11BoThorpThe next Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch is May 11 at the Ramada Inn Bordeaux. These lunches happen four times a year and are an opportunity for the women of Fayetteville to network and build rewarding relationships with other women in the community.  

In addition to refreshments, shopping and networking opportunities, there is also a keynote speaker. “Every lunch we invite an amazing woman with an inspiring story. They share their story in an effort to inspire and encourage the women at the lunch. We want to use these experiences to empower and educate the women in the community,” said Keri Kittinger, director of the Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch. 

“This lunch we have Bo Thorpe, the founding artistic director of the Cape Fear Regional Theatre. She built that theater from nothing, just a building on the corner of Hay Street, to the amazing theater it is today. She’s going to talk about the things she faced in making this happen." 

The keynote speakers are always successful women in the community. Speakers have come from all sects of the community with a wide range of experiences. Diversity is one of the strongest characteristics of the Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch. “It is amazing being in a room filled with women who are all there to support each other. We women don’t always support each other, and to be part of this is encouraging. Our community in Fayetteville is incredibly diverse, and this diversity is well-represented at our lunches. Seeing all these different women come together to support each other is a powerful thing to be part of,” said Kittinger.  

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a Shopportunity Expo and wine tasting that will last until noon, when the luncheon and keynote speech begin. At 2 p.m., the Shopportunity Expo and wine tasting resume for another hour.  The Shopportunity is a great time for networking and features local business owners showcasing all their businesses have to offer. This year there will be more vendors than ever.  “We have been growing this thing for a while. At first we only had 22 vendors and we totally sold out. Last year we decided to increase that number to 44 vendors and we still had to turn people away,” said Kittinger. “For this lunch, we have 60 vendors spots and we are hoping to fill them up. Our goal is 60 vendors and 200 attendees.” 

Another change this year is the location. “This year our location is the Ramada Inn at Bordeaux, which is a little more central. We are hoping to reach out to the women who maybe can’t come out for the whole day,” Kittinger explained. 

She added that the Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunches, which provide so much opportunity for local women, are only possible because of the contributions of community members and the hard work of the women on the advisory board. Bill Bowman is one such community member, who recently received the Athena Award from the Chamber of Commerce due to his work with these lunches and Women’s View Magazine. The sponsors of the Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch are also vital to the success of these events. Without their support, tickets would approach $70. Their support makes the events affordable for the women of the community. Additionally, a portion of the luncheon profits will be given to the Kidsville News Literacy and Education Foundation.  

To register as a vendor or attendee, visit www.fayettevilleladiespowerlunch.com.

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