By Melissa Summerfield
More than 200 women from across North America converged on Detroit for a Women’s Leadership Conference offering two days of learning, networking, and career development.
A combination of general and breakout sessions gave attendees the opportunity to enjoy interactive engagement as well as lots of time for meeting and mingling.
The conference, a joint effort between the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA), featured speakers from within the aftermarket, as well as outside the industry.
Kicking off the event was Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO of Rebel Nell, a company committed to helping victims of domestic violence build new lives, by taking graffiti and turning it into beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Her key message was how to define your vision and design a strategy to learn from it.
A panel including Todd Campau (IHS Marketing), Kirsten Zaremba (senior director marketing for the Auto Care Association) and Linda Donnini (VP of member Relations for AIA) shared their insights in an industry briefing.
Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, shared lessons he’s learned along his career, including that change is both constant and challenging. He encouraged attendees to “create your culture,” “treat your brand like a family name,” and “don’t be afraid to step up and to ask for help when you need it.”
Judi Holler offered an inspiring presentation encouraging everyone to choose courage over comfort, while learning to “fear fear less!”
Later break-out sessions, included more workshops with Judi Holler, Adam Frye (director of business innovation for WeTech Alliance) and Melissa Marshall, founder of Present Your Science.
Other sessions were offered on:
* top apps to improve your productivity
* transforming slide design for dynamic delivery in presentations
* lessons from the winner of the Woman of Excellence Award.
A final panel of industry experts wrapped up the event, talking about the technician shortage and how the industry is addressing this challenge.
Moderated by Donna Wagner, associate professor at Northwood University, the panel members were Jennifer Holland, director of marketing Automotive Service Excellence; Tina Smith, director of National Partnerships for TechForce Foundation; and Nour Hachem-Fawaz of Build a Dream. They shared thoughts and strategies on ways to recruit more technicians and especially females, into the industry.
Mixed in with these amazing educational sessions were great opportunities for networking at breakfast, lunches, breaks and a fabulous reception in the GM Centre! The event was exciting and uplifting, and demonstrates how powerful a force women can be in the Automotive industry.
Enjoy our gallery of photos:
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