Thriving in a New Normal: UWG's Richards College of Business Hosts Annual Women Empowering Women Event

Julie Lineback

Friday, January 15th, 2021

Women from across the region and beyond gathered virtually Wednesday to advise, support and encourage each other in the midst of a pandemic that changed life as we know it. 

Hosted by the University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business, this year’s event featured Dr. Meredith Brunen, vice president for UWG’s University Advancementand CEO of UWG Foundations; Lauren Lee, manager of category management supply chain management at Southern Company; and Susan Lester, senior vice president of member and community affairs at Carroll EMC.

Dr. Faye McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business and Sewell Chair of Private Enterprise, moderated the event, which is in its seventh year.

“During the first few months of the pandemic, I avoided calling it the ‘new normal,’ ” McIntyre began. “I said there’s nothing normal about it. It may be our new reality, but I do think a lot of what we’re experiencing will become our normal going forward. I think it’s an appropriate topic for us to talk about this year.”

Questions from McIntyre and the audience of more than 150 women – and men – ranged from topics regarding creative remote networking to self-care to preferred meeting platforms. 

Below are highlights and soundbites from this uplifting panel.

Brunen: For me, the last nine months have been extremely interesting. We have bought and sold a house, moved to Georgia and joined a new community, all in the midst of COVID-19. It’s been challenging to navigate, trying to get used to a new place when you can’t get out to meet and connect with people. 

Lester: Having to redefine my workspace was one of the things that was really different for me. I wasn’t set up to work from home. In the beginning, I put my computer on the dining room table because I thought I was only going to be there a few weeks. I finally found my space: I made an office out of our guest room.