Women's Business Conference-Aberdeen

March 29, 2019

Best Western Ramkota Hotel


8:00 a.m. Registration, Networking & Business Showcase

9:00 a.m. Welcome & IntroductionsMichelle Kane, Director, SD CEO

9:05 a.m. Welcome to Aberdeen, Mayor of Aberdeen, Mike Levsen 

9:10 a.m. Welcome & Remarks, Dr. Tim Downs, President, Northern State University

9:15 a.m. Wait, What Did You Just Say? Using individual communication preferences to get everyone on the same pageMeg Manke, COO, Rose Group Int'l 

10:45 a.m. Networking Break: Business Showcase sponsored by Northern State University

11:00 a.m. Women Empowering Women

  • Kae McNeil, Moderator, Assistant Vice President, U.S. Bank Wealth Management 
    • Dr. Marje Kaiser, Superintendent, South Dakota School for the Deaf / South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired 
    • Gina Karst, Executive Director, Safe Harbor 
    • Laure Swanson, Owner, RC Hunting Store 

12:00 p.m. Lunch, Networking & Business Showcase 

1:00 p.m.   Energy Renewal, Candace Briscoe, President, Profiling Beauty

1:15 p.m. Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Heather Beaner, Moderator, U.S. Air Force Lawyer & Farmer 
    • Sister Pam Donelan, Presentation Sister/Executive Director of Mission for Presentation College, Presentation Sisters 
    • Wendy Kirkham, Exclusive Black Status Leader, Younique 
    • Carly Pochop, Owner, Colorful Creations Art Studio 
    • Dr. Amy Scepaniak, DDS, Owner, Smile Solutions 
    • Amy Troske, Owner, Interior Plant Care & Designs 

2:00 p.m. Networking Break: Business Showcase

2:15 p.m.  Through the Accountability Looking Glass, Giving and receiving feedback in all its forms, Meg Manke, COO, Rose Group Int'l

3:15 p.m. Enterprising Woman In Business Award, sponsored by American Aberdeen News 

3:30 p.m. Closing & Door Prizes 

Entrepreneurial Spirit


Lieutenant Colonel Heather Beaner 
U.S. Air Force Lawyer and Farmer


Lieutenant Colonel Heather Beaner is a Reserve Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force and a farmer near Mellette in northeastern South Dakota.  After serving as a military attorney on active duty for 12 years, she transferred to the Reserves in 2011 and moved home to take over her father’s 2,300 acre farming operation.  While her husband has a full-time non-farm job in town, Heather manages the corn and soybean farm, conducts the input buying and grain marketing, does all the planting and harvesting, and tries to keep up with their 4-year-old son.  She is also an active volunteer, including serving on the board of directors at the regional domestic violence shelter, delegate for the local grain cooperative, American Legion and Auxiliary leadership, and her church worship coordinator.

Pam Donelan

Sister Pam Donelan 
Presentation Sister/ Executive Director of Mission for Presentation College 


Sister Pam Donelan is the Executive Director of Mission at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  Sister Pam has been in education and leadership for over 45 years.  She taught English and Communication in high school and she was Dean of Students at Presentation College.  During that time, she was also an adjunct faculty member teaching Communication and Theater classes.  Presentation College Ice Cream Theatre founded under her leadership as an artistic director.  Sister Pam, a Presentation Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, served as a member of the Presentation Sister Leadership Team and was the President of the Presentation Sister Congregation of Women Religious for eight years. Her religious background is in program development, facilitation and worldwide travel.  Sister Pam recently celebrated her 50th jubilee as a Presentation Sister.

Sister Pam will tell you she has a passion for education, leadership and being a Presentation Sister.    She can speak from her experience about what works in education and leadership and how to overcome obstacles in a work environment.  She is an alumnus of Presentation College, College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota and University of North Dakota.   Earning B.A degree in Communication and Theatre and a M.A. degree in Children’s Theatre.  She has certificates in facilitation of small and large groups.

Wendy Kirkham

Wendy Kirkham
Exclusive Black Status Leader, Younique


Once a pharmacist, now a successful entrepreneur. Wendy is a single mom with two boys and lives on a hobby farm at Mina, SD.  In 2013, at age 46, Wendy quit her job as a pharmacist to work full time at a network marketing company in the cosmetics and skin care field. She has since ascended to the top leadership rank in the company and has a team of nearly 300,000 women in 13 countries.   Wendy accomplished this personal goal through sheer determination, unending tenacity, and a success-driven mindset.  She was able to create the life that she envisioned for herself and her family so they can live the life that they love. A life that provides the flexibility and resources to live more and do more. Because of what she has accomplished, Wendy aims to inspire other women to chase their dreams and live the life that they love.  If you are aspiring to build a successful business, to be your own boss, to earn some extra income, to make friendships and travel around the world, Wendy Kirkham is your person. Her experiences and life story are enough inspiration to guide you in planning for your future and achieving your goals.  Just like Wendy, you can achieve what she has achieved and more. Your dream life is waiting for you, and with courage, determination, and perseverance, everything is within reach. Are you ready?  Wendy would love to answer any of your questions. 

Carly Pochop

Carly Pochop
Colorful Creations Art Studio 


Carly Pochop was an elementary Art Teacher in the Aberdeen School District for two years. She studied Art Education in college for five years at Minnesota State University Moorhead and specialized in Ceramics. Though she loved teaching kids, the idea of making her dreams become her reality couldn't wait any longer and here is why: In March of 2015, she found out my sister has breast cancer and five months later dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. They are very close and the news of this ignited a fire in her soul. See here is the thing, there is no family history and Carly’s sister is only 38 and her dad is 62. She looked at her life and realized she needed to start listening to that little voice inside her head. You know, the voice that tells you to do something. The voice that says "Wow, that would be cool if..." Well that little voice had been talking to Carly for over a year and a half, and it was time she started to listen. Only one month after her sister’s diagnosis, Carly started Colorful Creations. By starting this, she vowed to help those in need. She may not be able to help medically, but Carly’s promise is to put a smile on your face and help you create a masterpiece you never thought possible. Life is too short not to smile and embrace every single moment. Not waiting for the future, but embracing the current. That is Carly’s mission. To give back. This is an amazing community filled with remarkable people and everyone has a story, no matter how big or small. We are all unique and need to celebrate that.

Amy Scepaniak

Dr. Amy Scepaniak, DDS, Owner
Smile Solutions


Amy Scepaniak grew up in Lisbon ND, graduating from high school in 1996. She earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance from Valley City State University in 2000. She married her husband Wyatt in 2000. Amy is a mother to 3 children, Levi (14), Libby (12), and Lucy (5). She graduated dental school in 2008 from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Amy started Smile Solutions in September of 2009 and this past summer built a new facility north of the mall. She practices general dentistry, so she gets to do a wide variety of procedures, which she enjoys.

Amy Troske

Amy Troske
Owner, Interior Plant Care & Designs


Amy was born and raised on a dairy farm outside of Humboldt SD. After graduating from South Dakota State University, she married Dylan Troske of Turton SD and moved to Northville in the spring of 2001. With her degree in Consumer Affairs and Health Benefits, Amy began her career at Mutual Of Omaha Insurance in Aberdeen. In June of 2014, Amy developed her beloved houseplant hobby into the business she owns today, Interior Plant Care & Designs. Amy and Dylan are currently raising four children; Nicholas, Rhianna, Sophia and Eva. Amy’s hobbies and activities don’t just include her plants, but also her pet chickens, two dogs, running her kids to all of their activities, being a school board member, and active in her church and community.

Women Empowering Women Panel

Kae McNeil

Kae McNeil
Assistant Vice President, U.S. Bank Wealth Management


Kae is a graduate of South Dakota State University, a SCORE volunteer who mentors new and existing businesses and is on the Board of Directors for the SCORE branch in Aberdeen, The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity Advisory board and South Dakota Education Access Foundation. Kae has volunteer experience on a number of community boards such as, Aberdeen Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce, NSU Foundation, Education Assistance Corporation and Avera St. Luke’s Home/Hospice to name a few. Kae has previous job experience with SD Job Service, Mutual of Omaha-Claims Center and Avera St. Luke’s. Since 2003 Kae works at US Bank as an Assistant Vice President in Wealth Management with a passion to help customers meet their financial goals.

Marje Kaiser

Dr. Marje Kaiser
Superintendent, South Dakota School for the Deaf / South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired


After graduating from St. Cloud State University, I taught high school in Minnesota and South Dakota. In addition to English and speech, I coached drama, forensics and debate. When my husband’s job took us to Aberdeen, SD I was hired by the Deaf-Blind program located at the SD School for the Blind (1975) to do child find and other activities. What I didn’t know was that my whole career path was being diverted. I was in charge of the program for 8 years, which prompted me to go back to school to take coursework in vision, sign language, and eventually a master’s degree in Educational Administration. About that time, my husband and I, along with another couple, bought a small town radio station. I became a fulltime DJ, news reporter, and copywriter as well as a new mom. In 1986 I was hired as superintendent for the SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. That led me back to school to earn a doctorate. In 2010 I added responsibility for the SD School for the Deaf located in Sioux Falls.

Gina Karst

Gina Karst
Executive Director, Safe Harbor


Gina Karst is the Executive Director at Safe Harbor, a domestic violence shelter in Aberdeen, SD; and has been since 2009. Her role is to assist all survivors of violence. Along with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the agency, Gina provides home and workplace safety planning, legal advocacy, crisis counseling, child advocacy and educates the community.  Gina is a graduate at Northern State University with a bachelors in Speech Communication/Public Relations. In the years that Gina has been with the organization, she has attended national and state wide conferences on domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse to name a few. She is part of a Community Coordinated Response Team, as well as the Aberdeen Area Child Protection Team.  Both teams are made up of professionals that work together to make a change in domestic violence and child abuse cases. She also serves on the State Coalition, South Dakota Network against Family Violence and Sexual Assault executive board.

Laure Swanson

Laure Swanson
Owner, RC Hunting Store


Laure Swanson grew up in Mobridge SD. Graduated from Northern State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. Her career titles have included: Mother, Counselor, Director, Marketing Director, Vice President, Marketing Consultant, City Council Representative, Entrepreneur/ Business Owner. She and her husband, Dirk Swanson, own Swanson Electric, RC Hunting Store, Double L Investments, Extended Stay Suites of Aberdeen, Hospitality Hotel in Ipswich, SD and ABC Seamless Siding of Rapid City, SD.

Package 2:


Grand Prizes

Package 1:

Total Package Sampler

1 Hour skin complexion analysis and consultation

1 Session of Botox--$455 value

1 Hydrafacial w/ Dermaplane--$215 value

1 Zone of Coolsculpting--$850 value



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2nd Annual Women's Business Conference-Aberdeen 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Best Western Ramkota Hotel


Make your 2019 strong by registering for and inviting others to the 2nd Annual Women's Business Conference in Aberdeen!



Hear from successful entrepreneurs, local women executives and be inspired by dynamic speakers!
You will leave rejuvenated and refreshed with new tools and ideas on how to approach your work and your life. 
Registration and Exhibitor Showcase begins at 8:00 a.m.
Program starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. 

Lunch is included. 


Early Bird Fee: $99 (expires March 15)
Fee: $125  
Students: $50 



 Register Now!

Keynote Speaker


Meg Manke Meg Manke is Chief Operating Officer of The Rose Group, Int’l. She has years of experience in leading through transition. From major changes in highly-regulated industries to managing through $100M acquisition, Meg has refined skills in understanding people through change. Her studies in organizational psychology and mastery in leadership concepts ensure that your people are taken care of. Period.

Meg has a passion for helping other realize their full potential - breaking down social and personal barriers - changing their story. Her innate ability to recognize opportunity in weakness and present a strategic solution is unprecedented in today's business world.

Meg is a ranch kid from western South Dakota, where she still puts in a hard day's work on the family place. Ranch life gave her sticktoittiveness, passion for family and outdoors, and maybe a touch of stubbornness. Meg is an avid runner, an advocate of the well-rounded education of youth, and a major supporter of finding humor in all things.

 All attendees receive a FREE COPY of Meg's book iX Leadership! 

Rose Group Book1  

Keynote Topics:

Wait...what did you just say?: Using individual communication preferences to get everyone on the same page

Do you ever wonder why you don't see the world the same as others on your teams? It's not because those people are mean, bad, nefarious...right? Of course not! It's really because each person has a unique perspective; some like order, some like chaos and there are preferences for a team environment or working alone. The stories, tools, and activities during this keynote segment will help participants understand work preferences of each person in their lives. Whether it's a team of 2 or 200, on the home place or in the office, we are all expected to communicate and perform effectively. The tools we'll use to learn about work environment preferences will support the participant in their personal journey to understand their own feelings and preferences and sort out those of the people around them. 

Through The Accountability Looking Glass: Giving and Receiving Feedback in all its Forms

Everyone wants an environment of accountability but not everyone (ok, no one really) knows how to create it! In this segment, we'll uncover the myths and legends behind fake accountability - deadlines, timelines, and goal spreadsheets - and learn the true foundation - genuine and effective feedback in all directions. We'll talk about giving and receiving feedback and practice decoding the language of another person's perspective. I will provide tools and activities to help participants see the value in listening for real, listening to learn. The objective of this segment is to provide a perspective of collaboration with all team members by understanding what people are saying, not what you're hearing.




  • Aberdeen American News
  • Barb's Health & Wellness
  • CorTrust Bank
  • Dacotah Bank
  • East River Electric Cooperative, Inc
  • Eide Bailly
  • Elm Digital Marketing
  • GROW South Dakota
  • HALO Branded Solutions
  • Insurance Plus
  • Lake Area Technical Institute
  • Main Stream Boutique
  • Monat by Marsha
  • Northern State University
  • Photo-X-Press and Portrait Studio
  • Profiling Beauty
  • Rose Group Int’l
  • Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center
  • Total Package MedSpa
  • U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Walmart Vision Center
  • Younique



WBC Aberdeen Sponsors 2019636852408557583670