Conference Agenda


Conference Registration

Conference Registration


AGENDA BELOW IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Thank you for your patience as we finalize our speakers and sessions!

Attendee Registration Fees (subject to change without notice):

  • $69/person: This ticket will cover the in-person kickoff event at The Florian Gardens in Eau Claire WI on Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 12-4:30 pm (including lunch at 12:30 pm and happy hour with live entertainment from 4:30-7 pm) AND all the online sessions on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 9 am-4:30 pm and Friday, Oct. 8 from 9 am-12:30 pm.
  • $29/person: This ticket will be good for our online sessions on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 9 am-4:30 pm and Friday, Oct. 8 from 9 am-12:30 pm.

Register Now

Contact for ticket reservation and scholarship information.

Kick-Off Event – October 612 - 7 PM

12:30–1:00 pm: Lunch

The Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Lunch Options:

  • Florian Famous Chicken with a Riesling Sour Cream Sauce
  • Vegetarian Lasagna Roll-ups

12:45–1:45 pm: Power Panel

Speaker TBD

Speakers/panelists to be announced.

1:45-2:00 pm: BREAK

Speaker TBD

2:00–4:30 pm: Presentation (topic to be announced)

Stacy Whaley

Topic to be announced.

4:30–7 pm: Happy Hour with Live Music by the Sue Orfield Band

Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Join us for networking and resources at this mixer with live music from the Sue Orfield Band. If it's nice, then we'll be out on the brand-new patio!

Online Conference – OCTOBER 79 AM - 4:30 PM

9 AM - Conducting Pre-employment Background Checks

Mindy Dale

Properly conducted background checks are an important part of building a strong team, especially if it’s your first hire. What are the “dos and don’ts” when conducting a background check to avoid costly legal mistakes? What are your legal obligations if you hire a third party to conduct the background check for you? This session will provide a valuable overview, and you’ll have a chance to get your questions answered.

9 AM - Employee Engagement Strategies

Nicole Howard

Have you noticed a high turnover rate at your company? Are candidates not as engaged as they used to be? Are you all too familiar with a lack of communication and continued ghosting of candidates? With over 6 years of Recruiting Experience, Nicole Howard, has seen the market's downslide for top talent. Currently in a world of proactive versus reactive recruiting, Nicole has implemented Employee Engagement Strategies at her own company to help retain the best talent. Her current strategies are a relevant force in the workplace. This segment on Employee Engagement will focus on how engaged employees are with their organization as whole. Disengaged employees can be unhappy and unhealthy. These two things can cause attendance issues, low production and the inevitable ghosting of employees. After attending this session, participants will be able to:  Identify ways to Engage Top Talent, Identify ways to Retain Top Talent, and Implement an Employee Engagement Committee

9 AM - Using Social Media Strategically to Achieve Business Results

Linda Pophal

Social media is an obvious communication/marketing tool for businesses of any size, but too many marketers--whether solopreneurs or Fortune 100 professionals--fail to use social media strategically to achieve business goals, or fail to incorporate social media into their overall marketing communication efforts. This session would present a process for incorporating social media and other online channels into an overall strategic marketing communication plan.

10:15 AM - Business Plans & Financials, from a Lender's Perspective

Krista Paulus

Dreaming of starting your own business?
Looking to expand or grow your existing business? Don’t know quite where to start? Together we will take an in depth look at Business Plans and what you need to know to construct a plan that is sure to make any potential business partner or financing partner take notice.

Krista Paulus with Security Financial Bank will outline the mandatory parts of a successful business plan and what your lender and partners really need to know.

10:15 AM - Content Marketing: A No-Cost/Low-Cost Approach to Generating Real Results

Linda Pophal

There's power in digital communications and opportunities to leverage content across various online channels (website, blog, social media, etc.) to generate real results. Bu the options and opportunities can be overwhelming. How to harness the power of content marketing across all of your communication channels efficiently, and effectively! 

10:15 AM Business Brainstorming Roundtable

Colleen Weber

11:30 AM - Breaking Down Google Analytics: Understanding Google Analytics Data and Utilizing it for Marketing Decisions

Erin Trowbridge

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful marketing analytics tools available - and it is free! With this invaluable tool you can transform your marketing decisions and glean insights from the vast amount of data available. This is a great course to learn the basics of Google Analytics and provide you with the skills to make quality, data-based marketing decisions.

You will learn how to:

  • Navigate and evaluate Google Analytics reports
  • Create Goals and Key Performance Indicators and know why they are important
  • Create URL parameters to track marketing promotions

11:30 AM - Small Business Record Keeping and Tips to Help with Taxes

Amy Vik

One of the most difficult tasks a business owner has is record keeping and book work. We will be looking at some of the most common record keeping items and how to keep track of them. What do you do when the receipt fades?

1:00 PM - Continuous Improvement for the Rest of Us

Katie Labedz

This session is for anyone that has a burning desire to improve a situation or a process. It's for someone that wants a few extra minutes (or even hours) in their day, but just can't figure out where to start.  The session is  for anyone that wants to save time and money, but is missing some tools in their toolbox to get the job done. 

It's for In this session you will learn:
•    You can improve ANY process if you put your mind to it
•    Where to start when you want to make things better
•    3 key concepts that can help you be successful

1:00 PM - Online Reviews & Reputation Management: What Are People Saying About YOUR Business?

Jim Zons

Did you know that 91% of individuals looking for local businesses read online reviews ... and most consumers look at two or more review sites before making a decision? 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation ... what are they seeing when they look at your online reviews? In this session, we will examine some tips and strategies for improving your online reviews and reputation, including how to handle a bad review of your business.

1:00 PM - Succeeding in Male Dominated Industries

WPI & State

Learn how to compete and win local, state and federal government contracts as a woman-owned, minority-owned, and/or veteran-owned small business.

2:15 PM - Child Care Roundtable

Amelia Wenzel and Sara Thurston

2:15 PM - Generations in the Workplace

Angela Eckman

The presence of four generations in the workforce provides organizations with opportunities and challenges. Participants in this interactive session will engage in dialogue designed to increase awareness of generational priorities and influences, explore how communication and work styles may reflect generational differences, and develop strategies to strengthen inter-generational organizations.

3:30 PM - Funding Your Business Start and Expansion

Tammie Clendenning

Learn about the resources available locally and through the Small Business Administration to help small businesses start, grow, expand and recover. Services include funding options, government procurement programs, business advising, disaster recovery and online assistance. 

3:30 PM - The 5 Pillars to Creating and Sustaining Success as an Entrepreneur

Katia Rave

How would you feel waking up each morning confident, having a calendar full of clients, and being well-respected in your community? This workshop/presentation will help business owners who are struggling to pay their bills to boost their bottom line, get more clients. By the end of this workshop participants will have the mindset and tools to unlock more leads, raise their income, and feel a greater sense of accomplishment.

Online Conference – OCTOBER 89 AM - 12:30 PM

9 AM - Fear vs. Belief in Effective Decision Making: How to manage fear to prevent self-sabotage, and make better decisions for you and your business

Beth Crowell

Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how fear plays a role in decision making by turning into self-sabotage, and why managing fear is crucial as an entrepreneur, as starting a business is riddled with risk. They will learn how to identify when a decision is being influenced by fear, and strategies to base their decisions on belief instead of fear. They will learn how to use use fear to their benefit, with the underlying foundation of belief in themselves and their business to support these real world strategies. These strategies include creating routines and anchors, building a strong support system, focusing on steps instead of end goals, and training their brains (mindfulness).

9 AM - Food Industry Roundtable

Colleen Weber

Calling all foodies! Join the conversation with two experienced chefs sharing their obstacles and successes journeying through the ranks in the male dominated food industry.

10:15 AM - Applying Design Thinking to Personal and Professional Decision-Making

Holly Anne Burns

Design thinking is not a new problem-solving approach, but it has become much more popular over the last ten years. It is an innovative approach useful to any industry, not just the design world. But what is it exactly? How does it work? How can you apply it to your personal and professional projects to get better results? I will share real-world case studies on how to use design thinking. For example, getting my career back on track after I was laid off at five months pregnant, working on projects with my team, and examples of companies having successfully employed design thinking. These studies will give you the opportunity to experience the five modes of the human-centered design thinking cycle.

10:15 AM - Growing Your Own – Developing Your Top Talent

Tina Nazier

The labor and workforce shortage is something we are all painfully aware of.  The baby boomers are moving on to their retirement years and we are all scrambling for the same talent to fill critical leadership and other positions within our organizations.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a rich source of talent readily available to fill your critical roles?  This session helps you unlock the secrets to growing your own leaders.

This session is designed to:

  • Inventory and assess your talent pool
  • Develop impactful, engaging career paths for your employees
  • Identify your next leaders and provide them with an inspiring future that allows them to follow their passions

10:15 AM - Public Speaking: Simple tips to turn it from a nightmare into a dream

Beverly Wickstrom

We will discuss speech writing and presentation skills to help participants look and feel more confident when giving a public speech.

11:30 AM - Sales & Selling

Deanna Dennison

Learn strategic planning techniques to reduce the sales funnel process.

This event brought to you by Western Wisconsin Women’s Business Center, a program of the Western Dairyland Community Action Agency.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Agreements for persons with disabilities will be made at all times in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and associated amendments. Arrangements for persons with special needs will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. This institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals.

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