According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women own 31 percent of privately held firms but make up nearly 51 percent of the population.
For the past eight years, the Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce has held an event meant to foster women’s business careers. The ninth annual Denton County Women Leading Business Conference and Expo will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. May 31 at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St. The event will feature two keynote speakers, three breakout session speakers and a business expo. It will wrap up with a mixer.
“This is such a great conference because women from all over get together,” said Christine Cashen, emcee for the event. “It’s like a powerhouse of organizations and people sharing ideas, learning how to better handle stress, promote themselves better and learn how to get the most out of their careers.”
Cashen said there are not a lot of opportunities to attend this type of event. She said attendees always go away better than when they came.
This year’s theme is “Dream On.” The chamber’s women division committee selected it as a means to inspire women to “shoot for the stars and go for their goals.”
“Yvette Hillebrand, the committee chairwoman, attended last year’s event and was inspired to start her own business,” said Haley Carroll, program development assistant.
Each speaker will focus on a different aspect of the theme. The morning keynote speaker will be Lawana Gladney who is known as “Dr. G.” She is an emotional wellness and mind doctor, speaker, trainer, author and CEO of her own company, Emotional Wellness. She will speak about her success in the workforce and how women can live their dreams.
Emmy Award winning journalist Kate Delaney will be the afternoon keynote. She has interviewed more than 12,000 people and is known for her listening skills and ability to draw people out from all walks of life. She will speak about ways to confidently communicate what sets women apart from others.
The breakout session speakers are Nikki Nanos, who has worked as an actress, teacher, field producer and director for more than 30 years. Cheryl Polote Williamson, a multiple award-winning author and entrepreneur, and Lisa Shell Allan, an entrepreneur, educator, Certified Etiquette Consultant, Certified Professional Life Coach and community leader.
The business expo will be bigger than year’s past. Carroll said there are more than 30 vendors signed up and more are registering daily. She said there will be local businesses, life coaches and people to help with resume writing.
This year the emerging leaders program will return. The program is a partnership with Lewisville ISD and area universities. It’s a chance for a select group of students to attend the conference. Carroll said there are 135 people registered for the conference, including more than 30 from the program. She said they expect to have around 150 attend.
“People come from all over Denton County, including Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Lewisville, Flower Mound and other cities,” Carroll said. “It truly is a county-wide event.”
While there is day of registration, it is preferred that people pre-register.
“This is a safe space where women can share concerns of women and where women are leaders,” said Sherry Prindle, Professional Coach Academy.
Tickets are $85 for chamber members and $110 for potential members.