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Speaker lineup announced for 2022 Women’s Conference in Collinsville on Sept. 9


Covering a wide variety of topics that can be helpful to people in business environments and, in some cases, life in general, speakers who will be addressing those attending next month’s “Be The Change” 2022 Women’s Conference at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville have been announced.

Presented by the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce, the conference set for Friday, Sept. 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., is the first one of its kind sponsored by this chamber organization since 2019 because the coronavirus pandemic made it unwise to attempt it in the previous two years.

This expanded version of the conference, with more space for additional breakout sessions, will include main stage speakers, smaller group presentations, vendor spaces, roundtable expert discussions and an ongoing networking game.

One of three main stage speakers, Carol Sparks from the Sparks Law Office of Troy will be conducting sexual harassment training with participants in this session to receive a certificate for use as documentation for annual training requirements.

Another main stage presentation will be provided by Coach and Consultant Tracy Bianco who will talk about positive intelligence, which is a registered copyright term she utilizes, subtitled “strengthen your core mental fitness muscles.”

Bianco prefaces her address by noting, “We all live with that little voice in our head that tells us why we can’t, why we’ll fail and why we shouldn’t even try. The secret to overcoming that self-sabotage lies in strengthening three core mental fitness muscles. Your end result: booster performance, improved wellbeing and strengthened relationships.”

Representing Counselors Associates Ltd., which has offices in Glen Carbon and Maryville, Kristin Kneedler is another featured speaker. Kneedler’s topic is “Connection, Catalyst for Change” which she explains as being related to how “most of us at some point in our lives want to change or improve something. When we connect with ourselves, and others, the ability to engage the change process becomes easier and the process is more beneficial.”

As one of two who will be involved in a three-part series designed to assist participants in breaking down their networking practices into manageable segments and “purposefully enhancing” the quality of the results, featured speaker Wendy Symer, president and owner of WLS Consulting, will be joined by Lisa Phillipson concerning this subject.

Symer brings 17 years of experience in sales, sales management and training, public relations, business management as well as team development to her business. Her previous work includes managing award-winning sales teams for a Fortune 500 company and working with one of North America’s largest franchisers to assist 600 small-business owners in hiring, training, managing and retaining highly successful sales and sales support teams.

As a business coach and growth catalyst, Symer helps family business owners and “couple-reneurs” increase both profitability and personal satisfaction through leadership development, team building, and sales training. By customizing the big business solutions that she experienced in her 20+ years of working with large, publicly and privately held companies she helps create a culture of shared leadership that empowers their teams to increased sales and profitability. profits.

Phillipson, of Maryville, is the community relations director for Hospice of Southern Illinois which is based in Belleville. As a successful healthcare leader with a proven record of building and developing sales teams through ongoing mentoring while supporting each of their individuality, she has been focused on strategic community partnerships that will exceed the goals of who she represents while adding value to the communities being served.

Describing herself as a “confident public speaker,” she states her goal in this instance will be to deliver messages that will educate and motivate the audience. Her philosophy: “People will hear what you say when they see what you do.”

For more information about the 2022 “Be the Change” Women’s Conference, visit online at or call (618) 667-8769.

Graphic copyright: Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce

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