BHSU conference highlights women who lead

BHSULeading Edge Coaching and Development founders Cindy Maher and Carol Gannis will speak at fourth annual women’s Business Conference at BHSU.  (courtesy photo)

submitted by Megan Lipp, SD Center for Enterprise Opportunity

The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) at Black Hills State University will host the fourth annual Women’s Business Conference in Deadwood Friday, Oct. 25.  The conference will be held at The Lodge at Deadwood from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s conference theme, Leading the Way, features Leading Edge Coaching and Development.  Leading Edge founders Cindy Maher and Carol Gannis have nearly 40 years of combined experience in leadership development and education. Their unique style of leadership development includes skills and concepts brought to life through theatre, improvisational comedy, and an infectious brand of humor and enthusiasm.

This signature business event is dedicated to helping women advance in their professional careers by providing cutting-edge topics related to building or strengthening their businesses. According to Helen Merriman, director of the SD CEO, the day-long conference is designed to enhance business skills, improve business acumen, and increase networking opportunities among business women. This year’s topics include three presentations by Leading Edge Coaching and Development: Renewing Energy In A World That Sucks You Dry, Reaching Resonance Through Emotional Intelligence, and Leading Others Forward Through Coaching. The conference will also include a presentation, Employment Laws that Impact Women, by Jane Pfeifle, attorney at Lynn, Jackson, Schultz & Lebrun P.C.

A panel comprised of three area businesswomen, Jamie Gilcrease-Heupel, owner of Lotus Up Espresso; Lezlie Snoozy-Kaitfors, owner of Country Place Senior Living and Comfort Keepers of the Black Hills and Bismarck; and Chenoa Jensen, product development manager of Strider Sports International, Inc., will discuss business challenges and opportunities. The panel will be facilitated by Dr. Priscilla Romkema, dean of College of Business and Natural Sciences at BHSU.

Register online at or by phone at (605) 642-6435.  Early registration ends Friday, Oct. 11 and is $90, which includes lunch, a resource program, and a gift bag. Late registration is $105. The Lodge at Deadwood is offering conference attendees special discount rates.

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