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At the upcoming IWLC Eastern Iowa Conference, April 21-22 in Cedar Rapids, local businesses and non-profits have the opportunity to exhibit to the more than 1,200 women, men and students in attendance. Exhibitors at past IWLC conferences past have networked with other business owners, leading to fulfilling partnerships.
Local Corridor businesses that networked at the 2014 Eastern Iowa Conference created a unique partnership that resulted in hosting a “Share Your Voice” conference for girls in grades 4-8 in February 2015. Representatives of four non-profit organizations that originally met as exhibitors hosted the “Share Your Voice” conference.
IWLC Exhibit co-chairs introduced Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, League of Women Voters of Johnson and Linn Counties and 50-50 in 2020 representatives. The groups, joined by University of Iowa WISE and area educators, collaborated to create a one-day, two-track conference for girls and adults.
“One of the coolest things about IWLC is that women network at our events and create lasting partnerships that in turn benefit other women and young girls,” says Diane Ramsey, IWLC chief executive officer. “We are proud that IWLC’s conference could be the catalyst for creating this type of partnership and many others.”
Intended to encourage, inspire and give girls confidence to take on leadership roles, set goals, understand media, politics and the power of being a GIRL, the “Share Your Voice” conference also created an awareness of community service as an elected officials and LWV members. While girls completed exercises to strengthen leadership skills to earn Girl Scout Patches, adults learned about adolescent brain development from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics physicians and researchers, and elected leaders shared personal experiences of governance and running for office.
An Iowa City-based troupe, Fourth Room Theatre, treated participants to performances about bullying and supportive actions to combat these destructive behaviors. Emceed by “Talk of Iowa” and Public Radio host Charity Nebbe, the conference attracted girls from eastern Iowa, their parents, Scout leaders, coordinators and numerous elected women officials, who also ate lunch with conference participants.
Exhibitors can still register for the upcoming 2015 Transforming Journeys conference by visiting www.IWLCLeads.org/EasternIowa.