The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO), will host the Second Annual “From High Heels to High Places Conference” in Rapid City Oct 26. The conference will be held at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7:30 a.m. Black Hills State University School of Business is hosting the keynote presenter, Kathrine Switzer, who will begin the conference with “Going the Distance in Business & Life”.
Switzer, also known as “Marathon Woman,” is an iconic athlete, author, businesswoman, and Emmy-Award winning commentator. Her legendary tale began in 1967 when she was the first female to enter and race in the Boston Marathon. As her bestselling book Marathon Woman explains, an uproar was created when a race official tried to physically push her from the race. The surprising photos of this incident have now become one of Time-Life’s “100 Photos that Changed the World.”

During a time when the 26.2 mile marathons were male-dominated, Switzer’s entrance and incident in the Boston Marathon spread inspiration and challenged the myth about women’s physical limitations. This event changed her life as well as many women and men everywhere. Switzer took this opportunity to dedicate her career to creating sports equality for women. She went on to create programs in 27 countries for over one million women, drove the women’s marathon into the Olympic Games, and has ran 36 marathons as a world-class athlete. After winning the 1974 New York City Marathon with her best time of 2:51:33, Switzer finished second in the 1975 legendary Boston Marathon.

Switzer continues to work as a commentator of marathons including the Olympics and is a frequent presenter at such events. In addition to her book Marathon Woman, Switzer is also the author of Running and Walking for Women Over 40 and co-author of 26.2 Marathon Stories. As a runner of 50 years, she continues to race in marathons across the world. Switzer’s success will be recognized Oct. 1, 2011 with her induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Guest presenters and breakout sessions will feature influential community leaders such as Linda Rabe, Priscilla Romkema, Tonya Johnson and Ginny Wood Nelson. Presentations include Separating Emotion and Logic, The Savvy Businesswoman and your choice between Personal Branding or Negotiation and Conflict Management.

For more information and to register for this event, visit www.BHSU.edu/SDCEO or call (605) 642-6435. Conference registration is $90 and includes lunch, a resource program, vendors and gift bags. Late registration, starting Oct. 13, is $105.

The SD CEO is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), and is part of a network of more than 110 centers nationwide established through the SBA’s women’s business funding. While services are available to all those interested in entrepreneurship, there is a special emphasis on women, women veterans, Native Americans, the socially and/or economically disadvantaged, and youth entrepreneurs.