From left, Magna IV President Kristi Dannelley; moderator Christina Muñoz, co-owner of marketing firm Muñoz Pugh; Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children's; and Karen Minkel, home region program director at the Walton Family Foundation speak Thursday at the first Soirée Women's Leadership Symposium.

After the success of the inaugural Soirée Women's Leadership Symposium in 2019, the SWLS team looked for more ways to bring professional development opportunities to women across the state.

Presented by Little Rock Soirée's sister publication Arkansas Business, 2020 marks the first year for the Women's Leadership Summit regional events. Women will have the chance to virtually build professional skills, network, open conversations and create a collaborative environment to bring professionals together in a year where that connection is needed more than ever. 

"When we launched the Little Rock event last year, we had planned to spread our wings and take the Symposium concept on the road so we could make this professional development training for women more readily available," says Soirée publisher and SWLS Mandy Richardson. 

The two events this year are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 8, and Thursday, Dec. 3. Simmons Bank, who sponsored the main SWLS event for the past two years, will be the presenting sponsor of both 2020 summits. The events were originally intended to be half-day in-person events in various regions of the state, but the events have pivoted to be completely virtual. 

"The real positive that's resulted in a switch to virtual is that we have been able to secure speakers and keynotes from women we wouldn't be able to obtain with an in-person event," Richardson says. "Speakers from organizations like Gallup, Belkin International and Kraft Heinz, to mention a few. Tying these national names with local forces is exciting and powerful."

The Jonesboro-based Oct. 8 event has a stacked lineup of incredible women teaching valuable lessons for people in every industry. This interactive virtual event experience will be hosted live, on-location at the Haag Brown Headquarters as national experts and panelists from the northeast Arkansas community broadcast content directly to your home or office. 

The morning will kick off at 8:30 a.m. with online networking and giveaways, followed by a session on driving engagement and culture through leadership. After a quick break, attendees will listen to a slew of speed sessions from 9:45 - 11 a.m. that include timely topics such as avoiding burnout and figuring out finances. After another quick break, the summit will conclude following a panel discussion from northeast Arkansas business leaders from 11:15 a.m to noon.

December's event will follow a similar structure featuring professionals in the Fort Smith area.

To find out more about the regional events and purchase virtual tickets, click here


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