As one of the hottest events on Santa Monica’s networking and awards calendar, the annual Organization of Women’s Leaders’ 2016 International Women’s Day Breakfast is gearing up to be a star-studded affair.
Organized by The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women, the event kicks off Women’s History Month and gathers professionals from throughout the community to network and celebrate women leaders in the Santa Monica community.
The morning celebrates the many accomplishments of local women, explained Yesenia Monsour from Kaiser Permanente, one of the event sponsors. “It gives us an opportunity to network, showcases our businesses and learn from our experiences. It harnesses the power of coming together and supporting each other,” Monsour said.
This year’s theme is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”
“We are pleased to partner with the City’s Commission on the Status of Women once again to produce the highly-regarded and successful International Women Day Breakfast,” said Laurel Rosen, President and CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber. “It’s a ‘must do’ for hundreds of women in our community,” she said.
The breakfast is known to be a lively and entertaining affair, with local wares on display, high-profile keynote speakers, and the presentation of the OWLIE awards.
This year OWLIE honorees are Jennifer Garner and Bettina Duval.
Bettina Duval is founder of CALIFORNIALIST, a political action committee to elect women in California. The CALIFORNIALIST has helped elect over 60 women to California State government. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica chairing the Resource and Development committee. She has been involved with the Club for 13 years and will become board president in 2019. Bettina resides in Santa Monica with her husband Glenn and four children.
“If you believe you can make a difference – do it! Run for public office. Become a strong voice for what you believe. I have dedicated my advocacy efforts to making sure that women serve in elected office. I believe women should help make the laws and establish public policy. Nothing is more effective than the empowerment of women,” Duval said.
Jennifer Garner is an actress, producer and philanthropist, Garner can be seen on the TV series “Alias” in which she won the Golden Globe, and has starred in films such as “13 Going on 30” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” Garner is a mother of three and is also an advocate for Save the Children’s early education programs.
“It is important for women to get involved in the public service of our Santa Monica community and to lend our voices to causes we care about,” Garner said.
“I am proud to work with Save the Children on early education for kids in rural America, providing children from birth to five a fair and healthy start. No matter what your passion may be, it is imperative that as women we support and empower one another. I am grateful to the Santa Monica Organization of Women Leaders for including me in this year’s International Women’s Breakfast,” she said.
The Organization of Women Leaders (OWL) celebrates and inspires women to join together to develop personally and build success for their business through networking and partnerships, enhancing the wellbeing of each other and the community.
The OWL International Women’s Day Breakfast will be held Monday, March 7 from 7am to 9am at Le Meridien Delfina Hotel, 530 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica. Tickets are $50.00 for Chamber Members and $65.00 for Non-Members, please visit www.smchamber.com/owl for more information.