March 30¿April 2, 2000, Snowbird, Utah

Longtime action-sports participants, Cristin Inglis, Maia Huckeba, and Candy Harris brought the Gathering of the Goddesses to a new level of success. Although past Gatherings had included women mostly from the action-sports industry, this year’s event included trend-setting women from companies such as Elle magazine, NuSkin, Reebok International, Urban Decay Cosmetics, and the L.A. Times.

Founder Inglis describes the Gathering as a place to “unite accomplished women from trend-setting industries for innovative thinking and on-snow action where we can explore possibilities, ignite ideas, and revive our spirits.”

The weekend included several seminars and workshops geared toward teaching as well as promoting discussion among participants. The publicity workshop included speakers Rose Apodaca Jones from the L.A. Times and Staci Levine, partner of SNL, Vans’, Switch, G-Shock, and Mooks’ public relations firm. The combination of a journalist and a publicist gave attendees a good idea of the dos and don’ts of getting media attention.

The workshop “You and Your Money” focused on developing a plan for financial security that included two V.P.s of Merrill Lynch Financial.

“Business Beyond the Bottom Line” focused on the idea that a profitable business should also serve humankind to be truly successful.

And, what conference would be complete without the dot com workshop? Laurel Arnold of Kilter, a Web design firm, Melissa Longfellow of Indygirl, and Melody Woods of Girls Games pushed the need of every single participant to be on the web. But still, no one can seem to answer the fundamental question of how the dot coms are going to make any money. The “Trend Forecasting” workshop included Michelle Ponce, creator of the Ladies Lounge, who spoke about the fact that everyone is still looking toward action sports to set their trends.

The highlight of the gathering was Friday’s dinner, where Sarah Brown, editor-at-large of Elle magazine, Tuti Scott, Director of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Wende Zomnir, co-founder of Urban Decay Cosmetics, Mary Sadeghy of women.com, and Alpine snowboard Olympian Lisa Koglow spoke about their experiences.

Each woman comes from extremely varied backgrounds and ideals: Wende stressed that just because you’re an athlete doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take pride in your appearance; Sarah spends time in front of her computer and on her telephone talking to then reporting on the women who are out their participating in everything from snowboarding to fashion modeling; Mary pondered why anyone would want to take the chance of being cold out their on the slopes, but reminded us that 80 percent of all household decisions are made by women; Lisa recalled that twelve years ago she was one of a handful of women snowboarding and even fewer were racing and that corporate sponsors and the school children she speaks to don’t care that she’s a racer, they just care that she snowboards; and finally Tuti, a former basketball coach for Amherst College and Hopkins Academy, brought the point home¿the playing field for woman is still not even.

The Women’s Sports Foundation grants money to female athletes, including Lisa, so that they can compete professionally. It also works toward helping females get fair treatment in athletics. The foundation is currently working on civil-court cases that include an Olympic hockey gold medalist who is not allowed to skate at the ice rink in her hometown because she is female, and a woman, who after twenty years of playing golf four times a week at her country club, has had her membership revoked because her husband passed away. The action-sports industry has a way to go before the slopes, the surf, and the skateparks are completely equal playing fileds, but I’m proud that I can ride in the same halfpipe, surf on the same waves, and skate on the same streets as my male counterparts. Most of all, the Gathering reminded mee of that wonderful fact.

For more information on the Gathering: (949) 263-4684, e-mail TGOTG@aol.com.

For the Women’s Sports Foundation: (1800-227-3988, e-mail wosports@aol.com, Web Site womensportsfoundation.org.