PINK’s Exclusive Pop-Up Dinner: A Recap of Delicious Soulful Leadership

PINK just hosted its semi-annual Pop-Up dinner.  Northwestern Mutual advisor Susan Freeman partnered with PINK to bring in some of America’s top business women who gathered in the elegant private dining room of west midtown’s farm-to-table restaurant Bacchanalia.  The topic?  The importance of soulful leadership to a successful workplace and happy individuals.  Past PINK Event panelists including Coretha Rushing, CHRO of Equifax; Anisa Telwar Kaicker, Founder and CEO of Anisa International, Inc.; SouthernLINC Wireless CEO Tami Barron, joined the group of 20 high-powered women leaders, such as Emory University’s first female president Claire Sterk; award-winning playwright Janece Shaffer; and two of InterContinental Hotel Group’s top women, CFO Gina Speck and Global Technologies CFO Susan Zankman.

Our host, Bacchanalia’s owner and nationally-renowned restaurateur Anne Quantrano, broke the ice by sharing her success story.  After successful endeavors in San Francisco and New York, Quantrano and her husband moved to Atlanta to begin a new business venture and found a niche that had not yet been explored—offering patrons local farm-sourced ingredients.  Twenty-five years ago, before Atlanta restaurants considered this idea, Quantrano centered Bacchanalia around this uncharted territory.  And she continues to do so today with the recent relocation of her restaurant.  When the previous space lost much of its parking “business dropped 40 percent,” she says about taking the leap of faith to move to their new home on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard.

Not only does her style of soulful leadership come from purchasing from local farmers, but Quantrano also reaches inside her own arsenal of servers, chefs, bartenders and hosts.  She understands they have dreams other than presenting the crab fritters, chocolate cakes and wines PINK’s guests enjoyed.  One of her former servers now works in textile design, and created the beautiful curtain of ropes that separates the intimate private dining room from the rest of the buzz in the main restaurant.  This opened the door for table discussion facilitated by Sally Williamson, owner of executive coaching firm Sally Williamson & Associates.  Guests were asked to speak about their paths to create a more genuine and immersive workplace and personally whether they are on the fast track, top track, or next track.  Williamson also asked how the leaders assembled address soulful leadership at their companies.  She asked, “Are you a) dipping your toe in, b) actively exploring it, or c) already a master at it?”

Former General Counsel and Chief of Staff of Morehouse College Lecrecia Cade shared how she mastered soulful leadership.  When stressed, Cade says she focuses on small details.  “Just look out at the trees,” she says.  Relating to the simple miracles of the natural world enables Cade to “get in touch with yourself and your soul.”  In doing so, you can make it your business to do the business that brings you joy.

This struck a chord for other women to chime in with their experiences.  Katie Bayne, SVP of Global Sparkling Brands at Coca-Cola, stressed the value of a good night’s sleep.  “Do something for you every day,” says owner or Quadras and Deux Fille jewelry Sara Harris, who also considers herself a master at soulfulness. Georgia Power’s VP of HR, Sloane Evans, finds her joy in what she calls “unstructured time,” when her day is completely free and she can enjoy simply being human.  “I work very hard to protect it,” she says.

PINK’s exclusive Pop-Up gatherings allow some of the highest ranking women leaders to let their hair down outside the office and connect with like-minded women.  “To be lucky enough to have a job that requires assembling the most brilliant inspiring women around a table at the glorious Bacchanalia to share stories about soulfulness, is a gift,” says PINK CEO Cynthia Good.  Special thanks to Anne Quantrano of Bacchanalia, and our sponsor Susan Freeman and Northwestern Mutual for a most memorable evening.  Thanks to Sally Williamson for facilitating the conversation.

By Jessica Wise

Thank you for the Thank You Notes!

“Thanks very much for including me in such a special evening.  I needed that dinner and to be around women like that with all our new chapters.  I loved my conversations,” says Katie J. Bayne, SVP, Global Sparkling Brands, Coca-Cola.

“Thank you so much for including me last night.  The speakers and food were truly fantastic.  It was so great to be part of this wonderful group of women.  I look forward to seeing you again.”  Anisa Telwar Kaicker, Founder and CEO, Anisa International, Inc.

“Thank you so much for including me in the pop up dinner.  The venue, food and company were fantastic.  I look forward to a future connection with you and your group.”  Gina Speck, SVP & CFO, IHG, The Americas

What’s next? Join us for PINK’s biggest event of the year.  Save the date: September 29th in Atlanta.  Have lunch with America’s most extraordinary women in business at PINK’s Annual Fall Empowerment Event. Gain insight from a panel of top business leaders, including Calvin Klein CEO Steve Shiffman; focusing on soulful leadership. Click here for details and to reserve your seat:

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