First National Bank hosts Women in the Workforce luncheon

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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On account of rainy weather last Thursday, First National Bank’s annual Women in the Workforce luncheon had to be moved from its usual outdoor venue at the Boat Basin, to the neighboring performing arts building. This year’s featured speaker was cookbook author and cooking show host Vera Stewart, with an additional panel of local women consisting of Stephanie Ivey and Dameca Robinson speaking.

Wendy Barber opened the luncheon with prayer, followed by Ivey and Robinson speaking. Ivey spoke on her remarriage after becoming a single mother, as well as the challenges of being a parent of twins with Down syndrome. Robinson, an adoptive parent, spoke on how she adopted first one child, then five more, which led to her divorcing her former husband before remarrying.

Stewart, an accomplished chef and cooking entrepreneur, told her story of how she was raised and started her business, expanding from catering and mail orders to her current cooking show. She provided anecdotes from her experiences, including a recent job catering a dinner for Governor Kemp.

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After the luncheon concluded, Stewart sold and autographed some of her cookbooks for the attendees.

According to First National’s director of marketing and retail Lorena Smith, this year’s luncheon saw attendance of roughly 160. When asked what went into selecting this year’s panel of speakers, Smith stated, “We choose the panel based on conversations we have with local women. When we feel a story needs to be told, it is a great platform to encourage and inspire others.”

“Each year, I feel like it is the best event, and this year did not disappoint,” Smith concluded. “We have had so many wonderful comments especially concerning the featured speaker Vera Stewart.  She was funny, inspiring and motivational. What a dynamic little lady.”