One of my personal traditions is to set an intention for the year ahead in a single word. Some of my words in the past few years have included:
I’m still coming up with my personal word for 2024, but I know I want it to have something to do with innovation, inspiration, and a fresh start. I’m toying with the idea of taking a page out of the Gen Z handbook and making up a new word that embodies it all, rolled into one.
But for the coming year, I’d love our community to also select a word for 2024! I’m really excited by the idea of having a communal word. I can’t wait to see how we reflect on it a year from now.
While we didn’t have a BRA Network word for 2023, reflecting back on the year we’re closing out, I’d have to say our word should definitely have been collaboration.
This year, we saw more Epic BRA Collaborations than ever before with so many Members getting involved in these larger than life projects. Here are THREE of the biggest examples…
SHOW HER THE MONEY
You may recall me mentioning the documentary film Executive Produced by BRA Members Catherine Gray and Diana Greshtchuk. Well, the collaborations go much further than these two.
The Show Her the Money film features BRA Members Vicky Pasche, Charisse Pasche, Laurel Mintz and Kelly Winget on screen and has an Associate Producer team including BRA Members Helen Fanucci, Deb Smalley, Andrea Quinn, and BRA Founder Carrie Murray. (The music video also features BRA Member Jen Rafferty!)
The doc has been Catherine’s baby for a long while, but Diana got involved when BRA Member Liz Svatek introduced the two of them. After having lunch with Catherine where she discussed the project, Diana gladly jumped at the opportunity to invest in the documentary and initially joined at the Associate Producer level. But, after filming occurred and Diana continued her involvement, she saw more potential and upped her investment to the Executive Producer level.
“This project was about dropping ego for me – it’s bigger than screen time or having a speaking part. This is bigger than me and I’m part of what makes the united voice louder and stronger. This project is a legacy play to change the investing and venture capital landscape for generations of women, non-binary, LGBTQ, and marginalized communities everywhere. It makes finance and investing approachable, while highlighting the relatable, real stories of founders, funders, and all the others involved.
“I was honored and humbled to be a part of this movement and carry the torch for as long as I can, until I can hold the door open for everyone who comes after to have a better experience than the prior generation. This is generational, financial healing occurring and giving a voice to the taboo money talks happening at tables that we all need to be a part of.”— Diana Greshtchuk, Co-Executive Producer of Show Her the Money
EVERY DAY ACTION GALA
When nonprofit organization Every Day Action, which was co-founded by BRA Members Hillary Cohen and Sam Luu, started to put together a fundraising gala, BRA Members flocked to the cause to help.
Jordis Small, who serves as an Advisory Board member for Every Day Action, designed the sponsorship deck that secured all of the funding. Jordis designed the theme and created the invite, save the date, and all of the assets used for social media. She also designed all of the promotional materials and playing cards that were the gift for all attendees and helped secure event sponsors.
From there, Stacey Beaman took Jordis’ design and created the gala landing page and also led their email marketing and ticket sales campaign.
BRA Founder Carrie Murray, who is also an EDA founding board member, assisted in event design, board support, and helped to publicize the event through her networks, including within BRA.
Bernadette Marciniak donated her services as the event videographer. She provided red carpet interviews for all celebrity guests and gave EDA a sizzle reel to use for promotional purposes in the future.
Jen Currier and her company donated all of the floral arrangements for the event. Cat Curry-Williams was an event sponsor, helping to ensure the event would even take place. Patricia True Agos helped EDA get assistance from a PR firm who drew a lot of press day of. Katie Chin, Wendy Pomerantz, and Daphne Subar all donated desserts for the event. Jordan Catapano with This Girl Walks into a Bar provided bartenders and servers for the event and donated a bar setup to the event with margarita mixer.
Robin Doyle with Beautyologie, Diana Greshtchuk, Carrie Murray, and Heather Rader donated to the silent auction
There were many BRA Members in attendance — and others who bought tickets even if they were unable to attend — including Catherine Gray, Kathy Schuh, and Diana Greshtchuk (who is also a board member).
“Our gala was one of the hardest things I have ever set out to achieve and I am still amazed at the event we created. It felt amazing to work so tirelessly at something and see its outcome be so successful. The BRA Network is the first place I turned when we started planning this event. We had only eight months to come up with full sponsorship, a silent auction for 200 guests, dinner and a full open bar, a casino, and so much more. We had over 17 members in total supporting and collaborating with this event.
“The BRA Network will again be the first place I turn for our second gala and for anything else I might need within my business. Women supporting women is essential to smashing the patriarchy and for making actual change on our planet. We work harder for each other and are stronger when we support one another, both personally and professionally. There is so much room for women at the top and the BRA Network is a prime example of a community helping to lift as many women as possible into being the best versions of themselves and within the businesses they create.”— Hillary Cohen, Co-Founder of Every Day Action
TOURNAMENT OF ROSES
BRA Members Mandy Denaux and Kathy Schuh first worked together at the LA Area Chamber of Commerce, but Mandy moved to the Tournament of Roses in 2019 and worked for the Rose Parade in 2020.
Mandy then brought Kathy in to shadow the previous photographer for the Rose Parade — who had captured the parade for around 40 years — on January 1st, 2022. The previous photographer retired that year.
Kathy started to capture events that led up to the Rose Parade and was able capture three Grand Marshals. This year, Kathy took the official group photo for the Rose Court, as well as their individual photos. Stacey Beaman also helped with the Behind-the-Scenes portion for the Rose Court photoshoot.
For the Rose Parade on January 2, 2023, Kathy put together a team of nine female team members, four of which were BRA Members — Kathy Schuh, Bernadette Marciniak, Shayna Marks, and Stacey Beaman. This all-female team captured and worked tech for the Parade. That was the first time in the parade’s 134-year history that there was an all-female team capturing the parade.
For the 2024 Rose Parade, there is another group of female photographers working to capture the parade and a tech team to support. Stacey and Bernadette already plan to participate again.
While Kathy has spent time photographing The Rose Court, another BRA Member, Toni Purry, coached them and provided speaker training.
“Working for the Tournament of Roses is so near and dear to my heart. I am a daughter of Pasadena, because I was born there at Huntington Hospital. My mom’s family was inspired to move to Pasadena from Connecticut in 1962. Some of my youngest New Year’s memories are of my family putting chairs out on Colorado Blvd and watching the parade go by my grandma’s house with my cousins.
“Both BRA and the Tournament of Roses are near and dear to my heart and I feel so lucky to have those two worlds intersect. When I was imagining where my career as a photographer would take me, I honestly didn’t realize I would end up here and I have BRA and the connections I’ve made there to thank for that!”— Kathy Schuh, Photographer
I can’t begin to tell you how happy it makes me to see all of these BRA Members working together to achieve such big dreams; creating something more successful than any one Member alone could pull off by collaborating and pooling resources, experience, connections, and skill sets.
And I can’t wait to see how these Epic Collaborations within BRA Network continue to inspire and create ripple effects throughout our community.
Let this be a reminder that should YOU want to achieve something larger than life, look no further than Members of the BRA Network to help you create something truly epic.
Here’s lookin’ at you, 2024.