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Sold-Out Forum at ODU Offers Support to Businesswomen

By Noell Saunders

More than 50 women attended the inaugural presentation of the Women's Forum of Coastal Virginia on Dec. 8, making it a standing-room only event at Old Dominion University's Innovation Research Park.

The forum, presented by the Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative (HRIC) with cooperation from Old Dominion University's Women's Business Center, Cetan Corp. and Cheryl Tan Media, was created to help women from different careers overcome challenges in the business world by networking, sharing ideas and participating in panel discussions.

Guest panelist Angela Reddix, founder and CEO of ARDX, a Norfolk-based management and technology firm, offered insight from her experience turning her dream into a multi-million-dollar company.

Reddix also shared her story of being born to a teenage mother in public housing and raised by her grandmother while her mother attended school. Now, with a successful business, three children and a Ph.D. on the way, Reddix assured the women that the "sky is the limit" and to go after their dreams.

"I rose above the statistics. I've had challenges along the way, but when my peers said 'no,' I said 'yes,' and I've gained more experience with each 'yes," Reddix said.

Each attendee was given a copy of Shonda Rhimes' book, "Year of Yes." Rhimes is the creator of the TV shows "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal." Reddix said the book changed her life, because she found the courage to say "yes" to opportunities that she never would have accepted before.

"Your 'Year of Yes' may be something different, but you have to have confidence to say 'yes' and know that tomorrow you can try again," Reddix said. "Owning your own business comes with unique challenges and rewards, with many sacrifices along the way."

The next event will be in February. For details including location and time, visit the Women's Forum of Coastal Virginia's website.

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