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Oklahoma City, OK, November 13, 2006 Debra Murray, President of Bluespring International, Oklahoma-based provider of pure and natural products to promote balanced health and wellness, was one of six delegates chosen to represent U.S. women business owners at the 2006 MENA Businesswomen’s Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), October 29 – November 1, 2006.
The 2006 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Businesswomen’s Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this month brought over 250 women from the MENA region together with women executives from the United States to explore ways and means of expanding their networks and learn from each other by exchanging real-world experiences. The annual summit addresses the challenging issues that face all business women including financing growth, opening new markets, developing professional skills, finding venture partners and building peer networks while contributing to the community and caring for family.
Blue Spring President Debra Murray joined U.S. Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes as part of the American delegation representing U.S. women business owners at the MENA Businesswomen’s Summit earlier this month. Debra Murray was a featured speaker, facilitated small group discussions on sales and marketing, lead a roundtable on branding and positioning, and participated in individual mentoring sessions. Of the six-person group of women business leaders, Ms. Murray and two other women represented Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).
Karen Hughes announced her support for setting up six new network business centers in UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Saudi Arabia. “These centers will oversee empowerment of women to establish an Arab network of business centers to tailor training courses on vocational training,” said U.S. Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes.
“It was an amazing experience, and I am honored to have been part of the American delegation,” said Debra Murray, President of Blue Spring International. “One of the highlights of the trip for me was to be a part of the initiative for ‘winning peace’ through bringing women together and agreeing on common ground.”
Ms. Murray went on to say that, “As we met with the women of the MENA region we realized that their issues and challenges were so similar to ours. What was different was their expectations. There is a wide-spread assumption in the MENA area that every business started in the United States is successful almost overnight. As this impression was verbalized, we conveyed that we are faced with the same challenges that they face. Hard work, perseverance and the patience over time was our message. We shared our individual business stories in hopes that MENA business women would become better equipped to see the reality of their own challenges. In addition, we reinforced the value of our women's networking groups and organizations in the United States. Women's business organizations in the MENA region are at different stages of maturity with some only just beginning. We told the story of WIPP and how through WIPP we were given such a wonderful and unique opportunity. We left with many new friends and the agreement to keep in touch and support each other. It was a true sharing of information and encouragement.”
The MENA Economic Summit launched the U.S.-Middle East partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research with support from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and John Hopkins Medicine International. The 2006 MENA Businesswomen’s Summit was sponsored by the Middle East partnership Initiative of the U.S. Department of State with the support of the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Presented under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the summit is managed by the Beyster Institute at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.
About MEPI: The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the U.S. Department of State is designed to support innovative, sustainable and locally fed economic, political and educational reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa and to champion opportunity for all people of the region, especially women and youth.
About WIPP: Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is the nation's largest bipartisan public policy organization that advocates for and on behalf of women business owners and women in business on economic issues. WIPP and its Coalition Partners work as a single voice to strengthen its sphere of influence in the legislative process of our nation, create economic opportunities, and build bridges and alliances for businesswomen and small business organizations. Through WIPP, the collective voice of its membership makes a powerful impact on Capitol Hill and with the administration.
About Bluespring: Bluespring International is a comprehensive health and wellness company based in Oklahoma City, OK. With over 110 offerings, their product lines include nutrition and wellness, spa and salon, pain relief and muscle comfort, and pet products. Quality ingredients, outstanding customer service and guaranteed results all underscore Bluespring’s commitment to innovation and on going improvements. Bluespring’s balanced health and wellness approach truly helps their customers ‘rejuvenate, replenish, refresh and revive.’ Bluespring I a certified woman-owned business. To learn more about Bluespring and their products, please visit www.bluespringwellness.com.