SD CEO hosts sixth annual Women in Business Conference

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, October 29, 2015/Categories: 2015

Attendees of the Sixth Annual Women in Business Conference network. The event is sponsored by the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity, housed at Black Hills State University.

Three hundred women across the state attended the sixth annual Women in Business Conference, recently, engaging, empowering and celebrating women.

The one-day conference, held at The Lodge in Deadwood, is sponsored by the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity, housed at BHSU. The day's events included guest speakers, business exhibitors and a networking social.

"Conferences like the SD CEO Women in Business are a great opportunity for women to come together learn, become better leaders, and realize their ambitions," said Karin Humar, business administration-marketing major from Slovenia. "To be able to join such an event, as a student, and meet other female leaders who inspire with their work, in the places that they live, is very exciting and empowering."  

JJ DiGeronimo gave this year's keynote address. DiGeronimo is the president of Purposeful Woman and Tech Savvy Women, as well as a featured columnist for Smart Business Magazine and an award-winning author. She shared leadership strategies to advance professional women during two special sessions.

DiGeronimo's sessions allowed women at the conference to interact and share strategies for time management and energy boosters, as well as discuss future goals in their professional and personal lives.

Dr. Priscilla Romkema, dean of the College of Business and Natural Science at BHSU, led an entrepreneurial panel with Michelle Kane, owner of Black Hills PR, and Jackie Nettleton, president of Mountain Movers Construction, Inc. Kane and Nettleton answered a series of questions, sharing their business expertise and motivating women.

"We need to lead and continue to lead like women," Nettleton said. "Surround yourself with people that make you a better person."

Nettleton encouraged women to network and attending events like the SD CEO Women in Business Conference allow that.

"Some of the best ideas come out of a cup of coffee," Nettleton said.

Linda Rabe, president and CEO of the Rapid City Area of Commerce, was the final speaker of the day. Rabe shared her professional journey, becoming the first female executive director of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce.  

Overall, Helen Merriman, director of the SD CEO deemed the conference as a success.

"Bringing 300 women from across South Dakota to engage in a day of professional development is a remarkable experience," Merriman said. "We have received so many accolades on the content, the speakers, the exhibitors, the networking and the facilities. This annual women's business conference has become a 'must attend' for women wanting to strengthen their business acumen."
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