Women are like teabags . . .

. . .  you don’t realize how strong we are until you put us in hot water.” That quote from Eleanor Roosevelt was my “best advice” speech at the 2012 Silicon Valley Women on Influence gala dinner. (Photo is of fellow honoree and Sidemark President Sandi Jacobs (left) and me.) I’ve sat in the audience at these WOI events for years, wondering if someday it would be me up on the stage. But after reading the profiles of each year’s amazing women, I always doubted I could measure up. Then last summer when the call for nominees came out, my daughter Melissa, a fellow Silicon Valley marketing professional, asked “If not now, when?”

That’s when I realized the time couldn’t be better. My PR agency, c3PR, had been doing a lot of pro bono work, which answered the “community aspect” of the competition. I was on the board of PRSA Silicon Valley, so I was giving back to my profession. And c3PR was doing well after having launched a cool new website.

But no matter how influential you think you are, it’s the equally influential people who take the time to nominate you that makes the difference. To each and every one of them I send out a big thank you. And a special thanks to Bridgelux for sponsoring two tables at the event, enabling me to surround myself with friends, family and clients. (Buy Bridgelux LEDs!)

If you’re a Silicon Valley-based businesswoman and haven’t won this honor, start now to strengthen your chances. If I had another “ten” best words of advice, it would be that in today’s networked world, “It’s not who you know – it’s who knows you!”

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