Saturday, November 19, 2011

Attention K-mart shoppers!  This middle-class woman of humble roots had the privilege of attending the Texas Business Hall of Fame Induction Dinner for Colleen Barrett on Thursday evening.  First of all, just being invited was quite an honor.  Southwest hosted 6 tables, and i was invited to take one of those seats!  Now, i was clearly not on the priority list, and i took up a extra seat at the last table two rows from the back.  Even so, super darn pretty cool!

The evening was glamorous and there were quite a few muckety-mucks in attendance:  Jerry Jones, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Ross Perot.  i kept a low profile, too shy to exchange convo with Gary, even.  i was completely out of my element, so i observed, enjoyed and learned.  EB and i drove together, and any time spent with her is a treat.  i expressed my awe at being invited and for being on "the list" to be considered for events such as this.  You have a high-profile role because of leadership development, she responds.  And that's another thing i'm still so much in awe of... that what i do for a living is so valued.

The ladies were lovely, sparkly and expertly coifed, Texas-style of course. Most gents were in tuxes.  The Southwest family represented well.  The room was grand (and i'm somewhat nervous that it's too glam for our Leadership Summit conference August 2012 -- hosting it in the same room at the Anatole).

As the five business leaders shared their stories as they accepted their awards, i was struck by the goodness of honoring these guys (all guys, except Colleen).  Barry Andrews of Andrews Distributing (beer = good $$), Lee Roy Mitchell who started Cinemark theaters, Welcome Wilson, Sr. (real estate) (and Ross Perot, Jr. -- waiting to impressed with this guy, but he sure knows how to rake in the dough).  These gents, and Herb & Colleen, were entrepreneurs who started business from scratch, took risks, created firms that weathered the hard times and give back to the community.  Regardless of any differences in politics i might have with Texas business (*cough* Ross Perot, Jr. -- who i predict will be running for Governor soon, due to the focus of his acceptance speech), it was cool to see these guys being honored for their life's work.

And Colleen... EB and I were talking on the way home:  while she may not be a very polished speaker, her heart was clear and everything she said in her acceptance speech was about others--the employees of Southwest, Herb, her Customers, her mentors.  Sure, the other Inductees were gracious, but none focused so much on others.  It's a message SWA employees hear a lot, but it's awesome each time i hear it, and hopefully her words lodged into the open ears of other business leaders in the audience.

Now, Project Black Tie launched in preparation for the evening was a well orchestrated team effort:

  • Monday after work:  Tara met me at the Galleria to lend me her very valued opinion (and her Spanx... let's just say i'm starting a diet on Monday cuz i'm FAT!).  We decided on two dresses.  And while i'd like to say every single dress in both Nordstrom's and Macy's ran at least a size small, i just need to own it.  i had to buy a size bigger than even my biggest size... not good *nibbles chocolate chips in depression*.
  • Tuesday evening (post dinner with a couple of work peeps):  i was sooooo glad to find a pair of shoes and a couple of earring options at SteinMart.  Thank heaven for that SteinMart.  And don't you find that when you don't feel well (by this point, the bug that had been considering buying property was fully invested) and don't care so much, you find just what you need and then some (i also scored two super cute pairs of flats--ask me about the evil Tinkerbell shoes)... but when you're up and ready for a shopping adventure you find nothing?  Expectations... bah!
  • Wednesday (at home sick, nesting on the couch with lots of herbal tea): Mani/pedi; assembly and earring decisions.  Hubby did a fine job with the proper exclamations of beauty and opinion.
  • Thursday around 5pm:  Re-apply thick powder and sparkly eyeshadow--check. Curl and poof hair up big--check. Assembly complete.
  • Final product:  Not too shabby.

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