Special Activities at ILA's 4th Women and Leadership Conference!

By Denise Thomson

Less than one month away! Scheduled June 16-19, ILA’s fourth Women and Leadership Conference is fast approaching, and you won’t want to miss it! The pristine setting, interactive sessions, and fellow attendees will undoubtedly enhance the conference theme: Building Solutions, Harmony and the Greater Good. As Chair of the Women and Leadership Affinity Group, I have watched the conference team work together with ILA staff members to shepherd this event and am certainly looking forward to joining them in the California redwoods. Allow me to introduce the chair of the activities committee for the conference and tell you about some of the special experiences awaiting you at the stunning 1440 Multiversity campus.

Kathleen GroveKathleen Grove, Activities Chair for the 2019 conference, has a special interest in the development and promotion of women as leaders – most likely originating from observing and learning from her mother who was an entrepreneur, businesswoman, civic leader, and mayor of her town. Kathleen was first introduced to the ILA Women and Leadership Affinity Group (WLAG) when she attended the Advancing Theories of Women and Leadership colloquium at Utah Valley University in 2014. The colloquium was being hosted by WLAG member Susan Madsen. Grove notes, “I immediately felt connected to and welcomed by an amazing group of scholars, practitioners, and researchers and subsequently joined the ILA and WLAG.”

Kathleen has directed the Office for Women at IUPUI, a joint campus of Indiana University and Purdue University in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, since 2004. With 30,000 students matriculated in 19 schools, including the professional schools of medicine, dentistry, law, and nursing, the mission of her office is to build and sustain an inclusive climate on campus. Programs sponsored by the Office for Women are targeted to women faculty, staff, and students and contribute to their success on and off campus.

Kathleen’s experience teaching a course for the women’s studies program at her university informs her role as activities chair for this year’s conference. In addition to the three documentary film screenings and hosted discussions previously announced for the conference, Kathleen promoted and facilitated access to the documentary Eva: A-7063. The film tells the story of Eva, a survivor of Nazi atrocities. According to Lynne Devnew, Conference Co-Chair, “Eva is amazing and exemplifies a woman dedicated to building solutions, harmony, and the greater good.” Eva: A-7063 will be screened on Monday evening prior to the dinner hour and is sure to spark conversations about Eva’s request that all consider “one thing you can do to make the world better.”

Film screenings and hosted discussions will be special features of the fourth women and leadership conference. But that’s not all! The opening keynote panel of female C-suite leaders will offer insights and solutions for building harmony and the greater good. A “Taste of the Region” reception on Tuesday evening will highlight local wines and cheeses and provide an opportunity for networking. Morning and afternoon wellness activities organized by 1440 and WLAG include yoga, fitness, and writing workshops. The closing keynote speaker, Caroline Kisia, will consider leadership insights and lessons learned from a global perspective. Throughout the conference, concurrent sessions will offer workshop, panel, presentation, symposia, and roundtable learning opportunities organized around five tracks.

Learning, networking, rejuvenating – there’s something for everyone at ILA’s Women and Leadership conferences! The 2019 Activities Chair, Kathleen, attended the Women and Leadership conferences at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in 2015 and the Omega Institute in 2017. She believes her membership in ILA and WLAG has been both personally and professionally rewarding and enriching. Kathleen is very excited to be part of the 2019 conference team, thrilled to be learning amidst the redwoods of California, and extends a personal invitation to you to join us in Building Solutions, Harmony and the Greater Good!

Denise ThomsonDenise Thomson, EdD, specializes in coaching executive-level teams and creating innovative programs that support lifelong learning. She brings a diverse background in the social services field and twenty years of public service to her passion for leadership development. The Storied Leadership™ model Dr. Thomson created integrates social cognitive, narrative, and learning theories into a tool that facilitates transformational growth. Denise is Chair-Elect of the Executive Leadership Team of the ILA Women and Leadership Affinity Group, a Certified Coach/Consultant in Appreciative Inquiry and Whole Systems Intelligence, and a Circle Practitioner trained by the foremost authority in participatory leadership and collaborative conversations.