CPAC in Orlando
By Lorraine Kuchmy
CPAC is traditionally held in the Washington DC area. This year because of restrictions, the organizers took the show on the road to sunny Florida. If you’ve never attended CPAC in person but only viewed online, I’d really recommend that you try to make it next time. We who live in Montgomery County, where one party rule and cancel culture run rampant, can easily forget that there are millions of people throughout America who share our conservative values.
Since you can view most of the CPAC speeches online, I would like to share with you an event you would not otherwise know about. One of the highlights at CPAC this year was the Women’s Breakfast, which was held the first day of the conference in a beautiful outdoor venue. The event began with opening remarks by Mercedes Schlapp of the ACU Foundation and a prayer by Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America. The program concluded with warm welcoming remarks from Casey DeSantis, First Lady of Florida.
Christl Mahfouz of Ace Specialties spoke on the topic of “How to be Successful and Make a Difference in Your Sphere of Influence”, Christl started out selling gloves for the oil and gas industry in Louisiana. During the first six months in business, her company experienced rapid growth and brought in many new clients. She expanded into work wear and promotional products, and her business was doing well until the oil and gas industry was hard hit. Fortunately, good business skills in one industry can translate to other industries. When Donald Trump announced his campaign for president, Christl was inspired by his speech, and envisioned Team Trump, Women For Trump, and Veterans For Trump merchandise lines. She put together a package of Made In America designs and flew to New York to make her pitch. Starting a business involves taking risks. Her company provided services to the campaign including printing, shipping, and staffing rallies.
The topic of “Success Stories: Navigating Life and Work as a Conservative Woman” was addressed by KT McFarland and her daughter Fiona. KT mentioned that her grandmother didn’t have right to vote, but things changed dramatically since that time. KT was the only woman in the room during much of her career, where she was the highest ranking woman at the Pentagon. When Fiona was born, KT left work to care for her child, but then went back after 9-11 in order to serve our country. Fast forward to 2020, on the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, Fiona voted for herself in the Florida primary, for a seat in the State House which she eventually ended up winning. Fiona credited her success on the example and strong foundation that her mother set for her.
The event expressed a positive message about mentoring women, working with other women, running for office and advocating for yourself. Whatever your goal, just get out there and do it.
Lorraine Kuchmy is a member and former Treasurer of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.
Lorraine Kuchmy, MCGOP Committeewoman with KT McFarland, former Deputy National Security Advisor, and FL State Delegate Fiona McFarland at CPAC in Orlando, Florida.