On November 3, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County hosted its 8th Annual Power Your Potential women’s conference at Normandy Farm in Blue Bell, PA. Ludwig Business Consultants was proud to represent itself with Marcia Ludlow, Crystal McGettigan, and Kathleen Zoll in attendance.
The morning started with a generous breakfast and an opening talk by honorary chair Ellen Kolodziej, a reporter for Fox29 with deep ties to the Philadelphia area and an interesting background. She spoke about the importance of taking risks and moving beyond your comfort zone. One of the biggest takeaways from her talk was the following concept, from a Hewlett Packard internal report: While men and women browse and look for jobs similarly, women are 16% less likely to apply to a job after viewing it, and also apply to 20% fewer jobs than men. The reason is that women hold back if they don’t meet 100% of the criteria, while men usually apply after meeting about 60%. She went on to discuss the importance of taking the shot and supporting one another along the way.
The morning keynote speaker was Kim Fraites-Dow, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. She spoke to the importance of maintaining the messages taught in the Girl Scouts throughout your adult lives. Her key points were that you must find inspiration wherever you can, and that your career path is truly your second language, so you must become fluent in your craft. Like Ellen, she spoke about the fact that your life doesn’t always follow the path you thought it would, and your adaptability is a source of power and strength.
The morning breakout sessions were powerful. Crystal attended “Women, Money & Confidence” presented by Susan Gillespie, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Advisor from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, where the group discussed clarity and calm around your finances no matter what stage of life you’re in. Marcia went to “Negotiating to Show your Value” presented by Jennifer J. Riley, Found, Owner, and Managing Attorney of the Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley, where they talked about tips and approaches for guaranteeing the best outcome with others. Kathleen opted for “Ideal Clients in One Minute” with Marina Stamos, Founder of Stamos Consulting, on how to engage new business without being too sales-y. All three were powerful and inspiring, and Kathleen has followed up with Marina for additional sessions which will be discussed in a future blog.
The second breakout session followed after a brief snack break. (Normandy Farm conferences are noted for the fact that they are very generous with good food and beverages.) In this session, Crystal went to “You Are the CEO of Your Life” presented by Lauren Yellin Weinberg, Founder of Lasting Change Wellness, where the focus was on strategies to garner personal success while maintaining personal well-being and happiness. Marcia and Kathleen teamed up to attend “Transitions and Transformations: Embracing Change with Gusto” by Jodi Button McHale, a Coach with Life Re-Envisioned, as neither of them likes change. Again, the speakers were excellent, and in addition to the insights, we all had a few good laughs with their engaging presentations.
Following lunch (truly, Normandy Farm doesn’t let you go hungry), the Woman of Excellence Award was presented to Dr. Edith Mitchell from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health. Dr. Mitchell has dedicated her life to improving cancer care in underserved communities. As the first female physician to achieve the rank of Brigadier General in the US Air Force, her life is a testament to the power of never giving up and being a trailblazer.
The POWER award was then presented to Monique Ragin, whose entire background demonstrates her Persistence, Overcoming, Willpower, Empowerment, and Resilience. Her speech was filled with inspiration and wisdom, including the following quotes: “Turn your pain into power. Then turn your power into purpose.” and “Your mistake is your intention to get to the other side.” A great many attendees felt empowered to overcome anything after that talk.
The final event of the day was the afternoon keynote speaker, Erika Rothenberger, who is the Director of Performance Systems for Henkels & McCoy. After last year’s Power Your Potential seminar, Erika was inspired to start her own career in motivational speaking and empowerment. She spoke to the importance of fostering meaningful connections, both personally and professionally, and to maintaining healthy boundaries. Her focus on “paying it forward” when it comes to relationships was a wonderful note on which to end the day.
Of course, after that Normandy Farm offered more food at a Networking and Cash Bar event. Marcia, Crystal, and Kathleen each left the day with a sense of empowerment and transformation, and are grateful for the opportunity to attend.