Maria Shriver's Women's Conference: Over and Out?
The annual Women's Conference, grown, promoted, and made successful thanks to the participation of the now-former First Lady of California Maria Shriver, will not be returning to Long Beach in 2011, and, may in fact not be returning at all.
Our new First Lady, Anne Brown, said in a statement she "will focus [her] immediate energies on the challenges before our state and won't try to recreate the conference that Maria (Shriver) put on in Long Beach," notes the Daily News.
Shriver's event was part of a non-profit, The California Governor & First Lady's Conference on Women, which has now been dissolved. During the non-profit's years of operation, Shriver oversaw the granting of $5.5 million in funds to various organizations. A final round of grants, valued at a total of $700,000 were awarded prior to the group's dissolution.
Anne Brown says she is exploring her options for the scope and shape of any future Women's Conferences, however they have already canceled their placeholder dates with the Long Beach Convention Center. The convention, an economic boon to Long Beach, was first held there "during former Gov. (and Long Beach resident) George Deukmejian's term of office," in the 1980s. Last year's event drew tens of thousands, and featured over a hundred guest speakers, including First Lady Michelle Obama.