'Women Who Win Empires' conference inspires

Ladies meet, greet and share stories to encourage growth

By Nakia Cooper - Senior Web Editor
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Women from all walks of life and professions shared personal stories and testimonies of triumph at the Women Who Win Empires launch on Saturday, June 28.

The inspirational event served as a catalyst for women who have experienced a "Failure to Launch" when it comes to their career, business objectives or goals.

There were face-to-face interactions with inspiring speakers who have overcome obstacles and exceeded expectations beyond measure.

Those women included Ramona Franklin, Ramona Franklin Law Office and Candidate for Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 5; Alissa Jones, author of "The Stones That Built Me Strong"; Kristal Howard, Public Relations Manager, Kroger; Nakia Cooper, Senior Web Editor for KPRC/Click2Houston.com; and keynote speaker La Shica Salter- Velazquez, PHR Market Human Resource Manager, Wal-Mart.

Cassandra Guillory, founder of Women Who Win Empires, said she wanted to provide attendees with knowledge and motivation to be successful.

"As women, we have so many talents and sometimes we get caught up and lose focus," said Guillory. "I want to help women realize their vision and let them know that they are worthy of accomplishing their goals at any stage of their life."

Salter- Velazquez brought the women at the conference to their feet as she talked about her rise from humble beginnings to being a leader in a male-dominated industry. Her infectious smile and charming personality brought laughter to others when she talked about her parents realizing that she finally "made it" landing "a good job." In their days, the latter was usually deemed a postal worker or working for any other government affiliate.
At her parent-approved "good job," Salter-Velazquez is responsible for eight Walmart facilities in the Greater Houston area, with a combined population of approximately 4,200 salaried and hourly employees.

As an effective team leader at the world's largest retailer, she effectively communicates, leads, and collaborates with all levels of the organization including: senior management, peers and colleagues. She has a proven track record of success with increasing responsibilities in human resources management, diversity operations, and leadership development training. She is also an avid, active supporter of various charities and community based organizations, is a current board member of The Ensemble Theatre of Houston.

"Do not be afraid to open yourself to new opportunities, experiences, and especially people. #NoNewFriends is not an indication of professional or emotional maturity. A new friend could be what you need while your old friends have been holding you back," she told the ladies.

Other speakers shared words of wisdom in the spirit of sisterhood and personal growth.

"No matter if you are in your winter, summer, spring or fall season of your life, God will equip you with everything you need. If you need a raincoat for the spring showers, God will equip you. If you need sunglasses for the blazing summer sun, God will equip you. If you need a jacket of grace for the winter, God will equip you. If you need boots of confidence for the fall, God will equip you. Trust him today in all of your seasons and he will bring you through, in Queendom Style.—Ramona Franklin- Judicial Candidate for Harris County Criminal Court at Law # 5

"Never forget the importance of building and maintaining your personal brand. When you consistently produce great work and results, you're creating a marketable brand and laying the groundwork for success." – Kristal Howard

"Surviving The Obstacles of Never-Ending Scars are the stones that built me strong despite the ones that were meant to tear me down. It is a rare find of a person who has no scar tissue. The women who I speak to have acquired much from battles they've encountered throughout their lives. Rape, neglect, mental and physical abuse are stones that injure. I want to share my secret and teach women how to turn those stones that injure into stones that build. I want to show them how to survive. I want to thank The Women Who Win Empire Conference for allowing me to fellowship with women of the same feather." -- Alissa Jones

"I've spent a great portion of my adulthood being ashamed of mistakes I made as a young woman. I am now the mother of two and, as I watch them grow, I see so much of myself in them. I know they will go through growing pains as well, but I am confident – because of my struggle –that I will be able to guide them on the correct path. Ashamed of what? No more! I am resilient…and different…and beautiful…and most of all, a survivor!" – Nakia Cooper

During the event, former American Idol contestant, Ashlyn Carr entertained the crowd with original music and other artist favorites. After Idol, Ashlyn has performed at several high-profile venues throughout the Houston area and Dancin in the Streets Motown Revue. She has been compared to music greats such as Jill Scott and the legendary Aretha Franklin. The sultry R&B songstress is currently working on her new album titled "My Time."

"After all the life experiences, my music is coming full circle. Music is my passion. It's My Time," she said.

About Women Who Win Empire:

The mission of Women Who Win Empire is to encourage women from all walks of life to never give up their goals, dreams, and ambitions. This organization continuously strives to encourage all women to reach their fullest potential regardless of their past or present circumstances. At Women Who Win Empires, we are women at work, breaking barriers, empowering, and conquering in all we do. @wwwempire2014