It might seem obvious now, but back when I first came up with the idea for the Champion Awards in mid-2017 — the “Oscars™ of women’s allyship” — the whole thing was honestly preposterous. FFA was tiny. We had $0. Nobody beyond a few founders in Seattle and my personal network had any idea who I was or what FFA stood for (Future Farmers of America, anyone?). I remember having to convince my closest friends that we could pull this off, even though I had absolutely no idea whether this was true at the time.
In hindsight, it was.
The Champion Awards were, by far, my absolute favorite night of 2018. The amount of unity, collaboration and positivity was palpable in that room. It felt like we were all building something special together — prioritizing collective, long-term goals over short-term individual score-keeping. We were a rising tide that could lift all boats.
It was also one hell of a party and not in the traditional “tech scene” sense. We dined on treats from female-founded companies like Nuflours and Omnummy, and toasted with Nasty Woman Wines, Stoup, and Dry Soda. Of 350 issued tickets, 349 people showed up. #FFAChamps became the number one trending Twitter hashtag in Seattle.
In the months that followed, FFA and I became single-mindedly focused on programming that directly accelerates female founder success, prioritizing our very limited time and resources on a few high-impact programs while promoting other organization’s efforts in order to create a healthier ecosystem for female founders everywhere. Given our focus, the Champion Awards became simultaneously too broad for FFA to do alone and too far outside our wheelhouse.
And yet, it’s unimaginable not to host the Champion Awards again. Which is why we invited our friends and sponsors at Reverb, led by female founder & CEO Mikaela Kiner, to be our partners on this event. Reverb is helping us expand the Champion Awards to reach and represent every woman, in every stage of her career, whether she’s in private, public or non-profit spaces, whether she’s technical or creative, whether she’s a female founder, consultant, executive, or in her first job out of school. All women who strive for professional accomplishment both need and deserve champions. And the 2019 Champion Awards will celebrate them all.
To do that, we need your help. We invite you to nominate your champions across eight categories. You can nominate as many people as you want, and you can nominate yourself, too! Spread the word to friends and colleagues, and help us recognize ALL the champions out there.
Once nominations close, our amazing Selection Committee will narrow down the field to five finalists per category. We’ll then announce the finalists and invite you to vote for the winners. But even if your nominees are not selected as finalists this time around, rest assured that every single one of them will be notified, congratulated, and recognized at the Champion Awards program. Nominations are open now until Friday Feb 8th.
I can’t wait to learn about your champions!
Until next time,