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Otterbein Hosts Women, Leadership, and Innovation Conference

June 09, 2017
Otterbein University

More than 400 women and 150 middle and high school girls came to campus on June 7 for the Women, Leadership, and Innovation Conference, presented by Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) and Otterbein University.

The event started with a keynote panel of speakers for all attendees, featuring female leaders, including:

  • Kathy Krendl, president of Otterbein University, moderator;
  • Tara Abraham, chairman and co-CEO of Accel Inc.;
  • Donna James, managing director of Lardon & Associates;
  • Natasha Pongonis, co-owner of Nativa;
  • Elaine Roberts, president and CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority; and
  • Brooke Yoakum, founder of GiftPocket and winner of the Young Entrepreneur Academy.

Participants then broke into tracks with topics ranging from presentation skills to career acceleration; emotional intelligence to generational disparities in the workplace; and social enterprise to personal stories shared by those who followed an unexpected path to achieve career success.

The breakout sessions included the Emerging Leader Track; Mid-Career Leader Track; Executive Leader Track; Purpose Driven Leadership Track; and the most popular track, the Full STEAM Ahead Girls Track: Where Girls Dream, Create and Innovate.

The Girls Track was held at The Point at Otterbein University, the school’s new innovation center. Guided by a talented team of college students, the middle and high school girls worked together to conceive and develop a social innovation project  to turn their great ideas into projects with a purpose, which they then presented at the Full STEAM Ahead Showcase. The girls also engaged in highly interactive hands-on STEAM activities and explored The Point’s robotics, engineering, 3D printing and computer studios.

You can see photos of the days’ events here.

You also can learn more about WELD and the summit online using the hashtags #WELD2017LC and #WELDingtheWay; on Twitter accounts @WELD_National and @WELD_Columbus; on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WELDNational/ and https://www.facebook.com/WELDColumbus; and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/weld_columbus/.

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Jenny Hill
Director of Marketing and Communications
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