PRESTONSBURG — The 14th annual Big Sandy Women’s Business Symposium will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Wilkinson-Stumbo Convention Center.
The theme of the conference is “The Power of Influence” and will feature two keynote speakers. The morning address will be delivered by Jean Hale, president and CEO of Community Trust Bank, and motivational speaker Martha Lanier will present the afternoon address, “The Power of Influence.”
The cost of the event is $25, which includes all workshops and meals. All women are invited to attend the symposium, presented by Morehead State University’s East Kentucky Small Business Development Center.
Hale exemplifies the opportunities that are available to employees who start with a small company and grow with that company. She has been with Community Trust for 43 years and has participated in the growth of the corporation from $18 million to $3.6 billion in assets. She assumed her current position as president and CEO of Community Trust Bancorp Inc. in 1999 and added the position of chairman of the board in 2005. She also is the chairman of the board of the corporations’ two subsidiaries, Community Trust Bank Inc. and Community Trust and Investment Company.
Hale is active in economic development and education initiatives. Currently, she is chair of the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board and serves on the boards of Commonwealth Seed Capital, ARH Foundation and the University of Pikeville.
Lanier has an unrelenting belief that we are each capable of achieving far more than we think is possible. Whether it is competing in a triathlon or just taking time for ourselves. Participants in her programs are inspired to believe in themselves and achieve extraordinary results.
She honed her expertise while facing her own fears and overcoming one obstacle after another. Once petrified of taking risks, she triumphed over her fear of speaking in front of groups. At 50, she jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and has survived both breast cancer and a heart attack. To celebrate her first anniversary of being cancer free, she competed in the Aflac Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon.
Audiences are intrigued as key points are vividly reinforced through her animated stories. During her career, she climbed the corporate ladder from administrative assistant, through the ranks to vice president, and then to business owner. Based in Atlanta, she travels the country delivering her message of power.
Participants also will have the opportunity to attend their choice of breakout sessions during the conference. Exhibitor displays, networking, lunch, entertainment and door prizes will be available. Workshops will include “Dawkins Rails-to-Trails—Providing Small Business Opportunities” and “Commercial Air Service- Innovative Business Development.”
Entertainment for this year’s symposium will be provided by “Coaltown Dixie.” When the gals of Coaltown Dixie met at a Front Porch Pickin’ event a few years ago something clicked. They quickly worked up a song backstage to perform and by the end of the night everyone thought they were an established band. So…they became one.
Their upbeat material consists of well-written and arranged originals, with some traditional tunes thrown in as well. The Coaltown Dixie gals have opened for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder along with The Lonesome River Band.
Registration, breakfast and exhibits will run from 8:30-9:15 a.m. Welcoming remarks from Emcee Jill Fraley will follow. Hale will begin her morning keynote at 9:30 a.m.
A breakout session will be held from 10:15-11:15 a.m. Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. and entertainment will begin at noon.
The afternoon address by Lanier will begin at 12:45 p.m. The symposium will conclude at 2:30 p.m., following closing remarks and door prize drawings.
This event is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least two weeks in advance.
Additional information and registration is available by calling the East Kentucky Small Business Development Center at 606-788-7272, 606-432-5848, or online at www.moreheadstate.edu/sbdc.