Paying it Forward

Women’s Economic Development Network


Learn and Lead 2020

February 26th & 27th

Embassy Suites, Concord, NC

Join us for the Fifth Annual Women’s Economic Development Network Leadership Forum. The conference theme is, VISION 2025: Tools for the Future.

WEDN was started in 2016 by Creative EDC as one of our nonprofit initiatives that gives back to the field of economic development. The WEDN 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.

100% of participants every year have said they want to attend the conference again!

Confirmed Speakers

Dr. Steven Rogelberg, author of The Surprising Science of Meetings– a 2019 top 10 leadership book, will lead a workshop on how to make your meetings more engaging, efficient, and produce better results.  The Washington Post said, “If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend less time sitting in or leading useless meetings, this book is for you.”

Find out more about Steven here.

Michele Mixner DeWitt, Director, Williamsburg Economic Development

Michele will share her future vision of the economic development profession.

Dr. Bonny McClain, Datapreneur & Chief Data Officer, DataandDonuts

Bonny will share tools and tips for data visualization-a hot trend in economic development. Click here for Bonny’s full bio. 

Penny Whiteheart, Senior Consultant, Creative EDC

Penny will share her experience and knowledge of Economic Impact Analysis.

Stevie Field-Chavez, Vice President of Regional Sales, GIS Planning

Stevie will share her thoughts on the future technologies for economic development.

Stevie Field ChavezDianne Reid, Managing Director, Jorgenson Consulting

Need some career advice? Interested in how the search and hiring processes are going to change? Diane will give us the inside track.

Diane ReidEmily Swartzlander, Chief Strategist, Family Forward NC

What will a family friendly workplace of the future look like? Emily will share best practices from Family Forward Workplaces.

Ask An Expert

Bring your questions about lead generation, site due diligence, US EDA funding and marketing to the Ask an Expert Session. Before the conference program starts on Wednesday at 3:00 pm until 3:45 pm;

Hillary Sherman with US EDA,

Leigh Howe with Applied Marketing,

Laura Hill with ECS,

Colleen Walton with Brand Acceleration,

will be available for short meetings to answer your questions.


What is a SPARK! session? A SPARK! session is an opportunity to present a best practice, challenge, or case study of something cool happening in your community – in 5 minutes or less. The concept is to SPARK! ideas and conversation at the forum. These sessions are NOT sales pitches.


We ask that every participant bring a gently used suit, dress, or career clothing item to donate to the career closet.

Last year 11 Dresses,  7 Shirts, 5 Skirts, 5 Pants, and 13 Shoes, 1 Purse, 2 Suits, 11 Jacket, were donated to the Dress for Success Career Closet in Winston Salem, NC.


$195 early bird registration through January 6, 2020.

$245 January 7th and later.

Includes program starting at 4:00 pm on Feb. 26, with reception and dinner. Feb. 27 all day program until 3:00 pm, with breakfast and lunch provided.

Click here to register.


Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte Concord Golf Resort & Spa

5400 John Q. Hammons Drive NW, Concord, NC  28027

Book Hotel:

Book your reservation by either:

  • Going online to – 1. Make a Reservation; 2. Select Dates of your stay; 3. Add Special Rate Codes; 4. Group Code: WED
  • Calling the hotel direct @ 704 455 8200 and speaking to the reservations department; please give the agent the dates needed and our group, WED
  • Calling 1 800 362-2779 and let the reservationist know that you’re looking to book with the group code WED and for what dates.
 Cutoff for making hotel reservations in the conference room block is midnight on 01/27/2020.

**Any requests after this date, or after the block has been filled will be taken on a rate and availability basis.

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