Women’s Economic Development Network


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

Learn & Lead 2021

Lunch & Learn Virtual Meeting Series

February 23rd & 25th, March 2nd & 4th

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm each day

Please read the conference information carefully before clicking the registration button.

2021 Virtual Meeting Structure:

12-12:30pm – Networking

12:30-2pm – Program

2021 Virtual Meeting Topics:

  • February 23- Change Leadership Workshop
  • February 25- Entrepreneurship
  • March 2- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • March 4 – Women in Leadership

Please note that you need to manually add these dates to your calendar – 12-2pm on 2/23, 2/25, 3/2, and 3/4. A Zoom Meeting calendar notice will be sent SEPARATELY for each date. The notice will include Zoom meeting details and links. When registering with Eventbrite we recommend that you Do Not click “Add to Calendar” because the Eventbrite calendar notice will block ALL dates 2/23 through 3/4.


Registration price is $80 for all four virtual meetings. Registration deadline: February 12, 2021.

Scholarship Opportunities

Do not purchase registration if you will be applying for one of the scholarships below. You will be notified by email within 5 business day of application if you have been awarded a scholarship.

Founding sponsor SC Power Team is offering 20 scholarships that cover the full cost of registration. Scholarships are for employees of the South Carolina Department of Commerce and local economic developers. Apply by contacting Jan Guerry at [email protected].

Sponsor Sanford Holshouser Law Firm is offering 20 scholarships that cover the full cost of registration. Scholarships are for employees of North Carolina local governments, chambers, and EDOs. Preference is given to first-time attendees and people who work in Tier 1 counties. Apply by completing this Google Form or contacting Crystal Morphis [email protected]

Sponsor Applied Marketing is offering 2 scholarships that cover the full cost of registration. Update: Scholarships have been awarded. Scholarships are for young professionals. Apply by completing this Google Form or contacting Crystal Morphis [email protected] Scholarships have been awarded.

Confirmed Speakers

Change Leadership Workshop

Karen M. Dyer, Ed.D

Dr. Dyer is Partner at On Point Leadership. Dr. Dyer will lead a workshop on Change Leadership. Each participate will complete the Change Style Indicator and be given access to their results. Dr. Dyer will use the Change Style Indicator to lead WEDN participants through discussion about what the results say about us and how it influences our interactions with others. This will be an awesome workshop! Find out more about Karen here.


Caroline Crowder

Caroline manages incubator programming, operations, and communications at USC Columbia Technology Incubator . She is the “community curator,” and oversees the admissions process, accelerator program, and mentor network.  Caroline connects technology startups in South Carolina to resources and capital to accelerate growth.  Caroline will be a part of our Entrepreneurship program. Find out more about Caroline here.

Cori Lindsay

Cori is Economic Developer Director for Caswell County, NC. She recently launched CoSquare, a rural co-work space affiliated with Raleigh Founded. Cori will be a part our entrepreneurship program sharing the story of CoSquare. Find out more about Cori here.

Lydeana Martin

Lydeana is Community and Economic Development Director in Floyd County, VA. She has extensive experience in entrepreneurship and will provide a case study of the Floyd Innovation Center, a high performance, super energy-efficient facility designed for technology and innovation businesses. Find out more about Lydeana here.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Zitty Nxumalo, Ph.D.

Zitty is Founder & CEO of Deftable. She is experienced in facilitating communication, public speaking, & leadership development sessions in nonprofit, corporate, & diverse higher education environments. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under 40 & received a full scholarship to attend Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) in New York, NY. Zitty will be a part of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program. Find out more about Zitty here.

Nikki Reid

Nikki serves as the Economic Development Program Director for the City of Asheville, managing the Real Estate, Business Inclusion and Special Event Divisions for the City. Her current work is focused on developing key City-owned properties for affordable and mixed income housing communities and supporting Business Inclusion by incorporating race and gender equity into the City’s contracting process.  Nikki will be a part of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program. Find out more about Nikki here.

Women in Leadership

Dariel Curren

Dariel is Executive VP at DCI. Dariel will share from her area of expertise at DCI but also reflect on and discuss specifically women in economic development. Her work in economic development across the nation gives her a superior view of how the field has changed/is changing for women. Dariel is an inspiring woman leader for emerging as well as experienced women economic developers. Find our more about Dariel here.

Sarah Miller

Sarah is Senior Advisor, Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She has 15 years of experience in workforce development, economic development, and education. Her experience includes effective education and training approaches to address skills gaps, creation and coordination of community and regional leadership, articulation of career pathways, and the development of regional workforce and economic development strategies to increase economic access and mobility. Find out more about Sarah here.

Conference Book

We selected Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead as our conference book. It will be the topic of one of our networking discussion groups. We are huge fans of Brené Brown’s work. Check out her groundbreaking TED Talk. We will ship the conference book this year direct to you. When completing your registration information be sure to enter a mailing address where you can receive a package.


Every year WEDN participants have donated career clothing items to the Dress for Success career closet in Winston-Salem, NC. We encourage you to donate to Dress for Success, or a career closet near you. Many women are currently out of work, looking for new jobs, and shifting careers. Now is a great time to support a local career clothing center, find yours here.

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

The Women’s Economic Development Network and Leadership Forum was started in 2016. The forum is 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.


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Creative Economic Development Consulting

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