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Nichols hosted the third annual Empowering Women in Business conference last Thursday afternoon and evening, as the almost 150 attendees in Davis Hall heard from the first woman mayor in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Admission to the event—co-hosted by the Hometown Bank and the Center for Women and Enterprise—was free to all registrants.
In her keynote address Mayor Lisa Wong noted, “I had a passion and worked hard,” adding that achieving her office by age 28—and twice winning re-election—required moving from being elected “second most bashful” in high school to finding her voice and reaching her constituency, often on foot.
In her first campaign, Wong explained, “I knocked on enough doors so people understood what I was talking about.” Nowadays, Wong quipped, “It’s a job where I can’t ever go to the grocery store without getting yelled at, but I love my job.”
With the business aspirations of her audience in mind, Wong also pointed out that on a larger level she sees herself as “the CEO of a $140 million agency.”
The audience, which ranged from women working in companies and non-profits, consultants, entrepreneurs, and Nichols students, dispersed after the address to classrooms throughout Davis Hall for moderated sessions.
Those seminars ranged from keys to successful leadership, the business opportunities created by social media, and the personal side of balancing work with family, managing finances effectively, and even improving memory.
The panelists at the sessions included representatives from Fallon Community Health, Prudential Financial, and a range of marketing and social media companies.
The conference participants, mostly from the greater Worcester area, capped off their evening with a one-and-a-half hour networking session. “We are all here to support one another,” Deanna Mills, vice president of Commercial Development for conference sponsor Hometown Bank, reminded them. Other conference sponsors included lead sponsor Webster Five, as well as Small Business Insurance Agency; 4 The Cause Marketing and Consulting; Harrington HealthCare System: Kerrin Graphics and Printing; MotiVact Group; Reliant Medical Group; Whalley Computer Associates: and Quabaug Corporation.