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For the 3rd year in a row, DNA continued its tradition of being a proud sponsor of the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Symposium, that was held on Friday, October 18th at the Westin Galleria Dallas.

top left: Charlsie Kinney, Christina Johnson, Sylvia Ayala, Mari Pinon, Monica Yafuso; bottom left: Paulina Castorena, Cate Conley, Nina Cornelison, Katelyn Dacus

For their 2019, event a portion of the proceeds were donated to benefit the Genesis Women’s Shelter and its mission to provide safety, shelter and support for women who have experienced domestic violence. Amazingly the amount donated from that day was well over $15,000!

The event was carefully structured with morning coffee, lunch and dessert, great on-stage conversations and followed with a celebration of networking after the close.


Our Emcee, Chef Jamie Gwen,

started off the event with introductions and getting the crowd warmed up for the ladies that were to take the stage. Her best part of the job was raffling off some of the best prizes to lucky attendees in the crowd throughout

the event.

Prizes ranged from an overnight stay at the luxury Joule Hotel to a $125 gift card to a fancy dinner at Fogo de Chao.

Sadly, our table lacked the lucky streak, but we enjoyed yummy lunch, dessert and Starbucks coffee while we listened.

Samantha Ettus is an inspirational work/life fulfillment expert and entrepreneur. Her most recent endeavor is launching Park Place Payments, a company that is changing the lives of women across the country.

Sam’s focus was work/life balance and described all the areas of our lives with a single object–a pie. Every area is a slice, family, health, hobbies, career etc. and she honed into the fact that its ok on how we chose which slices were bigger than the others. How much time we dedicated to each was all up to us and contrary to popular belief it was ok on how we portioned each slice.

Sam said the “G” word that we all unfortunately have listed in our top vocabulary–GUILT.

Her profound statement for that “When you feel guilt, you cannot be present.” You could see how that word really affected all of us as so many heads were nodding in agreement around the room. How do we help eliminate it? It goes back to the pie; embrace all those slices and sizes you have carved out to represent the areas in your life. And when your present in that slice whether it be family or career, be fully present.

Crystal Washington, CSP works with organizations that want to leverage technology to increase profits and productivity. She takes complex social media, app, and web topics, and makes them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people.

Her opening line ­– “work/life balance does not exist”. In reality the balance is up to you, but we just don’t do it or know how to do it. The best things you can do to try to achieve some balance is to delegate, push stuff off of your plate and automate. We cannot do it all and still stay sane. Crystal focused on how we have all the technology at our fingertips but instead of using it to free up our time we use it to take up our time. How do we do that?! She gave us 3 sets of awesome categories to go by– Outsource, Automate and Build Relationships.

Outsource the non-important things.How do you know? Ask yourself these questions

Does this have to be done?

Can I delegate this?

Is there an app for this?

Automate the tasks or things that are needed routinely.

What things are you always needing? Pet food, groceries, you know those air filters you always tend to forget about and go scrambling to get then forget the size you need? All these things can be automated these days and delivered to your door without you having to think about them.

Last – Use technology to HELP (not take over) Building Relationships.

We have so many ways to interact with people through technology, but it should never replace face to face interaction. Crystal gave us tools and tips on how we can use it though to keep building relationships and at the same time again, freeing up those moments off your plate. For instance, use technology by sending a gift to someone that maybe you noticed from their Instagram feed they seem to like.

Using our technical resources in different ways to help us strive for a more balanced life within work, home and relationships can be a great asset for ourselves.

Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. Reshma’s TED talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” has more than four million views and has sparked a national conversation about how we’re raising our girls.

Reshma was our keynote and last speaker of the event. Her conversation was focused on how to be brave, not perfect and is the focus of her book, Girls Who Code. As women we can all relate in some way or another that we should be perfect in any and maybe all, for some, in the expectations required of us. However, get ready for this who may not know…


Reshma revealed the reality of the low number of women that are going into fields of computer science. From marketing, culture, even toys as kids we do see a push on the professional woman however, when it comes to more technical occupancies there is still the stereotypical image of the “tech guy.” We don’t see images of girls or women being portrayed in the tech industry which proves to create the lack of resources and encouragement for girls looking for some support into that genre.

Reshma then focused on how girls are raised vs boys. It’s so common, you raise boys to be brave, tough, try things even if you know you may fall. You just get back up and do it again. For girls we shelter them, we don’t encourage them to go and try something if they could fall, and we always but lovingly want them to have a perfect appearance. Remember when your mom would just have a fit if you got a spot on your Sunday dress? Yup, we all have been there. We still do it we want to turn home if we get a spot of coffee on our shirt while commuting to work. Now it’s not saying we are intentionally raising our children wrong or with a lack of love. It’s opening our eyes just a little wider to the reality of some things and how that trickles down as they grow. Girl’s need the encouragement to try, to fail and to go for any goals they want to go for. She closed with ways on how we can improve ourselves and practice being brave every day.





As the conference came to a close, all of us at the table felt more encouraged, inspired and more understood. The most common take away for us—we knew most of these things they were telling us, but haven't fully successfully integrated them into our everyday lives. We are able to balance every area and they don't have to all be equal.

We just need to be fully present within them.

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