Wednesday, May 21, 2014

THE RIPPLE EFFECT: Nomi Network 4th Annual Gala and Award Ceremony

reporter: Miguel Dominguez

Farah Zulaikha with Diana Mao, Co-founder and President of Nomi Network, and Joe Flippin

Nomi Network’s 4th Annual Gala and Awards Ceremony took place on May 7th at the New York Academy of Medicine, to further Nomi Network’s commitment to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage attendees to take a stand against this global crisis. It paid tribute to Shannon Sedgwick Davis, CEO of Bridgeway Foundation, and Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS shoes.

At far left, Shannon Sedgwick Davies, with Mamie Gummer seated in center, and
Diana Mao, and Shandra Woworuntu, survivor of human trafficking to the right

Nomi Network’s mission is to strengthen social enterprises providing job opportunities for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking. A vital new non-profit organization, Nomi Network employs survivors and at-risk women who create eco-friendly handbags and accessories. Through building a sustainable global supply chain, Nomi Network increases the financial independence of these women in three ways: by providing targeted, technical and entrepreneurship training, by designing and producing market-ready products, and most importantly, by linking products made by survivors and women at risk of human trafficking to the global marketplace. Currently, Nomi Network is focused on vulnerable women in India and Cambodia. 100% of the profits from Nomi Network’s product sales are directly invested back into training and education opportunities for the women we serve. For more information, please visit

“The Buy Her Bag, Not Her Body® product is exactly what the name implies; consumers that purchase the product are casting a vote with their dollar against slavery and for the empowerment of vulnerable women. The Nomi Network model gives consumers the opportunity to create a ripple effect because when women earn a viable income, they feed and educate their children, stand up against their abusers and become catalysts in their community. Their new way of making a living causes a ripple effect that reaches people far away, at the other end of the global supply chain,” says Diana Mao, Co-founder and President of Nomi Network.

 Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, and Shannon Sedgwick Davis, CEO of Bridgeway Foundation

Shannon Sedgwick Davis, CEO of Bridgeway Foundation, will be presented with the Abolitionist Award, given to individuals who are visionary leaders and have established a legacy in the eradication of modern day slavery. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, will be awarded the Corporate Responsibility Award for his revolutionary entrepreneurial achievements incorporating giving in business, which has become a global movement. Ms. Sedgwick Davis has been on the forefront fighting for the child soldiers of Central Africa and her achievements as a lawyer, visionary, philanthropist, and human rights advocate are admirable on all fronts.

M.C. of the evening, actress Mamie Gummer

Commenting on the mission of the Nomi Network, Award winning actress and M.C. of the event Mamie Gummer noted, "Once I learned about the horrors of human trafficking and modern day slavery, passivity was not a choice. I am committed to helping people who experience exploitation access support and services."

Jewelry Designer Amy Delson contributed
one of her necklaces for the silent auction

Glorious chamber music was provided by Talya Buckbinder, Anna Luce, Tegen Davidge, and Wendy Case

Further elaborating on the organization's imperative goals, awardee Ms. Sedgwick Davis said, “Nomi Network is making a profound impact in Cambodia and India ending slavery. I am humbled to be recognized by Nomi Network as an abolitionist and to spend an evening celebrating the work they do and the true heroes I get the opportunity to work with everyday.”

Mary Elizabeth Dooner, Theresa Galean, and Jalin Liu

Shandra Woworuntu

Bidding table (above), and items for the silent auction below

Sterling Affair was the caterer of choice for the evening

Josh Tanenbaum with Melissa Jane Kronfeld and Diana

Silent auction offerings

Helen Kim of HK & Co. and Diana

Josh Tanenbaum, Serena Fill, Chris Schembra, Melissa jane Kronfled, Damiel Delsar, Amy Delson and Zac Russell

Stephan Carr,  Scott Roulet, and Michael Toedman representing BBN Solutions, Silver Sponsor of the event

Mamie deciding what to bid on

Lorissa Rinehart, Jean Baptiste, and Mary Elizabeth Dooner

Arthur Murray dance performance

Diana Mao

Shandra Woworuntu

Farah Zulaikha

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