A Favorite Longshot
One benefit of running a PR agency is being able to attend events – of all shapes and sizes. Some are held by clients, and HKA often helps to drive attendance. Some events have a philanthropic bent, while others are educational. Some events feel obligatory (it’s impossible to like everything, though I always give it my best), and some are a pleasure to attend. I typically enjoy myself the most when I learn something new and interesting, feel I am contributing to a valuable mission or get to schmooze with business friends.
Every now and then, I hit an event trifecta and experience all three – I learn new things, contribute to something important and catch up with good friends. Such was the case in May, when I attended The 15th Annual Women’s Wellness Day, hosted by the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, part of UC Irvine Health. I attended last year, too, and was so impressed, I proposed that HKA help the 2017 event gain an even broader audience. Fortunately, the Center said yes and we were off to the races. This year’s event sold out weeks in advance, and it’s moving to a much-needed larger venue in 2018.
What was so great? Personally, I loved the mix of Western and Eastern medicine and the Center is all about blending the best of both worlds. This year’s theme revolved around the “gut” and its impact on wellness. Keynotes and breakout sessions touched on the emotional gut (nutrition and lifestyle solutions), stress reduction practices for a healthy gut (quite a sight to see 500+ women leaping to their feet in unison to perform stress-reduction exercises), adrenal health (I had no idea how important the adrenals are), diet and genes, brain health and inflammation, etc.
For me – and for dedicated foodies – one highlight was meeting Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. Somehow, I’ve never been to her famed eatery, but I’ve known of her for many years and recently heard about her Edible Schoolyard Project and her key role with the Slow Food Movement. She’s legendary and shared charming stories during lunch (healthy and delicious, of course). Asked later what I thought of her, the first word that popped in my mind was “captivating.” Many younger attendees, who didn’t know of her before, paid close attention as she spoke.
I know my dance card will continue to be filled with events – some fantastic and others, well, not so much. But when I hit an occasional trifecta – and I actually do have a few coming up – I am truly grateful that HKA provides these opportunities. I’m fortunate, indeed.