Memoirs From the Colorado Women In Leadership Conference

Posted by Jennifer Grillaert on 9/25/15 10:52 AM
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Colorado Women In Leadership Panorama

Roaring laughter filled the Four Square ballroom at The Curtis Hotel as our very own Amy Fowler Stadler kicked off this year’s Colorado Women In Leadership conference with her usual sense of humor.

Following Amy’s introduction and a fun take on not-so-funny topics courtesy of comedians Jon Stewart and Kristen Schaal (fair warning: language), our keynote speaker, Michelle Lucero, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel at Children’s Hospital Colorado, took the stage. Michelle spoke to some of the family history and life experiences that helped forge her into the woman she is today as well as offered practical tips for anyone seeking to advance their own career.

One lesson I appreciated was learning to recognize the value of serving as a board member in order to gain experience in executive-level decision making. Local governments, state governments, and non-profits exist for many different interest areas and these organizations are in constant need of board members.

The Panel Discussion

After a thunderous round of applause for Michelle and a networking break, it was time to turn things over to our panel of distinguished women leaders.

This year we were fortunate enough to host not only Michelle, but Laurie Brlas (Chief Financial Officer of Newmont), Jennifer DiMotta (Vice President of eCommerce at Sports Authority), Teresa Jacobs (Vice President of Global IT Services & New Market Development at CenturyLink) and Suma Nallapati (Secretary of Technology and Chief Information Officer for the State of Colorado). With so many accomplished women leaders sharing their experiences under one roof it is no wonder the panel went well overtime!

Despite its size, the WIL conference is an intimate forum. Our esteemed panelists shared stories of their personal successes and failures, moments of triumph, and moments of defeat. Some of the most powerful lessons included having the confidence to believe in yourself, even if you have to fake it until you make it, and giving yourself permission not to be perfect at everything.

Going into the WIL conference 40% of our survey respondents had indicated that attaining “Work/Life Balance” was a chief difficulty in advancing their careers. One of our panelists struck a chord with the me when she pointed out that in the workplace, people come together and have meetings where everybody’s roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. By taking this same discussion home and deliberately thinking through the roles and responsibilities everybody should have within your family, expectations can be set and work/life balance can be more easily achieved.

Wrapping Up a Successful Event

We collected feedback from the attendees this year and after so much hard work and effort was put into organizing and executing the event, these quotes from attendees validated that it was all worth it:

  • “Thank you for holding this wonderful event! It seems to occur every year when I am discouraged and overwhelmed at work. This event re-energizes me and improves my attitude!”
  • “Thanks for holding this event once again. It means so much to so many of us.”
  • “This is my first time and I’m so glad I was introduced to Women In Leadership. We need this! Thank you!”

After 13 years of holding this conference, Amy Fowler Stadler continues to execute a remarkable event. The Women In Leadership conference helped women empower one another through positive affirmation, fresh perspective, community, and the ultimate realization that no matter how diverse we may be, and no matter how much our experiences might differ, we are all united by the desire to advance women to their fullest leadership potential.

If you are interested in learning more about Lewis Fowler and the different ways we give back to the community or just want to see where we will be next, take a look at our events page:

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Once again a big thank you to our sponsors Microsoft, Xcel Energy, CenturyLink, and CGI, it wouldn’t have been possible without you! And lastly, to wrap things up I would like to leave you with one of my all time favorite quotes from Amy:

“When you make it, pull someone else up!”

Topics: Events, Women In Leadership