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2018 East Region Symposium

2018 East Region Symposium

Thank you to all NAWMBA members, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters who joined us at the NAWMBA and University of Louisville East Region Symposium at the Brown and Williamson Club at the Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium on the University of Louisville Campus. It was a full day event with programming focused on development for mid-to-senior level executives.

Dr. Kristen Lucas, Assistant Dean of Program Innovation & Strategic Initiatives at the University of Louisville kicked off the day. She has a real passion for gender studies and provided some historical knowledge along with some advice. Here are some of the highlights of her talk:

1972- first Fortune 500 female CEO (Katherine Graham of the Washington Post)

Since 1955 only 64 Fortune 500 CEOs have been women.

Among the Fortune 500 CEOs, there are more Tom, Dick, and Harry's. Literally. There are 33 of them.

In June 2017 only 32 women were Fortune 500 CEOS (an all time high) but due to retirements that number will drop to 24 by April.

Rethink Networking - consider it as more of a "relational tie" rather than something you do when job hunting or sourcing leads.

Invest in you and your staff development while lifting each other up. Lean in more and volunteer of boards of directors. 

Next, Nadia Alhashimi interviewed some of the leading women from University of Louisville's athletic department. Karen Feguson-Dayes, Head Coach of the Women's Soccer program mentioned that throughout her 16 seasons at the college she did have to change her approach for each athlete but she didn't see them as a specific generation. She has learned that the newer generations like public praise while criticism is better received in private.

Alyssa Murphy is the Director of Student-Athlete Leadership and Development and commented that consistent praise is a good way to motivate the newer generations. 

Vanessa Shannon is the Director of Mental Performance and as a sports psychologist she mentioned how the school works together to help the athletes realize what their brand is on social media and how to keep that consistent; how also to think before posting because as college athletes they do attract followers and kids that look up to them. "Generation Z has a bad reputation as being lazy. They are not lazy. Most of the time they don't know how to ask a question if they don't know the answer or are too proud to ask".

It was a wonderful session with many questions from the audience.

Our Women's In Leadership Panel featured some real powerhouses that included Nikki Jackson - Sr. VP and Regional Executive of the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Nicole Wood - CEO and Co-Founder of Ama La Vida; Lisa Stephens - Vice President, Resolution Team at Humana; and Dana Bowers - CEO of Venminder.

While Dana and Nicole are both entrepreneurs, Nicole left corporate America because she found something that she was truly passionate about. Coaching people of all kinds and helping with quarter life crisis is something that naturally came to her. Dana, on the other hand, started her company out of necessity after she lost her previous position due to a change in management. She saw an opportunity and really had no qualms about sitting "at the table". She described that she didn't really know that she wasn't supposed to have a seat at the table. 

They all were very authentic and Nikki shared some personal stories, " just because we have these titles doesn't mean we don't have the same struggles as you all".

Lisa shared that one way she makes time for her family is by outsourcing certain things in her house like cleaning. This time she spends with her family is precious and she wants as much of it as she can. There were so many takeaways from this panel of extraordinary women.  


Margaret Johnson, owner of Ideal Training Inc., was our lunch keynote and she taught us how to manage relationships and manage our managers. When looking to develop relationships look at the persons style and think about how you can effectively work together. We also played the game, red light green light, that showed us our risk taking tendencies. If you have an idea that could be valuable don't be afraid to bring it up to higher levels.

We were so thankful that Margaret donated her time and to travel from Houston, TX to keynote at this event!



Next, Vivian Blade who is a talent management expert taught us how to create an executive presence. When thinking about interacting with management her advice is to look at yourself and ask what value you bring to the company. She also covered the four quadrants of executive presence:

Business Intelligence – Your application of business & industry knowledge in your work.

Business Impact – Your track record of impact on company growth and key priorities.

Relationships – Your ability to build strategic relationships & influence others.

ReputationYour personal brand around your outcomes, leadership style, and professionalism.

She also provided insights on what was missing in the audience executive presence, and tips on making significant improvements. It was a wonderful session with lots of note taking.



We ended the educational portion of the day with Scott Augenbaum who just recently retired from the FBI as a special agent in the Cyber Crimes division. He provided information on how to keep your online brand safe. As someone that worked in the division for over 20 years he shared stories from his experience and simple things that our attendees could do to for free that would help keep them from getting hacked.





Contest Winners!

Thanks to our partners at Live Nation we had two ticket contests and our winners were so excited!

Winner of the Babyface Tickets was: Candice McGloshen!


Winner of the Piano Guys tickets was: Christen Byrne! 




A Special Thanks to our Sponsors

Thank you for making the East Region Symposium possible, especially to our lead sponsor, University of Louisville College of Business along with our partners at Live Nation and Republic Services.