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Student-run L.E.A.D. conference set for March 31

Mar 4, 2022
Eight people stand in two lines
Eight people stand in two lines

KOKOMO, Ind. – For Ginger Slisher and other members of Indiana University Kokomo’s Women in Business (WIB) club, much of the learning at their upcoming conference takes place well before it starts.

As they plan the Learn. Empower. Achieve. Dream. (L.E.A.D.) conference, set for Thursday, March 31, they are learning about budgeting, reserving venues, social media marketing, choosing and inviting speakers, and many more skills not necessarily learned in the classroom.

“There’s a lot that goes into it,” said Slisher, the organization’s president. “We’re learning how to work as a team, to draw on one another’s strengths, to manage volunteers, and research topics that will be of interest to our audience, and then find speakers with expertise in those areas.”

The free conference is open to the campus community and the general public. Slisher noted that although the organization is Women in Business, the conference is not gender-specific, and welcomes anyone who wants to attend.

“It’s a great opportunity to hear from incredible speakers, and also be able to network with students, faculty, staff, and community members who could be their employers someday,” said Slisher, a senior from Fulton.

“It’s a chance to connect with other people, and see what kinds of possibilities are out there.”

Faculty sponsor Gloria Preece, assistant professor of personal financial management and marketing, said the event is unique because it is planned and hosted by students.

“This high-impact event prepares our student organization leaders and members for success by providing them with the experience and engagement needed to deepen their learning,” she said. “Student participants gain a better understanding for how extracurricular activities can supplement their learning as they develop strategies for success.”

Check in begins at 8 a.m. in the Kelley Student Center, 2300 S. Washington St., Kokomo, with breakfast available.

The conference kicks off at 9 a.m. with keynote speaker Cindy Solomon, founder of Cindy Solomon Associates, whose expertise is in courageous leadership.

From 10:15 a.m. to noon, attendees may choose from breakout sessions with topics including leadership, career advice, and negotiations at work.

Lunch will be provided at noon, with opportunities for networking, and also a fashion show from the Cougar Closet, which WIB and the student marketing organization opened in October to provide free business professional clothing for students who need it.

The conference wraps up with additional breakout sessions from 1 to 3 p.m., with topics including confidence, careers, and personal branding.

Registration is free, but seats are limited. Register at

The conference is supported by IU Kokomo Student Life and the School of Business, as well as grants from IU Kokomo’s Women of the Well House, IU’s Regional Economic Development (RED) Fund, and NIPSCO.

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