Regional gatherings recap: January 2015

JAWS D.C.: JAWS D.C. members Jane Meacham (in cap), Viola Gienger (red gloves), Beryl Adcock and her husband, David, walked in a silent march that drew hundreds, perhaps more, in Washington, D.C., in a show of solidarity with France and the values of free expression and tolerance, after the attacks in Paris. French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde helped lead the procession, which began at the Newseum and ended at Judiciary Square.

JAWS SoCal: JAWS SoCal members attended a goal-setting workshop this past month. The first step to setting your goals is to develop a mission statement, Debra Eckerling told SoCal JAWS members and guests. Capture who you are and what you want — and use “I am” instead of “I will,” she added.

Over the course of an evening, Debra helped us embrace this vision of ourselves and craft a plan on how to get there.

As SoCal JAWS’ first event of 2015, the workshop covered much more than resolutions. Debra created a safe space for all of us to share our dreams and desires.

She then helped us break down these visions into short-term goals, milestones and tasks. As goal-setting and productivity coach, she sprinkled the conversation with helpful tips on managing work and making time for passion projects.

“I’ve been mulling over your questions for days, which is a sign that you tapped into some important issues,” JAWS member Evelyn Iritani said in an email chain after the event.

The conversation has continued beyond the workshop. JAWS board member Donna Myrow won a drawing for a free 30-minute coaching session with Debra. Other members are turning to one another as “accountability partners” for encouragement in accomplishing their goals.

Regional Captain Megan Sweas organized the workshop. NextSpace LA, a co-working space with locations in multiple cities, donated a conference room for the event. Participants also received free day passes.

Debra Eckerling, who donated her time for the event, works with individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses to set goals and manage their projects. Debra has more than 15 years of experience in communications and project management with a specialty in writing, social media and live networking. She graduated from journalism school and is an editor at Social Media Examiner. You can find out more about her at and