Meeting Michelle Obama in Chicago — Barack Obama & Oprah speak to Women Leaders – Drue’s art exhibit celebrates America
ValleyZen was invited to attend the National Women’s Leadership Initiative National Issues Conference. Billed as “the pinnacle event of the general election to highlight the importance of women’s leadership,” it drew women from all 50 states. Mega donors as well as high-level policy makers and senior campaign advisors converged on the Chicago Sheraton Towers to focus on “issues.” Don’t miss our flickr photo set HERE. Watch a video slide show of the meeting with Michelle Obama here or embedded below.
Senator Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Senator Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden and special guests, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King took center stage. National Co-Chair Women’s Leadership Initiative, Eileen Donahoe set the tone for the day with her moving introduction for Oprah Winfrey.
One of our favorite panels was on Economic Security and featured the brilliant Robert E. Rubin, Former Secretary of the Treasury, and Director and Senior Counselor to Citigroup, Inc., Laura Tyson, Former National Economic Advisor to President Clinton, and moderator Mellody Hobson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ariel Investment Trust and Good Morning America financial contributor.
Drue had a special exhibit of her original paintings that was on display including her post-Katrina tribute scroll Return to Old and New Orleans and the ValleyZen Crane.
A grand highlight was for ValleyZen to meet the Bidens as well as speak personally with Michelle Obama.
Michelle’s calm beauty imparts a sense of Zen calm to those next to her. Her warmth is palpable. She seems to have an otherworldly capability of stretching out time and suspending or pausing all that is whirring about her.
Drue had an inspiring conversation with Michelle Obama about the importance the arts must play in rebuilding America. Michelle was entirely in tune with that— and down with it. Art can strengthen America’s image abroad with cultural diplomacy. In addition —it’s more important now than ever to cultivate creativity, our most precious resource, albeit renewable. That’s a message the Silicon Valley audience can dig.
Drue wore the iconic Flag Dress by Catherine Malandrino.