Gina Grant: Inspiring Women to Soar
In 2007, Gina Grant honored Ebby Halliday, the renowned Dallas realtor and entrepreneur, with her first lifetime achievement award at the age of 96. After the event, Ebby invited Gina to lunch and told her, "Gina, you were created for greatness!" Ten years later, those words have not only inspired Gina to search for the greatness within her own life but also for thousands of other women.
Raised in the southern part of Dallas, Gina is a Texas girl through and through. But her road to success certainly wasn't typical. At the age of 17, Gina was a teen mom, and two years later she gave birth to twins. But even with three young children, Gina kept dreaming and kept working toward her goals. With support and encouragement from her parents, Gina continued pursuing her career path in public relations. Classes at El Centro College and University of Texas at Arlington along with a corporate marketing role at a real estate agency allowed Gina to hone her natural skills, but after several years, she was ready to soar. Gina followed her entrepreneurial heart and opened her own public relations firm, Grant Agency.
For 11 years Gina represented athletes and entertainers, but one night her vision shifted. "I came up with the name Women That Soar while working on a project for a client in 2003," Gina shared. "I literally heard a voice (that I call the Holy Spirit) between the hours of 2 and 3 am. It said, 'Women That Soar.' My client needed a name for a women's empowerment event, but when I shared that name with her she didn't like it. Then three years later, I was watching Oprah's Legend's Ball and was inspired how she was honoring African American women."
Oprah's Legends Ball started Gina's wheels turning, but her vision was bigger than honoring women of just one background, and in 2006 she decided to leave her public relations career and launch a platform that empowered all women. Because of that vision, the first Women That Soar gala took place in 2007, honoring women from incredibly diverse social and racial backgrounds. And over the past ten years, honorees from the televised award show have included Tina Knowles, Yvonne Crum, and Shiela E., along with community leaders from Dallas and beyond.
The Women that Soar Awards is the organization's signature event and Gina loves telling the compelling stories of women who have overcome obstacles and triumphed. But Gina always has a broader vision. "My purpose for Women That Soar is for it to become a global media brand and platform for women," Gina said. "We want to continue to produce content and events that will empower and inspire women to soar and celebrate the brilliance within! We plan to be the brand and company that embraces every women from every nationality."
To recharge, Gina loves spending time with her family. Her husband and four children provide endless inspiration, as well as her lineage of strong, smart women. Her favorite spot in Dallas is right in her own home, but she always loves a nice dinner out at Hillstone.
Women that Soar has a busy staff of ten, but if you are interested in volunteering with their production team, there is a call for help every year in August. And to watch this year's Women That Soar Awards show, stay tuned to their social media! The show will air in Dallas and other major markets in March of 2018.
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Story by Mary Martin.