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For the approximately 900 attendees at IWLC’s “The State of Change 2012 on April 25, the event provided memorable lessons on leadership from the White House to “Shark Tank”—and the opportunity to put some of those lessons to work on behalf of Iowa’s women and girls.
Opening speaker Betsy Myers shared insights and personal stories from a varied career in business, politics and the nonprofit sector. Myers, who is Founding Director of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, served as a senior official in the Clinton Administration and as COO of President Obama’s 2008 election campaign. “Good leadership creates a set of feelings,” Myers said. “When people feel valued, supported, engaged, and listened to, they do their best work.”
During the luncheon session, IWLC Executive Director Diane Ramsey presented the 2012 IWLC Founder’s Award to Dr. Christine Grant, an internationally recognized pioneer in women’s sports and gender equity. Grant, who served for 27 years as the University of Iowa’s first and only director of women’s intercollegiate athletics, is a member of the IWLC Steering Committee.
Luncheon keynote speaker Barbara Corcoran, a highly successful entrepreneur, kept the audience laughing with tales from her long career and her experiences as the only female cast member of ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank.” Corcoran parlayed a $1,000 loan into a $5 billion New York City real estate business; her tips for success include being good at failure and injecting “bizarre fun” into the workplace.
Following luncheon, Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Chrysalis Foundation Executive Director Terry Hernandez introduced the final portion of the day, “Ideals to Action: Co-creating the Future for Women and Girls in Iowa.” The interactive work session engaged audience members in creating solutions for some of the challenges revealed in the newly released “SHE MATTERS” report, examining the status of Iowa’s women and girls in categories such as income, health, autonomy and education. The report was published by the Iowa Women’s Leadership Project, a public-private partnership of 15 Iowa organizations, including IWLC. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
Presenting Sponsor for “The State of Change 2012” was Rockwell Collins; Platinum Sponsors were Alliant Energy, Mercy Medical Center and Transamerica. A complete list of sponsors and exhibitors appears on the IWLC website.