The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce announces it will hold its fourth annual Women’s Leadership Conference on March 21 at the Inn at Virginia Tech from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The day-long program includes continental breakfast, lunch, breaks and networking social. This year’s theme is “Opportunity: Recognize, Seize and Create.” The theme of the conference will encourage women to look at opportunities differently and enhance leadership skills of women.
According to Melinda Dunford, Board Chair of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, “we encourage and support female leaders in our business, non-profits, civic and government leadership, who make decisions affecting our business community. Since 2015, we have developed themes which are reflective of the professional development needs of our local leaders. We know through research that women have traditionally approached opportunity differently than male counterparts. Females tend to examine and want the path to be perfectly laid out having all of the skills before committing and ensuring success. Men see opportunity as a place to transfer some skills and learn on the job.”
“We are thrilled to have the Secretary of Education, Deitra Trent, Ph.D. sharing her insights on the subject of women and opportunities. Secretary Trent will share her professional journey from Halifax, Virginia to Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. At the local level, we have three outstanding local leaders who will share their stories on opportunity. Melody Warnick, a local researcher, journalist, and author, will share her story as she created an opportunity to achieve her dream of writing a book. Aaron Kirby, President, and owner of Pointe West Management has a great message about her journey and setting goals. Kirby told us it all started on a notecard. Patricia Wooten, Vice President of Lewis Gale Hospital – Montgomery will delight the audience with her journey to the field of human resources as a millennial and the challenges that she often faces. When I reviewed the feedback from 2016 and worked with our Executive Director, I knew that we had an opportunity to engage and educate women in our community. As past chair of our education committee, I find this program one of our most influential educational contributions. ”
Terri Mitchell, Past-Chair, shared, “the Chamber chose to build on the annual chamber theme of All In 2 for 2017. I am pleased that we have continued to create opportunities for professional development by being ALL IN 2 Leading Women and enhancing the skills needed to build a better community. As Past Chair, I am excited that this conference continues to align with our mission of building community, encouraging the success of our members and creating prosperity in our business community.” This year’s format returns to a full-day program with four speakers and their journeys meant to inspire women.
Mitchell added, “the working lunch will focus on a panel discussion from the results of the emerging the themes of our four speakers. Time has been built into the day for enhancing the networks of our local business women and leaders. Afternoon sessions will permit attendees to focus on two skills or competencies that enable women to think differently about opportunity. Personally, I am interested in the afternoon session on risk management in our professional and personal lives. As a professional with an accounting background, I want to determine if there are elements I can use in my workplace and personal life”.
Cindy Rollison and Margaret Galecki, Chamber Board members; indicated they are “hopeful we can exceed the 250 attendee mark. The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce has intentionally kept the price reasonable to encourage women to attend. In addition to the keynote speakers, we have enhanced opportunities for women to network and build relationships within the community. The eight-afternoon workshops, led by local and regional leaders, focus on skill building areas requested from the 2016 feedback”. The exciting element is this year’s program has been designed by a committee of twelve chamber members led by Erin Byers and Megan Elder-Taylor. The committee has contributed over forty hours of work in the planning of this year’s program.
Chamber Executive Director, Sharon Scott added, “our goal is to keep the cost of this important program affordable. Lewis Gale Hospital – Montgomery has been a huge supporter of this program with a sponsorship at the highest level. We are so appreciative of the local business community who recognizes the contributions of women and the value they add to our community other companies sponsoring the conference are: AesirTech Consulting, Inc., Ameriprise Smith & Associates, Appalachian Power Company, Campus Automotive, Commonwealth Senior Living, Green-Eyed Designs, First Bank & Trust, Mountain Lake Lodge, Real Life Dental, Relax Blacksburg, t.r. collection.” The cost of this conference is $99 for Chamber members and $139 for non-members.
The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce serves Blacksburg, Christiansburg and all of Montgomery County. The MCCC supports approximately 700 local businesses through marketing, educational, and network building opportunities. For more information on The Women’s Leadership Conference 2017, visit the chamber website at www.montgomerycc.org, Facebook page, or call The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce at 382-3020.
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