WIPL, NASA, Football and Me

I’m a football coach’s wife. I grew up fully invested in the cheerleading world, so this label comes easy to me. What hasn’t come as easy was my move to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, straight out of college and leaving all of my closest friends and family five hours away. Therefore, since the move, I have jumped at any and every opportunity to attend networking events. That’s why when I got an email from my husband’s boss, Coach Joe Moglia, that he had paid all of the wives’ admission into the 2017 WIPL conference, I was thrilled for another chance to begin some new relationships. What made this deal even sweeter was that this wasn’t just a chance for me to meet just anyone, but some of the most successful women (and men) in the nation.

The conference yielded incredible insights and advice, but my favorite experience took place during the Celebration of Inspiring Women held on Tuesday night. Among the esteemed women honored was Vanessa E. Wyche, a Conway native, who moved to Houston with her husband and became a NASA engineer.

As Vanessa Wyche’s husband George stood to introduce his wife and explain what it was like to live with a rocket scientist, I was immediately captivated. Vanessa followed with an incredible story of dedication and perseverance. She explained that she had met George early in her career with the US Food and Drug Administration, and he swept her away, all the way to Houston, where he lived and worked. The background to the success story she told to the audience was one of obvious sacrifice and determination. Although she had left an esteemed professional position in Washington, DC, it was her willingness to follow her husband to Houston that eventually opened up an even greater opportunity for her.

She described true success as being less about the position you hold, and more about the people you’ve pulled up next to you along the way. I liked that.

I am grateful for being able to hear Vanessa’s story and for all of the incredible men and women involved in the WIPL conference. Find more information about WIPL and its influence in our community and be sure to save the dates for the 2018 Conference and Celebration to be held Feb. 7-8 at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Gracin Johnson
Small-town SC Native, Optimist, Content Marketer & Millennial Newlywed