Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Simmons Leadership Conference - This Saturday

Last year, we attended this marvelous event for the first time. It was a memorable day, leaving us contemplating the unusual life of anthropologist Louise Leakey and the miraculous survival of Gloria Estefan.

The conference is built on a carefully crafted agenda that blends a bit of entertainment with a lot of education. It's a day of girl power, inspiration and best of all - recharging the professional batteries.

This year's lineup will not disappoint. The headliner is the legendary Diane Keaton. Much-honored business executive Maxine Clark, CEO of Build-a-Bear Workshop, is the opening keynote. Last year, Clark was named one of The 25 Most Influential People in Retailing by Chain Store Age. In 2008, her company sold more than $470 million bears and gave away thousands more to charity.

We're also looking forward to hearing Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who is currently reporting for NPR from South Africa. She served as chief national correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," and earlier had an award-winning stint at the New York Times.

Other legendary journalists presenting and moderating at the conference include NPR's Michel Martin and CNBC's Sharon Epperson.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, is another bright light on the agenda. Beyond her work serving her country, she's been a vocal human rights advocate for years. She is the founder of The Ethical Globalization Initiative.

A business ethics panel, "Return on Integriy: The New Bottom Line," promises to be fascinating. It features three whistleblowers: Lynn Brewer and Cindy Olson from Enron and Cynthia Cooper from Worldcom.

Celebrating its 30th year, the conference is the preeminent women's leadership forum in the country and annually attracts a global audience of business and professional women.

You can still register here.

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