‘Goddesses’ network at Vail meeting
By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer
"Say it forward." It’s a slight twist on the
idea created last year by the good-deed-encouraging movie Pay It
"Say it forward" involves passing on passions,
dreams and the means to realize them. It is the concept behind a little
known gathering in Vail and drew several female entrepreneurs from our
It was the fifth annual The Gathering of the Goddesses (TGOTG),
and this new-age sounding event has quite suddenly become the premiere
women's networking event for hip, savvy women in sports, fashion and the
Each year, the conference takes place at a different ski
resort in the spirit of the active, sports-minded women who inaugurated
the event. Kirkwood, Calif., Big Sky, Mont., and Snowbird, Utah, have all
played host to TGOTG.
While the event may still be obscure, it isn’t likely to
continue that way. With cutting-edge corporate sponsors, TGOTG is gaining
a reputation as a must-attend weekend for forward-looking women in
"The women who attend our events are pioneers in
their industry," said event founder Cristin Inglis, a resident of
Costa Mesa, Calif. "They’re creating the trends. They’re risk
The 2001 event was attended by nearly 100 entrepreneurs
and leading professional decision makers such as Sherri Rifkin, director
of marketing online for Oxygen Media Inc.; Wendy Zomnir, designer and
founder of Urban Decay; Marilyn Edwards, publisher of Wahine
magazine; Michelle Ponce, trend forecaster and liaison for the Warp Tour;
Danielle Beck of Roxy/Quicksilver, locals Brenda Janot of Janot Skin
Institute, Casey Wood of The Oak Tree and Alyson Wilson of Elevation
Since 1994, when Inglis and her friend Maia Huckeba
organized a snowboarding weekend, the event has grown. It now incorporates
different industries and nationally known speakers. They also hold morning
yoga sessions, spa treatments, the glorified slumber party that was
"Girls’ Night In," and a holistic "Zen Den," where
one can purchase T-shirts and candles, as well as have an astrology
reading by Casey Wood.
"This is the first year that projects were born and
took off," Wood said. "It was great to be around such
intelligent women who’re on the cutting edge of what’s
Keynote speaker Lynne Franks, the acknowledged female guru
of the public relations business, recently released her second book, The
SEED is an acronym for "sustainable enterprise and
empowerment dynamics." Franks’ first book was the memoir Absolutely
Now! A Futurist’s Journey to her Inner Truth.
Franks can be thanked for the Spice Girls, Swatch watches
and Tommy Hilfiger to name just a few of her PR successes. She’s also
the model for Edina, the loony PR gal from Absolutely Fabulous, the
English sitcom---deemed too racy and over the top to appeal to American
audiences. In other words, Lynne Franks is an icon to female
As a lecturer and writer she addresses the issues female
entrepreneurs deal with by encouraging non-linear thinking---in her words
a "feminine way to create business."
Thanks to their connection at TGOTG, Wood is traveling to
London in May to work with Franks on a project called The Seed Expo.
"SEED and The Oak Tree have the same vision. We were
so thrilled to meet each other," Wood said.
The Oak Tree acts as an umbrella for women who offer such
disparate practices as palm reading and astrology, color therapy, dance
and art classes, yoga, weaving, massage, herbal wraps, boot making and
cooking, all synergized under one roof.
Janot came away from the weekend not only energized by the
shared passions she found, but made a business contact with cosmetic maker
Mary Beth York of Spa-di-da, who’ll carry Janot’s line of Aromatherapy
oils in her shop in Arizona. Janot will in turn carry York’s fragrances
in her store in Sun Valley.
Janot said the wealth of information she received from the
conference made the trip worthwhile.
"I am starting a women’s empowerment group
utilizing [Lynne Franks’] ideas."
Wood remarked that the strong foundations for quick
business deals was apparent.
"I saw it happen over lunch. Friendships are really
strong, they’re based on trust, image, and energy rather than money or
prestige. I spent an hour and a half with Lynne. She knows I’ll be her
biggest supporter and she’ll totally be there for me. Not exactly the
kind of thing you get in a linear society."
Essentially, like an old-boy network without the
competitive quest for power, TGOTG is "a clearing house for
support," Wood said. "It’s such a relief to find other people
who have the potential to link creatively. All the pieces are there."