Leadership Conference Was Inspiring

Criterion | Community

Leadership Conference Was Inspiring


This year, The Women’s Center 34th Annual Leadership Conference took place virtually, due to the pandemic. The organizers took advantage of the virtual setting by offering a series of pre-conference sessions over the weeks leading up to the main event, which took place Monday, June 8. We shared our notes on these sessions: Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, and Session 4.

The main event brought together a group of amazing women, all leaders who shared their stories and advice. Keynote speakers included:

  • Admiral Michelle Howard, a former United States Navy officer and the first woman to become a 4-star admiral.
  • Ceci Connolly, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), the trade association for high-quality, nonprofit, and community health plans.

There were two panels, taking the form of moderated conversations among groups of strong, inspirational leaders.

  • Writing Your Own Stories – Pathway to Leadership: Patrice D’Eramo (Facilitator); Kathy Albarado, CEO, Helios HR; Kristen Meinzer, Renowned Podcast Host and Author; Rose Previte, Owner Rose Compass and Maydan Restaurants.
  • Conversations with Inspirational Leaders: Becky Shambaugh (Facilitator); Bec Heinrich, Washington DC Greenhouse Leader, Deloitte; Lori Creasy, Senior Vice President & Corporate Controller, Washington Nationals & Lerner, Inc.; Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman, APCO Worldwide.

Several Criterion employees participated in the event, and they all felt it was wonderful.

  • “It was amazing! Thanks again for the invite. I’m glad it was virtual, so I was able to attend and for the moments I was laughing and crying!” – Vanessa
  • “I was able to listen in to most of yesterday’s speakers. I appreciated being reminded that the things we all struggle with so similar and are generally the basics. I also appreciated the speakers’ raw honesty and courage.” – Pam
  • “I especially enjoyed the first panel on what inspired the leaders, including how they knew what their path was, or didn’t, but kept being led there. The client testimonial was very moving and caused me to reach for my wallet (again) to donate to keep these services available.” – Amy
  • “One of the hallmarks of the conference (I have attended for 12 years) is the deep connection that is forged between the speakers and the audience over a full day of authentic storytelling. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this virtual event worked to create that same connection.” – Marcie

In one of the most emotionally charged moments of the conference, one of The Women’s Center clients shared her story about how the Center helped her in a dark time in her life. It brought home, once again, to all of the attendees and sponsors, how important it is to support this organization. Criterion is proud to be a patron sponsor of the event and many of our own attendees bought raffle tickets and made additional donations to answer to the call.

The Women’s Center moved to an all-online counseling environment in the face of the pandemic. They are still seeking donations to help expand their reach. Please consider joining us as a supporter. More information can be found on The Women’s Center website at thewomenscenter.org.