Terre Haute Chamber Holds 5th Annual Women’s Conference

Terre Haute, Ind. – The Terre Haute Women’s Conference was held on the campus of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on Friday morning. The event was full of networking, speakers and a special award presentation. The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce partnered with area sponsors to host the event for the fifth year.   

Along with three dynamic in-person presentations, Terre Haute Chamber Executive Director Kristin Craig and SMWC Vice President for Academic Affairs Janet Clark presented the annual Women’s Excellence in Leadership award to Jane Nichols. She serves as the executive director of the Vigo County Education Foundation.

“Jane has been a crucial part of ensuring our students get the most of their time in Vigo County Schools,” said Craig. “While she is described as a ‘warrior’ for her students and teachers, she maintains her humble and warm personality.”

As the Executive Director of the Vigo County Education Foundation, she has raised countless dollars supporting local public schools and has brought countless fun and unique programs to Vigo County students.

This is not the Chamber’s first time honoring women in business. In 2022 Karen Harding, CEO of CASY was named the recipient. In 2021 Union Health Chief Nursing Officer Rhonda Smith was recognized. In 2020 Union Health General Counsel Amy Hock (formally with First Financial Bank) received the award. 

In the past, the organization presented the nationally recognized ATHENA Leadership Award®. Traditionally this award was presented during the Chamber Annual Meeting in August.

ATHENA Leadership Award® has previously honored several outstanding women in the community, including: Sister Barbara Doherty, Marilyn Pendergast, Beth Tevlin, Sydney Bell, Jeanette Winchester, Becky Buse, Marla Flowers, Claudia Tanoos, Patrece Dayton, Sara Smith, Carol Roesch, Dottie King, Sara Arnett, Rachel Leslie, Barbara “Boo” Lloyd, Bernice Helman, Cheri Bradley and Susan Decker. Amy Hock was the first honoree under the new “Women’s Excellence in Leadership Award”, followed by Rhonda Smith. 

In addition to the presentation for Nichols, three speakers took the stage. Jill O’Boyle with Jill O’Boyle Communications, LLC discussed how to get off the hamster-wheel of busy work and step into a life of purpose, passion, and peace. Becky Anders with Flannel Rose Boutique and Petals explored how “Using Your Personality  to Your Advantage” can lead to success. Jennifer Merrell with Uncharted, LLC told the attendees about “The Uncharted Trail.” A story of resilience and inspiration for those who have ever felt lost, who worry they might get lost, or those who find themselves lost somewhere along the trail of career and life.

Additional content was available for conference attendees online. Speakers included: Amy Demchak with Working On It LLC, Melissa Griffin with Blue Griffin Photography and Morgan Wilson with Phoenix Elite Gym.

In addition to SMWC, other sponsors include Petals by Flannel Rose Boutique, BOCO Collective Marketing, First Farmers Bank & Trust, Indiana State University, Providence HealthCare, Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and TBM Building Services.

The Chamber also highlighted the Wabash Valley Leadership Institute, which is accepting applications for the next cohort. The partnership between the Chamber and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College will host the five-day initiative May 22-26. Deadline for applications is April 21.