Debbie Arnold: Thoughts on Megaphone Summit’s Foodie Friday and More

Welcome to Foodie Friday at ARWB. You came expecting food, right? Well have a little patience because I will be sharing some deliciousness with you; it just might not be what you expected. I want to share a few thoughts on @MegaphoneSummit held in Fayetteville in early August.

First, all of TWB community owes a HUGE thanks to Stephanie Buckley and Allyson Twiggs-Dyer for the hours they put into the planning, preparation and implementation of this two-day event. Compared to all they have to produce, my planning for the Foodie Friday portion is minimal. And before this year’s summit was even over, the thinking had started for 2018.

Second, thanks to all of you who attended and supported the presenters, both national and regional. I’m sure there were things we took away from each one who shared. Having Rebekah Radice and Peg Fitzpatrick in the same room is a feat, much less having them share their incredible wealth of knowledge. 

In looking back over the past several years of programming, how many times has our friend P.Allen Smith joined us to share his expertise? Aren’t we lucky in Arkansas to have such a phenomenally talented expert at our fingertips?

 

Weren’t we fortunate as well to learn from our local foodie celebrities turned cookbook authors, Liz Bray and Amy Hannon? We learned that it’s not so much about the food but about the community we create around our tables that really matters.

 

liz bray and amy hannon megaphone summit 2017

 

Also, look at how we’ve grown. My first AWB (Arkansas Women Bloggers) meeting was in Mountain View at the Ozark Folk Center which was actually the 2nd meeting. Oh my! We easily fit into one relatively small auditorium. But even then, you were willing to share your talents with everyone.

There were cowboy boots and proposals. Just ask Gina K.

awbu mountain view boots

Remember the Iron Chef competition? You guys rocked it. I’m sorry we can’t do that any more.

That’s called community. And that sense of community still exists today even though we’ve grown from one state to many and from just women to our dudes as well. From “mommy bloggers” to “social media influencers. From amateurs to professionals. 

arwb hot springs friends gather

We choose the path we walk. We learn along the way. From one another…from those with more knowledge and experience. But we choose to also realize that we are unique. We don’t compare because we know it steals us of our uniqueness and the beauty of being just who we are.

We camped out together at Ferncliff and the spiders and who knows what else. It was lovely. And we grew into a body cohesive. And we changed our name. Again. AWBU. Arkansas Women Bloggers University was born.

kyran debbie sarabeth ferncliff red t-shirts

Plus, we ate hot dogs and had a picnic feast. We shared stories and more stories and realized we were blossoming into something new. And scary…and exciting.

The caterpillar was emerging and the butterfly was born.

Somewhere along the way we were “discovered.” ARWB became more than just Arkansas Women Bloggers. Suddenly, there was Texas. And Kansas and Alabama. And Georgia. And Missouri. and OMG Mississippi, And, of course, Oklahoma. We can’t forget Oklahoma, y’all. We just have to work on their southern accent.

Rogers. Hot Springs, Fayetteville. They’ve all been home to our coming togethers. Few of us realize what that entails. They are all lovely locations, but not all can support what we now know our members desire.

And we became Megaphone Summit ’cause we had lots to say and share. Don’t we always?

arwb hot springs

 

Y’all are the best and you deserve the best.

That’s why in 2018 we are returning to Fayetteville and @ExpFayetteville on August 3-4 for Megaphone Summit 2018.  You’ll be there, won’t you? 

Plan now to attend. Here’s how (Thanks @TaylorBradford for the infographic.)

And you just know there’ll be jam, right? Like my favorite Peach Habanero with Ginger. Or, maybe your favorite. Which one would you choose?

2 comments

  1. Debbie, you gave us the appetizer here, and maybe a bit of the main course and a bite or two of dessert (just enough to whet our appetites for the next meal). A blogger chick (or dude) can’t experience the full taste of the feast without sitting down at the table with us.

    Did y’all know that you’re invited to the feast? There’s enough room for everyone … and when we grow even bigger, we’ll round up some more chairs. Maybe a big pillow or two … and Nanny’s step stool that we used to have to sit on when we were kids. (Or was that just me?)

    The table is big, and the food always tastes better with friends gathered around.

    C’mon, y’all! Drag up a chair.

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