Cincy Chic: What gave you the idea to found Women Highly Favored?
Anita Abrams: Several years ago after attending Sunday morning church services, I would invite a group of ladies over to my home. We would sit around and eat, laugh and talk. We would review and hit the highlights from the morning message that we had just heard in church. We would do this on a regular basis each Sunday; a different group of women at times.
The atmosphere was warm, we opened up our hearts, we had opportunities to share and to hear each individuals personal challenges and we would pray and encourage one another.
We all believed in God and we knew that God would see us through whatever circumstances we would face in our personal lives and professional, and we would tell each other just that. However, it was still nice to know that we had each other for support, as well. This was a great experience for me, one that I will never forget. The inspiration that I captured through those experiences, along with other personal life experiences lead me up to the vision of starting up a womans group, Women Highly Favored Association.
Cincy Chic: When was it established?
Abrams: Although many years had passed, it was always a passion put on my heart to bring people (especially women) together, to help and support each other on many levels, such as personal and business profession.
Then Women Highly Favored was formed in March 2006 with just a handfull of friends and associates. I would pick a topic or a subject that I felt would be of interest to us, one or two of my friends would address it in their own way (during this period at the beginning it was geared more towards spiritual and motivational). As our meetings continued to progress, each month I would seek out different people to come in and speak at our conferences with the focus always centering on ways to better our lives. Bringing us up-to-date to this point, we continue to provide the same elements in our monthly events; always offering encouragement, motivation and inspiration as we empower the women and men that attend our conferences today.
Cincy Chic: Why did you choose its name and tagline?
Abrams: Originally, the name was Women Highly Favored, and Not Forsaken." I dropped the Not Forsaken because I thought it was too long. I chose this name because women at sometime or another need to feel – and should feel – that we are favored. Others already feel confidence, but for some, we need to get our confidence back. We need to know that we have favor in Gods eyes. Women today, business owners, leaders, mothers take on so much, we deal with so many things, we are multi-tasking all the time, yet we keep right on going, not giving it much thought.
In the Bible, it's mentioned that Mary was highly favored among women. Of all the women in the world, she was the one chosen to birth Jesus into this world, and that to me is very special. Mary was a strong woman, and even though she faced many adversities, she was a great example in perseverance. She knew that she was favored in Gods eyes and she continued on even when the situation did not seem favorable.
Women Highly Favored is here to build up women, in our personal lives as well as in our professional lives. Although it is a womens organization, men are always welcome. We plan to have programs in 2008 that will be geared for both men and women. We will also have programs that will be strictly for women only.
Cincy Chic: Give us an overview of what your organization provides the community and how someone can get involved?
Abrams: Women Highly Favored provides the community with diversity from various backgrounds, offering hope and change through inspired leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs for both women and men in personal and professional lives. We do this through empowerment programs, networking start up and/or small businesses, supporting one another in personal and business matters. We do this by educating our audience through our local leaders, small business owners and with the larger corporations addressing various fields of expertise.
The way you can get involved with Women Highly Favored is by teaming up with us or joining our organization. Ask about our membership, come to our monthly events held the first Saturdays of the month in Springdale at the Hampshire House (Lexington) Hotel from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. You can go to our Web site, and check out our events calendar for more information or call 866-303-3669. (Editor's note: Check out pictures from the most recent event here.)
Cincy Chic: What do you hope for Women Highly Favored in the future?
Abrams: My hope for Women Highly Favored is growth, to bring in more resources and to continue building the organization on a much larger scale with increase public awareness. I'd like to sign up more members who see the vision and want to impact lives, as well. My hope for our organization is to maintain a positive level of diversity. Bringing people together from all over, with different professional and educational backgrounds, breaking down racial barriers that keep us apart from lack of understanding, and last of all, to equip and empower women and men who really want to make the necessary changes in their lives to make a difference.
Cincy Chic: Why are you so passionate about networking?
Abrams: Through networking we build relationships, we make new friends, we learn about each other, we help build each others business and we help build each others lives. Networking, I believe can help change your life by making the right connection with others. Networking is very vital in the business world as we know it today.
Cincy Chic: What is your favorite thing about Cincinnatis Business Women?
Abrams: I have had the pleasure of meeting many dynamic and diverse businesswomen who are very strong, diligent and hard at work, and they are certainly making a difference within our communities. Cincinnati women are willing to lend a helping hand if needed, and we really try to support one another. You have the opportunity to learn and glean from the more seasoned veterans out there; they are not afraid to help you, they will find you ways and resources to help you grow your business and help you become successful.