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Women in Leadership promotes positive ‘Influence’

A facial expressions expert, a ventriloquist/singer-songwriter and an inspiring survivor of a terrorist organization-turned insurance executive will headline this year’s Women in Leadership conference on April 16. Oklahoma City University’s 13th annual conference invites attendees to explore what it takes to advance women to the next level in their careers and personal lives.

Under the theme “Influence,” more than 400 participants are anticipated to attend the annual day-long conference at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Darci Lynne Farmer

This year's conference is dedicated to the transformative power of influence to elevate women in all spheres of life,” said Melissa Cory, conference co-founder and director of Executive and Professional Education programs at OCU’s Meinders School of Business. “With a lineup of speakers who have turned challenges into stepping stones, we aim to inspire and equip our attendees with the knowledge to lead with impact. It's a call to action for anyone looking to make a difference in their field, to join us in a journey of growth and empowerment.”

This year’s featured speakers include Annie Särnblad, a cultural anthropologist who specializes in reading facial expressions; Erika Kiely, assistant vice president of technology and projects for American Fidelity Insurance Company; and Darci Lynne Farmer, a singer-songwriter and ventriloquist who won NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

Annie Särnblad

In-person and virtual audiences will hear about the science behind facial expressions, the influence of personalities on leadership, how to motivate teams, as well as inspiring stories from a diverse group of presenters. There will be a panel discussion titled “Unveiling Influence: Navigating Power Dynamics in Organizations.” There will also be networking opportunities designed to lead to more discovery, learning and growth.

While those who have attended the conference have embraced the educational and empowering value of the event, more and more companies have come to understand its benefits, Cory said.

“When companies support the active professional development of their team, it demonstrates that their people are important. The result is more engaged employees,” Cory added.

More importantly, the conference aims to build community and provide an opportunity to support each other for a stronger business environment.

“We make new connections and strengthen others. It is always my hope that our guests discover something new and make a commitment to continue to invest in themselves and help others,” Cory said.

In-person conference registration is $225 (lunch and refreshments provided), virtual registration is $125 and can be made online at okcwomeninleadership.com or by calling Cory at 405-208-5540. Sponsorships and exhibitors are also welcome. For more information, including speakers’ bios, visit okcwomeninleadership.com.

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