Making HERstory 2024 an Impactful Experience for Attendees

        The last Wednesday in March has become synonymous with Making HERstory Day at Georgia World Congress Center. GWCCA hosted its 2nd Annual Making HERstory event on March 27, 2024, where attendees gathered in Georgia World Congress Center Building C. They were greeted by a variety of local vendors as well snacks and refreshments before entering the auditorium for the program. “It was the best experience for a woman-owned company that I’ve had in a very long time. It was so inspiring, empowering and just a wonderful environment for networking,” business owner and attendee Chereda Miller said.

        The event highlights the significant contributions of women leaders in the tourism industry and showcases the growing presence of women in the convention, event, hospitality and sports industries. It also serves as a place to nurture the next generation of women leaders.

        This year’s Making HERstory Event included two dynamic panel discussions, featuring insightful leaders from across the city of Atlanta in a variety of fields. The first panel, titled “Tourism in Atlanta: Exploring a New Era of Hospitality”, featured Teri Agosta, General Manager, Signia by Hilton Atlanta, Charlene Lopez, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and April Russell, Director of Sales, Georgia World Congress Center Authority. The second panel, titled “Empowering Futures: Developing Women with Intent”, featured Erica Bolden, Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and People Analytics, Mercedes-Benz USA, Liz Loreti, Chief Development Officer, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Camye Mackey, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena, and Rachael Pollard, Director of Human Resources, Signia by Hilton Atlanta.

        Topics of discussion ranged from how to showcase Atlanta as the ultimate tourist destination to breaking down barriers for more women to be included in all levels of the workforce. Shandra Turner, owner of The Bougie Grazer, who attended the event said, “I think what it does is it just shows that we have a common bond as women and it emphasized the importance of us collaborating versus competition and just the unwavering support we have for each other.”

        The gathering concluded with a new feature for 2024, an awards ceremony for trailblazing women who are making a difference in their communities. Award recipients include Community Champion Award recipient Roz Lewis, President and CEO of the Greater Women’s Business Council, Corporate Champion Award recipient Shannon Heath Longino, Senior Vice President at Truist, and UNconventional Award recipient Cindy Parlow Cone, President of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Community Champion Award recipient Roz Lewis said she is honored to be recognized and she recognizes the women who paved the way for her. “I really stand on the shoulders of so many women who have come before me to pave the way for these opportunities that are taking place today. And so what I say is that we have to continue to be pavers. We have to continue to trailblaze opportunities for generations to come afterwards as well in order to see success.”

        If you were unable to attend this Making HERstory, the event was also livestreamed and can be viewed here. Next year’s Making HERstory is scheduled to take place March 26, 2025.