Changes for “411 Voices”, plus a history lesson

by Louise Sattler

Six plus years ago Beth Engelman, Dara Blaker, Margaret McSweeney and myself had a vision – to “restart” a women’s networking group that would focus on continuing our love of creating podcast / radio content and to start a speaker bureau.  We later enlisted a few of the people we had engaged with from a previous network and “411 Voices” was born.  Six years later this group has morphed in to several different evolutions.  Some were wise decisions, while others were not.

Now is the time for change – where the organization becomes a company.  I am delighted to accept the challenge a new company can behold.

The first change was that launching a “speakers bureau” was a monumental task.  There were many experts vying for what few speaking engagements existed, especially for educators, which many of us were.  Annie Fox was able to branch out successfully and eventually went on to venture on her own and join forces with Lynne Kenney and Wendy Young.  They are wonderful educators and we wished them well.

Others in our group parlayed their expertise in to exclusive contracts with brands.  That was fabulous to see.  Jodi Okun, for one, launched #CollegeChat  as a radio and TWITTER platform.  Both were wildly successful and before you know it she became an ambassador for DISCOVER.  (Off the point- I love DISCOVER and have since 1984!)

Over time it became more and more apparent that the skills were were most known for were our ability to create content, percolate it in social media circles and broadcast it to hundreds if not millions of people.  At first, we did so for “fun” – joining the folks at CBS for award shows such as INSIDER and ET.  Then we also supported the efforts of VANITY FAIR.  Our “fun” hobby became more of a vocation when brands, such as Dairy Inc. wanted to use us as focus groups, content creators and ambassadors.

411 VOICES OSCAR GRAPHIC  5_1
Announcement of our team partnering with VFSC

As time marched on, our focus became clearer. Dara Blaker often said over the years, “We need to figure out WHO we are!”  Well, in 2016 that became crystallized as we closed the door on the original “411 Voices” and became 411 Voices Media Group.

With every change came opportunity.  I for one, can’t wait to see what is coming our way now that we are “new and improved”.

Thanks to all who have journeyed with 411 Voices, thus far.

 

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