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NBC's Today Show Co-host to Headline Women's Festival
Today Show co-host, Dateline correspondent and New York Times best-selling author, Hoda Kotb, has been tapped to headline the 2012 FestiGals celebration in New Orleans this summer. Kotb will join a high-powered line-up of female speakers planned for the weekend-long festival this June. She will be featured as the event's keynote during a luncheon presentation at the Hotel Monteleone on Friday, June 22nd. New Orleans love affair with Kotb began in 1992 during her six-year stint at WWL-TV as a reporter and news anchor. Though her professional career path would eventually lead her to the anchor desk on NBC's Today Show and beyond, Hoda Kotb would forever remain a New Orleanian at heart. Her deep emotional ties to the Crescent City were never more apparent than during her 2005 coverage of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. "There are no other cities like New Orleans. New Orleans just has its own thing going on. Its living, its breathing, it's people are so unique, so real," says Kotb.
Since departing New Orleans for the national stage, life hasn't exactly been without its challenges for Hoda Kotb. Many of those challenges are the subject of Kotb's best-selling personal account of her bout with breast cancer, survival and the ultimate recovery from that disease. The book entitled, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee, offers a candid peek into an inner sanctum that most women can relate to, especially FesitGals organizers whose primary mission is to raise both awareness and financial support for the under-served woman battling cancer. Net proceeds are dedicated to the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans, a non-profit United Way community impact partner. CAGNO's mission includes cancer education, research, outreach and patient support. "Anything that I can do to spotlight the need to help women fighting this disease I'm there. It's personal for me," explains Kotb. Those attending the FestiGals Weekend will gain personal insight into Kotb's life; the good, the bad, and yes the ugly, something she humorously and inspirationally describes in great detail in her candid New York Times best-seller.
FestiGals maiden voyage began in 2011 when the first weekend created for women by women debuted on the festival scene. With the fresh approach of balancing meaningful content with a fair amount of fun, women from across the U.S. flocked to New Orleans for three days of empowerment seminars, informative workshops, networking opportunities and an insider's view at one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country. This year, New Orleans will once again be the place for women to be from June 22nd through June 24th, when organizers and the Big Easy rolls out the red carpet for those attending the 2nd Annual FestiGals Weekend.
With a diverse collection of speakers that include Huffington Post columnist Colleen Mullaney, world-renowned restaurateur and entrepreneur Ti Martin of Commander's Palace, international communications expert and author Cary Broussard; CEO of Travel's on Media Productions Tonya Fitzpatrick, and an historian with a propensity for the unusual Pamela Arceneaux of The Historic New Orleans Collection, FestiGals participants should expect an extraordinary few days of offerings designed to satisfy every taste and interest. "The FestiGals experience will inspire you, it will empower you, and it will ignite your own personal love affair with this most fascinating city," explains FestiGals Founder Diane Lyons.
Hoda Kotb fans will want to make travel plans early because her luncheon presentation promises to be a hot-ticket item among the 2012 FestiGals offerings. FestiGals home base for the weekend is the landmark Hotel Monteleone. As a proud sponsor of the event, the Monteleone is pleased to offer participants a special rate of $159 per night. Tickets for the Ultimate Festigals Package are $275 each. Single event tickets are also available. For more information and event details, please call 504-524-1227 or visit www.festigals.org. Also remember to friend us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FestiGalsNewOrleans and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com#!FestiGalsNOLA.
The brainchild of entrepreneur and New Orleans tourism professional Diane Lyons, FestiGals' maiden-voyage in 2011 attracted over 150 women from across the U.S. including Washington D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, Tennessee and the entire Gulf South Region. The 2nd Annual FestiGals Weekend is positioned perfectly on the summer festival calendar of offerings in New Orleans. Endorsed by the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, FestiGals provides something for women of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Voted "Best Girls Getaway" in 2011 by AAA Southern Traveler, FestiGals provides the ultimate New Orleans women's experience. Committed to both raising awareness and resources for issues that impact today's women, FestiGals is a non-profit entity whose net proceeds support targeted community projects that benefit women.