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TODAY INTERVIEW: 10th Annual Women's Business Conference

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TENTH ANNUAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD APRIL 25, 2013

Featuring 90 Exhibitors, 20 Educational Sessions, Keynote Address, Networking Opportunities

The Tenth Annual Women’s Business Conference, presented by the Western Dairyland Women’s Business Center, will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at the Plaza Hotel & Suites in Eau Claire.

The conference is expected to attract more than 500 business owners, aspiring business owners, entrepreneurs and exhibitors from five states. This year’s conference features more than 90 regional exhibitors and 20 educational sessions on business basics, marketing, finance, and current trends in business. One-on-one business counseling will be available throughout the day.

Julie Bollinger, Vice President and Co-Owner of Greener Grass Systems, Inc., will present the welcome address “How Does Your Business Grow?” Over her career, and especially during the past ten years, Bollinger has surpassed many challenges and experienced many changes in her businesses. However, some things have not changed, and she will explain why P.A.T. (Passion, Authenticity and Traction) are necessary to bring great ideas or businesses to the next level. Bollinger is the former Women’s Business Center Manager for the Western Dairyland Community Action Agency, and she co-founded and coordinated the first Women’s Business Conference in 2004.

Dr. Therese Fellner, Director of Business Development at the SC Johnson iMET Center at Gateway Technical College, will present the keynote address “Hindsight is 20/20: Advice for Entrepreneurs that I Wish I Had When Developing a Business Plan.” Dr. Fellner has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University. Dr. Fellner and her husband, Paul, were co-owners of JOJO’s Toys, a specialty toy store in downtown Racine from 2004-2009. She has more than 25 years of experience in higher education and has expertise in group facilitation and evaluation theory and practice.

Conference participants will attend four educational sessions throughout the day and may choose from the following topics:

· Business Plan Basics
Business planning is one of the fundamental elements for creating, operating, and growing your venture. Learn about the fundamental elements of a business plan, the importance of planning, and how to use it as a continual tool for success.

· Your Attitude is Your Business
Attitude affects every aspect of our lives, including both business and personal experiences. Your attitude determines if you will succeed or fail, see opportunity or difficulty. Learn about the powerful effect attitude has on business, relationships, and how it can help or hinder networking efforts.

· Own Your Brand Online
Developing an online brand is an important aspect of business. Don’t let others tell your story for you - take charge! During this session, attendees will learn how to develop a strategy to actively maintain your brand and customer relationships online.

· What’s Your Fraud IQ?
Every organization is susceptible to being the victim of fraud. An important first step is to effectively and efficiently manage those risks and develop a strong anti-fraud culture. Gain a basic understanding of fraud risks, methods for managing them, and how to handle fraud if it occurs.

· Passion Meets Practical – Finding Your Niche
Are you interested in developing your career or business within the art/music industries? This discussion will provide inspiration, troubleshooting, and answers to your questions related to following your passion for the arts.

· Avenues to Success: Public Speaking & Business Communication
Success requires an investment in yourself. Discover tried-and-true methods for finding your voice, crafting eye-catching presentations, and developing interpersonal skills.

· Using Pinterest to Promote Your Business
Pinterest is one of the newer social media platforms and it is growing rapidly. This session will show you how to strategically use Pinterest to promote your business.

· Is a Non-Profit Organization the Right Choice for You?
Many entrepreneurs consider their start-up business idea more suitable to a non-profit organization than a for-profit business. Compare the requirements for each of these models.

· Understanding Tax as a Sole Proprietor
If you have an established business, it’s time to streamline your financial information. We will help you understand your business tax information filed on your schedule C. Learn tips to alleviate end-of-the-year frustrations.

· Encore Entrepreneurs
If you are ready to turn your hobby or interest into a business, you need to consider many details. This session will outline an approach that assesses how to proceed in following your dreams and setting up a plan for success.

· Unlocking the Mysteries of Insurance
Insurance is an integral part of our lives. What can you expect from your insurance and financial professional? Why use a local agent when you can buy online? And how do you know if you have adequate coverage? Learn how to discover the truth and make informed buying decisions.

· Marketing with the End in Mind: A Step-by-Step Approach
A marketing plan is a key tool to help businesses spend their marketing dollars wisely. The marketing goal? Spend the least to get the most. We will provide a step-by-step approach for marketing with the end in mind and give tips on how to identify, access, and influence target markets.

· Work-Life Balance
Learn how highly effective people accomplish more, have a reputation as a “go-to person,” and experience more of a work-life balance. This session will help you develop tools that help you achieve better time management and a process that can be implemented immediately.

· Lifecycles of Your Business: Growing, Protecting, and Exiting Your Business
This session will provide helpful hints for growing your business. We will also identify “alligators” that can derail your plans, what to do about them, and how to exit your business in style.

· Food Industry Roundtable
The food industry is heavily regulated. Whether you are canning jam, selling at a farmer’s market, or opening a restaurant, you will benefit from this roundtable discussion. Learn from area professionals that have experience in this challenging industry.

· Mind Over Matter
Everyone needs to make conscious and well-informed decisions about our health. Our thoughts, actions, and reactions are connected to our body responses from the inside out! Learn how you can break free from your overscheduled routine and balance your life by getting back to the basics.

· Grow Your Business with Facebook
Over one billion people like and comment an average of 3.2 billion times every day. Your prospects are on Facebook, and you should be, too! Learn how to optimize your Facebook presence, promote your business page, generate leads, increase your engagement, and time saving tips.

· Creating Job Descriptions and Employee Handbooks
This session will focus on the benefits of creating job descriptions and employee handbooks, and the legal risks if they are completed incorrectly. Topics will include essential elements of job descriptions and a sample employee handbook will be provided as a starting point for your business.

· Funding Panel Discussion
Learn where and how to find funding sources for your small business start-up or expansion. Learn about traditional lenders, community-based revolving loan funds, grants, and contest awards.

· Opportunities for Disadvantaged Businesses
Businesses that are veteran-owned, woman-owned, minority-owned or owned by a person with disabilities may qualify for specific opportunities when competing for federal contracts. Learn about these opportunities.

The 2013 Women’s Business Conference is presented by the non-profit Western Dairyland Community Action Agency and the Western Dairyland Women’s Business Center, which is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The conference is sponsored by more than 40 businesses and organizations, including ClearChannel Radio, WQOW TV-18, the Leader-Telegram, The Plaza Hotel & Suites, Queen of the Castle Magazine, Squawk Box Marketing and Molly Marie Photography.

Registration for the full day is $39 per person before April 1, $59 after April 1. Partial scholarships are available for students and income-eligible individuals. For more information or to register, call 715-836-7511, ext. 171 or visit www.WomensBusinessConference.com.


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