John Lennon and Paul McCartney…

Sonny and Cher…

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards…

There have been lots of great collaborations in the history of music. As I reflect on my award for 2015 Distinguished Woman of the Year for my work in STEM, I can’t help but be grateful for my own collaborations. My “partner in crime” at Girls in Tech, Las Vegas is Ms. Amber Bradley, she keeps our projects on track with focused intent and a passion for getting people EXCITED about technology.

Dane Reade Wilson has been an integral part of my success as an entrepreneur and as a person. Since 2008, we have been making creative content together and I hope our collaborative projects never end. All I have to do is talk to him about how I feel and he has a knack for arranging my words into concise little poems. Below is my award acceptance speech. A few people asked for a copy of it, so I am including it here. It eloquently describes my experience in learning I was nominated for this award. Thanks, Dane, you’re the Bernie Taupin to my Elton John. I heart you.

And thank you to  Nevada State College President, Bart Patterson for his kind words, shown below.

My heartfelt award acceptance speech.

I think we’ve all fantasized about winning an award and rehearsed giving a speech but I know that precious few of us truly practice feeling worthy; as women, as entrepreneurs, members of our community, wives, mothers, daughters… humans, we owe it to ourselves to be kind to ourselves and to acknowledge the greatness that resides in all of us. I’d like to thank the Southern Nevada National Association of Women Business Owners for the recognition. I fought my own sense of shame and embarrassment when I found out I was nominated for this award… and for THAT, I am grateful. Because this has reminded me that gratitude extends BEYOND appreciating those around you but also appreciating yourself and the gifts you have to offer.

Each of you are an inspiration. All of today’s award winners and nominees are doing something worthy of recognition, even those who think they are not doing enough. Action gets results. And community… a strong, supportive community is so important to encouraging you to keep

  1. moving,
  2. continue innovating,
  3. do the work, and
  4. lead the way.

We all need someone to follow, to keep up with and thanks to organizations like NAWBO we have each other. This award is not about me, it’s about you; each one of you who are present today and trying your level best to reach for something amazing.

The shy little girl who still lives inside me, who felt different and excluded; she would be afraid to come up here and say “thank you”. But here I am, for her and for some of you that maybe think you are not doing enough or are not worthy enough to stand up and to be recognized. I see you and I am PROUD to be part of your TRIBE.

Thank you.

Bart Pattersion, President Nevada State College, Speaker Christina Aldan