women in business

Women in Business Awards at the Ritz Carlton, May 12, 2016

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women in business
(From left) Entrepreneur honoree Tracy Worthington, Business Leader honoree Barbara Keller, and Corporate Leader honoree, Carolyn Caldwell.

While forging her first job in the auto industry working for a small Dot.com in California in the late 1990s, Laura Schwab supplemented her income with two other part-time jobs including writing fan mail for self-help guru Tony Robbins.

“Yep, that was probably me who answered your mail,” Schwab told attendees of the 2016 Women in Business Awards Luncheon at The Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage.

“They gave me a script to use, and they were pretty keen on us to use it. But like anything in life, I was not ready to conform to a script,” Schwab added.

Schwab created her own letters that caught the attention of Robbins, who asked to meet her. It was that kind of assertiveness which has marked her career from a tech startup to Jaguar Land Rover to her current position as regional president for the Americas at Aston Martin Lagonda Limited in Irvine, Calif.

Schwab used her life story to encourage the women in the audience to “do things differently and be a bit of an anomaly” in their business pursuits.

The luncheon, presented by Palm Springs Life, honored three Coachella Valley women judged to be the best in three categories: Corporate Leader: Carolyn Caldwell, CEO of Desert Regional Medical Center; Business Leader: Barbara Keller, philanthropist and owner, LuLu California Bistro; and Entrepreneur: Tracy Worthington, owner, Wink Lash & Beauty Bar and Just Blow Drys in Palm Desert.

The trio participated in a panel discussion moderated by CBS Local 2 anchor Brooke Beare, who also helped emcee the luncheon program.

The luncheon also featured remarks from Marc Empey, managing partner at SBEMP Attorneys; Kelly Steward, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage; and a video message from Todd Blue, chairman and dealer principal, indiGO Auto Group Desert European Motorcars in Rancho Mirage, to introduce Schwab as keynote speaker.

Attendees dined on a luncheon menu created by Executive Chef Bruno Lopez of The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, featuring Chilled Dairy-Free Asparagus Soup, Salmon Nicoise Salad, and Yogurt Panna Cotta with mixed fresh berries.

Sponsors included SBEMP Attorneys; Aston Martin Rancho Mirage; indiGO Auto Group Desert European Motorcars in Rancho Mirage; Wink Lash & Beauty Bar and Just Blow Drys in Palm Desert; El Paseo Jewelers; Rum Chata; The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage; PSAV; and CBS Local 2.

The Ritz Carlton
68900 Frank Sinatra Dr., Rancho Mirage, CA 92270