The Baker Chamber of Commerce hosted a well-attended networking luncheon for women in business June 18.

Titled “Women of Purpose,” the luncheon included Baker, Baton Rouge and Zachary area business owners and professionals representing a host of industries: banking, catering, education, finance, fundraising, health care, marketing, media, ministry, parks and recreation, petrochemicals, politics and printing, among others.

The catered luncheon featured networking, motivational speaking, a stand-up comedy routine and door prizes.

Chamber President Darnell Waites, one of the few men in attendance, gave the welcome followed by Jeannie Sinclair, of Miracle Place Church, who gave the invocation.

Local comedian and mother of two, Tiffany Dickerson — known by many as the Mic Chick — delivered a laugh-out-loud comedy routine.

“Why is it called stand-up comedy anyway?” Dickerson said, kicking off her heels while sitting — and briefly lying — on the floor.

Also a motivational speaker, she challenged the roughly 60 attendees by asking, “What is working or not working with your business, and what can you do differently?”

As emcee of the luncheon, Dickerson introduced the featured guest speaker of the luncheon, state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome.

“Speaking in front of people, for many, is a great fear, but for me it’s something I’ve always loved to do because I love talking,” said Broome, who shared stories of competing on speech and debate teams as a youth. “The ability to communicate is an integral part of being a public servant.” Broome spoke about eliminating the fear of failure and fear of others as she related success stories of women entrepreneurs fearful of taking a chance on something they were passionate about.

“Sometimes you have to stop worrying about whether you’re good enough or ready enough. Stop thinking about it and just do it,” Broome told the group.

Notables in attendance included Baker Mayor Harold Rideau, East Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel and BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight.

Baker Chamber Executive Director LaTania Anderson said she was pleased with Thursday’s turnout.

“I have such a passion for Baker and for the chamber, which makes me doubly thrilled that this luncheon was such a success,” Anderson said. “We anticipate having this every year and hope it continues to grow.”