THE BLOG

Gearing Up for Know Your Value in Washington, DC!

04/28/2015 11:48 am ET | Updated Jun 28, 2015
Louis Burgdorf

If you missed it, our kickoff Know Your Value event in Philadelphia, PA was a huge success! Elizabeth Warren inspired our audience and viewers across the country with a deeply personal keynote on how women can build a better America. Hoda Kotb made us laugh with candid stories of her career misadventures. And we celebrated as Joanna Schwartz -- a counselor from Philadelphia who wanted to build self-confidence and jumpstart her business -- won the Grow Your Value bonus competition after a heartfelt pitch to our judges. I can't wait to see what the next Know Your Value event in Washington, D.C. has in store.

I'm thrilled to announce that we've chosen our next three Grow Your Value bonus competition finalists -- and I couldn't be more excited to share who these women are and what they stand for. Kay Brown, Kara Gorski and Gabrielle Pelicci exude innovation, compassion and the fearlessness to dream BIG. You can watch the video of our finalists that aired on Morning Joe here.

As a breast cancer survivor, Kara Gorski of Alexandria, VA devotes her life to empowering other women who are overcoming the disease. She co-founded braGGs Reconstruction Bras with her sister to address the challenges faced by women who have undergone a mastectomy with breast reconstruction.

Kay Brown of Hampton, VA uses her passion for hip hop and jazz dance to improve the health and wellness of her community. She started Sweat N Swag Fitness to encourage exercise through dance and hopes to create positive change through hip hop culture in her community.

And as a professor and practitioner of holistic health, Gabrielle Pelicci of Bronx, NY devotes her life to teaching and therapy so that her students and clients can thrive. Her dream is to build an online university that teaches affordable wellness classes for students who don't have the time and resources to attend traditional university courses.

These women are givers -- and so we're going to give them the opportunity to grow their sense of personal and professional value. This week, they will attend the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute before competing onstage and under the lights at our Know Your Value event in Washington, D.C. on May 15 where they will have the chance to win a $10,000 bonus. You can watch our Philadelphia bonus contest here to see just how inspiring the competition is!

D.C. is particularly special to me because it is where I spent a good portion of my childhood and eventually developed my passion for politics and journalism. And more importantly, I always want to keep Washington talking about women in the workforce and equal pay. What better way than to host our next Know Your Value event in the heart of the city, featuring an all-star lineup of special guests including Brooke Shields, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Katty Kay, Nicolle Wallace, Joe Scarborough, Andrea Mitchell, Alex Wagner, Thomas Roberts, Cindi Leive, Dr. Tanya Benenson and Michelle Smith.

I invite you to join us in this important nationwide movement to empower women. Tickets are still available here. And don't forget, you can still submit a one-minute pitch for a chance to be picked as one of three finalists in Chicago, Orlando or Boston!

See you in Washington, D.C.!