Dig Baton Rouge


Girl power translates into a new women’s conference this summer

Sherin Dawud and Raina Vallot started Power Pump Girls, Inc. to empower women with information to become their best selves.  They’re planning to bring that mission to the next level with their inaugural STRIKE Conference.    

“We’re event planners by trade, so during our whole process of creating Power Pump Girls and these little mini-workshops, we decided that it would be awesome to bring together 200 women to connect them with other women’s platforms—to tell a story that could inspire them to maybe make that jump to start a business, ask for a raise or a promotion, whatever level in life they’re in,” said Dawud.

Dawud and Vallot assure STRIKE will not be the typical stuffy corporate conference. They want the conference to stay away from the stereotypical happenings of similar events. Both women believe a more social, non-formal approach will provide inspiration in a more personal way.

“We wanted the name and concept to be everything anti-conference in the best way,” said Vallot.  “This is going to be a conference where people come together to meet, mingle, network and be empowered with stories from other women that are successful, or maybe a few steps ahead of where our attendees may want to be.”

With a lightning bolt representing the Power Pump Girls logo, the name STRIKE epitomizes their brand. It is a play on words that represents many aspects of the entire project.    

“A lighting strike literally changes the earth when it touches ground, so we’re hoping to bring these women together to impact this community in a positive way after leaving this conference,” said Vallot.

The target age range for the conference is millennial women, however everyone is welcome. They go on to say that anyone who has a passion, a dream, a desire to further their career, or even meet other successful women, are invited to attend the conference.

“In the very beginning we were reaching out to people to help us build our business and our brand, people that have been before us in this industry, and we got a lot of closed doors,” said Dawud.  “We don’t want to be those women.”

They would love for STRIKE and all their efforts to be a part of encouraging younger generations to stay in Baton Rouge. By developing an economic impact and empowering entrepreneurial women, Dawud and Vallot hope that this conference will effect the overall progression of the city. This is why Dawud, a 2012 LSU alum, and Vallot, 2015 alum chose to have the conference in Baton Rouge as opposed to New Orleans.

“Baton Rouge is brewing with tons of creatives and entrepreneurs and people with ideas, and we would love to retain that talent here and really foster it and have Baton Rouge be the next big city,” said Vallot.

She believes it’s the perfect retreat to have fun and find your inspiration and strength at the same time. There is power in being surrounded by like-minded people, all on similar paths, but at different places in their journey. The Power Pump Girls believe bringing all of those people together in one place will be the key to making their conference a success.   

“If you want a two-day retreat with your girlfriends and to learn some stuff along the way, STRIKE is the place to be,” said Vallot.  “As event planners we’re always looking for the trendy, new, happening, fun things, and we want to incorporate a lot of that into the conference, along with tangible educational takeaways.”

STRIKE will be held August 17-18.  For more information visit their website at www.strikebr.com.

Photos by Sean Gasser


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