University to host women’s leadership conference

Photo courtesy of Racer Nation Information

Story by Alicia Steele, Assistant News Editor

Murray State will host the Leadership Launch Women’s Lunch on Feb. 22, including the annual Town and Gown Breakfast and the Celebrate Women Luncheon.

“The great thing about this leadership lunch is it’s a compact, one-day conference that can appeal to all those audiences, whether you’re interested in pursuing a business career or you’re interested in pursuing civic volunteerism or just leading your home the best you can,” said Melanie Brooks, previous coordinator of the event.

She said Lana Porter, Murray State alumna and board chair of Leadership Women of America, through her loyalty to Murray State, was able to help bring the conference to campus.

“It’s not something every university is able to do,” Brooks said. “But it fits so perfectly with what we were hoping to do on campus.”

She said the agenda planned for the day will focus on work-life balance, leadership development, multigenerational workplace and mentoring.

According to a draft of the agenda for the day, speakers include but are not limited to:

  • President Bob Davies: Welcome to Murray State
  • Linda Crompton, president and CEO of Leadership Women: Breakfast keynote speaker
  • Cate Loes, assistant professor of management at Belmont University and independent business consultant: Create workplace synergy through generational differences
  • Laura Douglas, vice president, corporate responsibility and community affairs, LG&E and KU: Taking risks as a leader
  • Michelle Bundren, director of membership development at the Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce: Leadership launch – Making an impact
  • Lillie Brock, co-founder, author, speaker, coach, “The Change Cycle”: Letting go of holding on.

“It’s going to cover a lot of ground,” Brooks said.

The conference is open to all Murray community members, Murray State faculty and staff and any students who wish to attend.

“Students are more than invited,” Brooks said. “Having students at the table will be really important.”

Carol Brunn, current coordinator, said the first time she attended the event she thought about how she wished more students had attended the event because they could have gotten a lot out of it.

Brooks said a major component of the conference is its partnership with the Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce, which serves as a sponsor of the event.

Michelle Bundren, director of membership development for the chamber, said she was able to attend the event last year as a member of the Young Professionals of Murray group.

“Knowing the quality of speakers and professional development topics presented, it was really a no brainer for the chamber to get involved,” Bundren said.

She said the chamber wants to be an advocate for uniting the business community, specifically to tackle local issues.

“If we can partner to help women in business grow professionally and develop as a leader, they can take these skills back to their workplace and become better employees,” Bundren said. “We also want to make sure our local business community has easy and affordable access to such great training and leadership experiences without having to travel to larger cities.”

Anyone interested in attending the conference can register online for a $99 registration fee for the full day or $15 for the Celebrate Women Luncheon only.