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Women in Philanthropy and Leadership at CCU announces 2017 conference dates

December 9, 2016

The seventh annual Women’s Leadership Conference and Celebration of Inspiring Women will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7, and Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel in Myrtle Beach, S.C. This signature event is hosted by Women in Philanthropy and Leadership (WIPL) at Coastal Carolina University. The Women’s Leadership Conference seeks to educate, motivate and challenge women to lead change in their own lives, their communities and the world. The 2017 program builds upon six previous successful events and features notable speakers from the fields of business, entertainment, media and more.

WIPL is working in collaboration with the Executive Development program at CCU to add options to the conference this year. The Executive Development program offers advanced management training in a variety of different areas, all led by CCU professors who are experts in their respective fields. The program is designed for businesses seeking to enhance employee skills in specific areas such as project management, strategic thinking and talent management. A session in organizational communication and negotiation will be offered at the conference, and additional sessions customizable to organizations’ needs will be offered on CCU’s campus throughout the year.

“The collaboration between WIPL and the Executive Development program at CCU opens an exciting avenue of enhanced skills development to executives and other leaders in our community,” said Barbara Ritter, vice president of career services and executive development at CCU and dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.

“The Women’s Leadership Conference has grown tremendously during the past seven years due to the enthusiasm and support of the conference attendees,” said Terri DeCenzo, WIPL executive director. “This year, we decided to expand on the foundation of the conference and offer community leaders the opportunity to take classes taught by our college professors. This furthers our vision for Women in Philanthropy and Leadership, which is to transform the leadership potential of students, faculty, staff and community at large and contribute to the intellectual growth of the University and the community.”

WIPL transforms the lives of CCU students and makes a difference in the greater community by leveraging the impact of women and their donations of time, talent and resources. Through collective giving, the combined resources provide scholarships to deserving CCU students and support leadership programs. Since its inception, WIPL has awarded 184 students more than $200,000 in financial support through a fully endowed scholarship and annual awards. WIPL also sponsors luncheons with inspiring speakers and hosts networking opportunities.

Executive Development Program Session: Organizational Communication and Negotiation

Feb. 7, 2017

Sheraton Convention Center

Executive Development program sessions are designed to promote personal and professional development as well as empower participants with management strategies that aid in the attainment of organizational goals. Sessions last all day and include lunch. At the end of the session, participants will receive a certificate from CCU acknowledging completion of the training. This year, one session will be offered at the conference.

Organizational Communication and Negotiation Communication skills are essential to create business relationships, resolve conflicts and negotiate successful outcomes. This session will prepare participants to develop their skills communicating with others as well as handling conflict effectively. Participants will also learn how to negotiate effectively for themselves and others.

Celebration of Inspiring Women

Feb. 7, 2017

Sheraton Convention Center

The Celebration of Inspiring Women, to be held the evening of Feb. 7, will honor remarkable individuals and celebrate their contributions to our state, region, nation and world. The Celebration of Inspiring Women awards were created as an important and lasting way to recognize the incredible achievements of women who are from South Carolina or have made the state their home. Since the program’s inception in 2011, more than 30 women have been recognized.

Women’s Leadership Conference

Feb. 8, 2017

Sheraton Convention Center

The 2017 speaker roster includes the following women (additional speakers will be announced on the Conference and Celebration website):

• Julissa Arce, author of My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive.

• Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, executive vice president and treasurer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

• Samantha Ettus, work/life expert and best-selling author

• Jan Fields, former president of McDonald’s USA, will share how hard work and dedication took her through all levels of the company, from restaurants to management and into the executive suite. She was named to Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

• Vanessa Gualy and Jenna Hipp, co-founders of Nailing Hollywood Management Inc.

Registration options and costs are:

• Executive Development program session (Feb. 7): $200

• Celebration of Inspiring Women (Feb. 7): $140

• Women’s Leadership Conference (Feb. 8): $155

• Save 20 percent by registering for both the Executive Development program and Women’s Leadership Conference (Feb. 7 and 8): $285

For additional information about speakers, the Executive Development program or registration, visit WIPL.

For information about sponsorships and exhibitors, please contact Hatton Gravely at or 843-349-5033 or Terri DeCenzo at