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Businesswomen Lunch at the Waldorf

March 19, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

First Step's seventh annual Women Mean Business luncheon Waldorf=Astoria Thursday, 03.15.01, 12 PM to 2 PM
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It's hard to decide what the highlight was at First Step's seventh annual Women Mean Business luncheon. It could have been novelist and Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen's moving speech on feminism and the role of charity in women's lives. Or maybe it was InterAsian Resources president Victor Ozeri's amusing award acceptance speech. Or First Step graduate Bibi Ramnarayan's tearful introduction of Sue Grundfest, executive director of the Business Information Center and Corporate Archives at Estee Lauder. Or maybe it was the gorgeous centerpieces by Jodi Zimmerman.

What we do know is that Michal Dagan, the head of special events for the Coalition for the Homeless (CFTH), put together a successful, enjoyable luncheon, and raised more than $174,000 for the organization in the process. First Step, a job readiness program run by the CFTH, connects homeless or low-income women with successful businesswomen who provide mentoring and/or internships with their companies. The mostly female crowd of 480 included graduates of the First Step program, their mentors, women business owners and the heads of some major corporations.

Dagan also designed a charming gift bag that was manufactured for free by InterAsian. The programs and invitations were designed by Martrese Beck of Estee Lauder, and the cosmetics company donated the printing.

--Suzanne Ito

See the gift bag from this event...

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