As a fresh year opens, it feels like time to hope once more. In December, I attended a two-day summit and special exhibit hosted by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Both the summit and the exhibit focused on what Hillary called “the unfinished business of the 21st century”—women’s equality. While the speakers were inspiring, the crown jewel for me was the exhibit honoring the modern-day struggle toward suffrage and equal rights for women.
Part of what made this exhibit so powerful was the fresh narrative it told about this struggle. But also impressive was the stunning artwork on display—specially commissioned quilts by world-renowned artists. These quilts connect tiny bits of fabric with skill and caring to express gigantic passions and ideals. When women harness their gifts and intention, even humble tools like needle and thread have the power to lead change. If you’re interested in learning more about the exhibition, here’s a link.
That’s some of the inspiration I’m carrying into 2023. More inspiration: Earlier this fall, an organization founded 40 years ago for women CEOs—the Committee of 200 (C200)—celebrated its anniversary. When it began, C200 was that rare place where women leading significant organizations could network with other women leaders at a similar point in their journey. C200 inspired me to start supporting women's leadership in business and then everywhere. Lincoln Road Enterprises was honored to host a gathering as part of the anniversary celebration. Doing so reminded me of what’s possible when women come together with a positive intent—when we share our creativity as a collective focused on bettering the world.
Speaking of which, a lot of you have asked how plans for the Women’s Leadership Center at Williams Bay are progressing. Even as I write, the talented architects at Studio Gang are working with our growing team on designs for a beautiful nine-acre campus overlooking Geneva Lake. The gorgeous models Studio Gang has assembled to illustrate their ideas have us very excited.
Sometimes all the creative energy of women and all the needs of the world can meet in a powerful way to write a new story. That’s the gift I think we’re being given in the fresh page that is 2023. My personal wish for the coming year is that we be a little more thoughtful, a little less frenetic, a little more mindful of the impact we are always creating, and a lot more welcoming of diversity and the power it can bring to every endeavor.
Thanks, as always, for being on this adventure with me.
Ann M. Drake
Lincoln Road Enterprises