"Leadership Advantage," the second annual Kansas Women's Leadership Conference will open at 8 a.m. Friday, March 28 at the Fox Pavilion in downtown Hays. The event will end at 5:30 p.m.
The conference, a state-wide initiative from faculty, staff and students at Fort Hays State University, provides forum for discussion on issues, concepts and skills involved in leadership development for Kansas women. Women filled the Fox Pavilion at last year's event, so this year balcony seating will also be open.
The main objectives of the program are to strengthen networking skills and opportunities, encourage development of leadership, promote mentoring between women and foster a celebration of women's diversity.
Keynote speakers for the conference include Robin Gerber, author of "Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Timeless Strategies from the First Lady of Courage" and "Katharine Graham: The Leadership Journey of an American Icon"; and Amy Blankenbiller, president and CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Blankenbiller is a former senior associate at Waterman and Associates, a privately owned governmental consulting and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.
One woman will be announced at the conference as the Kansas Woman of the Year. She will be selected based on leadership skills, mentoring, social change, risk leadership, creativity and persistence.
Last year's Kansas Woman of the Year was Nola Ochs, Jetmore, who in May 2007 completed work on her bachelor's degree at age 95. Breakout sessions will be located in downtown buildings within walking distance to the Fox. Sessions include "The Power of Mentoring in the Lives of Women," "How to Get from Where You are to Where You Want to Go," and "Gender Roles in Popular Culture and their Effect on Our Perceptions of Leadership."
Session speakers are Angela Bates, executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society; Dalene Hartshorn, national sales director for Mary Kay cosmetics; Judy Hantla, owner of the Madd Matter Frame Shop and Gallery, Hays; Emily Mwaja, director of programs for Girls Inc.; LaNae Lang, district manager of the Buckle Inc.; Nicole Kossove, human resource manager for Target Corporation; and Carol Hackerott, director of residential life at FHSU.
Also leading sessions are Dr. Tony Andenoro, assistant professor of leadership studies at FHSU; Jill Arensdorf, instructor of leadership studies at FHSU; Mari Tucker, direct training quality assurance manager for Kansas Department of Commerce Workforce Services; Susan Nickerson, regional director for Kansas Department of Commerce Workforce Services; Gail Kuehl, owner and operator of McDonald's Restaurants in Hays, Russell and WaKeeney; Shaina Prough and Susan Smythe, executive directors of the Ronald McDonald House in Wichita.
Registration is $85. Groups of five or more from the same organization receive a discount of $10 each. To register, visit www.kansaswomensleadership.org/reg.html or contact Amie Wright, administrative specialist for the College of Education and Technology at FHSU, at (785) 628-5866 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.