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Cascading parasols in Duling Hall set the “high tea” theme for the event

Metropolitan Banks first women’s forum a huge success

Jill Gordon, Leanne Stamper (event planner of Metropolitan Bank), Olivia Martin, and Pam Ware

Jill Gordon, Leanne Stamper (event planner of Metropolitan Bank), Olivia Martin, and Pam Ware

Metropolitan Bank recently hosted the inaugural Metropolitan Women’s Forum.  The breakfast, held on April 21st at Duling Hall in Jackson, attracted over 100 influential women leaders from the Jackson area.  Metropolitan is a seven year old bank which recently reached $1 billion in assets, and boasts a very strong core of women leaders.  With this in mind, a few of Metropolitan’s leaders, Pam Ware, Chief Operations and Information Technology Officer, and Jill Gordon, Treasury Services Sales Director, conceived the plan to host the first Metropolitan Women’s Forum.

“When Pam and I started brainstorming about the event we envisioned a small group of 12 to 15 women,” said Gordon.   “We thought we would hold an intimate breakfast in the Board Room at our Highland Colony office in Ridgeland.  As we shared our idea with others it quickly became clear that we wanted to do this for more than just a small group.  There are so many wonderful women leaders in our community that there was no way to reach them all with one event, but with the incredible response to this initial event, this forum certainly won’t be the last.”

Olivia Martin of LivMore LLC and Curt Gabardi, President and CEO of Metropolitan Bank

Olivia Martin of LivMore LLC and Curt Gabardi, President and CEO of Metropolitan Bank

Guests enjoyed a presentation from organization training consultant and leadership coach Olivia Martin, President of LivMore.  Martin’s topic, “Transitions – Learn How to Live in the Rain,” and her discussion touched on topics such as empowering others, time management, mentoring, negotiating, and succession planning.  The ladies were welcomed by a theme consistent with Olivia’s topic including parasols in bright colors suspended from the Duling Hall ceiling and abundant flowers while being served a “high tea” style breakfast.

“This was such a fun event,” said Martin.  “I am drawn to Metropolitan’s culture.  The launch of this program speaks to Metropolitan’s innovative and empowering spirit.  The added bonus is that these folks are delightful to work with.  They hosted a tremendous event which I was happy to be a part of.”

“The more Jill and I talked about this idea, we realized we shared a passion for bringing together a group of influential women together to energize and empower each other through a sharing of information,” said Ware.  “Women today are so busy managing family, careers, and busy social calendars.  I know I always need help managing my time – and knowing how to better respond when things don’t fall into place according to my plan!  Olivia’s presentation was exactly what we had envisioned when this idea began.”

Attendee Lauren McGraw, business woman and owner of Gotta Go, said of the morning, “Metropolitan Bank knows how to put on a first class event.  Their first Women’s Forum was educational and informative.  Duling Hall was packed with powerful women and high energy.”

Metropolitan believes this is the start of something with a lasting impact.  At the event, guests were provided with a response card to indicate interest in participating in small groups to further the conversation started at the forum.  “We had a tremendous response,” added Ware.  “We are working with Olivia to plan our first small group, we hope of many to come.  We want to be a part of developing even stronger women leaders as well as helping to build great places to work in our community.  We look forward to watching this effort grow.”

— for the MBJ


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