Eric Swanson Staff Writer email@example.com
Ada’s third annual Women’s Conference will teach participants how to become better employees, improve their parenting skills and learn the art of public speaking, organizers said last week.
“I think the title of our conference says it all,” said Stacey Golightly, small-business coordinator at the Pontotoc Technology Center and one of the conference organizers. “We want to empower women, and we want them to live, laugh and learn.”
The “Empowering Women to Live, Laugh and Learn” conference will take place from 8:15 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center, located on the East Central University campus. The sign-in period runs from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m., and the opening session is at 8:45.
The cost is $55 apiece for people who sign up before Nov. 1, and it increases to $60 after that date. Organizers are encouraging people to sign up in advance by calling Sarah Jane Johnson at the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, 332-2506, or visiting the Chamber’s website at www.adachamber.com.
The event will include breakout sessions on a variety of topics, vendors’ booths and keynote speakers Patty Hendrickson and Rhett Laubach. Hendrickson and Laubach will speak on different topics throughout the day.
The event is designed for business women, but it is open to all women and men, said organizer Becky McKenzie. She said the event will give participants a big city-style experience without forcing them to travel.
“They don’t have to go to Dallas or Oklahoma for something of this magnitude that they can get right here,” she said.
Four years ago, Golightly and McKenzie attended a women’s conference in McAlester. That experience inspired them to organize a similar event in Ada.
“We thought that the city of Ada would support the same thing and that we could put on a really good conference for the business women in Ada,” McKenzie said.
The first conference in 2011 attracted about 125 people. The 2012 conference drew between 175 and 200 people, and organizers expect this year’s event to attract about 300 people based on current registration numbers.
Golightly said this year’s conference offers valuable information for everyone at an affordable price.
“If you want to better yourself in your job, there’s workshops to address that,” she said. “If you want to be a better parent, there’s workshops for that. Laughter is the best medicine, and we have sessions on yoga laughter, a new technique to relieve stress.”