Friday, December 10, 2004

Tuesday I Saw the California Governor

Yes, I saw Arnold live and in person. The better news is that he was, by his own admission, the opening act for his wife, Maria Shriver. On Tuesday, I attended my third California Governor's Conference on Women and Families. There was a definite change with the new first family hosting. There was a lot more flash and (IMHO) less substance than in previous years. There were also more attendees. 10,400 people plus exhibitors and presentors. I really don't like people that much!

There were lots of big names. Jamie Lee Curtis introduced Arnold. Queen Noor spoke at lunch and at a seminar session (she is amazing and gorgeous). Linda Ellerbee spoke at lunch. Oprah gave the closing inspirational talk (and ran 30 minutes over her allotted time). Sheryl Crow gave a short concert to close out the day. Notable seminar speakers were Dr. Laura and Dr. Wayne Dyer. I passed on both of those sessions.

I did a little bit of star-struck type stuff in that I now have autographed copies of one of Jamie Lee's books and Queen Noor's autobiography. I also wandered through exhibits on volunteerism. Unfortunately, my little stint of getting Jamie Lee's autograph meant that I couldn't get into either of my first two choices for the morning session. I did attend a session on women's health issues. There was a balanced review of the hormone replacement therapy study that was announced last year that scared everyone, but it wasn't the greatest session I've ever attended.

In the afternoon session, I attended a panel discussion on global change. The panel included Queen Noor, Sakena Yacoobi (an amazing professor who has been a leader in educating women in Afghanistan), Dalia Rabin-Pelossof (Yitzak Rabin's daughter and an Israeli leader in her own right), and Cynthia J. Warner (Regional VP for BP). It is always inspiring to hear such intelligent and articulate women speak about what they are doing to change the world.

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