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  • Carolynn Santos

ANXIETY: A CATALYST FOR CHANGE

CADAZO Consulting Group will evolve our industry so that it values equitable, diverse and inclusive business practices, making them core to our industry's business strategy.




2020 is in the books, and for me it was a year of tremendous change, curious inquisition and major growth - personally and professionally.


After thirty years of hard work, professional challenges and successes, I suffered a major setback. Instinctively knowing that I could not fix the situation alone, I left California; I moved halfway across the US to be closer to my family and begin a new start. Unexpectedly, and as a direct result of the tumultuous changes, I experienced my first anxiety attack.


Like so many people across the country, I was in transition, not only impacted by the shelter in place but emotionally impacted by the civil and social unrest due to racial injustices, which came into full perspective on my living room television. Daily activities that I know I have taken for granted and that I have never given a second thought to were being stripped from others only because of the color of their skin. To think that a trip to the corner store, a jog in a neighborhood, a delayed response in answering a knock at the door would be activities of concern for the safety of a life, the safety of our family members. I wanted it to stop. For days I found myself swallowed by grief, guilt and repeating, “This needs to stop!”


Then I asked myself “What can I do to affect change?

Around that time I was working with my cousin, Dawn Bennett, an ordained pastor, advocate and trained practitioner in full life wellness. She was helping me to understand what I was experiencing and how anxiety impacts stress management. Dawn and I produced a series of videos to address a common situation that many of us were experiencing during the pandemic and shutdown. It was Dawn that urged me to stop for a moment and reflect about that one simple question. In searching for the answer I found my purpose and I can say without reservation that CADAZO Consulting Group was born out of my anxiety.


At this same time, I was working with Certified Diversity Practitioner, Zoe Moore through our volunteer time with Meeting Professional International Northern California Chapter (MPINCC); I am the current Chair of the DE&I committee for MPINCC and Zoe was serving as the 2020 Co-Chair for the MPI Global Diversity & Inclusion Advisory committee. It was Zoe’s previous efforts for the MPINCC chapter that inspired the current committee to amend and add inclusive language to MPINCC’s Request For Proposal (RFP) for on-site and in-person events.


So, here I am… I have two separate projects that were fulfilling my need to effect change, and quite quickly the work began to overlap. Knowing that one of my superpowers is connecting people, I couldn’t resist introducing Zoe and Dawn to further help me make a difference. Together we are three determined, knowledgeable, and capable women willing to take on the challenge to move the needle forward.


From Information to Application


CADAZO Consulting Group will evolve our industry so that it values equitable, diverse and inclusive business practices, making them core to our industry's business strategy. As people centric professionals, one minister and two meetings & events planners, we know hospitality; it is who we are and what we do naturally. Combining years of experience, motherhood and a true, genuine desire to effect sustainable change, our formation may be new but our ability to achieve success is not.


Join the CADAZO community to learn more about our upcoming events, articles and training sessions. Here’s a quick glance for Q1:


  • Tuesday, January 26th will be joining the MPI New England chapter to facilitate their education session - Beyond the Badge. Register here.


  • Wednesday, January 27th, Zoe will be a panelist along with Apoorva Gandhi, Greg DeShields and Illene Wasserman for the MPI Philadelphia education session - DE&I: The Who, What & Why? Register here.


  • Tuesday, February 9th we’ll join Green Meetings Industry Council Northern California Chapter (GMICNC) to facilitate their education session - Partnering with Authenticity: Reimagining Sustainability. Register here.


When I had my first anxiety attack, I sought information. Anxiety disorders arise from an intersection of risk factors, including but not limited to genetics, neuro chemistry, personality, and circumstances. Anxiety is a very common mental illness in North America, affecting over 35 million adults ages 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population annually. Knowing that I wasn’t alone brought me comfort. Taking steps to improve my circumstances, boost my mindset and change my focus has allowed me to become a resource.


As a co-founder of CADAZO Consulting Group, I extend the same grace to you on your journey to being equitable and inclusive to achieve diversity. Your journey will be different from others, there will be ups and downs both personally and professionally. Be open to learning new information, discussing tough topics, discovering better habits and gaining copious amounts of resources. To affect change we have to apply the information that we learn to our daily behaviors, thoughts and actions. We’re in this together, one step at a time and lots of deep breaths.


How will you affect change?


As facilitators, our goal is to spark meaningful conversation. Please sign-up as a member of our community - visit the website - www.cadazo.net - and engage us by sending us an email by sending your response to community@cadazo.net or responding on our CADAZO Linkedin page.


Quarterly Question

How will you positively affect change in your company, programs and partner ecosystem that will impact our industry?



Learning something new everyday,

Carolynn




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