It’s been 10 years since the Gannon SBDC introduced WILD — the Women in Leadership Development Conference — with the idea of creating a day of women helping women through knowledge, energy and passion.
This year, the daylong conference, scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Ambassador Banquet Hall & Conference Center in Erie, will celebrate its milestone anniversary by bringing together more than 400 participants for a day of inspiration/motivation, networking and professional development.
“We would not have been successfully able to reach the 10-year mark if what we provided was not needed by our community,” explains Maggie Horne, director of the Gannon SBDC in Erie. “We are very blessed to have been the host and the provider of these programs and the networking for our women leaders.”
The 2017 conference will begin with an inspiring session, “Ten Years, Ten Leaders, Ten Views.” Ten leaders —including Horne, Pittsburgh SBA Director Kelly Hunt, Ph.D.; Laurie Root of the United Way, Wei-Shin Lai, M.D., owner of AcousticSheep LLC, Emily Fetchko of the Erie Downtown Partnership, Jeff Parnell, executive director of the Erie Technology Incubator, Bryan Whittington of Peak Performance Management, Inc., Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, life coach Lani Harmon and Maureen Chadwick, chief nursing officer at Saint Vincent Hospital — will present their view of leadership and offer words of inspiration. Breakout sessions include “Creativity in Leadership” with Erie entrepreneur John Fee, “Painless Performance Progression. Not that other ‘P’ word” (punishment) with Manufacturer & Business Association training specialist Lisa DeFilippo, as well as ”Digital Marketing: The Power of the Inbox with Autumn L. Edmiston, CEO of the Edmiston Group, and “Stand Out, Ride Up, Give Back: A Young Female Leaders Panel” with Amanda Kochirka of the Gannon SBDC.
“Each year, we recognize that we must be relevant to why we started WILD, and that was to be able to address some of the needs we saw in the leadership of women in our community,” says Horne. “I believe that the attendees that have been coming to WILD leave with more confidence and are better armed to deal with some of challenges we have as women leaders, or future leaders, trying to get further in our corporation or in our personal career.”
Read more in the April 2017 edition of the Business Magazine.