Greater Hartford Women's Conference shifts focus to business

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Mar. 10, 2011
U.S. Olympic swimmer, model and sports-commentator Amanda Beard will be the keynote speaker at the South WIndsor Chamber of Commerce's fourth annual Greater Hartford Women's Conference. Photo courtesy of Premier Speakers Bureau. - Contributed Photo

The South Windsor Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the fourth annual Greater Hartford Women’s Conference on Wednesday, April 27.  "This is a day of professional development, education, inspiration and networking for women of all ages and backgrounds," explained Shari Fiveash, executive director of the South Windsor Chamber. “Our committee has put together an exciting program that offers something for everyone.”

This year, the focus of the conference has shifted slightly to be more business-oriented, since it is hosted by the Chamber, whose purpose is to support the business community. Also, for women seeking reimbursement from their employers, it is important that the participants learn skills that are relevant to their careers.

Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard will be the morning keynote. In 1996, at 14 years old, Beard became the second youngest U.S. swimmer to earn an Olympic medal. She went on to earn a total of seven medals in four Olympics.

According to Denise Carter, chair of the conference and member of the SWCC board of directors, Beard was selected for her experience as an athlete, model and sports commentator. Conference sponsor Eastern Connecticut Health Network supported the selection, because of Beard’s focus health and nutrition, as well as her own experience overcoming health issues, explained Carter.

Yvonne Nava, NBC Connecticut’s morning co-anchor, will serve as the mistress of ceremonies, and will moderate the question and answer session. “We’ve got that local tie-in,” said Carter about Nava’s involvement, “and we’re really excited to have her.”

Author Jane Hight McMurry, an internationally-recognized expert in business communication skills, will give the luncheon keynote address on how business women can navigate their way through the corporate maze to high-powered success.

One of the many breakout sessions will feature Nicole Damarjian, who holds a PhD in sports psychology, participates in the Ladies Professional Golf Association, and is the director of instruction at the Willow Brook Golf Course in South Windsor. She will make the connection between successes in golf and life accomplishments. Other workshops will address integrative medicine, healthy eating and fashion faux pas. One session will be hosted by Christine Landino, who will help participants learn organizational skills to improve productivity at home and at work, as well as reduce the frustration of time stresses. There will also be an opportunity to learn about utilizing and benefiting from social networking by Tracy Fox of ForeSite Technology. “That’s a very hot topic these days,” noted Carter.

Approximately 350 women are expected to attend the conference, which will utilize all the space at South Windsor’s Maneeley’s Banquet and Conference Center, including the new lodge facility. In addition to the features, speakers and workshops, local businesses will have exhibition space, including local retailers, colleges, financial institutions, healthcare providers, staffing agencies and computer repair shops. Participants will also have an opportunity to run the controls of ECHN’s demo DaVinci robotic surgery system.

Participants do not need to be members of the South Windsor Chamber of Commerce in order to attend. There is an early registration deadline of March 31 in order to take advantage of the discounted early bird rate of $125. The full registration cost is $149. Registration provides full access for the entire day to all conference events, including breakfast, presentations, panel discussions, workshops, lunch, networking, giveaways, refreshments, and exciting exhibitors. For more information and to register, visit the website or call the South Windsor Chamber of Commerce at 860-644-9442.

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