The 35th annual Springfield-Clark County Armed Forces Day luncheon featured Cassie Barlow, executive director, WSU Aerospace Professional Development Center and colonel, USAF retired and past Wright-Patterson Air Force Base commander, talks about honor, commitment and courage of men and women in the armed forces on Monday. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF
Photo: Jeff Guerini
Photo: Jeff Guerini

Conference aims to inspire Dayton women to lead

Dayton-area women will have an opportunity this week to develop their leadership and business skills as they learn from women leaders in the business community.

The Better Business Bureau serving the Dayton region is celebrating its 10th year of hosting the Women in Business Networking annual Leadership Conference celebrates its 10th year —a two-day event focused on leadership and bolstering professional relationships between women.

The conference, hosted on Sept. 19 and 20 at the Dayton Convention Center, will give attendees the opportunity to learn about powerful business strategies and personal development concepts. Some breakout sessions include: Strategies to Advance Professionally, Defining Your Leadership Legacy, Manage Your Money: Communication and Capital, Connecting Through Content, and others.

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Melissa Cutcher, BBB’s vice president of leadership and development, said the conference allows women to take a minute to pause during their busy schedule and focus on themselves. The conference gives women time to reflect on their careers, professional strengths and what they want in the future.

“We are excited to present this outstanding lineup of speakers for the 10th anniversary of the WiBN Leadership Conference,” Cutcher said. “This year’s speakers will offer their insights and experience, as well as actionable solutions on the key issues facing women in the workforce today.”

The group of speakers includes renowned keynote speaker and YouTube star Michelle Poler; Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley; President and CEO of Dayton YWCA Shannon Isom; CEO of Boost Technologies Anita Emoff; and others.

Isom will speak about leadership legacy, asking attendees to think about what they want their legacy to be. How often do you think about your legacy? What will you leave behind for the organization and the people you serve? Panelists, including Isom, will talk about how their mentors left their legacy and how women should lift up other women around them.

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“I am committed to leading through servant leadership, focused on meeting people where they stand, listening for what is needed, and honoring with truth,” she said. “I help women by creating spaces, providing platforms, and inviting women to the table, and with that invite, challenging them to change the narrative.”

She leads an organization dedicated to empowering women and eliminating barriers — like racial inequities — that stand in the way of their success. She is particularly passionate about ensuring women from marginalized groups receive support they need to become leaders, she said.

“It is imperative for leadership to reflect the impact we want to see; women of color, as all women, have contributed to the fabric of our past, our present, and our future, and we need to ensure a full diaspora of voices and perspectives is heard,” she said.

The full lineup of speakers and ticket information can be found at


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