When Michelle Patterson was in 8th grade, she struggled to fit in at school, but when she had the opportunity to interview the Governor of the California at the time, GEORGE DEUKMEJIAN, everything changed. When the interview was over, Deukmajian leaned down and said, “That was the best interview I’ve ever had.” From that moment on, Michelle’s view of herself shifted. She mattered. And she had a voice.

Little did she know that almost 30 years later, Michelle would have the opportunity to continue a legacy that Deukmajian started – The California Women’s Conference.

In 1985, after discovering the alarming rate of failure of women-owned business, Deukmajian started the conference as a way for women to come together and gain the support they need to succeed personally and professionally. The event grew in exposure every year, attracting speakers include the Dalai Lama, Oprah and Barbara Walters.

The conference is now led Patterson who is CEO of Women Network, a media and production company. She is also founder of Global Women Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charity created to bring women together to create global change by empowering them to transform their communities, which will be benefiting from the proceeds of the event. 

This May, the CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S CONFERENCE will celebrate its 30th year and will take place May 10-11 at the Long Beach Convention Center. The two-day event will feature several hundred speakers, including thought leaders, entertainers, entrepreneurs and industry executives who are committed to improving the lives of women.

I had the opportunity to interview her about all this and more. On this podcast, we discuss:

  • The purpose of the Five to Thrive categories
  • What to do when facing adversity
  • How to overcome when people tell you to quit
  • The mission of the #WomenTogether movement


(The song featured on this show is “Slow Burn” by AUTOGRAF.)

Get tickets to the conference!

Kristy Arnett

Kristy Arnett is Editor in Chief of the Women Network. She is also a writer, speaker, Emotional Intelligence Coach and professional risk taker. For the past decade, she's worked in the poker industry as a reporter and player, and now as an EQ coach, Kristy uses her ability to read people and take calculated risks to get people desired results in their lives. Host and creator of the WTF Am I Doing With My Life? podcast, Kristy brings together people who are looking to answer this question in any domain of their life. From interviews with personal development and spiritual growth experts, to edge-of-your-seat personal story telling, the podcast is an honest, raw take on fulfillment, love, purpose and happiness.