The Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch isn’t just a luncheon. It’s an event that celebrates the lioness in every woman. The goal is to inspire, motivate and highlight successful women in the community. Those in attendance should be moved to dream, create and act. The next Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch is scheduled for Dec. 10 at Holiday Inn 1-95.

“The Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch has a dedicated mission to motivate and empower women from all walks of life by using these casual and friendly gatherings that are specifically themed and focused on inspiring, educating, empowering and celebrating the women of Fayetteville, Fort Bragg and Cumberland County,” said Karla Allen, one of the organizers of the event. “We have a dedicated group of women, our advisory board, that gathers a few times monthly. We divvy up all the responsibilities and then work hard to provide an inspirational event that educates, empowers and celebrates everything that is good and true about being a woman.” 

The luncheon starts at 11 a.m., and is a lot more than a ladies’ lunch.  There is a time for networking and shopping., which is timely during the holiday season. The event offers something for just about everyone on your holiday shopping list. While at the event you can visit one of the many vendor stations and stock up on holiday essentials.  “Our Shopportunity Expo area will host up to 30 vendors with a good mixture of local merchants, home-based businesses and business to business enterprises,” said Allen. 

“Something new that we are very excited about is the Wine Bar and tasting provided by Grapes & Hops of Fayetteville. It will add a new dimension to the luncheon and we know it is something that the attendees will really enjoy,” she said.

Teresa Swint is the owner of Grapes & Hops and she is looking forward to the luncheon for many reasons. “As a local business owner, I am looking forward to meeting other business women and networking and talking with them about the many things that women in business face today,” she said. “From a wine perspective, I am very excited to share good wine, answer questions and enjoy the luncheon. I will have something that everyone can enjoy — reds, whites, sweet wines — there should be something for every palate. And I am happy to talk with people about the different wines, too.”

Playwright Elaine Alexander, author of A Southern Girl’s Gotta Have It is set to read an excerpt of her side-splitting play. 

“The Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch program has grown extensively every year for the past five years. With the help of local sponsorships and an incredibly hard working advisory board we hosted more than 185 women at our luncheon in September and plan to expand the Dec. 10 holiday luncheon to more than  250, “ said Allen. “Our featured speaker is Mary Lee Cudd PA-C. She comes to us with an impressive background and brings a lot of enthusiasm. I think everyone will appreciate what she has to say.”

“Our featured speakers typically talk about their journey as a woman in business and how they arrived to where they are today. Every story is inspirational, educational, empowering or a celebration of life, work and family in some way or another. I am looking forward to hearing Mary Lee speak,” she continued.

The luncheon speaker takes the podium at 1 p.m. Cudd has practiced medicine in Fayetteville since 1987.  A graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Cudd is no stranger to mission work. She’s been on missions to Asia, South America and Europe. A physician’s assistant, Cudd has instructed students from from Duke, Bowman Gray, Methodist and the Army PA programs. She is specifically interested in educating women about their health so they can feel good about themselves and lead satisfying lives. It is something she’s been doing for more three decades — 20 years in OB/GYN and nine years in plastic surgery. She opened her own office in 2012, adding successful business owner to her list of accomplishments. The event concludes at 2 p.m.

“The Fayetteville Ladies Power Luncheon is a powerful tool for the women of this community. Denise Mercado, our original founder, put a tremendous amount of effort into this event during our first five years and made the Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch an incredible resource for women in our community,” said Allen. “Our Advisory Board is so excited about 2016 and more than ready to take this event to the next level. Please, mark your calendars for Feb. 11, May 12, Aug. 11 and Nov. 10. We will be at the Holiday Inn I-95, and we’ve confirmed our speakers and, let me tell you, you don’t want to miss even one of the luncheons!”

For more information or to register for the Dec. 10 Fayetteville Ladies Power Luncheon, visit  http://fayettevilleladiespowerlunch.com. Seating begins at 12:15 p.m., with door prizes drawn at 12:20 p.m. The menu includes vegetarian and gluten-free options . Tickets are $35.


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