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Women On The Move 2023 Sonoma-Embracing Authentic Leadership

On Friday Mar 24, 2023, Olga Garcia and Griselda Gonzalez of CG Moving Co. had the opportunity to organize, plan and host the California Moving and Storage Association, “Women on The Move”. This is the third year that the event has been held.  We met at beautiful Sonoma, where Miriam Puentes, founder of Honrama Cellars hosted us and took amazing care of all the ladies. We also had the attendance of our association President Steve Weitekamp, who not only shows his support during Women’s History Month, or International Women’s Day, but all year long. I am blessed to consider Steve a mentor and I appreciate his many years of service and experience in the moving and storage industry in California and beyond. 

We also had the distinct support of Rick Hosea and N. Claret Fitch-Hosea, representing Reno, Boise and Spokane based OneRelo Worlwide. They traveled from Reno, Nevada to be with us! Another long distance traveler was Jane Carole Bunting, who is based out of Boston and represented Daycos. We also like to acknowledge the shortest commute, Casey Myers! Based out of Napa. 

The event started with a coffee service and delicious Mexican pastries and croissants by Napa based “La Cheve”, founded by a former chemistry teacher, the restaurant sells beers and baked items. The women of the CMSA event enjoyed rose shaped conchas! 

We were then formally welcomed by Miriam Puentes at her tasting room.  Miriam shared the story behind the name of her wines, “Honrama” was named after Miriam’s father Don Honorio Ramirez Mata, who was born in Mexico and later worked the fields as a farm worker. Mr. Ramirez Mata did not live to see the wines made by her daughter and her husband, but the legacy of hard work, resilience and determination, and the love of family is carried by Miriam and her husband Juan. 

After words by Steve Weitekamp and Olga Garcia, we introduced our keynote speaker, Steffanie Medina, owner of Flow LLC. Steffanie is a seasoned mediator, coach and consultant who has helped many businesses and individuals with workplace conflict, change management, and customer service improvement, as well as facilitated strategic goal planning, enhanced teamwork and engagement, and improved leadership and management skills.  

Her presentation “Embracing Authentic Leadership” went into the difference between managing and leading, components of authentic leadership, practicing the new skills and we also explored challenges that women leaders face. We were introduced to the BRAVING MODEL (Brene Brown)  and watched the author share the story and research behind it. You can view the video shared by Steffanie here:

We talked about communication styles, communication cycle, skillful listening, and mindfulness among other topics. The attendees were very engaged and interacted with each other as part of the presentation, we shared challenges and reflected on how we may approach them differently with the new tools shared at the event. 

We later moved to the patio where we enjoyed Mexican food by local woman owned Trini’s Catering. 

Shortly after lunch, we welcomed Sally Bolger, owner of Grace Moving Company, with locations in Modesto, Tracy and Clovis. She shared her experience as a survivor of breast cancer and how early detection helped her beat it. Sally encouraged us to take care of ourselves in all aspects, professionally, emotionally, physically, and mentally and she shared how having gone through the diagnosis and treatment of cancer has changed the way she views health and living a healthy life. 

We heard from cannabis entrepreneur who was in attendance, Nurit Raphael, owner and founder of Ona Life, a boutique and legal cannabis concierge located in Marin County. Here the conversation centered about the changing environment of legal cannabis use by adults and how the current federal drug testing of commercial drivers does not align with the State of California recent laws regarding employment decisions based on off work use of cannabis.

Next, we introduced Olga Mila Howells, who is a former Fortune 100 financial executive, CPA and luxury real estate agent as well as non profit founder. Her non profit Amor del Bueno, “helps educate young people about unhealthy relationships,  identify early signs of abuse and safely escape the relationship before it escalates to violence”. Currently focusing in Mexico, the non profit is often sought after to share the training model outside of Mexico.  

We then held a panel discussion with Rhonda Lopes Stephens and Jeanette Homan of Lambert Enterprises.  We talked about their style of leadership and how they communicate with each other, and how disagreements between them are handled. Jeanette Homan shared information about the current state of the military moving and how the upcoming changes under the GHC will affect the industry. As she has done before in other stages, Jeanette Homan extended an invitation to team up with other movers to work as agents for this season and also encouraged the guests to learn information about the HomeSafe Alliance for the next moving season. 

We ended the event with a tour of the wine collective where Honrama Cellars produces their wine. 

Our next get together will be at the convention, where we hope you join us for informal drinks and networking at the beautiful Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa. If you have not registered for the convention, you want to do that fast, before rooms sell out! 

Now that the Women On The Move event is over, we only have one thing left to do. We extend our gratitude to the sponsors. This event would not have been possible without your generous contribution and support. We thank all of them and we encourage you to support those who support us!


J & S Paper Dustin Ullmer  

Cardinale Moving and Storage, Roseanne Orlebeck


Champion Risk & Insurance Services, Casey Myers A & P Moving Inc. Darcy Aman


Grace Moving Company Sally Bolger Lambert Entreprises, Inc. Jeanette Homan

L.E.A. Relocation & Moving Services Laura Engen CDS Moving Equipment Andy Smith

Lastly, we want to share the link to the website that we shared during the introduction and welcome to the event.  Dr. Madeleine Wallace has shared her website link to invite you to sign up for a chance to get her new book “The SEAM Framework-Achieving Organizational Transformation in 4 Steps”

Pictures from the event:


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