On June 23-25, Women in Automotive (WIA) held its 5th Annual Summer Conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL.
According to WIA Founding Board Member Jody DeVere, “The event went well and exceeded our expectations. Many said they enjoyed the speakers, location and sponsors. It was an educational event with great networking opportunities and some fun too.”
These conferences are designed to teach and inspire females in the automotive industry and we do this though breakout sessions and hands-on workshops, DeVere said.
“Our mission is assisting the automotive community in recruiting, retaining and developing female employees and leaders,” she added.
Beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, WIA offered pre-conference events for early attendees, including topical networking table sessions and three free-form interactive workshop sessions on “Growing You, Growing Your Career,” “Connecting the Generations” and “Male-Dominated to Female Powered.”
The conference officially commenced at 4 p.m. with a welcome from WIA Board Member Joni Stuker and an introduction to event emcees, Eliana Raggio, director of industry relations for Digital Air Strike and Charlie Vogelheim, principal of Vogelheim Ventures. Business and life strategist Gary Coxe’s keynote presentation, “The Power of Transformation,” was followed by a keynote by Julie Kratz, founder of Pivot Point, who discussed the “Top Ten Strategies in Gender Equality and Our Allies.” The first day concluded with a cocktail networking reception.
Day two’s educational offerings began with “Driven – How to Accelerate Your Life and Business,” a keynote outlining how high-performance leaders and organizations deliver extraordinary sales results by creating a culture where people believe what they do matters, presented by Lisa Copeland, CEO/founder of Cars Her Way. Next, Cars.com Vice President of Sales, Heather Johnson, talked about the “Battle of the Sexes: How Women and Men Differ in Their Car Shopping Approach.” She also presented Cars.com’s Innovation and Inspiration Award.
At 10 a.m., attendees chose from four workshops: “In Search of Productive Employees? Internships and Mentoring Programs” with Donna Wagner, professor of Aftermarket Management at Northwood University, “What Women Want” with Digital Airstrike’s Senior Vice President of Product and Operations, Erica Sietsma, “Networking 101” with MEGA LLC CEO Renee Matthews and “Crack the Code” with Matthew Swartz, assistant director at PCS Global.