Reinvention Convention 2007 Recap

MORE magazine’s inaugural Reinvention Convention inspired a crowd of midlife women to reinvent their lives.

By Wendy Rodewald

"No one reinvents alone," noted Editor-in-Chief Peggy Northrop in her opening remarks to a crowd of over 350 at MORE‘s inaugural Reinvention Convention, held October 9 at New York City’s Chelsea Piers. Her observation was spot-on: A true sense of community tinged the daylong affair, as 40+ women filled sessions on work, money, style and health, armed with pens and notebooks and a desire to make the most of midlife.At panels with titles such as "Not Your Mother’s Menopause" and "Fool-Proof Financial Planning," guest experts, MORE editors and reinvention gurus delivered interactive advice to attendees. Author and women’s health expert Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP set the mood of the day with her rousing breakfast keynote: As she led the audience in reciting the "Reinvention Pledge," she exhorted each woman to stop thwarting her goals with excuses and instead to "simply just do it."Melody Biringer, 45, who flew in from Seattle to attend the event, welcomed the words of Dr. Peeke and the other speakers as "a confirmation of what we all know. It’s helpful to hear it again and to laugh about it." The self-described "start-up junkie" came to meet fellow women business owners and to pick up some useful tips. Another reinventor in attendance, Ann Powell, 53, of Brooklyn, planned to put into practice the advice she’d heard the moment she got home. "I’m going to get a financial planner and take a more active role in my finances," she said, "and I’ll have to try out some of those beauty tips!"One new beauty regimen that might prove popular post-convention is Botox injections. A packed roomful witnessed an onstage demonstration — projected in full detail onto the big screen — during MORE Fashion and Beauty Director Lois Joy Johnson’s panel, "Look Your Best After 40: What the Pros Know." Other highlights included a lunchtime keynote discussion ("Reinventing the World") moderated by Today show and Dateline anchor Ann Curry, a frank talk on finance by money expert Jean Chatzky, and makeup guru Bobbi Brown’s live beauty lesson on an audience member, which concluded the day’s sessions.Between gatherings, convention goers perused the Reinvention Lounge, where event sponsor Harley-Davidson allowed participants to be photographed riding a motorcycle. Bobbi Brown beauty experts offered makeup touchups; MORE‘s charitable partner CARE raised money by selling recycled goods made by women around the world; and the Reinvention Bookstore featured books by convention speakers. In addition, attendees entered the MORE/Wilhelmina 40+ Model Search, and had the opportunity to tell their personal reinvention stories on camera for MORE.Dr. Pamela Peeke perhaps said it best: "If they can take away just one sexy soundbite that inspires them to live a better life, I’ve done my job." Judging from the overall response, she and all the other speakers succeeded and then some.Editor-in-Chief Peggy Northrop’s Top 12 Moments MORE Editors on the Convention Post your Reinvention Convention thoughts!

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