“There is a place in hell for women who do not help other women” signed, sealed and hand delivered awesome quote from Star Jones.

 A Friday morning starts by embracing the hustle and the bustle of the NYC matrix, which is a few blocks away at the Sheraton Hotel in Times Square.  I walk in and moments later enter the luxurious foyer right next to the grand ballroom. Women everywhere are dressed in suits, lining up to register, carrying laptops, aligning weekend schedules and closing deals on tablets and multiple electronic devices before breakfast is served – as this seems to be the normal routine.

This is not a board meeting, no my friends, this is the annual NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) Conference. Once the check-in process is complete, we gather into the ballroom and nestle in.

 The NAPW is perhaps the world’s largest all female network event ever attended. While seated, the energy is restless, but feels like a radiating source of invisible power.

 The narrator arrives at the podium while inspirational and high-energy tunes echo into the background. While standing and enjoying the moment, Star Jones (former member on the T.V. Show: The View, renowned author and Conference Spokeswoman) magnifies the intensity when she appears on stage. During a brief introduction to the upcoming guests on her panel, she begins the wave of motivation with humor, and thought-provoking one liners as this sets the stage (literally) for an amazing all day Conference.

 Arianna Huffington- Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post joins Ms. Star Jones and examines the road to success by quoting Sheryl Sandberg’s (Chief Operating Officer of Facebook) recent book titled Lean In. During her segment, Arianna mentions these in order for us, especially professional women to drive forward towards all areas of success, we must first lean back. This implies to set aside some personal time for yourself including a day spa, a nap as the staff at the Huffington Post receive as part of the perks of working there. 

She also mentions on how important it is to to quiet down the “obnoxious roommate-  the little voice in your head that aims to spread negativity, anxiety, fear and limitations to achieving your success.

 We break for a quick remix of networking, photo opportunities, and then followed by another discussion with a group of well accomplished women. The roster includes Susan Lucci, her daughter, Liza Huber, Sara Blakely, owner and founder of Spanx; Leslie Jane Seymor (Editor in Chief of MORE Magazine) Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Co; Monique Nelson, CEO of UniWorld Group , Inc.; and Kim Garst, CEO of Boom! Social.

 During the breaks, power lunches and workshops it is such a dynamic and amazing site to experience the collaboration of support from people who seemed like strangers only a few hours ago. Our last guest, Martha Stewart, owner and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Emmy winning talk show host, joins Star on the panel one more time to share her experience filled with humor on the importance  of achieving balance between work, life, self preservation and maintenance, as we climb the ladder to success.

Key points to remember: 

-Aim for the GOLD!

-Schedule personal time-outs to refresh 

-Ignite and multiply your Network

-Don’t be afraid of chasing success.

 At the end of the Conference we merge once more in another grand room and women endlessly work swapping business cards and building new relationships. Overall, it is an uplifting and positive day and I cannot wait for next year. Attention Professional Women, if you are looking to expand your networking contact list for your career, or jump- start your business it is highly suggested to join your local NAPW Chapter; I promise you this will be the best decision of your life.

 Laura M. Artis (Follow: @Lauraslifeonink)