February 13, 2019 | Sioux City, IA | Sioux City Convention Center

Siouxland Conference

This event has already occurred
Background Image

Ho-Chunk, Inc.

2019 Presenting Sponsor

The Speakers

Creative sessions from today's top experts

Annette Hamilton

Annette Hamilton

Annette Hamilton is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ho-Chunk, Inc., overseeing the daily operations of more than 30 Ho-Chunk, Inc. subsidiary companies and is involved in all facets of their management. She serves on the Board of Directors for: Native American Contractors Association (NACA); Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City; Mercy Medical Center Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Sioux City Downtown Partners Association; and Treasurer of ONSI Ponca Economic Development Corporation.

Beth Trejo

Beth Trejo

Beth Trejo is the CEO and founder of Chatterkick, a social media agency that she started in 2012. She has had a deliberate goal to advance the role of women in the tech industry and enhance the potential of Siouxland women in order to create real change in the community. Trejo locally mentors women and launched a podcast in order to connect female leaders across the state of Iowa. 

Charese Yanney

Charese Yanney

Charese Yanney is the Owner and Managing Partner of Guarantee Roofing, Siding and Insulation Company, a business that has been in her family since 1926. She was inducted in the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in 2015. Yanney has served as chair of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, United Way of Siouxland, Symphony Board, St. Luke’s Hospital Board, and various state commissions and boards.

Jenna Bush Hager

Jenna Bush Hager

Jenna Hager is a contributing correspondent on NBC's Today show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine.

She is also the author of The New York Times best seller Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, which she wrote after traveling to Latin America in 2006 as an intern with UNICEF. Ana's Story is based on the life of a 17- year-old single mother with HIV, who struggles to shield her child from the life she had of abuse and neglect.

Hager remains involved with UNICEF and is currently the chair of its Next Generation initiative, which is dedicated to reducing childhood deaths around the world.

Hager holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also co-author of the children's books Read All About It! and Our Great Big Backyard. Hager also co-authored Sisters First, a New York Times bestseller.

Hager is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. In 2008, she married Henry Hager. Jenna and Henry are the proud parents of their daughters, Margaret Laura "Mila" and Poppy Louise Hager.

Lauri Freking

Lauri Freking

As a communication trainer, speaker and strategist, Lauri Freking has more than 20 years of experience in the communication industry. She joined Wixted & Company in 2004 and leads intensive communication, media, crisis and presentation training programs for clients in health care, energy, finance and agribusiness. 

Lauri prepares clients to communicate about sensitive issues, face difficult audiences, and respond to hostile news reporters on the local and network television level. Her expertise lies in providing executives and leaders with tailored communication coaching that is professional, candid and gets results. Lauri also offers strategic communication counsel and training for health care clients facing crises and issues such as medical errors, felony drug charges and layoffs.

Lauri spent more than a decade in television news and video production in both the private and public sectors. She spent five years as a television news reporter, photographer and video editor for NBC and CBS affiliates in the Midwest. Her news experience includes running a news bureau and managing daily news coverage while shooting, writing and editing news stories as a reporter. She covered a broad range of news events ranging from human interest to crime and business stories.

Lauri also worked in public broadcasting as a producer and writer for statewide Iowa Public Television. Her experience includes creating award-winning educational content for K-12 schools and producing content for local programs. She also produced, wrote and hosted live, interactive fieldtrips using video conferencing technology and was an on-camera host for  IPTV’s annual fundraising broadcast. She is the recipient of a Telly Award for her work in broadcasting.

A native Iowan, Lauri earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University.

Mary Sterk

Mary Sterk

Mary Sterk, President and CEO of Sterk Financial Services, was named to the 2018 Forbes List Best-In-State Wealth Advisors. She has her Certified Financial Planner® certification, and leads a large financial planning practice headquartered in South Dakota, with four affiliated offices across the Midwest that serve clients throughout the country.

Additional Information

Explore all the conference has to offer

8:30 a.m.


8:30-9:00 a.m.

Student Track Orientation

9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Workshop: Finding Common Ground in Conversation - Part I by Lauri Freking, Communication Expert, Wixted & Co.

All leaders must be nimble communicators who can engage with a range of internal and external audiences, no matter how difficult the question or issue. There is both risk and opportunity for leaders during back and forth communication. How a person responds to questions and navigates conversations can propel her toward leadership positions or become a hurdle. Do you know your audience? Are you listening for the emotion? What is your goal for the discussion or relationship?

Lauri Freking will speak about the fundamental skill of bridging and responding to questions with empathy when the conversation becomes difficult or emotional. This tool tends to disarm the questioner and creates a listening environment in which everyone wins. Whether you want to be in a leadership position or you’re already there, Freking will discuss how to analyze your audience, use a message model to guide you and insert common ground into conversations to build trust and communicate like a leader.

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Break & Marketplace

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Workshop: Finding Common Ground in Conversation - Part II by Lauri Freking

12:00 - 12:45 p.m.

Networking Lunch

12:45 - 1:00 p.m.

Break & Marketplace

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Keynote with Jenna Bush Hager

Today Show co-host, author and first daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, will share lessons in leadership as a mother, daughter and sister from one of the country’s most prominent families.  

2:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Break & Marketplace

2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Letter To My Younger Self Panel with local leaders Annette Hamilton, Mary Sterk, Beth Trejo and Charese Yanney

Hear life lessons and reflections from some of Siouxland’s most accomplished and influential leaders. Each will share a personal letter to her younger self, revealing a unique journey of highs, lows and lessons along the way. The panel will then take questions from the attendees during a moderated conversation on stage.

3:30-4:00 p.m.

Student Track Wrap-up

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Networking Reception & Marketplace

Women Lead Change's Student Track programs are designed to assist aspiring young women to take a meaningful step on their leadership journey and learn more about women’s leadership and career preparation. As a conference attendee, undergraduate students have access to locally and nationally known women leaders with invaluable expertise and an opportunity to network with hundreds of professionals within their own community.  

Women Lead Change is committed to providing the right development opportunities, leadership programs and education to give aspiring young women a chance to own their success. 

Registration Closed

Women Lead Change is committed to making our events accessible to as many individuals as possible -- and the Women Lead Change Scholarship Program exists to make that happen. Applicants are eligible to receive a one-time scholarship to attend a Women Lead Change event. Once a scholarship has been awarded, individuals are not eligible for future scholarships.

Scholarship applications for the 2019 Siouxland Conference are now closed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION please call 319.423.7175 or email info@wlcglobal.org.

Registration Closed

Siouxland Endorsement Council

Governor Kim Reynolds, State of Iowa

Pamela Barry, Northwest AEA

Gail Bernstein

Phyllis Conner

Deb Cook, Deborah J. Cook Law Firm

Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority

Heather Hennings, United Way of Sioux City

Mari Kaptain-Dahlen, Siouxland Community Health Center

Jean Logan, Community Action Agency

Amy Murrell, Community Volunteer, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

Ginny Peterson, Community Volunteer and Philanthropist

Carolyn Rants, DKG GenX Advisory Group

Regina Roth, Beef Products Inc.

Gina Sitzmann, Security National Bank

Kristie VerMulm, United Realty

Bev Wharton, Briar Cliff University

Jacque Wyant, West High School

Charese Yanney, Guarantee Roofing, Siding and Insulation Company

“The Women Lead Change Conference is informative, inspirational, and engaging. We left the conference not only with new energy to do more for our community, but also with the tools we needed to take action. Highly recommended!”


“Women at all levels in their career path and all walks of life need ways to enhance and strengthen their leadership skills and network with others. Women Lead Change is leading the way for Iowa women to connect and be inspired for their next opportunity, whatever that may be!”


“The Women Lead Change Conference is informative, inspirational, and engaging. We left the conference not only with new energy to do more for our community, but also with the tools we needed to take action. Highly recommended!”


Don't Miss Out

Stay up to date with all the latest conference news.