Friday, March 15, 2013

The Little Black Dress Club Has Arrived in East Bay, California!

After meeting Tracy, CA director, Melanie Dunniway at a Ladies Night Out event, Gwen decided the LBDC needed to be in East Bay, CA as well. “Step out onto a limb…that’s where the fruit is” she said.

“I thought about this for almost a year after meeting Melanie, I kept running across her business card and remembering how fun she was”, said Gwen. “I checked her out online and read up on LBDC.  It seemed like she was always doing something fun.  I absolutely LOVE people and socializing and I couldn’t find enough positive, fun, unique things to do in my area…many of my friends (married & single) were having the same problem so…I researched LBDC more and felt like it was exactly what I was supposed to do…not just for myself but for all the ladies in our area who work hard in and outside of the home.  Once I decided to do it, I was HOOKED on the idea, on the possibilities and it just took me over like some adrenaline fueled networking addiction.  I want to impact the local social community like a tidal wave of synergy.”

Jumping in headfirst, Gwen has already recruited several new members and is quickly filling up the calendar with fun events. Coming up soon for the East Bay ladies will be a visit to see the WORLD RENOWNED Alvin Ailey” dancers on Sunday, April 28 at the UC Berkley Campus Theater. Using all her social connections, girlfriends and event planning ideas, Gwen and the ladies of East Bay are planning lots of fabulous mixers, comedy shows, billiards, theater and movie nights, red carpet events, and benefits. The possibilities are endless. Staying in tune with the mission of the LBDC to always give back to their community, LBDC East Bay is working on a volunteer opportunity at the local battered women's shelters and a few local 10K marathons. Being close to Napa Valley, I hear a limo ride to a wine tasting is soon to be in store as well!

Only an hour away from the State Capital, San Francisco, Berkley, and Oakland, Gwen says her city is such a diverse and central location, perfect for a new LBDC chapter. They are far enough  away to enjoy suburbia, yet close enough to slip into a LBD and hit the town!

A huge fan of Marianne Williamson, Gwen sometimes uses her quote “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Gwen relates to Marianne feeling that it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  "We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be", asks Gwen.

Gwen feels that true friendship between women incorporates appreciating what is beautiful about other women and embracing that beauty vs. being envious of it.  We all have something beautiful about us…when we recognize and appreciate that, we are able to build stronger, deeper connections amongst each other, which is important for all of us as women.   

In her spare time, Gwen enjoys jogging with her girlfriends and running her small home-based accessory business. She is a mom, a former US Marine and finds her deepest joy in spending time with her grandchildren. Having served for 4 years in the US Navy and having been in law enforcement for the last 16 years, Gwen loves volunteering and mentoring the youth in her community.  But on the occasional lazy Sunday, Gwen often finds herself watching LMN with her friends and several bottles of great wine!

Sounds like East Bay, California is going to be a great new home for the Little Black Dress Club! If you would like more information on this chapter, have an event idea to suggest to Gwen or would like more information on joining the club, Gwen would love to hear from you all! Email her here and make sure to stop in and say hello on the East Bay Facebook page.

~Shay Ashcraft
National Director, LBDC

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