On February 27, learn how focused and strategic businesswomen have transformed themselves and their companies to achieve success and satisfaction. “Transform> Triumph>Transcend,” the sixth annual Women Mean Business® Summit of the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-CI), features women business owners who have triumphed in the face of adversity and challenges. The daylong educational event at the Sheraton in West Des Moines concludes at 6 p.m. following a networking reception sponsored by 50-50 in 2020.
Throughout her 25 years as an entrepreneur, morning keynote speaker Kristen Sharma has continually reinvented herself on an entrepreneurial journey that has included life coaching, marina ownership, interior design, singing and songwriting. Kristen’s two current companies — Inspired, Inc. (dba East-West School of Integrative Healing Arts) and A Massage Oasis — employ more than 35 people on a full- and part-time basis. She received the Iowa Small Business Development Center’s 2010 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award.
Luncheon keynoter Maureen Collins-Williams recently launched Entrepreneurial Communities, a research and public sector training company. Since 1997 she had been with the University of Northern Iowa, most recently as director of Entrepreneurial Outreach and the Regional Business Center. Maureen also served as director of UNI’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and interim director of Technology Transfer. Maureen trains more than 400 economic development professionals and community leaders nationwide each year on topics associated with innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Key Decisions That Drive Vitality” is the focus of the Summit’s always-popular WBO panel discussion. Panelists this year are Emma Peterson of Tikly, Erin Rollenhagen of Entrepreneurial Technologies and Jane Whalen of Midwest Project Partners. Janette Larkin, publisher of Business Publications Corporation, will moderate the discussion.
New for 2014 is a second panel presentation: GIIPTPYB (Get Involved In Politics To Protect Your Business). Moderated by Lydia Brown, president of Ascent Iowa, the panel of elected and appointed officials will share how women owned businesses can engage with Iowa lawmakers and local leaders for a more favorable climate for business growth and economic development.
The Summit’s six transformational lab topics are Show Me The Money, Fireworks Marketing on a Sparkler Budget, Managing the Myth: Work/Life Balance, Websites that Sell for You, Psychology of Pricing for Profit, and Transcending to the Next Level.
Sponsorship, exhibit and advertising opportunities are available for the event. The Summit’s philanthropic partner is ISED’s Women Business Center. Come connect with women owned businesses focused on transcending — going beyond the limits to reach new professional goals. Visit the Women Mean Business Summit website for more information and to register.