Creating a Community of Professional Women

In FRONTBurner Women's Forum to Mark Milestone for Women in the Workplace, we shared the news from Dan Smith of Valley Business FRONT of the upcoming FRONTBurner Women’s Forum: Now That We’re in Charge on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. 

FRONTBurner Women’s Forum: Now That We’re in ChargeWe asked Dan Smith to tell us more about the origins and purpose of the Forum. He kindly replied:

The goal of "FRONTBurner Women’s Forum: Now That We’re in Charge" is to create a community of professional women who can use the new relationships to their benefit in the future.

A lunch conversation with Tamea Woodward of EastWest Dyecom helped get the Forum started.  Tamea is one of the most interesting people I know, an inveterate learner, a woman of strong opinion and assertiveness who has built her business from nothing to a real powerhouse.

Dan Smith and Tamea Woodward That got me thinking about the conference Nancy Gray (Hollins president) and I agreed we needed to have a few years ago, one that has been floating on the edges, looking for the time and place to be born and this was it. Women will be in the majority in the workplace this fall and that was the perfect hook. Nancy jumped in and I recruited the teachers and talkers in much the same way the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference has been designed these past five years.

About half of the people I call "friend" are women and I value them greatly in every respect. Our magazine, I think, reflects that in every issue because we include women as equal partners, not with some oddball peculiarity that needs a special reason to be in a story (Women in Law; Women in Finance; Women in… and blah, blah).

The Forum is about helping to build a women's network that will be lasting, strong and influential and that will serve as a mentoring group for those who need to learn the ropes. It will take a while, but this could be a beginning.

We have some honest-to-god powerhouses in Nancy Agee, Mary Miller, Nancy Hardwick, Tamea, Nancy Gray and many others.

I'm truly fortunate to be in a position to make friends with people like these and if I didn't try to do something positive in sharing those friendships and these very smart, accomplished people, I would be remiss.

For the FRONTBurner Women’s Forum: Now That We’re in Charge on Saturday, October 1, 2011, here's a roster of presenters, the full conference schedule, and online registration.  Registration is limited to 150 participants.

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