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Hosted by the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA)

October 4-7, 2023

Chattanooga Marriott Downtown & Convention Center

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Come Home to ABWA where you will Discover Your Story when you join us at ABWA’s National Women’s Leadership Conference – a celebration of ambitious, vibrant women leading change across industries.  This year’s annual theme, “Discover Your Story in ABWA”, is an invitation to delve into your unique leadership narrative, and how it intersects with the wider world of business.

Over an enlightening 4-day experience, you will find an invaluable opportunity to catalyze your leadership style, create new thinking patterns, and broaden your perspectives. In the heart of this transformative environment, you will refine your skills to become a more agile, forward-thinking, and effective leader.  

All breakout sessions will be facilitated by reputable learning institutions including; the University of Kansas, School of Business and Franklin Covey. Earn up to 1.2 Continuing Education Units. To register by phone, call 1-800-228-0007.    

Countdown to the Start of ABWA's 74th Women's Leadership Conference








keynote speakerS 

The Fine Art of Building Business Relationships

Join the conversation with networking guru, and bestselling author Debra Fine for her fast paced, informative program The Fine Art of Building Business Relationships: One Conversation at a Time. Together we’ll laugh, learn and leave with tools to develop and cultivate outstanding conversation skills and business networking techniques, make the most of meetings and ABWA’s National Women’s Leadership Conference, build rapport and increase visibility. Learn how to turn every conversation into an opportunity for success.  This pre-conference event will be hosted virtually on Wednesday, September 27, 6:00-7:30 CST.  

About Debra Fine

Keynote speaker, corporate trainer and bestselling author Debra Fine began her career as an engineer. She is a 25+ year member of the National Speakers Association,  presenting to clients that include Iowa Bankers Association, National Realtors Association, National Electrical Contractors Association and the American Business Women’s Association. Her bestselling book, The Fine Art of Small Talk; How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills – and Leave a Positive Impression.  Debra’s recent media appearances include The Today Show, TIME Magazine, CBS Sunday Morning, NPR Morning Edition, Fox Business News and CNN. To learn more about Debra Fine visit

Building & Branding a Successful Business

In 2005, Carrie Morey launched her small business with the goal of making her mother’s tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits accessible across the country. More than 15 years later, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is widely recognized as an iconic Southern brand with locations throughout the southeast.

But Carrie’s journey was never about the biscuits… or the money. Instead, it was about creating a brand that honored her passions while unapologetically aligning with her core values of family, balance, and authenticity while creating a happy positive work culture where Carrie actively seeks growth for her employees. And now she’s on a mission to help other female entrepreneurs do the same.

About Carrie 

Carrie Morey founded her handmade  biscuit business in 2005 with the goal of making the tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits of her mother accessible across the country. Over 15 years later, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is widely recognized as an iconic Southern brand with national retail exposure, four grab-and-go eateries in Charleston, Atlanta, and Charlotte, a food truck, and a cult-like following. Carrie is the author of Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions, a cookbook and narrative on entrepreneurship and life in the low country. She stars in the culinary docuseries, How She Rolls, on PBS, about biscuits, business, and balance in her life as an entrepreneur. Touted by Saveur, Food & Wine, Southern Living, The New York Times, Bake from Scratch, and Oprah among others, Carrie and her small team of bakers are keeping the tradition of Southern biscuit making alive.

You are Worthy!  So Dress Like It!  

Author of the Worthy Wardrobe, Morgan Wider believes that no matter how we define success, it always requires us first to be willing to see ourselves as worthy of what we desire. It is only with this sense of confidence that we can then allow the world around us to see us and our unique gifts and talents.  And it is our image and our wardrobes that are powerful tools to help gain the visibility we each deserve.  

But in order to welcome that attention, we first must know that we are worthy of it. In this insightful and transformative keynote, Morgan offers powerful shifts to help participants love themselves and their bodies, be their authentic selves, and to show up for their business and purpose with their own unique style.  

About Morgan

Morgan A. Wider is a Personal Style Expert, Speaker and founder of Wider Style, a style consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also the author of The Worthy Wardrobe: Your Guide to Style, Shopping a Soul, and has recently launched her podcast, The Worthy Reveal.  Before launching her business, Morgan studied Economics at Georgetown University and spent 10 years working at the corporate headquarters of Old Navy and Carter’s. She grew several businesses with her knowledge of merchandising, apparel production, pricing strategy and international development.  Through speaking, writing & styling, Morgan advises executives, entrepreneurs and college students on how to increase their performance through their image.

What To Do About Burnout When You’re Not Burned-Out, By Jessica Rector

What To Do About Burnout When You’re Not Burned-Out , 3 Ways To Keep Burnout From Spreading Like Wildfire By: Jessica Rector Burnout is impacting every company, position, and industry. Consultant and author, Jessica Rector shows that even if they don’t have burnout, your employees are impacted by it when someone else does. Her three tips are: • Start a dialogue• Create awareness• Implement a program

Creating a Resilient Company Culture: Navigating Change and Thriving Amidst Challenges by Margaret Graziano

In an era marked by immense volatility and complexity, characterized by technological advancements, business consolidations, fierce competition, and economic fluctuations, you may find yourself in an unprecedented time of change. Amidst this tumultuous landscape, the challenge is this: How can organizations cultivate a culture that thrives, adapts, and responds effectively to the unpredictable?

In her latest article, “Creating a Resilient Company Culture: Navigating Change and Thriving Amidst Challenges,” author and consultant Margaret Graziano shows your readers that the answer lies in fostering an emergent culture – one characterized by change management prowess, response agility, and a positive environment with fulfilled employees. Graziano’s tips to understanding and influencing company culture including:

• Start with the leader
• Cultivate the leadership team
• Assess environment and employees
• Achieve resilience through emergent culture

Come Early and Stay Late! Visitors Guide to the Scenic City, Chattanooga, TN

Welcome to Chattanooga, Tennessee! Known as the Scenic City, Chattanooga offers a unique blend of breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture, rich history, and a vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, exploring historical sites, or...

Professional development breakout sessions

How to Add Value & Sell Yourself in any Situation!

Session Speaker:  Kristen S. Helling

As our world becomes increasingly services-based and knowledge-oriented, there is a growing demand for professionals who can effectively identify client needs, craft customized solutions, and marshal company resources to deliver superior value.  Without sales…there is no business! Accordingly, this course is designed to teach you about selling and how to sell effectively. Selling is an integral part of not only business, but everyday life.  Throughout life, you will be called upon to sell your ideas, products, service and even your point of view. 

In this two-day course you will learn the latest concepts concerning several elements of the professional selling process: prospecting, needs-identification, handling objections, closing, and negotiation.  In addition, these concepts will be reinforced via role-plays and sales simulations.  

This session is presented by the KU School of Business and is valued at 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  Pre-work will be required.    

How to Turn Uncertainty into Opportunity

Session Speaker:  Marche Barney

Change happens all of the time.  Yet, when faced with change, many organizations primarily focus on the process. Successful change takes more than that—it’s your people who make change happen.

As people, we’re wired to react to change to survive, which can make change feel difficult or threatening. Successful leaders engage their people in change, making it feel less uncertain and more like an opportunity.

While every change is unique, there’s a predictable pattern to change. Understanding this pattern and building the skills to navigate it successfully allows us to consciously determine how to move forward—even in the most challenging stages.

Franklin Covey provides .2 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for participation in this session.      

Inclusive Leadership:  Practical Ways to Cultivate Inclusion and Build a Better Team

Session Speaker:  Marche Barney

An agile organization is quick and resilient when responding to changes in the marketplace, environment, or the organization itself. These organizations build leaders who create inclusive cultures where team members feel seen, valued, inspired, and choose to contribute their best. Inclusive leadership combined with a predictive change model helps create a level of agility that breeds ongoing innovation and success. 

This session is valued at .4 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) by Franklin Covey. 

Using Prompt Engineering to Create On-Brand Content Quickly 

Session Speaker:  Elizabeth Hambleton

In this session, you will learn about:

  • The concept of prompt engineering and its significance in harnessing the capabilities of AI for content creation.
  • How prompt engineering has transformed content creation and elevated brand messaging.
  • How prompt engineering allows businesses to generate on-brand content efficiently and effectively.
  • Best Practices for refining and iterating prompt engiennering strategies to achieve desired outcomes.

The Art of Storytelling in Branding and Marketing; Captivating Your Audience with Compelling Narratives  

Session Speaker:  Elizabeth Hambleton

In this 90-minute break-out session, you  learn the value of storytelling in driving brand loyalty and:

  • Techniques for crafting a captivating brand narrative that resonates with your target audience.
  • How to integrate storytelling into various marketing channels, such as social media content marketing and advertising and, 
  • Learn simple copywriting formulas that anyone can use to create higher-converting copy.

member Recognition and celebration of league excellence

Class of 2024, ABWA’s Top Ten Business Women

The Top Ten Business Woman Award is the most prestigious honor bestowed on an individual member  in the American Business Women’s Association.  

Since 1953, ABWA has celebrated women for their career and academic achievements, and contributions to their community and to the American Business Women’s Association. The nominees represent a wide range of business professions from academia, sales and medicine to entrepreneurs and small business owners, and are selected by their peers.  The nominees with the highest ranking are named the Top Ten Business Women for the following year.  

The Top Ten Class of 2023-2024 will be announced in late summer/early fall.  This year, a celebratory breakfast will be held in their honor on Saturday, October 7 at the National Women’s Leadership Conference at which time, the American Business Woman will also be named.

The Top Ten Business Women’s Celebratory Breakfast is sponsored by 2016-2017 National President, Vanessa Willis.

Best Practices in League Management

The Best Practices model is built upon a set of core values respected and expected in business today. The model offers league leaders a structured approach that ensures each league delivers an experience that is reflective of ABWA’s brand promise and in compliance with the  Association’s Bylaws, Policies, Processes and Procedures.  Leagues participating in this award must meet the rigorous criteria in five different areas including:  Strategy, Operations Management, Annual Curriculum, Brand Compliance, and Strength and Vitality all while, learning new skills or enhancing existing knowledge. 

The Tasteful Tea Band will provide musical accompaniment during the Awards session after which, the attendees will be invited to dance and sing along.  

Conference Sponsors and Contributors