The Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Brunch unites F.I.E.R.C.E Women

This past Sunday, April 13, 2014 I held the first Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Brunch at Katarina’s Bar & Grill in Kew Gardens. From the moment I woke up that morning I knew that the day would be full of beautiful moments and energy. Mother nature, in all her F.I.E.R.C.E-ness cooperated. The weather was perfect. The sun was radiating, a reminder that when we bask in our own light there is no one or nothing that can take away our shine. The sky was a beautiful azzure blue  without a cloud in the sky. The 75 degree temperature was an indication that Spring indeed had arrived. As the Spring weather wrestles its way in this was the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate, re-assess, and re-invent ourselves. 

The Spring is often used as a metaphor for new beginnings especially as we begin to transition from the cold and barrenness of the Winter. In Spring the flowers are reborn again and begin to blossom. The birds fly back East and can often be heard in the early hours of the morning singing their songs. It’s rather hard not to notice the beauty and spiritual meaning connected to this season.

Like the birds, we too have our own song to sing, but how many of us are actually brave enough and  fearless enough to sing our song and share it with the rest of the world? Re-connecting with ourselves and our god given gifts was the impetus behind the Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Brunch. I wanted to not only unite and connect women from all walks of life, but I also wanted to prove to them how powerful they are. By bringing them together I was providing them each an opportunity to network and to create connections with other women that they otherwise would have never had.

We had over 50 F.I.E.R.C.E women in attendance. The venue was packed from front to back and at times was standing room only. The turnout was everything I had envisioned it to be. These ladies showed up and showed out, each one so well put together that just by looking at them you could tell that they indeed embody all that a F.I.E.R.C.E woman is.

Our guest speakers, Justine Hornedo and Wendy Angulo (both successful in their own right) were phenomenal. They each shared with us their own stories of success and despite the many challenges and obstacles they’ve encountered they demonstrated to every woman in attendance that success is inevitable if you believe in yourself and work hard.

As I connected with the women in attendance I saw in each of them a bit of myself. I saw pride. I saw excitement. I saw nervousness.  I saw heartbreak. But most of all I saw hope. Each woman that came to the event came because something propelled them to be there. Even if they didn’t know what the reason was at that moment, they were meant to be there. There are no coincidences. They were meant to hear the message that the brunch was designed to convey. Sometimes we lose hope and when we do the Universe works its magic and puts us right where we need to be at exactly the right time.

To the women who showed up, not only for me but for themselves, I commend you. I commend you for showing up. You took the first step in transforming your life. You have planted the seed to re-inventing yourself. You have put out into the Universe, by your actions, that you are ready to stand and walk in your F.I.E.R.C.E-ness.  You have made the choice, now make a plan and execute it. I look forward to seeing you all again at the next Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Woman Brunch. Shine on my sisters and stay F.I.E.R.C.E.

Motivational Speaker Justine Hornedo talks to us about the importance of speaking into existence what you want. “If you speak it, it is possible.”

 Author & Motivational Speaker Nancy Arroyo Ruffin talks to us about the importance of dreaming BIG.

The Power of the F.I.E.R.C.E Brunch Speaker Bios

Justine HornedoJustine Hornedo, Motivational Speaker:

Justine Hornedo is a modern day renaissance woman, from an exciting career at MTV Networks to cultivating the young minds of our future as a teacher to currently managing two busy health care practices at one of NY’s top health care facilities, she has literally done it all.

Things haven’t always come easy for her though. Growing up on the mean streets of Spanish Harlem, NYC, Justine’s parents were victims of the 1980’s drug epidemic. Her father left at the age of 3 and her mother was murdered when she was 7. Having to endure living with drug-addicted parents, neglect, bouts of homelessness and heartless adults, Justine took what life threw at her and molded each circumstance into positive building blocks. Justine’s motto is “It’s not your circumstances that will make or break you, it’s your decisions.” Justine understands the importance of education and is enrolling herself back into college this spring to complete her bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Justine considers her achievements to be the result of determination, hard work, and a perpetual belief in herself. She strives to instill these same values into her son and all the individuals she comes in contact with.

Her vision is to inspire everyone who has had the odds against them. To assist them in proving to society, and more importantly, themselves, that no matter your circumstances or upbringing, anyone can be successful and fulfilled.

Wendy Angulo

Wendy Angulo, CEO & Founder Wendy Angulo Productions:

Wendy Angulo is a New York City born Latina, raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Armed with a zeal for reading and writing since the age of seven, Wendy re-discovered her love for writing in the summerof 2011 when she attended a spoken word event in Queens, New York. After reading her poetry at various venues throughout New York City Wendy felt the need to bring the arts back to her beloved borough of Queens.

She created Canvas of Words, an art and poetry showcase that debuted in October 2013 to a sold out audience. The success of Canvas of Words motivated her to begin Wendy Angulo Productions, an organization whose goal is to support, encourage, and promote poetry and visual arts in the borough of Queens through collaborative events among established artists and emerging artists.

Through Wendy Angulo Productions she also manages established performance poets and writers such as Erik “Advocate of Wordz Maldonado”, Jamaal St. John, Ngoma Hill, Nancy Arroyo Ruffin, Meriam Rodriguez, Thomas Fucaloro and emerging writer Vanessa Pardo. Wendy continues to scout for new talent and build new connections to perpetuate the arts and strengthen the literary community.


Nancy Ruffin, Author & Motivational Speaker

Nancy Arroyo Ruffin, Author & Motivational Speaker:

Nancy Arroyo Ruffin is a New York City born and bred Puertoriqueña.  She is a mother, wife, author and motivational speaker. In early 2014, Nancy launched her “Are you a F.I.E.R.C.E Woman campaign (Females Inspiring, Empowering, Recognizing, & Cultivating Evolution) an initiative designed to promote female unity and empowerment. With her voice and determination, Nancy is breaking down barriers  and creating a platform to inspire, educate, support, and empower all women.  Her pride in her Puerto Rican culture, her love and veneration for her ancestors, and her ardent desire to instill  the same pride in the next generation are what this Latina cites as her biggest motivators. Nancy believes, “That pride is instilled. It’s what we carry with us every day of our lives.”

A graduate of Bernard Baruch College, Nancy believes that education is the key that opens the door to the future. She has a B.A. degree in Accounting and an MBA in Healthcare Management. Nancy is the acclaimed author of two books, Welcome to Heartbreak: A collection of poems, short stories and affirmations about love, life, and heartbreak (2011) and  Letters to My Daughter (2014) both published by CreativeINK Press. She is also a member, workshop facilitator, and serves on the Board of Directors for the New York City Latina’s Writers Group, an organization committed to providing a safe space for women to share their voices and their stories. 

As a writer, Nancy’s work has been published in the on-line magazines  La Respuesta, Sofrito for Your Soul, and The Daily Voice. Her work also appears in the anthology “Joy Interrupted: An Anthology about Motherhood and Loss” published by Fat Daddy Farm Press 2012. 

Nancy currently serves as the Assistant Director of New System Design and Implementation at the New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation Central Office Finance Division. She resides in Bergenfield, New Jersey with her husband and their daughter.