HBA’S ANNUAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR (WOTY) IS A HALLMARK INDUSTRY EVENT convening 2,000+ influential leaders in person in New York City every spring. Enter COVID-19, and likely the greatest challenge in my HBA career. How can we recreate a 31-year-old signature networking and award event during a global pandemic in 90 days? Our traditional WOTY was reimagined into Illuminate 2020 and set a record registration of 6,500 people for the greatest gathering of the HBA community. Reflecting on this for a silver lining to a terrible tragedy brought the realization that we could never have accommodated all we offered during the Illuminate event in an NYC ballroom; and we wouldn’t have tried.
LAURIE COOKE, BS, RPH, PGDIP, CAE is the CEO of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), a global nonprofit professional association.