An Outstanding Day of Education and Networking for Attendees: Morning Keynote Brigadier General Laura L. Yeager
I recently attended the Women in Consumer Technology Forum held in New York City.
It was a riveting full day of knowledge, skillset building and interactivity. The theme of ‘EmPOWERed!’ was accurate as so many of the featured workshops attacked the topics that have really not been explored fully or even partially at other events.
Sherry Dantonio, ProSource, and Eden Goldberg, InMotion: Said Sherry, “This is such an empowering and energizing event! I am so incredibly happy I attended.” Added Eden, “The sense of women rising up together, not because of our gender, but because of our ability is huge. There is nothing more important than this sense of community.”
This year’s cadre of professional presenters and decision makers was perhaps the most impressive yet.
The morning Opening Keynote was Brigadier General Laura L. Yeager. Army BG Yeager’s active military service began over 30 years ago and she is one of only 50 female Brigadier General’s in the US today. Her first assignment was medical platoon leader, 423rd Medical Company at Fort Lewis, Washington, followed by attendance at the Initial Entry Rotary Wing training school at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Her subsequent assignments included aeromedical evacuation officer, “FLATIRON,” at Fort Rucker, Alabama, as assistant administrator at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and as company commander, Medical Center Brigade.
She was assigned as the aeromedical platoon leader for the 507th Medical Company at Fort Hood, Texas. Her list of accomplishments is extensive and she has served as the chief of staff of the California National Guard’s Joint Staff from 2013-2016 then becoming its director until 2017. BG Yeager is also a Black Hawk helicopter pilot.
BG Yeager discussed a wide variety of topics pertaining to women inside of and outside of military service. Including her tips for military and life success: “You can always do more than you think you can. This should be everyone’s life mantra.” She also encouraged attendees to ask yourself the following questions, “Can you fall on a sword for your team’s mistakes? Can you rally people when things go wrong? Are you able to have steady nerves during difficult times or times of crisis? What have you accomplished for your team and not just for yourself?”
Brigadier General Laura L. Yeager, Women in CT and Technology Insider Group Founder, Carol Campbell and Forum Co-Chair Paris Bradley
BG Yeager went on to discuss the importance of education, “It turns out having a degree in psychology is useful in the military, weapons don’t fire themselves, it takes a good understanding of how to motivate and lead soldiers to be successful. My success is largely attributable to my education.”
Her Joint Task Force-North mission involves great diversity, “Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and civilians, all dedicated to preventing the flow of illicit drugs into the United States. We do that by finding Active Duty units with the capabilities able to fill gaps identified by our law enforcement partners.
“Deaths of Americans from drug use continues to climb and is affecting every community across the country. Currently, the number one cause of death for people under the age of 50 is drug overdose. Fentanyl overdoses in particular are growing, the number of deaths doubled from 2016 to 2017, reaching over 20,000. Overall more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016.
Brigadier General Laura L. Yeager, “You can always do more than you think you can. This should be everyone’s life mantra.”
“So when my organization can help by building roads to help agents interdict traffickers, provide working dogs capable of detecting drugs at our ports of entry, or support law enforcement agents with resources able to detect and monitor drug traffickers, it makes me very proud. Better yet, these missions and others like them, enable units to prepare better for their deployments.”
Next up was Yao Huang, Founder and Managing Partner of The Hatchery. Her featured workshop was, “Redefining Leadership with your True North.”
Yao Huang is a highly entrepreneurial executive who works with businesses and start-ups in many industries with a focus on technology, assisting with revenue and funding.
Yao was named by Forbes as one of eleven women at the center of New York’s digital scene, and by Beta Beat as one of 25 Women Driving New York’s Tech Scene. She has also traveled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Indonesia in 2011, as a member of the U.S. State Department Global Entrepreneurship Program Delegation.
Hatchery Founder Yao Huang, “Each of us now has the ability to create anything we imagine, but we need to change the definition of success, and focus on purpose, on responding to our passion, and pursuing something with personal meaning.”
Said Huang, “The Hatchery works closely with foreign consulates and trade and investment offices of countries from all over the world. The growing number of international entrepreneurs looking to expand and build out their markets to the United States requires speed to traction in order to stay competitive. Whether it is funding, market expansion and/or establishing a physical presence, The Hatchery is poised and prepared to roll up its sleeves as well as leverage its global network of investors and service providers.
Her discussion was riveting as Yao explained that each of us now has the ability to create anything we imagine, “But we need to change the definition of success, and focus on purpose, on responding to our passion, and pursuing something with personal meaning, that also solves a problem. It starts with asking why you are doing something, and the answer needs to be a goal other than making a lot of money.”
Brigadier General Laura L. Yeager, Krista Haughey, AudioQuest and Debbie Schaeffer, CCO Mrs. G TV & Appliances, who said: “The inspiration and learning tactics alone during the featured workshops are invaluable; especially when it comes to dealing with my own employees. I get to ask the important questions to people that have the answers.”
In Part 2 next week, find out what Sean Patrick Maloney, US Representative for New York’s 18th congressional district discusses with award winning journalist Andrea Smith during Women in CT Forum 2018! Part Two Here