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Lunch with Jennifer Hudson: A Priceless Experience

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

We are women, we are strong, and we belong at the table! Thank God, we got our seat on March 28th and we’re ready to tell you all about it.

On March 28th, 2023, Keep it Vertical was invited to the Mastercard Small Business Mastercard lucheon in collaboration with Jennifer Hudson and the Jennifer Hudson show. We met at the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, CA for an afternoon of fellowship, networking, good food and well-deserved flowers.

The brunch began with – my car stopping on the freeway. Yes, my car (which has not shown any signs of trouble) stopped on the freeway when I was 10 minutes from the location and the event started in 20 minutes. As my car and I sat idle on the freeway, I tried everything I could think of. I ordered an Uber which refused to pick me up only after waiting for 10 minutes because I was on the freeway. I asked my sister to pick me up and she was on her way when my friend texted me telling me to “keep pushing.” It was at that moment that I attempted to start my car one more time and it WORKED!

Fam, I pushed through the difficulty and made it to the Warner Brothers Lot. Upon arrival, I had to take a Covid rapid test, which delayed my already late arrival – but peep this – I wasn’t the last arrival, lol. After my test produced negative results, I was walked to the area where the lunch was and MY was I impressed.

On the inside of the tent was a beautiful long wooden table filled with floral arrangements and at my seat was menu, a flyer with all of our businesses on there & a beautifully crafted name tag that read “Jhoe Virago”. I arrived at the table at the perfect time because the woman sitting next to me was introducing herself and I was next. As I stood next to my chair sharing my name, business and one business goal, I was met with the smiling faces of Jennifer Hudson and businesswomen across the table.

After introductions, it was chow time. The lunch started with a salad and the main course was salmon and couscous, which was very delicious. Followed by a lemon tart dessert. During the lunch hour, I met amazing women that I look forward to collaborating with and businesses I plan on visiting. The focal point of the luncheon was black businesswomen, yet women of all races that were on the Jhud or the Mastercard team were invited. It was a table filled with beautiful and powerful women.

Mayor Karen Bass gave an empowering speech and so did Jennifer Hudson. Jennifer was kind enough to walk around the table and talk with everyone there. This was a full circle moment for me, because my sister and I went to the first taping of the Jennifer Hudson show and were given tickets to Mexico. I was able to thank her personally.

At the end of the event, Postal Petals (a black owned flower shop) aided each attendee with making her own bouquet of flowers (I attached a photo). The idea was that we all deserve our flowers now, so let’s create them! I love that and to top it off, each business owner was gifted two tickets to the Jennifer Hudson show and given a gift card with $300 loaded on there with a note stating “Don’t forget to treat yourself”

It was such a life-changing experience. Thank you, Lifted Family for all the support you give that has allowed us to make it this far! Here’s to more priceless experiences. 😊

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