HerStory Tea Party: Yuma businesswomen to share their stories | Business

Every lady has a narrative and each lady has needed to overcome challenges. Several Yuma girls will share their distinctive tales at a tea occasion designed to have a good time girls.

The Territorial Charter Chapter of American Business Women’s Association is internet hosting HerStory Tea Party at 11 a.m. May 7 on the Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive.

Guests will be taught the tales of three native girls whereas having fun with tea and a luncheon. The objective is for friends to stroll away feeling impressed.

Emilia Cortez, one among final 12 months’s finalists, defined why she participated within the occasion. “We as women are great in telling our story to support other females and build them up, but we struggle to show our success because we might seem to be showing off, but in reality, we need to challenge and encourage each other,” she mentioned.

“It was a great honor to understand how sharing stories gives you the power of owning it, not allowing the world or male voice to fill in those gaps or creating stories about what we ‘women would think or want.’ I am blessed to have a position where my work evolves in building young leaders’ voices, especially the female voice. The truth is that raising each other up and channeling the power of the collaboration is truly how we’ll change the equation,” Cortez added.

Shelley Jones Mellon, additionally one among final 12 months’s finalists, notes that one among her favourite childhood tales has all the time been “Stone Soup” as a result of “it teaches us that everyone has a unique gift to share with one another. By sharing our gifts, perspectives and insight, we all contribute to this large pot of soup that is our community. Together we create a brighter, thriving future.

“As a woman in business, I am very grateful to have had a long line of successful family members, and key business leaders in our community who were extraordinary mentors. We need to share our journeys with one another and be a resource of encouragement and vision,” Jones Mellon defined.

“I believe the backbone to our community is the succession of families and citizens who honor the fortitude of our history by continuing to exemplify collaboration, civil discourse, hard work and philanthropy. Herstory is one of the conduits of these vital elements. We are blessed to be on this earth for such a brief moment. My hope is to carry forward the gleam and dreams of those before me and pass them along to the next generations,” she added.

For Jones Mellon, constructing a lifetime of relationships is the muse of all issues. “To build those relationships, we need to be genuine, be able to laugh at ourselves, listen to others to understand and not to only gain what you want out of the conversation. We need to have those tough conversations to find the common ground and build upon each other’s viewpoints. But to do this, we need to be vulnerable with our shortcomings and build trust with one another.

“I love being surrounded by those that are more knowledgeable than me. Learning is a gift and every day we have so many opportunities to partake in this exchange; learning from one another with compassion. We are all on this journey together, so why not learn from someone else all we can?”

Gladys Brown, one other finalist who shared her story final 12 months, agrees that “it is important to share not only our professional experiences but also the personal ones that helped sculpt who we are.”

“The time we spend navigating a career plus personal accomplishments, whether it is raising a family or taking the steps to finish up that degree, not to mention the struggle of the professional environments of being a woman climbing ranks or excelling at that specific trade, can be frustrating and discouraging,” Brown mentioned.

“HerStory allows us to share these parts of our lives in a safe space with others who are encouraged, supported and proud of how we got there. Telling the story of your life is special, and it continues, but that experience can help another woman who wonders what it looks like for her on those tougher days and is it worth it,” she famous

“There are many women who look forward to learning about other women, from beginners to experts in various fields, each of us has a uniquely shaped personalized story that can truly contribute toward the personal growth for another woman. Sometimes hearing about these trials and tribulations can give us reassurance that we aren’t alone, especially for those in a very male-dominated career field. Many times, hearing HerStory gives us the ‘get it girl’ push that is needed. The intuition, level of attention, the genuine kindness and the ability to put in hard work even when no one is looking- women get it done.

“I think that is why it is important to share what you have endured, overcame, what you look forward to and are excited about as a woman moving forward in a world that can be critical and judgmental,” Brown added.

Stefanie Littlewood-Moody, Sharon Merz and Jeri Jo Padilla had been chosen because the finalists for this 12 months’s occasion. They had been chosen for his or her neighborhood involvement past their career.


Littlewood-Moody teaches eighth-grade science at Centennial Middle School, however she didn’t all the time know what she wished to be when she grew up.

Born and raised in Yuma with twin Lia Littlewood, she was analytical and methodical, whereas Lia was the wild and loopy artist that takes on the world with a paintbrush.

Her dad and mom had a small farm house on slightly over an acre of land. She fell in love with science when she was a toddler, fascinated by the lettuce within the surrounding fields. They had their very own little oasis that flood-irrigated each week. There was a lot to watch and examine.

As a toddler she loved botany, agriscience and chemistry.

In her early 20s, she labored and attended Arizona Western College, finishing her normal courses. Still unsure the place she wished to do, she joined the Air Force and labored within the dental subject for six years.

When her enlistment was up, Littlewood-Moody went again to AWC, then enrolled at Arizona State University. While going to highschool, she volunteered at Lia’s artwork co-op.

“We considered ourselves organized chaos. That was a lot of fun and a refreshing environment right after getting out of the military,” Littlewood-Moody recalled.

Jeri Jo Padilla was born in Red Cloud, Nebraska, however she considers herself “95% Yuman.” She is married to Mike, and so they have 5 kids, Adam, Jessica, Levi, Erik and Randi Mae.

She is presently a household and shopper science instructor at Gila Vista Junior High and a scholar at evening with Arizona State University, finding out for a level in particular training.

She has been a Yuma County 4-H chief since 2015 and a Cub Scout chief with Pack 8051 since 2017. She has been concerned with Yuma Youth Soccer Association as a board member for greater than 15 years.

She can also be concerned with the Special Olympics and a member of the Sharing Down syndrome Arizona Yuma Chapter.

“When I am not busy watching my kids in their activities, I enjoy sewing, quilting and camping,” Padilla shared.

Sharon Merz arrived in Yuma March 1970, in a shifting van, pregnant and with a 3-year-old son, a springer spaniel and a husband. It was 103 levels.

She wished to return to Riverside, California, to her momma. But her husband promised in the event that they went to Yuma, they may transfer again to California in 5 years.

“I was young, I believed him,” she quipped. “Now, 52 years later, almost to the day, I would not move … I have been blessed to have raised two sons, one husband, two springer spaniels, one turtle and three family owned businesses. God is good.”

They got here to Yuma as a result of John inherited a trailer park, small and previous even then. They had been capable of make it profitable by dwelling and dealing on property for 30 years.

They began a Tom’s distribution in 1973 and bought it in1999. Then they opened Pioneer Express Lube and Car Wash with son Gary in 2000. They bought the enterprise in August 2021 .

While working has been Padilla’s pastime, she has loved many alternatives being concerned in and serving the neighborhood. She is a member of the Foothills Rotary Club, serves on the residential board for the City of Yuma and is lively at Gloria de Cristo Lutheran Church, having served in some ways and presently serving as president.

“My philosophy has always been ‘sometimes you don’t find your way – you make it,’” Padilla mentioned.

At the HerStory Tea Party, she and the opposite finalists will share how they made their very own approach.

While final 12 months’s occasion had extra of an English really feel, this 12 months’s tea occasion may have extra of a French theme, with meals ready by one of many Civic Center’s cooks who’s classically skilled in French delicacies.

The Yuma Orchestra will entertain friends with their classical music.

In addition, friends will obtain presents, due to Yuma Regional Medical Center which is placing collectively the customized presents for each attendee. Their packing containers will embrace a “gratitude” teacup to take house.

The occasion may even have a silent public sale, with proceeds going to scholarships for ladies in the neighborhood.

Arizona Community Found is the title sponsor, with further assist coming from different sponsors.

Tickets bought prematurely are $30. Tickets on the door will probably be $40. Paper tickets can be found at these shops: Yuma Civic Center, Arizona Community Foundation and Edward Jones on Foothills Boulevard.

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