself and your publication and why co-chairing this particular event was so important to you

I grew up in a very small town north of Sacramento, called Nevada City.  I couldn’t wait to move to the Big City the day after graduating from High School.  I wanted to make something of my life…..something that could make a difference, although at age 16, I had no idea what that might be.  But I was off to make my dream of being the “best secretary in the country” a reality.  Decades later, I found myself launching my own business magazine covering the Capital Region of California — Comstock’s is now in its 25th year, and has been named “The Best Business Magazine in the Western States” twice in the past 5 years.  Our magazine focuses on business insight in all industry sectors of our 10-county Capital Region.

Among other things, the magazine provides an excellent platform to communicate ideas, trends, insights and some very solid business journalism.  Our magazine is content-rich!  As a proponent of women everywhere, at every age and in every arena, I’m excited to be part of an event that brings women together in a way that enriches their spirits, celebrates their female-ness, educates them, encourages them to greater heights, and supports them in whatever they choose to be or to do.

Are their specific goals you would like participants to achieve? 

Of course, we want them to learn the latest in technology through our incredible partnership with Google.  After all, we will be the beta site for this great new technology our attendees will be learning.   But more importantly, I want every women to go away with at least a half dozen “take-aways” that they can begin implementing in their lives immediately — ideas that can help them grow, personally and professionally; ideas that can encourage them to move to a new level of awareness; ideas that can bring them greater happiness in their lives — largely within those pain-point areas we all have of Time, Energy, Growth, Community and Balance.

We all struggle with these areas in every day of our life.  We need to learn how to make wiser decisions for ourselves.  Our speakers will be talking about all of these areas — there is no doubt about the growth potential for all of us, including me, from our Conference experience.

It seems that the editorial goals of your publication are well-matched to the events goals – can you comment on that. 

If you mean providing insight to create a better and stronger region, community and collective spirit, yes, our goals are well-matched.  The Conference is very much in keeping with the mission of our magazine in that way.  Additionally, our Conference’s focus on Health and Wealth are also covered routinely in our magazine.  As a friend of mine, Dr. Hans Diehl, says, “Health isn’t everything, but without it everything is nothing.”  I keep those words on my desk and remind myself regularly that Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Fresh Air, and Trust in God (acronym NEWSTART) are key to good health, and therefore key to happiness.  If I could share anything with everyone in the world, I’d pass along that message.

Do you see a connection between your success and the opportunities you were given, as a female, and how this particular conference can help women to specifically achieve business goals? 

I started my business literally with $2.50 and no bank would give me a loan for almost five years.  I do believe in the power of hard work and passion, and I believe anyone can do and be anything they want to if they are willing to make the effort, and to pay the personal price of hard work.  A passion to follow your dream and “never give up, never give up, never give up” is key.  I have a strong faith and anyone who knows me, knows that.  I believe that our Father God helps those persons who Trust in Him (and who are on the life’s path He’s chosen for them), and those who ask for His blessing, wisdom and discernment.  He is the CEO of my life, and of my business.

We all need a strong vision, a passion for what we want most in life and a productive direction to follow.  Women are always willing to help other women, and that’s why our Conference will be a treasure to all the women who participate.  I believe that if God is your partner, you can do anything.  I also believe that successful women helping other woman become successful is one of the strongest medicines we have on this planet.

Any final thoughts before the event?

I want this Conference to be all that it can be.  I want every woman in our Capital Region to be present (physically and mentally), to participate in every activity, and to be ready to have fun on this whirlwind day of learning, experiencing and meeting new friends.

We are women, we are strong, and we can make change – both within ourselves and all around us.  Let’s do it.

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