October 11, 2022
The “team of teams” concept of the LEAP Ambassadors was on full display Tuesday, as each Ambassador led a team to different events. Jessica Cuevas went to “State of the City,” Yvette Mendoza led “Beyond Bars,” and I coordinated a team to see Ambassador Nikki Haley at a World Affairs Council event. With us were: Ashley Kinyon, Riya Prasad, and Ingrid Cuero.
The event was tailored around her book titled If You Want Something Done, and the rest of the evening fit that theme.
CEO, Maryanne Maldonado, gave a brief introduction and thanked everyone for attending.
She then introduced the moderator for the evening, Co-Owner and Global CFO of Houston-based Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM), Rani Puranik.
Puranik began the evening by reading directly from Ambassador Haley’s book. In her book, Ambassador Haley describes feminism as “working hard and proving you deserve to be in the room.”
The book is about women throughout history, some names are widely known, others not so much. Ambassador Haley connected these women with one attribute: courage. Each woman in her book took a stand for what they believed in, even if it scared them. This is something that Ambassador Haley came to live her life by; she makes efforts to do something, even if it scares her.
The conversation then drifted over to her time as the 29th U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Slightly as a joke, but also very true, Ambassador Haley compared her time at the U.N. to high school with the cliques. She said everyone “hung out with” those from similar countries and didn’t mingle much outside of that. Ambassador Haley stated proudly that she made efforts to host a monthly dinner and invite Ambassadors from every country; she especially made efforts to invite those with opposing views.
She gave old, but sound advice, to keep your enemies close and learn about them as much as possible. Ambassador Haley said her goal quickly became to listen, and attempt to understand opposing points of view. Negotiations were made much easier when there was a rapport to work from.
After the event, Ambassador Haley was nice enough to take a photo with us, and, keeping with the theme of the event, she encouraged all of us (all women) in our endeavors.
On behalf of the LEAP center, thank you to WAC for being such gracious hosts, and allowing us fantastic opportunities. Thank you to Ambassador Haley for your service to the country, as a Governor and Ambassador.
Dinner at Bawarchi Biryanis
Indian food is quite different than what I am used to, but I was excited to try something new with the LEAP Center! At Bawarchi Biryanis, we started with veggie samosas, paneer samosas, garlic, and regular naan. The garlic naan was the group favorite, but Riya loved the samosas and said they were very similar to what her family makes.
I had a Veg Dum Biryani, which included a mixture of rice, vegetables, and a variety of seasonings. The rice was a bit too spicy for my liking, and Riya informed me that it might not be the best starter dish. However, I am grateful to have had the chance to try new food!
Morgan and Riya both had curry-based meals; Morgan had the Saag Panner, and Riya had a Chicken tika. They both loved their selections!
Stephanie had the Aloo Gobi Malala, which is potatoes and cauliflower cooked in Indian spices, and Ashley had the Chicken Lollipops.
Everyone loved their meals and enjoyed trying what everyone else selected.