Professional growth and leadership opportunities can be scarce outside of major cities or well-known university towns, but the women of Tazewell County have an increasing number of professional development options at their fingertips.
“We are always looking, as a Chamber, to identify areas of need and interest in the local business community,” said Brian Anderson, the executive director of the Morton Chamber of Commerce, which offers the community a Women in Business: CEO Series. “And [women’s professional growth] was an area that had come up repeatedly from our membership and from others in the community that it would be nice to do this sort of event, to focus around the female professional demographic.
“They have a lot to bring to the table … and a lot of the time, their stories and paths can be maybe a little bit different, “ Anderson continued. “So, having these types of events to help network and also hear the stories and the experiences of other professional women who have had success in their various fields is certainly a positive, and is something that has been very popular as we’ve moved forward with this series.”
Morton’s CEO Series is a chance for local female business professionals to discuss their workplace positions, opportunities and challenges with successful regional CEOs.
“I think [the series] has been received very well,” Anderson said. “We do it in an intimate venue at one of our local restaurants, and we can generally seat 25-28 and we generally fill the room regardless. There’s a good mix [of attendees]: There’s a core group probably of 10-12 who come to most, if not all, of these quarterly lunches. And depending upon the topic and the speaker, we see a different cross-section of people who attend from time to time. So I think it’s proven to be appealing both to people as a regular part of their professional development calendar, but also of interest to people who are picking and choosing [their professional growth opportunities].”
The next session will be held on May 10 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Kemp 208, and Sara O’Shea of So Chic Boutique & Events will be speaking. The remaining two sessions for 2016 will be on August 9 and November 8, with speaker details still being finalized.
In partnership with Richardson Counseling & Wellness Center, the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce will be holding its 2016 Women’s Leadership Academy, which aims to connect with engaged businesswomen to “approach key challenges with a new perspective,” according to the Pekin Chamber of Commerce website. “This program provides a unique forum for women to realize their full potential and attain their highest levels of efficacy and productivity in both their personal and professional lives. Participants will work toward goals, create and maintain change through supportive community of accountability.”
In addition, participants also will receive training in The PeopleMap System, reference guide and workbook, a Leadership Academy Resource binder, all session materials and a framed Certificate of Completion and any special awards earned throughout the course of the training at the Graduation Banquet.
The 2016 Women’s Leadership Academy is held at Richardson Counseling and Wellness Center in Pekin, starting with an orientation on Tuesday, March 29. The sessions will be held on Thursdays from April 7-October 17 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., and there will be a graduation and an awards banquet.
Hed: Dates to remember
The Pekin Chamber of Commerce begins its 2016 Women’s Leadership Academy with an orientation on Tuesday, March 29 at Richardson Counseling and Wellness Center, 112 Park Ridge Lane
The next session of the Morton Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business: CEO Series.will be held on May 10 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Kemp 208, 208 N. Main St.
— Tazewell business groups provide leadership opportunities for women —