A slight head tilt.
A confused brow.
And then, “Why are you chairing Cap-to-Cap in DC?”
First let me start out by explaining what Cap-to-Cap is. The Sacramento Metro Chamber, a regional Chamber covering 6-counties, brings together the largest delegation in the country to travel to Washington D.C to advocate each year for our regions most critical and pressing issues.
Every Spring, 400+ individuals broken into twelve volunteer committees — from Food and Ag to Flood Protection to Workforce — spend four jam-packed-days in our nation’s Capitol. 400+ individuals from our region took to Capitol Hill, met with agencies, and also came together at some of the most impressive and iconic spaces for world-class events. Twelve volunteer committees – from Food and Ag to Flood Protection to Workforce, for one year work together and the culmination of this advocacy happens in the Spring of 2023.
So how did a small business owner, a founder and CEO of a creative firm end up advocating policy? To fully understand the complexity of the industry we serve, food and agriculture, I joined the Chamber’s Food and Ag team. Empathy and gaining more knowledge of our region’s farming issues and our food insecurities gave me a deeper understanding of how our work at Honey needed to have a more rounded view. Fast forward to leading the Food and Ag team for three years and then I was asked to be Chair for the 2021 year. Covid put a pause on the program but in 2023 the time came for me to lead this incredible delegation to DC.
I definitely had imposter syndrome but held true to three things:
- be authentic
- weave in creativity
- ensure I personally put in the work to make the delegation to be inclusive and diverse.
Let’s first talk creativity, Honey was honored to have our former Art Director, Lauren Hirose-Afshari design the 2023 Cap-to-Cap brand. We wanted to bring in the beauty of what happens when people come together and raise their voices – the cherry blossoms showed the friendship between State and Federal government (like Japan shared with the US).
Second, I worked closely with the Chamber and Susan Harris to pick locations that would be unique and relevant for the signature events of the program.
Kicking off the program, The Renwick Art Museum was the backdrop of our Chair’s Reception on Sunday night. This exhibition of makers and craftsman couldn’t have been more fitting as the hard work of cultures and makers have changed the fabric of our nation. Fun story, is three days before our event the Sacramento Kings pushed through to Game 4 (double check) v. Warriors in the playoffs. Golden1 stepped up and sponsored shifting our original theme to light the Renwick purple! We brought in TVs and as a region watched the game on together! A huge moment and highlight!
Congressman Bera opened up Monday our first day of meetings at The Mayflower Hotel. He captivated us all with advice on looking at our entire region (not just within city limits) for collaborative efforts and economic growth.
Matsui jaw dropped us all when she brought the incredible Janet Yellen to speak at our Congressional Breakfast on Tuesday, introducing a woman who holds some of the most powerful economic power in the world, unreal.
That night was the culmination of it all, The Gala, a black tie event where the entire 400+ delegation comes together to celebrate days of advocacy and a year of work. We chose the National Building Museum as the backdrop. A powerful location where the architecture and advocacy meet. As housing continues to be a top priority for our region it felt so powerful to host it at this location!
That night though held something very special for the program. Thanks to a very generous sponsor, we worked with Sacramento artist Joha Harrison to commission a one of a kind piece to be auctioned off to benefit the Roy Brewer Scholarship Fund. it was a huge surprise to the delegation and to have Joha at the event from Sacramento was truly so special. The piece went for 20K thanks to Warren Thomas, Sutter’s new CEO, and he graciously donated it back to the Chamber to always be displayed. What was even more special was to commemorate the event, Joha, signed 400 prints for each delegate. This was everything. Creativity, collaboration, unity and equity all in one moment. Thank you Joha for your talent and for picking up my crazy call!
The wins were real from our 2023 Delegation, and they will be felt by our region for years to come.
April 2023 will forever be not only a career moment but also a humbling part of my life and for that I am grateful. It also is a reminder for all that our voices do create change and being partner within regional policy is important, even for creatives.
I leave with a little wish for creatives you read this, I would love to see in the future – a fourteenth committee for our region – The Creative Economy.
Special thanks to:
Sacramento Metro Chamber
2023 Steering Committee Members
Congressman Ami Bera
Trish Kelly – Honorary Chairs
Dr. Dawnte Early – Honorary Chair
Andrea Clark – Vice Chair
Jim Alves – Second Vice Chair
Susan Harris – Event and Logistics 👑
Joha Harrison – for answering my call and collaborating and bringing your talent to DC
Dhon Santos – a frequent partner of Honey and photographer for the 2023 Cap-to-Cap Program
Maggie Giordenango – for representing Honey throughout the week (and her husband Dylan, who worked to roll every print Joha shared with the delegation)
Chris Phillips – you are always my rock xo