November 15, 2017, Minneapolis, twenty-nine bright, talented women gathered to network and take charge of their own careers by learning about leadership development. Dr. Rita Webster facilitated a compelling discussion focused on the value of leadership coaching, internal women’s leadership programming for high potential women, informal company-wide women’s networks and women’s leadership roundtables.

Our panel members were: Kara Lombard, VP Talent Development and OD at  Venture Bank, Nancy Garrett, Chief Analytics Officer/Sr. VP IT at HCMC, Mary Holmay, National Director at Greenwhich Biosciences and Jen Hauschildt, CIO at Uponor.


They shared their stories of how they used sponsors and leadership coaching to help them get clear about who they are as leaders, what’s important to them and where they wanted to go in their careers. The coaching provided time for them to reflect and provided a safe space to talk out loud about challenges, fears, strengths and successes. We all grapple with the voices in our heads that like to tell us we’re not good enough, don’t have enough experience or we could fail when we take the necessary leaps to get where we want to go.

Dr. Webster reminded us that women have a tendency to not ask for what they want. Many of us have been cultured to worry that we might be perceived as being pushy, greedy or demanding. She recommends the book Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. This book is filled with practical tactics and strategies for determining what is important to ask for and then asking for what we want.

Dr. Webster also recommended the book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown. Both are filled with stories and ideas that are helpful for being the kind of leaders our world needs.

We all enjoyed meeting each other and will continue to develop these new business friendships at future sessions and on our own.


Here is what the participants think about the event:

“Rita brought together an exciting panel of professional women that shared their experiences on how they defined their careers. I walked away with some great insights and tasks to do the same for my career.”


“I loved being part of it today! Thanks!”


“Lively discussion on an engaging topic. Walked away with good action items to strengthen my leadership skills.”


“Safe, refreshing, motivating experience.”


“I love the opportunity to learn from bright women navigating in the workplace.”


“The session is really useful for different types of leaders. It makes you go forward to achieve your goals.”


“I’m in a place of transformation so this was very helpful in my pondering process.”


“The luncheon was fantastic. Great group and facilitation. More meaningful and practical than I expected.”


“I love being a part of organizations where women help each other and prepare each other for success. This roundtable exemplifies great integrity of women helping themselves to be great leaders while fostering a great network.”


“Group of wise women to share their stories. Empowerment and encouragement.”


“As a relatively new manager, it is wonderful to find a group where I may find inspiration and friendship as I grow as a leader.”

Thank you again for attending, and if you missed this event, you may want to join us next time around.