Women's Leadership Symposium inspires, celebrates

Women's Leadership Symposium inspires, celebrates April 13, 2017

Over 500 attendees at the third-annual event encouraged to embrace what makes them amazing.

“Know your purpose and walk with principle and passion and use it in service to others,” the “Amazing” Tei Street said in her morning keynote address at the third-annual Women’s Leadership Symposium at the InterContintential Hotel.

The founder of StreetTalk, a national motivational speaking, training and educational consulting company based in the Columbus, she challenged symposium attendees to embrace their value and forge boldly into what lay ahead.

“Your past is not your destiny. It’s your history. The future is your destination.”

Street kicked off this year’s day-long event – one that is quickly gaining a following among our alumnae, as well as in the Greater Cleveland communities – that included 10 engaging panel discussions and five breakout sessions covering everything from entrepreneurship and written communications to organizing and the arts. New this year – and highly received – were five “3 in 30” sprint classes in which speakers provided three key takeaways in 30 minutes.

The symposium’s nearly 70 presenters, as well as over 500 attendees, represented a breadth and depth of talent ranging from politicians, scientists and corporate CEOs to bloggers, models and students, who shared not only their triumphs, but also their struggles and tips to breakthrough.

Diana Keough, founder of ShareWIK Media, what is now a multi-milltion dollar digital content platform, was forthright about her experiences as a business owner.

“Entrepreneurship is hard.  Sometimes you’re up at 2:00 a.m., worried about how you’re going to make payroll,” she said in an afternoon breakout presentation.

When facing career hardships, doubts and obstacles, Gina Vernaci, executive director for Playhouse Square, admitted: “My greatest challenge is me,” noting that she’s surprised herself on more than one occasion.

Buffy Filippell, one of the nation’s first female sports agents known as the “Godmother of Sports Management” delivered the day’s lunch keynote address about how Title IX shaped the trajectory of her career.

The legislation enacted in 1972 helped paved the way for greater access and participation in women’s sports, but Filippell shared how she was not spared from the sting of rejection.

TeamWork Online, the first recruiting company to focus on sports executive recruiting, was borne from that unjust exclusion and continues today to open door and provide access into the sport management industry, what can be, at times, an extremely difficult field to enter.

Attendees left the day’s event awash in courage, enlightened, entertained, informed, inspired and empowered.

“I was only able to stay for the morning portion of the Women's Leadership Symposium at CSU, but it was by far one of the most amazing events I have been to,” Arnita Faith Marn said.

“I feel inspired, uplifted, and encouraged to run after my dreams!!”

Attendee Wendy Faircloth’s remarks on Twitter echo what many others had to say during the day as well.

“Had the privilege of attending the Women’s Symposium.” Inspiring, strong, amazing women. #WLS2017 has ignited a spark in me!”

The Women’s Leadership Symposum was co-sponsored by the CSU’s Alumni Association and Division of Student Affairs.

Click here for photos from the event.