Catching Up on Conference

By: Simone Siew || 2/28/17

On February 17th and 18th, Women in Business hosted another successful Conference with the theme React to Passion. We had the amazing opportunity to hear from a multitude of acclaimed women speak openly about their passions and how they kept the spark alive in their passions throughout their careers.

The weekend began with an elegant night at the museum, hosted at the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art. With talented Jacobs School of Music musicians playing in the background, we snacked on hors d’oeuvres, drank fizzy mocktails, and expanded our cultural knowledge by exploring the Western and African art galleries. After taking some time to absorb the exquisite setting, we had the chance to hear from Katherine Crowley and Molly Longest, two cofounders of the college women aimed website The Lala. They spoke to us about their entrepreneurial journey; from starting their website in college, to living in their parents’ basements, to now being headquartered in New York City. Their invigorating presentation about how they successfully forged their own path reminds us that we too have the power to shape our own lives without assuming the rigid paths of people before us.

The second day of Conference began bright and early with Dean Idie Kesner sharing her personal story of how she came to be where she is now. Unfortunately, like the stories of many women, sexism was a factor in her journey. Dean Kesner’s mom even warned her that being too educated could be a bad thing. When Dean Kesner wanted to get her doctoral degree, her mom, who only wanted the best for her, warned her that no man would ever want to marry a woman that educated. Nevertheless, she persisted. Rightly so because now she is our well acclaimed dean who shows women everywhere that we too can have a seat at the table.

The day continued with corporate sponsor roundtables, a round of Women in Business themed jeopardy, a touching video made by our abroad girls sending us their wishes, and a Q&A panel with some local business people and faculty. Some other highlights from this Conference were Kristen Actis-Grande’s talk on the passion/purpose cycle and our keynote speaker Tiffany Olson, President of Cardinal Health’s Nuclear Pharmacy Services. Actis-Grande spoke about how her purpose fuels her passions, and for that reason, her position as Vice President of Finance with Ingersoll Rand seamlessly combines all her passions. Finance, equality for women, and LGBT rights are the three things she cares most deeply for, and her career allows her the opportunity to work on them. Olson gave her speech about how she always knew she wanted to be a business woman. When she was a little girl, other kids wanted to play house, but Olson wanted to play store. Her wishes came true, and now she is a leader in the radioactive pharmaceutical industry.

Conference 2017 was an enormous success, and we thank all who made this incredible weekend possible! Thank you to our corporate sponsors, our guest speakers, our photographer Allison Gray, and our remarkable Conference committee.

Check out these photos from Conference 2017 below, and take a look at Allison Gray’s full Conference portfolio here.