Veronica Moore knew she wanted to connect women with one another on a more purposeful level, so she launched her own summit last year at Moravian College.
Almost 100 women attended. She definitely touched a need for small-business enterprise in the Greater Lehigh Valley. She continues to connect small-business owners throughout the year, whether it's through social meetups or small one-one-one meetings at a cozy coffee shop.
Her next summit? It's coming up in June.
In addition to her full-time position working remotely as director of educational programs with Delta Upsilon International Fraternity, she also runs Alma & Eva, a personal brand enterprise that "encourages others to actively pursue their passion(s) and purpose in life."
I sat down with the Bethlehem resident recently to listen to her backstory. Here are some follow-up questions from that conversation.
LVB: You are hosting the second annual women's summit in June. What can I expect to learn if I attend? Why is this initiative so important?
MOORE: If you or others are to attend the Passion and Purpose in Action Summit, you will find that the event is all about intentional personal growth and development. As women, we may subscribe to many "roles" that we have to play and, oftentimes, these responsibilities limit our ability to think about the necessary task and practice of pouring into ourselves first before we can give to others.
The event is also aimed to tap into the self-limiting beliefs that hold us captive to pursuing what we are most excited and passionate about. The summit is meant to allow women to rewrite their own narrative in life.
I envisioned (the initiative) years ago upon moving to the Lehigh Valley in 2007. In 2017, I finally grew tired of waiting for an event like this to be brought to the Lehigh Valley and decided to step out on faith and create the opportunity and space myself. The inaugural summit was a solo effort and, while daunting at first, in hindsight, it was necessary for me to do it on my own to overcome the doubt I had in being able to execute it.
LVB: Why is the name Alma & Eva so important to you?
MOORE: They are the names of my maternal and paternal grandmothers. At a very young age, my mother would always encourage me to leave a legacy when I became an adult. I didn't know what that meant until I was pregnant with my first child. I felt inclined to act on this idea and while praying and mediating one day about my life's purpose, the two names jumped out to me.
I knew that I always wanted to pay homage to the matriarchs in my family in some way, I just didn't know how and when. After the names Alma & Eva came to me, I decided to do a little more research on the origin of the names. Alma means to nourish and Eva means to give life, the very essence of what I was doing while carrying my child in my womb. I knew in that moment Alma & Eva was a divine calling that I must be obedient in fulfilling.
LVB: You grew up in Chicago and eventually made your way to the Lehigh Valley more than 10 years ago. Tell us about that part of your journey
MOORE: When I moved to the Lehigh Valley in 2007, I knew very little about the area, I had no family members nearby, it was the first time I had really been on my own as an adult and I had very little money.
I lived in a very small apartment, not far from where the Sands Casino is now and went an entire year without living room furniture and a real bed to sleep on. I wasn't making a lot of money, but I was surviving. After all, I had landed a job that many people in my industry aspired to have. I was grateful regardless of what seems to be a struggle. This experience taught me tenacity and perseverance. It taught me to be resourceful and to live a very simple life, which I would say are pretty important lessons to learn early on.
I came to this area because I was offered a job at a nearby reputable university. I knew that my career in higher education placed me in the Lehigh Valley, but what I didn't realize was that my life's passion and purpose of empowering others to operate in their full potential would be actualized. I grew professionally by leaps and bounds. I received lots of resources that, had I taken a job elsewhere, would have never been afforded to me. I learned how to deal with difficult situations, how to work effectively with others and how to find my voice as a black woman in spaces that my perspective was not welcomed.
I will always be grateful for what my move to the Lehigh Valley taught me about myself.
LVB: Hindsight is always 20/20, what advice would you give your early 20-something self?
MOORE: Not be consumed with the opinions and thoughts of others and to go after your dreams no matter how scary it may seem.
LVB: We chatted recently about the need for women to share their vulnerabilities. Why is that so important?
MOORE: Oftentimes we hide behind this facade of being perfect for anyone and everything. Women don't like to be vulnerable because we've been conditioned to believe doing so is a sign of weakness. We don't want to be or feel embarrassed by what's really going on, so we make it a priority to just pretend those things are not happening and move on.
We listen to the idea and projected thoughts of others and those can become self-limiting beliefs that we convince ourselves are true when in actuality they are not. Women hide behind False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.) and this cripples our ability to act.
Being vulnerable can be empowering for ourselves and others. It allows us to realize that perfection is not the goal, but being courageous is.
LVB: If you had the ear of some Lehigh Valley movers and shakers, what do they need to hear about the Lehigh Valley business environment?
MOORE: That women small-business owners in the area are growing and making connections with each other in authentic ways. There is a need for this population to be better served and integrated into the economic growth and development of the Lehigh Valley.
LVB: What's next for you?
MOORE: I am working on continuing to grow the offerings and services of Alma & Eva in unique ways.
Be on the lookout for intentional retreats for women small business owners, personal development workshops and retreats (both domestically and abroad) and in person and online coaching communities that help women intentionally overcome F.E.A.R. in their lives.