The Women’s Economic Development Network and Leadership Forum were started in 2016. They are sponsored by Creative EDC as one of the nonprofit things we do to give back to the field of economic development. The Forum invites economic developers to come together to LEARN and return to the office prepared to LEAD. The Forum focuses on leadership development, professional and career development, current topics in economic development, and strategic networking.
Creative EDC sponsored the third Women’s Leadership Forum in February 2018. The program included placemaking, talent attraction, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and the impact of leaders. The conference gathered over 125 women from the field of economic development. We had a wonderful time learning from and sharing with each other. To read the summary of the 2018 forum click here
WEDN 2018 Video Summary
We were excited to provide each attendee with Melody’s book, This Is Where You Belong, as our gift at the 2018 conference. The book sponsor is Sanford Holshouser, LLP.
Work-Life Balance: Ashley Cagle, Director of Talent and Product Development, Wake County Economic Development. Erin Farris, Senior Business Developer, S&ME. Victoria Hanson, Executive Director, Amherst EDA .
Exploring Career Pathways: Amy Sullivan-Hicks, Director of Business Development, ECS. Cindy Dancy, Principal, Dancy Research. Charity Barbee, Sr. Retail Development Specialist, ElectriCities.
Creative EDC sponsored the second Women’s Leadership Forum in February 2017. We invited economic developers to come together to LEARN and return to the office prepared to LEAD. The program included how improv for economic developers, demographic changes impacting our field, how to make a bold career move, and leadership development. The conference gathered over 120 women from the field of economic development. We had a wonderful time networking. To read the summary of the 2017 forum click here
Improv for Economic Developers: Zach Ward, Owner and Artistic Director of DSI Comedy, Founder and Executive Producer of the NC Comedy Arts Festival.
Innovative Marketing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Media: Colleen Walton, Marketing Strategist, Brand Acceleration
Demographic Change in the Carolinas: 5 Trends to Watch: Dr. Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography, Carolina Population Center, UNC-Chapel Hill
Three Keys to Making a Bold Career Move: Sherry Essig, Executive and Life Coach, Flow Dynamix LLC. Three Keys to Making a Bold Career Move
Lunch Keynote-Leadership Development for Getting Things Done: Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner, Economic Leadership. Leadership Development for Getting Things Done
When the Writing is on the Wall: Panel Discussion: Peggy McLean, Director, Kershaw County Economic Development: Ashley Cagle, Director of Talent & Product Development, Wake County Economic Development; Penny Whiteheart-Panel Moderator, Senior Consultant, CreativeEDC
Donate: We ask that every participant bring one gently used suit, dress, or career clothing item to donate to the career closet.
Creative EDC sponsors the Women’s Economic Development Network and Leadership Forum because we believe in starting things that matter. It is one of the several nonprofit ventures we have started to Pay It Forward.
Recommended Reading and Listening
Creative EDC sponsored the first Women’s Leadership Forum in February 2016. We invited economic developers to come together to LEARN and return to the office prepared to LEAD. The program included how to position for career moves, negotiation techniques, leadership development, public speaking, and lots of networking.
The conference gathered over 100 women from the field of economic development. We had a wonderful time learning from each other. Here are a few things participants had to say about their experience: To read the summary of the 2016 forum click here
“I want to thank Crystal for hosting such a wonderful conference and for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of it. To my fellow panelists – I so enjoyed meeting you and hearing about your experiences with your board(s). On my drive home I began to think about the topics and the speakers. It struck me that the room was filled with so many extraordinary women that made deliberate and purposeful contributions that opened doors for the generations that came after and are still yet to come! I truly felt I was a part of something so much bigger than a conference.” Karlisa Parker
“Thank you for organizing the Women in Economic Development Forum…It was wonderful! It was an excellent program and very thought-provoking. The networking was great, too! Looking forward to the next one, and hope to bring more colleagues with us.” Amy Thomson
“I wanted to thank you again for putting on such a fantastic program- it really was so informative and I’m looking forward to using the skills as I get started in this new position.” Sara Nichols
“Just wanted to follow up to let you know how valuable I felt the conference was. I really enjoyed the fact that it was mainly ED women in the day to day trenches. I hope that you will consider having it again next year.” Margie Bukowski
“Crystal, a big congratulations to you for such a great event! I thought it was great – size, facility, speakers, “forced” networking at breaks and lunch. Great job by you and your team.” Andrea Fleming
What WEDN 2016 is Reading
Books Recommended by Presenters
Liv Povar, Vice President, Business Expansions, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
TUBES by Andrew Blum
Leigh Howe, Partner, Applied Marketing
The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross
Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
Small Data by Martin Lindstrom
It Starts with Food by Dallas Hartwig
Crystal Morphis, Founder and CEO, Creative Economic Development Consulting
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
When the Bommers Bail: A Community Economic Survival Guide by Mark Lautman
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Life Reimagined by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber
2016 Presentations and Handouts
2016 Speakers and Panelists
Thank you to all of the speakers and panelists for your time and great presentations.
Moderator: April Lucas, Senior Counsel, Nexsen Pruet
Panelists: Debbie Harden, Partner, Womble Carlyle
Jennifer Froneberger, Asst. General Counsel, Turner Broadcasting
Jerilynn VanStory, Attorney, SC Department of Revenue
Professionalism in Recruiting
Leigh Howe, Partner, Applied Marketing
Jenny Maxwell, Co-Director, The Buckley School of Public Speaking
How to be Cool…When Coolness Matters
Casey Steinbacher, Founder and CEO, Casey’s Company
Advancing Your Career
Joan Jorgenson, Managing Director and Principal, Jorgenson Consulting
Leading Your Leadership: The Basics of Board Management
Moderator: Dianne Reid, President, Chatham County EDC
Panelists: Joanna Helms, Economic Development Director, Town of Apex, NC
Liz Povar, Vice President, Business Expansions, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Karlisa Parker, Director, Chester County Economic Development