Fascinating FestiGals Engage In FestiTalks Friday
The 2018 FestiGals Women’s Weekend Experience, the first and only New Orleans festival that inspires, connects and celebrates women while supporting causes important to their well-being, starts today, Thursday, June 21, and runs through Sunday, June 24. Women of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy inspirational speakers and informative panels, an interactive culinary experience at the New Orleans School of Cooking, a shopping showcase, a walking tour, a cruise on the Natchez, breakfasts, a gospel brunch, a Tricentennial keynote luncheon, a dinner with Louisiana Eats! host Poppy Tooker, a fabulous After-Glow party at The Theatre at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino and a Step Up Second Line Parade, that’s becoming known as the world’s largest all women’s second line, complete with live music, entertainers and more than 1,000 participants and more than 32 dance groups, that benefits the New Orleans Family Justice Center.
Out of all the fun and enlightening women-centric events the eighth annual FestiGals organizers have planned, I think FestiTalks, an hour of disruptive talks with a distinctly feminine edge, that takes place Friday, June 22, at the Jung Hotel & Residences, 1500 Canal St., from 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., is the best part of the whole four-day festival.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been honored to moderate FestiTalks for three years in a row, but I truly believe there is no better ticket in town.
In just one hour I will introduce eight extraordinary women who have five minutes each to give rapid-fire, dynamic, humorous and empowering presentations on their topic of choice that run the gamut from thriving after trauma; to realizing your innate psychic abilities; to how to be your best boss; to sexual harassment via video voyeurism.
FestiTalks is just one part of Friday’s multi-faceted FestiGals Tricentennial Women’s Day at the Jung Hotel & Residences, that will feature seminar tracks focusing on professional development, personal enrichment and New Orleans culture, but it’s sure to be the most memorable.
“This is an exciting time for women in New Orleans as we commemorate the Tricentennial,” said Diane Lyons, founder and producer of FestiGals. “Over the past 300 years, women have made their mark in New Orleans with their significant contributions to the city and their achievements. Today, we now have our first female mayor, the first female president at Loyola University and the leading figure in Louisiana sports is a woman. More and more women are coming together to enter into conversations and share experiences. This year’s Tricentennial FestiGals weekend is the perfect opportunity for women to be inspired and connected.”
This year’s FestiTalks speakers are:
• Lauren Siegel is an advisor at trepwise with experience in marketing and operations management, as well as strategic planning and business development. With an uplifting and empowering song list, Siegel will present “The Art Of Car Karaoke: Empowering Yourself To Get Through The Toughest Moments In Life,” and offer harmonious tips and tricks to work through the stresses that impact our daily lives and get us on track to have a better day, every day.
• Cari Roy, the premier New Orleans psychic medium who’s been featured on the “Today” show, Fox News, A&E, Discovery and The Travel Channel, will be sharing some industry secrets with “Awaken Your Intuition – Three Steps To Finding Your Answers Within.” Roy believes everyone is a little bit psychic, and she’ll give three tips to help activate your own innate superpower and trust your instincts.
• Jeanne Souders, who has worked in publishing for more than 20 years in New York, New Orleans and Chicago and launched the online magazine NolaWoman.com, was a victim of video voyeurism. In her “Sexual Harassment Via Video Voyeurism In The Age Of Social Media” presentation, Souders will tell her powerful story to inform, inspire and help victims.
• Mary Jane Walsh knows about trauma. A terrible event triggered a response in her that left her unable to read for 10 years. But, she has learned the skills for “Healing The Trauma That Blocks You,” and as a transformational life coach who helps her clients get breakthrough results, Walsh will share how to overcome past traumatic events and reach goals for success.
• Juli Juneau is a blown glass artist, an explorer and an entrepreneur. The former vice president of CNN News Radio New Orleans, Juneau has traveled extensively (by land, boat, barge, train and donkey cart) through 23 countries including a solo adventure from Dakar, Senegal to Cape Town, South Africa, and spent a year volunteering with the International AIDS Trust in South Africa. Collectors of her blown glass sculptures include Tom and Gayle Benson, Dave Chappelle, Lou Gossett Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Hoda Kotb, Brad Pitt, Cokie Roberts and Oprah Winfrey. Juneau will share her wisdom about how to build self-confidence to command attention in every room and situation in her presentation “Unshrink And Shine.”
• Christina Garrett, a patient navigator for Passages Hospice, stands on the frontlines of grief and informs the community, patients and families who are facing an irreversible disease about what comfort care is and how helpful it can be for the mind, body and soul of the patient and family. With “Turning Up The Volume On Navigating End Of Life Decisions,” Garrett will talk about her passion for supporting suffering family members and patients with important end-of-life information and an empowering message of hope.
• Debra W. Gould, MS will ask “What Are You Anchored To?” As a management consultant, motivational speaker, workshop trainer/ facilitator and author, Gould is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. that provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Gould specializes in self-development seminars in management, leadership and professional development and will give guidance on how to work more effectively with others and provide tools for cultural proficiency.
• Jessica D. LeBlanc, CPA, CFF followed her passion for accounting and real estate and merged them into a successful career that involves running two seemingly different businesses, a CPA consulting firm called Jessica D. LeBlanc, CPA, LLC and a real estate brokerage firm called CPA Realty, LLC. She’ll talk about how to “Be The Boss Of YOU In Your Career Path” by ignoring the negative people in life who tell you what you should do, and following your passion to do what you want to do to create the career of your dreams.
FestiGals, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2011 and produced by Diane B. Lyons and ACCENT-DMC, has collectively raised nearly $200,000 for Breastoration, the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and the New Orleans Family Justice Center. Endorsed by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, and New Orleans & Company, FestiGals annually attracts thousands of women from around the U.S. and Greater New Orleans area to the summer event.
FestiGals attendees are encouraged to buy tickets for an individual à la carte event, for a whole day or for the whole weekend and to take advantage of attractive hotel rates offered by the Jung Hotel & Residences.