By Lisa Brown,
Special at AFRO

Build (Her) 2022 by Halcyon started with coffee and smiles. The lineup for the event was filled with diverse women who are who are who in the business world. From health disparities to technology to angel investors, the conversations were robust, fast-paced panels that left time and space for questions from the engaged audience.

Women from all walks of life and careers were on hand to take notes, whisper in preparation for asking questions, or nod their heads at complex answers.

Former U.S. Federal Communications Commission Commissioner and daughter of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) Mignon Clyburn had the crowd laughing and taking several notes.

“I’d be a lot richer and prettier if I just asked for help,” she joked, noting that asking for help early on can get a woman’s business done, but do your best. homework before approaching a table.

Melissa Bradley was also an inspirational speaker, giving audiences — especially black and brown women — advice on how to show up in a room where people might not respect them.

Bradley encouraged women to “show up” more and “talk less” about business. She also emphasized that women need to value themselves.

The conference was also a great networking opportunity.

The Honorable Isabella Casillas Guzman is the 27th Administrator of the US Small Business Administration. (Photo by Lisa Brown)

Everyone migrated between each session, passing business cards and greeting each other with masked smiles. Someone said aloud, “smile with your eyes”, inviting a laugh.

Dahna Goldstein, Chief Information Officer at Halcyon, led the Q&A portion.

Stephanie Thomas, with investments for Impact America Fund, shared words of wisdom that had the crowd listening intently and people in the back frantically writing down every word she spoke.

She appealed to the younger generation, encouraging them to start “having conversations early and often,” and insisted on knowing your price, rating, and cap before stepping out.

After each Q&A session, there was a long line of fans eager to meet each speaker.

The women came away strengthened by more than words, but by relationships and strength in numbers.

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