CSU Women’s Conference Tackles `Courageous Leadership’

Karen Handel, Mimi DonaldsonCOLUMBUS, Ga. – Nine of the country’s top female executives and bestselling authors will be in Columbus later this month as part of the seventh annual Women's Leadership Conference at Columbus State University’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development.


Headlining this year’s conference are Karen Handel, until recently senior vice president for public policy at the Susan G Komen breast cancer charity, and Mimi Donaldson, an internationally known speaker and author who has presented at numerous women’s leadership events with the likes of poet Maya Angelou and former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Speaking to the conference theme of "Courageous Leadership," Handel and Donaldson "are a perfect complement to the wide array of speakers from around the country slated for the March 13-14 conference,” said Kim Rozycki, director of events and marketing at the Cunningham Center.

The conference is designed for women who aspire to develop skills that will move them toward their career goals and increase their effectiveness in the corporate world, another organizer said.

"Sessions will benefit both emerging and senior female leaders” said Shana Young, assistant director at the Cunningham Center for Leadership Development. “This conference will empower and enhance leadership skills for the 21st Century woman.  Attendees will learn how to be authentic, conscious, courageous leaders at work, at home, and in their communities; what it takes to be successful in the face of obstacles and tough decisions; and how to inspire and guide others through tough times by aligning with their true values, purpose and potential.”

The conference runs from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 and from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, March 14. Individual tickets are $349 ($2,500 for tables for eight), including two breakfasts, two lunches, a reception and nine nationally respected speakers:

  • Barbara Kelley, an expert on women in transition, including obstacles and opportunities in choosing the right path from college and grad school to today's workplace. She and her daughter, Shannon Kelley, also a speaker at the conference, are co-authors of the book, Undecided: How To Ditch the Endless Quest for Perfect and Find the Career — and Life — That's Right For You.
  • Cathi Hight, president of Hight Performance Group, which advocates the principles of Kaizen — continuous improvement to manage gradual change and use existing resources more effectively. She has more than 20 years experience in performance improvement. Using proven strategies, assessments, and intervention tools, Hight helps clients identify problems and solve them. She has worked with a wide range of organizations from the association, education, finance, public and technology sectors to navigate market changes, streamline operations, increase productivity and develop staff and customer retention.
  • Karen C. Handel, who was responsible for leading Susan G. Komen for the Cure in its federal and state advocacy efforts. Her responsibilities included management of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance, the organization's public policy arm. She was elected and served as Georgia’s secretary of state from 2007-2010.
  • Jacki W. Lowe, vice president of Georgia Power’s west region. Named one of the 2008 Women to Watch by Diversity Journal, she serves on the board of directors of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus Economic Development Corporation, Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation, Columbus Technical College Foundation, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers and the downtown Columbus Rotary Club.
  • Elisabeth Marchant, founder and CEO of Womenetics, a global media platform reaching readers in more than 140 countries. Marchant describes herself as a change agent who’s able to identify opportunities and provide transformative leadership to realize her vision.
  • Mimi Donaldson, whose latest book is about success and football, Necessary Roughness: New Rules for the Contact Sport of Life. Donaldson uses football as a metaphor for shaking off the bad plays, or roadblocks, of challenging times to lead with perseverance and courage. She's won acclaim for her rousing keynote speeches, compelling workshops and in-house training programs.
  • Sally Helgesen, an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and consultant. She’s one of the world's brand-name experts on women's leadership and was named by Leadership Gurus as No. 15 in its annual survey of the world's most influential experts on the topic. Her latest book, The Female Vision: Women's Real Power at Work, explores the strategic insights women bring to organizations. She’s also author of The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership, which has been continually in print for 21 years, translated into 12 languages, and used in schools and organizations around the world.
  • Shannon Kelley, who’s an expert, like her co-author mother, on women in transition. Kelley’s a featured blogger for the Huffington Post, a freelance writer, speaker, and personal and career coach.
  • Karen Walrond, author of the best-selling book, The Beauty of Different, a chronicle of imagery and portraiture, combined with essays and observations on the concept that what makes women different makes them beautiful. The book inspired BlogHer's Own Your Beauty initiative, where Walrond became the lead blogger. She is a sought-after keynote speaker, having covered topics as varied as parenthood, social media and women in leadership.

For more information or to register, visit WomensLeadershipConference.org.


#  #  #