Conference teaches women to FLOURISH as leaders

Women from older teenagers through middle age and beyond gathered June 19 for FLOURISH: The Leadership Conference for Women, hosted by Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada.

The all-day conference at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa presented a number of keynote and break-out speakers encouraging the women to “Connect, Be Inspired, Challenge Yourself, Flourish,” in a campaign to build leadership and management skills.

The morning kicked off with an inspirational message from Carolyn Lazaro DeGrande, founder of Bay Area-based Dream Team Coaching Group and New Leaf productions, LLC.

In her message “Everyone Matters: Find Your Passion. Find Your Purpose,” DeGrande told the women to “Get in touch with what makes you unique.”

She recalled that when she was 6 years old, her parents were sent a deficiency notice because she talked too much — first of many such complaints throughout her school years.

“Now, I absolutely make my living talking,” DeGrande said. “Get in touch with your inner strength.”

Comments from the 215 women in attendance included: “Loved the concept of empowering women to believe in their capability to lead,” and “I had the opportunity to connect with other women, and gained fresh ideas for my own development.”

Speakers focused on the need for leaders to connect to their teams in meaningful ways:

“Leadership isn’t about changing the world, it’s about changing your world,” said Rebecca Hamlin, of Reno-based StartHuman, in her presentation “Daring Leadership: Leading with Courage, Authenticity and Love.” “We’re surrounded by people who wonder if you really care, and they’re not ready to give their all until they know.”

Others spoke about following unique paths to success:

“We wear a lot of hats as women, and we can change our hats at the drop of a hat,” said Heather Sallan.

Her presentation with Annette Markin — both are co-owners of Reno’s BootRoxx — was called “Sometimes, you Gotta Get Sassy.”

After describing her own variety of professions and the often-difficult lessons along the way, Markin added, “I did it the way I needed to do it to make me who I am today.”

Speakers also sought to empower leaders to inspire their teams.

Sharon Sperry, talent and organization director for Noble Studios in Reno, compared an office team to a Tesla car.

“It doesn’t do anything unless it has a big fat battery all charged up. Be the battery for your team,” she said in her presentation “Empower Others Like a Bad@$$.”

“Diversity generates better outcomes.”

The conference, sponsored by Eleece skin care, was a fundraiser for Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada. The event, raffle, silent auction and donations raised $20,650 for the programs The GSSN district covers 96,000 square miles with 4,500 participating girls in northern Nevada and northeastern California


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