6  |  HBAdvantage More than 900 women and men gathered for HBA’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., 5-6 November. Attendees came to learn, network, find inspiration and exchange effective leadership practices and ideas on how to best advance themselves and their peers in the healthcare and life-sciences workforce. Set in the nation’s capital during the high-profile mid-term elections, the venue served as a timely reminder about the powerful voice, influence and united force that women have in the U.S. and across the globe this year. HBA’s ACE awards kicked-off conference activities with a luncheon event that honored the 2018 recipients Pfizer, Insigniam and KMPG for their stellar women’s leadership initiatives. An ACE awards retrospective also recognized the previous 12 recipients in apprecia- tion for integrating women’s leadership programs into their organizational DNA. Rounding out the program, Lisa Henderson, editorial director for Pharmaceutical Executive, spoke about her publication’s coverage and support of female industry leaders. Lucia Darino, senior expert, McKinsey & Company, shared compel- ling data from the recently-released 2018 Women in the Workplace study as a result of HBA’s support of the McKinsey and LeanIn.org annual survey. The official start of the Annual Conference began with an introduction of HBA’s 2018 and 2019 board of direc- tors. An engaging “music as a metaphor” interactive A United Force for Change RADICAL HOSPITALITY | PROFESSIONAL ENRICHMENT | BUSINESS GROWTH | INCLUSION Winter 2018  |  7 presentation with the percussion-based SewaBeats led attendees to the opening Experience Hall reception. National Public Radio’s Mara Liasson began day two with an “I can’t think of a better place to be on election day than in a roomful of women,” and her perspective and insight on the historic record number of women running—and likely to win—congressional and guber- natorial seats. Breakout sessions drew standing-room only crowds with topics ranging from “How Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are Transforming Healthcare” to “Find Your Mojo and Leverage Your Superpowers.” Attendees also heard from mindfulness expert Susan ConvenesinWashington,D.C. forAnnualConference O’Connor, CEO and business strategy consultant at PranaHealth Strategies LLC, and a former executive at Pfizer, who shared her approach on how to balance personal well-being with the demands of work life. Lisa Bodell, founder, futurethink, closed out the conference sharing best practices on how to eliminate complexity from the daily grind. Based on principles from her book “Why Simple Wins,” Lisa’s presentation served as a reminder that it’s critical to reduce and diminish the daily unnecessary distractions in order to harness our influence and impact—at home and in the workplace. 