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Here We Go Again!

Growing up, I thought my mother was the only superstar woman in the world. She was incredible and I thought, no one else will compare. Each time I have been to the Women of Excellence on the last Sunday of October, I would meet so many superwomen in person. Even though my mom has lost her solitary place as my Woman of Excellence, she is in good company with forty five incredible women and those that we have yet to recognize. It is so exciting to me that my daughter gets to have such a diverse set of role models to idolize.

In 2015, I had a free ticket to the Women of Excellence Gala Dinner through the company I worked for then and I did not go. I was a stranger to AWiB at that time and I did not understand the point or I did not have enough information, whatever the reason was, I never made it to the dinner. I automatically dismissed it as a fancy dinner where I would not know anyone and probably be bored. When I attended the Women of Excellence dinner in 2016, I was an AWiB Board candidate sitting on the same table as the Women of Excellence titleholder for the previous year. This time around I was a bit too pregnant to register the amazing women sitting on my table because I was so annoyed I could not eat much of the delicious food.

Says a lot of my precarious pregnancy brain that I was reluctant to even attend the event because I wanted to nap. I now realize that the Women of Excellence celebration and I were fated to form an intricate bond because in 2017 I enjoyed each and everything behind the scenes. I was in the thick of things, from the planning to the execution, completely unencumbered and fully engaged. So before writing this peice, I went online to go through six years of photos of women of excellence. As the one leading the team, I was filled with so much inspiration, I was highly charged and it fueled me for months afterward.

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Why Women of Excellence?

The Women of Excellence celebration Dinner is one of AWiB’s masterpiece events. AWiB has worked for 7 consecutive years to find forty five phenomenal Ethiopian Women of Excellence. Each year, our board has recorded their incredible stories, researched their backgrounds, gathered testimonials and presented them to impartial judges. These judges have selected six Women of Excellence titleholders and have now selected the seventh. What astonishes me is the labor of love each of us puts into this process and work we put into celebrating these women the way they deserve to be celebrated. With pomp and circumstance, each last Sunday of October, AWiBers congregate to bask in the glow of our hard work as we celebrate the tenacity, the vision, the dedication and heart these women put into their work. All the while, inspiring, mentoring and supporting women and girls. These are my role models, those that practice excellence in action, those that give back with generosity and live responsible leadership.

We plan six months ahead

The AWiB board starts planning WOE six months in advance when the call for nominations is announced. Every intricate detail is thought of in advance, documentaries produced, stories documented and seating arrangements pain strikingly planned. Every moment of this celebration is put together to reflect the caliber and esteem AWiB regards these celebrants and everyone can feel it in every aspect of the experience. Yes, there are pretty Habesha libs and interesting people with good food, but at the end we are there to celebrate those that deserve to be applauded.  Beyond that simple fact though, it is also intended to inspire and empower other women and girls. Each year, I am especially grateful for this experience and the little girl inside of me who watched her mother with awe and inspiration, she is learning and growing and daring to aspire. See you on the 28th AWiBers!!