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January 25, 2010 

We're pleased to announce that Deputy DC Mayor Valerie Santos will join GSA Regional Commish Bart Bush and other top figures at our Breakfast & Schmooze this Friday on "Working with the GSA."

450 of you, mainly women, again packed Sequoia on Friday morning for the second in our series, “Where Do Women Stand?”

But more impressive than numbers were the energy, passion, and vision that filled the room. And, as one panelist commented, the colorful clothes.

Crystal Couture (Six) - i

Black Entertainment Television pioneer and CEO Debra Lee told the crowd that she started off with dreams of attending fashion design school but soon realized “she couldn’t draw” and settled on Plan B: Harvard Law. With a brief foray into politics halted by the election of Ronald Reagan, she went to work at Steptoe & Johnson, started the legal department at BET, and rose through the ranks to COO, then CEO after BET sold to Viacom for $3 billion. She said that in a world where some men seem to “fail up”—destroying companies and sports teams then landing new jobs the next day—women should not be afraid to take risks and make big mistakes.  

Sigal - in-text or right

American Bar Association President Carolyn Lamm says women should be less self-critical and promote each other more. Her advice: take note of male athletes who give each other a big pat on the back even when they miss the goal. Encouragement and networking will open doors.

Chance (5th) - in-text or

We love an ace lawyer who knows how to have fun—Arent Fox civil litigator Barbara Wahl was all smiles as she moderated the panel. Arent Fox ranked twice as one of the 50 best law firms for women, among other things adding model maternity and paternity leave policies.

Akin Gump’s Michele Roberts (named top lawyer in Washington a few years back by Washingtonian magazine) says finding a mentor is critical but it doesn’t have to be a formal relationship with someone of the same race or gender. She says we all have a responsibility to “ment” (which she says may not be a word, but we’re sure she could argue it straight into the dictionary).


Microsoft Federal chief Teresa Carlson successfully made the leap from the healthcare industry to the tech world. She told the crowd it’s important to make your own opportunities, saying “Don’t ask for a seat at the table, just take it.”


These women know the importance of coffee before 8 a.m. We snapped Davis Interiors’ Debbi Carter, MOI’s Kim Toomey, and Citizens Bank’s Leslie Hale.


Internews’ JoAnne Woolley and DC Planning and Economic Development’s Jacquelyn Glover. Jacquelyn says to expect the grand opening of Diamond Teague Park in a month or so in SW. The 39k SF public plaza with water taxi and piers for canoes and kayaks sits along the Anacostia River across from Nationals Park.

Santos Added to Bisnow GSA Event


GSA is a critial player in DC, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Valerie Santos will join our Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze this Friday, January 29 at our “Working with the GSA” (II) event. She’ll be on stage with GSA’s Bart Bush, Brookfield’s Greg Meyer, Perkins+Will’s Holly Briggs, Beacon Capital Partners’ Jeffrey Kovach, Trammell Crow Company’s Tom Finan, and Jones Lang’s Joe Brennan.  Sign up now!

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