How Local Women in Business Will Benefit from This Summer’s FestiGals Experience

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

NEW ORLEANS – FestiGals, the first and only New Orleans festival that inspires, connects and celebrates women, while supporting causes important to their well-being, returns this summer. The ninth annual event takes place from Friday, June 21, to Sunday, June 23, at the Jung Hotel in downtown New Orleans. It comprises a collection of empowering seminars geared towards female business professionals, along with lively activities and opportunities for networking.

“As an interactive experience, FestiGals is a breath of fresh air compared to boring corporate conferences,” said Diane B. Lyons, who produces FestiGals with ACCENT-DMC, a DMC Network Company. “There is no exclusivity in attending the festival. Women from any and all walks of life have the chance to participate. Individual FestiGals attendees will meet like-minded professionals and create lasting friendships.”

The three-day event kicks off on Friday with the Celebrating Women’s Conference.

New Orleans native Mignon Francois, the founder and CEO of The Cupcake Collection in Nashville, Tennessee, will reveal how she created a cupcake empire in just over ten years, transforming a $5-dollar investment into a $10-million business. Francois was named a Woman of Legend and Merit by Tennessee State University, and she earned a Family Business of the Year award from Black Enterprise Magazine.

Singer-fiddler Amanda Shaw, the 2019 Grand Diva of FestiGals, will recall her lifelong journey to success in the music industry.

The conference will also feature FestiTalks – rapid-fire, Ted Talk-style presentations from local business professionals.

During Break Out sessions, entrepreneurs, artists, and other professionals will discuss their line of work and offer career advice to people within the audience.

The Saturday schedule includes tours of historic homes and the Seven Three Distillery, along with FestiGals’ flagship event, the STEP UP Second-Line Parade, which benefits the New Orleans chapter of The American Heart Association.

Amanda Shaw will lead the second-line through the French Quarter and perform during the After Glow post-parade party at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino Theater.

“This is a chance for women to come together, as corporations or as individuals, and raise awareness and funds for an important women’s issue while representing their personal and professional brands,” said Lyons.

Founded in 2011, FestiGals has collectively raised more than $240,000 to benefit the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration, Inc. The annual summer event attracts more than 2,200 women from around the U.S. and Greater New Orleans area.

“As a woman who owns and runs her own event planning business, Accent on Arrangements DMC, I feel uniquely qualified to produce this event to honor the women of my great city of New Orleans,” said Lyons. “I am confident that professional business women will love this event because it is being executed by a dedicated group of professional business women. Who better to know what women want, than ourselves? The women of New Orleans deserve to be celebrated and I am proud to use my expertise to do just that.”

For a detailed schedule and pricing, visit


Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur is the associate news editor of


Categories: Around Town, Festivals, Today’s Business News