International Women's Day Celebration
On Sunday, March 8th, we celebrated International Women's Day by attending a program at Executive Caterers in Landerhaven called "Rising to the Challenge" that was put on by Elite Women Around the World, a global network of individuals, leaders, organizations and businesses which was founded by Ms. Rita N. Singh and her two daughters, Ms. Anjulika Singh Saini and Ms. Kavita N. Singh, in order to enhance the economic position of women globally by way of developing, growing and supporting the economic and social stability of women and girls through entrepreneurial and leadership programs. According to Ms. Paula Harrison, the project coordinator, there were 120 people present on this day and those who were there were treated to networking opportunities, two panel discussions regarding leadership, a mentoring session, a business expo, inspirational stories, and a dandy lunch with plenty of vegetarian options for us.
We tabled at this event on behalf of Margaret W. Wong and Associates and Ms. Margaret W. Wong, herself, took time out from a busy schedule to come here for lunch and tell Ms. Rita N. Singh how much she appreciated what Ms. Singh was doing. Ms. Wong was greeted very warmly. Moreover, in the afternoon leadership panel Ms. Singh took a moment to praise Ms. Wong by telling all of the attendees that during the course of her career, Ms. Wong helped hundreds of families to immigrate to the United States and mentored many young attorneys who went on to have successful careers themselves.
To be sure, there were several people who had dealt with Ms. Wong who were there including Ms. Florina Rizea who first immigrated to the United States from Romania in 1992. She also spent some time in Canada but in 2008 Ms. Wong helped her obtain her American citizenship. Another person who talked to Ms. Wong was Ms. Margaret Elkaylany who immigrated to the United States from Poland in 2000. Ten years ago Ms. Dumont Owen, who we often see at the meetings of the Heights-Hillcrest Chamber of Commerce, worked for the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) and now remembered that Ms. Wong and Sister Diane from Ursuline College were the only two women on the 20 person board at that time but they more than held their own.
We heard a very inspirational story from Ms. Simran Sethi who had immigrated to the United States from India years ago. Ms. Sethi and her family were considering opening up an Indian restaurant but she came to the conclusion that in order to genuinely re-create India's wonderful dishes she would have to return to India to learn how to cook them right. Her dedication to quality paid off because the result was the noted restaurant Choolaah Indian BBQ in Orange Village which has proved to be so successful that more locations are planned.
Very close to the end of today's program, Mr. Gil Goldberg from the United States Small Business Administration addressed us all for a few minutes and told us that a relative had asked him why he wanted to attend this program today composed mostly of women that concentrated on the advancement of women. Mr. Goldberg urged everyone to look at a recent article in the "Wall Street Journal" that reported that the economy was moving "briskly" and many jobs were being created. Mr. Goldberg, himself, attributed this to the leadership that was present at this program and cited statistics that showed that the number of women who have started small businesses is on the rise which is all the more significant because the majority of jobs are created by these small businesses. He ended by saying, "you all deserve a round of applause."