Boss Ladies Gala benefiting Pink Ribbon Connection relocates to Carmel

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The second Boss Ladies Gala is set for 6 p.m. March 15 at 502 East Event Center in Carmel.

The event, which celebrates and empowers global women entrepreneurs, is organized by personal brand photographer Victoria Odekomaya. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Pink Ribbon Connection, a nonprofit that offers essential resources to breast cancer survivors throughout Indiana. The goal is to raise $10,000 to support the organization.

“We wanted (the beneficiary) to be an organization that is near and dear to women,” Odekomaya said.

In 2023, Odekomaya, a Greenfield resident, donated proceeds from her photoshoots to PRC.

Dori Sparks-Unsworth, PRC executive director, said she is “beyond thrilled” her organization is this year’s beneficiary.

“The funds we receive from this event will go directly toward the provision of free mastectomy bras, prostheses, post-surgical garments and wigs,” Sparks-Unsworth said. “We are grateful to Victoria and are excited to be part of such an extraordinary gathering to support the work we do.”

Inspired by the multiple hats women wear, Odekomaya wanted to acknowledge the many contributions and all the things that women do. The inaugural Boss Ladies Gala was held in 2022 in downtown Indianapolis at Iron and Ember. For this second event, Odekomaya chose the 502 East Event Centre in Carmel because it fit the practical needs for the event both in interior space and ample parking.

A native of Nigeria, Odekomaya attended college at Hawaii Pacific University, arriving there a week before Sept. 11, 2001. After graduation, she found employment in Washington, DC as a scientist working in drug development, where she also nurtured her passion for photography, attending film school at the Art institute of Washington. The company relocated her to Indiana in 2011.

After 17 years with the company, a round of layoffs empowered her to go into business for herself. Navigating the transition from corporate to self-employment proved challenging. Odekomaya says she would not have had the courage to create her own business if it wasn’t for the strong female support system she created for herself.

“Knowing that people believe in you goes a long way,” she said.

Gala ticket purchases include a $100 photo credit for a session with Odekomaya, who specializes in personal brand photography and videography. During the shoot she designs bespoke shots, offers wine, chocolate-covered strawberries and plays the client’s favorite music. She prides herself on making sure clients feel relaxed enough to let their true authentic selves come through.

After the shoot, Odekomaya works with them to plan a branding and marketing strategy customized to a target audience for their business.

She applies the same philosophy to the gala by creating a night of glitz and glamor. The evening consists of a networking and hors d’oeuvres cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, a silent auction, door prizes, a 360-photo booth and keynote speaker, author and coach Jennie Lopez. Upon arrival, attendees are offered hair and make-up touch ups before walking a red carpet. The gala provides an opportunity to be “amongst women where there’s no judgment and we can just be ourselves, be inspired, and have fun” Odekomaya said.

Attendees also receive a copy of the exclusive Boss Ladies Magazine issued only for the gala consisting of curated stories from Odekomaya’s clients.

“Sometimes sharing your story inspires someone to take a chance on themselves,” she said.

To purchase tickets or learn more, visit eventbrite.com/e/boss-ladies-gala-2024-tickets-517731116707.


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