The Women Entrepreneurs Conference

Women Entrepreneurs Conference

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The Women Entrepreneurs Conference
Friday & Saturday, March 17 & 18 Haymarket Marriott Courtyard

Do you empower women and inspire girls? Do you support women-led or owned business? If you answered YES to either of those questions, then you should definitely attend! The WE Initiative's mission is to empower women entrepreneurs to be catalysts of change in Rural America. In addition to our mission of education and empowerment, we are committed to gathering a mentor network of inspiring women leaders who can guide young entrepreneurs in business and social-good initiatives in communities across rural America. WE is a community where women will support and fund women entrepreneurs. You will get the opportunity to interact with some distinguished entrepreneurs and meet like-minded women in business.

$40 fee for general public, $20 for students, includes Reception Friday and Continental Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks Saturday

General Registeration Online | Student Registration with Michelle

Questions? Contact

Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild
Keynote Speaker - Friday 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild currently serves as the Associate Executive Director for the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska. The Rural Futures Institute is dedicated to becoming an internationally recognized leader for increasing community capacity as well as the confidence of rural people to address their challenges and opportunities, resulting in resilient and sustainable rural futures. Prior to her role with the Rural Futures Institute, Dr. Connie spent nine years as Unit Leader and Extension Educator at the Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City and ten years in the Department of Entomology at UNL.

She is also a married mompreneur, futurist, Author of two books: Go Wild with Confidence! and Blue the Bee Learns to be Happy. Dr. Connie authors the blog, and is a Firewalker, Mini Wiener Dog Lover and 80’s Hair Band Fanatic!

Connect with Dr. Connie (@AskDrConnie) on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Connie Reimers-Hild

Jeanne Bernick
Speaker - Saturday 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Jeanne Bernick is an ag consultant and business specialist for national accounting and finance firm K·Coe Isom. Jeanne matches the needs of large commercial producers with K·Coe Isom’s talent and tools, facilitating healthy, growing farm operations that are sustainable for generations to come. She offers a depth of industry insights and works alongside producers to zero-in on solutions to keep ag operations thriving. Prior to joining K·Coe Isom, Jeanne spent 20 years as an editor with Farm Journal Media, developing long-standing relationships with large commercial ag producers and their families. Over her distinguished career, Jeanne became one of the top editors in ag media, growing Top Producer magazine into a leading industry brand and creating authoritative coverage on key aspects of agriculture. Jeanne established a national women’s ag business conference that provides a community for women to find resources and network with like-minded business owners. She also helped create the Top Producer Executive Network™ (TPEN), the first, national, peer-to- peer network for ag producers. TPEN gives farmers opportunities to consult with one another on business ideas, share financials, and help each other grow based on real-world experience.

See more at: Visit her “Boots and Biz” website designed to support women in agriculture at: Follow her on Twitter at: @AgBizChamp.

Jeanne Bernick

Beth McKeon
Speaker - Saturday 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Beth McKeon is an entrepreneur, adventurer, and creative person. She likes to solve problems and find streamlined systems to make work run smoothly. As a startup founder, she has learned to code, design and run sales & marketing experiments. Now, she leads a small team and is in her element as Program Director, armed with zillion sticky notes and a plan for moving as fast as the team possibly can. With her startup, Kids Calendar, Beth participated in the first cohort of the Iowa Startup Accelerator in Cedar Rapids in 2014. Recently, Kids Calendar was named 2016 Kansas Emerging Business of the Year by the Kansas Legislature.

Beth McKeon

Rena Striegel
Speaker - Saturday 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Rena Striegel is an internationally recognized business coach and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working directly with farmers, ag leaders, senior executives and entrepreneurs to identify and implement strategies that create growth and profitability.  In her role with Transition Point Business advisors, she leads client projects in the areas of succession and continuity planning, strategic planning and employee/leadership development. A majority of her current clients are large family owned farm operations and agribusinesses located throughout the lower 48 states. In addition to working with family owned farms and businesses, she has worked with management teams of international organizations like Business Network International (BNI), Xerox, Project Management Institute, Northwestern Mutual, United Way, Magna Corporation and many others to improve their overall performance through clear executable strategies and higher employee contribution. Rena co-authored the bestselling book, Building the Ultimate Network, in 2011. Her practical and often humorous approach to leadership makes her a sought after keynote speaker at conferences focused on innovation and building peak performance organizations. Rena grew up on a dairy and hog farm in What Cheer, Iowa. She is a Professional EOS Implementer as well as a certified business coach and holds an MBA from the University of Iowa.

Rena Striegel

Rita Rocker
Speaker - Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Rita Rocker is an international published author, life-transforming inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and career consultant with Transformation Academy, LLC. She inspires individuals to rise and go forward by providing powerful techniques for victorious personal and professional life makeovers. Clients include teens, adult men and women, and the elderly. She works with individuals, professional organizations, corporations, youth programs, and at conferences and retreats. Rita has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. Her professional background also includes corporate training, human resources and non-technical project management. She is a former Mrs. Nebraska and Mrs. America contestant (whose husband died during her term from cancer), and on the international board for Professional Woman Network.

On a personal note, Rita's passion to transform lives comes from climbing out of her own deep pit of very low self-worth, domestic violence with physical/mental/emotional abuse, self-sabotaging behavior through fear of failure and rejection, emotional eating, care giving, personal loss, and self-destructive relationships. Rita understands what it is like being stricken with several health issues and eight surgeries in two years including a brain tumor, jaw bone tumor and Meniere’s disease. She is very authentic and transparent while filling her clients, audiences and readers with hope, help, humor and heart!

Rita is the author of Hope at the End of Your Rope: Steps to Rebuild Your Life and Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success.

Connect with Rita on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Rita Rocker

Andrew Uden & Carrie Derner
Speakers - Saturday 12:45 - 1:30 p.m.

Andrew Uden is Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder at Quantified Ag, an Ag Tech company from Lincoln, Nebraska. He currently works on formation of strategic partnerships, product development, and financing. While growing up on a large cattle feeding and cow/calf operation started by his father in central Nebraska, he participated in the growth of the business. He received his bachelors in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska, where he also received a master’s of Applied Science degree focused on Strategic Investment into African Livestock Value Chains. Andrew also worked extensively up and down the beef value chain in the US along with experience in Russia, Australia, and east Africa. While pursuing his masters, Andrew worked with consulting groups active across the African continent. He brings a wealth of agriculture production experience and business acumen to projects that have normally gone to NGOs and governments.

Andrew Uden

Carrie brings a degree in biology, extensive experience in conference and workshop facilitation, and her time as a high school science teacher to Vivayic. She works on education outreach projects and contributes to the learning design for health and life science-related projects. Additionally, Carrie is the steward of Vivayic’s community outreach and team engagement efforts. As a Washington State alumnus, Carrie waves the flag proudly for the Cougs, even though she lives in the heart of Husker territory, Lincoln, Nebraska, with husband, Seth, and son, Rece. When not working or working out, you’ll find her volunteering for the local YMCA, taking on sewing projects, connecting with close friends, or pinning items for her Pinterest boards—but only a few carefully considered items, of course.

Carrie Derner

Shelley Callahan
Speaker - Saturday 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Shelley Callahan is a UNL alumni with degrees in psychology and political science. She did her graduate work in Omaha at UNO and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling. She worked as a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and Cognitive Therapist in Brain Injury Rehabilitation for 7 years in Omaha before starting her own business as a Spa and Image Consultant. For the past 15 years Shelley has developed men and women as she grew her business. Her motto is; be as beautiful on the inside as the outside. Shelley is the mother of 2 young boys and they are her first priority. Shelley’s company Honest Image helps people be their best both inside and out. She is currently writing a book on the journey to find the Most Authentic Self. Her passion in life is to shine bright by polishing others.

Shelley Callahan

Panel of Women Entrepreneurs
Saturday 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Alissa Welker

My interest lies in the intersectionality between agricultural systems spanning from small scale and alternative production to large scale row crop agriculture. Growing up in the midwest, partnered with studying Environmental Science at Villanova University provided me with a unique view of the issues we face in our food and ag sector. I spent the last two years of my undergraduate career working on a thesis project in which I interviewed different stakeholders in the agriculture industry about their viewpoints on sustainable agriculture. After graduating in May of 2016 I made the move to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to work for Farmers Business Network. I look forward to continuing my career working to innovate and increase collaboration amongst stakeholders in the food and agriculture industry.

Alyssa Welker

Haley Harthoorn

Haley Harthoorn grew up on a diversified family farm and cattle ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015 with a degree in agricultural economics, where she was a member of the second class of the Engler Entrepreneurship Program. Haley started her career as a district sales manager for a seed company, working in both Nebraska and Iowa. Haley has now joined Farmer's Business Network, a fast growing ag technology company that works to create price transparency and alternative data management tools for the modern farmer. She is passionate about valuing people, living with purpose, and seeking innovative ways to create value.

Haley Harthoorn

Amber Burenheide

Amber Bruenheide

Haylie Anderjaska

A graduate of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Haylie was a member of the distinguished Engler Entrepreneurship program. She first connected with Vivayic as part of our internship program. We quickly learned that this girl wasn’t a typical intern and we were lucky enough to snag her talent. Haylie brings energy, smiles and her love for learning to the Vivayic team. She has become a master project manager. Combine all that with her ability to focus on the larger picture goals of a project, and it’s pretty easy to see why she is quickly becoming a client favorite. Haylie grew up in north central Nebraska with six older brothers and a younger sister. She and her husband Will have settled in her hometown of Butte, Nebraska, where they love to spend time working with family on the family farm and vineyard.

Haylie Anderjaska
Conference Agenda
Friday, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Welcome and Evening Keynote
"Go Wild with Confidence! Strengthen your Inner Leader and Live your Best Life with Purpose, Passion, and Fun!"
Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, speaker, author and Associate Executive Director for the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
Friday, 4:00 p.m. Networking Reception
Saturday 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Check-In and Registration
8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Morning Kickoff! 10 Habits of Successful Women
Jeanne Bernick, Author and Business Consultant, KCoe Isom
Get to know the key habits that can help you manifest success in your business and life, particularly for women working in agribusiness or in rural America
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Finance Skills in a Start Up Business
Beth McKeon, Managing Director, nMotion, Business Accelerator
Do you know what you need to get your business funded? McKeon will discuss key concepts for preparing your start-up to gain capital.
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Assuring Impact and Dealing with the Voices in Your Head
Rena Striegel, President, Transition Point Business Advisors
Women need to learn to embrace being “the surprise in the room, because surprises get a lot of visibility”, says Striegel. She will discuss women as professionals and dealing with your inner monologue, as well as knowing what you are worth, both financially and emotionally.
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Professional Protocol and the Image of Success
Rita Rocker, Executive Coach, Transformation Academy, LLC
Our outward appearance, demeanor and ability to communicate directly affect our on and off-the-job performance. Enjoy this one-hour interactive program which includes:
  • Social graces: Conversation tips, introductions and mingling, male/female roles, and confident networking skills.
  • Non-verbal signals: Become more aware of those silent messages that form lasting impressions.
  • Dining etiquette and impressive introductions: Gain the competitive edge.
  • Outer appearance: Establishing an outstanding appearance within your budget.
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Lunch
12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Highs and Lows of Start Ups

Andrew Uden, Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Quantified Ag; Carrier Derner, Director and Head-Community Outreach, Vivayic, Inc.                 

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Sell Your Stuff!
Shelley Callahan, Entrepreneur, M.A., Executive Director BeautiControl
Whether it’s helping women to look and feel their best or empowering them to control their lives through an income opportunity, Callahan is thrilled to be making a difference in her community. She will teach attendees how to uncover the motivation to direct sell business ideas and products!
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Lessons from the Field: Panel of Women Entrepreneurs
Moderator: Jordyn Bader, Grainbridge
Panelists (Subject to Change):
  • Amber Burenheide, ABChickens
  • Haylie Anderjaska, Master Project Manager, Vivayic, Inc.
  • Haley Harthoorn, Sales Development Rep, FBN
  • Alissa Welker, Sales Development Team Lead, FBN

The Women Entrepreneurs Conference Sponsors

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