Leading Stories

by Ashlyn Adams, Staff Writer

UWF’s College of Business Executive Mentor Program will be hosting the seventh annual Women in Leadership conference on Friday, Feb. 28, and attendance for the free event reached maximum capacity an hour after registration opened.

Dr. Sherry Hartnett, founder and chair of the conference, was excited to announce former Miss USA and Army captain Deshauna Barber as the keynote speaker for the conference, along with female executives, leaders of charitable organizations, and Dr. Judy Bense, UWF’s first female president.

“We know you will leave the conference feeling inspired by the incredible women presenting and empowered to develop higher leadership skills that foster your personal and professional growth,” Hartnett said. “Stay engaged and help us shape the future of Northwest Florida.”

Keynote speaker Barber, at only 30 years old, has worked as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, held the Miss USA title, worked as an IT analyst for the United States Department of Commerce, earned her master’s degree, and traveled the nation as a motivational speaker. 

At this year’s Women in Leadership conference, Barber will be presenting her speech, “I Don’t Like Being Told It’s A Man’s World,” along with describing her experience working and excelling in male-dominated fields. 

Next, attendees will get to hear from female executives of local companies who will talk about mentorship, climbing the executive ladder, branding, and personal growth. Then, they will hear from managers of local charitable organizations and learn about the pros and cons of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Finally, attendees will hear from Dr. Judy Bense, who was recently inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. As UWF’s first female president, she was responsible for raising the University’s profile, increasing enrollment, and even starting the football program, among other accomplishments.

Bense will be presenting her speech, “Grit and Grace,” to end the conference.

Check-in for the conference will be from 8 to 9 a.m. in the UWF Conference Center and Auditorium (Building 22), and the conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees will be provided with lunch and a chance to network with prominent female leaders and peers looking for personal and professional growth. 

Despite being a “women’s” conference, both men and women are encouraged and invited to attend. The conference is especially valuable for college students, females interested in career growth, men in support of female leadership, human resource executives, supervisors, and managers. 

Registration spots are filled for the 2020 conference, but if you are interested in attending, you can join the waitlist by emailing executivementor@uwf.edu

2 thoughts on “Women in Leadership Conference sells out in record time

  1. Women’s Leadership Conference sounded like such a great event!!!!! Excited for our young women and the future they bring to us all

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