International Womens Day is celebrated in Ottumwa’s 1st Annual Lean-In Conference

International Womens Day is celebrated in Ottumwa’s  1st Annual Lean-In Conference Main Photo

18 Apr 2023


The 1st Annual Lean-In Conference by Greater Ottumwa Partners In Progress was celebrated on International Women’s Day in Ottumwa. The event was hosted at the Bridge View Center on March 8th, 2023.  Lean-In is a diversity, equity, and inclusion event centered around women that seeks to pass on the strength and wisdom of current women in leadership to those who will succeed them. With this event, their voices will uplift, inspire, and engage with future generations.  

The Lean-In Conference: Empowering present leaders and future generations

 “We have worked very diligently to ensure that we are bringing not only an impactful event to our region, but one with some of the most successful leaders in our state from which those in attendance can learn,” said Marc Roe, GOPIP Executive Director.  He continued, “I firmly believe that to grow our communities, we must ensure that everyone has a seat at the table and an equal voice.  Our goal with this conference is for those up-and-comers in attendance and future generations alike to gain power and knowledge from this experience and forge a path to success in their own careers and communities.”

The event featured several breakout sessions with messages from Holly Bolton of 3chord Marketing, Sandra Trejo-Wirfs of IowaWORKS, Liz Nead, Dawn Oliver-Wind, President and CEO of Iowa Women’s Foundation, Pastor Diane Koger of Second Baptist Church (Ottumwa and Des Moines), Sonia Reyes of Reyes Equity Institute, Lindsey Newland of The Newland Company, and Jessie McQuerry, Leadership Iowa and Programs Director of Iowa ABI.

Additionally, a lunch panel discussed “Overcoming the Past to Be the Future,” featuring conversations with Michelle Book, CEO of Food Bank of Iowa, Carrie Dodds, Vice President of Grower Development with Iowa Corn, Billie Rhamy, Talent Brand Manager of Vermeer Corporation, and Carol Webb, City Administrator or the City of Muscatine. 

Finally, the conference featured a morning keynote address from self-proclaimed word nerd Holly Bolton, who has served in various marketing, business development, and corporate communications roles for architecture and engineering firms.  She has also written for Urban Land Online and co-authored the book A/E/C Marketing Fundamentals.  The Spotlight Keynote was delivered by award-winning humor author Jenny Lawson, listed as one of the top 50 most potent mom-bloggers, top 100 Websites for Women by Forbes, and a multiple-time finalist for weblog and web blog of the year. Her memoir debuted at number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and her book “Furiously Happy…” became an instant New York Times Best Seller in 2015.

The Lean-In Conference - An incredible opportunity for women in leadership

According to GOPIP Director of Investor Relations and Chair of the Lean-In event Shea Greiner, the event was an incredible opportunity for women in leadership in Iowa.  She said it proved to be a fun, educational, and network opportunity for individuals to find their circle and lean in.  

Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress is dedicated to helping the communities of Ottumwa and all local businesses and industries succeed. We make it easier to do business in the South-east region of Iowa. GOPIP  helps firms open their first location or expand their current one without the red tape by providing hands-on information, support, and site selection assistance. 

Please contact Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress for further assistance with your business needs. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!