Women’s Business Leadership Conference
Energizes and Motivates More Than 375

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(March 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm)

Mary Norton, Rebecca Greenbaum, Marilyn Johnson, Maureen Mulvaney, Lou C. Kerr, Susan Connors Parrish, Margret Schramm Horn and Larry Crosby

What are the makings of a great leader in business? You can ask the women who attended Oklahoma State University’s 21st Annual Women in Business Leadership Conference in Tulsa. More than 375 women who attended the event on Wednesday would tell you that having a great attitude and focusing on the positive to overcome lives obstacles helped the five successful speakers get where they are today.

Each year, the conference presents a variety of expert women leaders who share their experiences in the business world. This unique leadership conference continues to provide a professional development experience for women from Oklahoma corporations, government, non-profit organizations, universities and high schools.

“The women and young ladies who spent the day hearing from a great lineup of speakers certainly received much more than they could have envisioned. The outstanding group of speakers are examples of what it takes to be a success in business and offered valuable insight into the characteristics of a leader. The message that was conveyed was that women, no matter their background or their business experiences, will only benefit from hearing other women’s success stories, and that’s one reason the Women in Business Leadership Conference has become so popular and continues to grow each year,” said Larry Crosby, Dean of the Spears School of Business.

Maureen Mulvaney

The conference was highlighted by a “love to improve” attitude which was the main topic for guest speaker Maureen Gean Mulvaney who refers to herself as MGM, and a “big production.” Mulvaney, owner of MGM & Associates, Inc. and author of the Amazon best seller, The Women’s Millionaire Club, was an energetic speaker who told her audience to “choose your attitude” and “success is learned, no matter where you start from,” as she waved her gold colored pom-poms. 

Mulvaney’s unique and humorous style of delivery was combined with a message of overcoming adversity by having a positive attitude. She urged the audience to rise out of their seats, raise their pom-poms and repeat motivating declarations like “I claim my destiny.”

In addition to motivating the audience, she warned women of the poverty in the United States. “Fifty six percent of the adults in the United States, living in poverty are women, and that means their children too.” Mulvaney says her goal is to reverse the trend and teach people how to create their “bail out” plan for success.

Mulvaney and several other successful speakers inspired the audience at the leadership conference sponsored by The Oklahoma International Women’s Forum, The International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation and the Center for Executive and Professional Development at OSU’s Spears School of Business.

Among the talented lineup of speakers was Marilyn Johnson, vice president of Marketing Development at IBM in Austin, who encouraged women to “follow your path, follow your dreams but don’t forget to step out of your comfort zone with confidence. Be courageous and different, do things that will help not just yourself but someone else.

Margaret Schramm Horn, former chief administrative officer of Prudential Financial, gave practical tips on resume building, quantifying their work, the importance of networking. “Seventy percent of jobs are obtained through networking,” said Horn.

Susan Connors Parrish, president of Carolina Networks Inc., conveyed that, “Tough times are lessons that have to be learned.” She referred to her personal struggles as a single mother before she grew her two-person business to 15 employees with a sales increase of 860 percent.

Mary Norton, founder of “Frosting by Mary Horton,” a top-seller on Home Shopping Network (HSN), told the audience to “listen to your intuition.” Norton referred to losing her fashion accessory business in 2006 after she traded the majority stake in her company to a conglomerate for capitol. She also encouraged the audience to “treasure your diamonds,” explaining how she again became successful in the fashion industry by relying on her family and people she trusted.

Rebecca Greenbaum, assistant professor of Management at the Spears School of Business, was the facilitator of the event. “I think this conference is really important for young women in the crowd who are just starting their careers to be inspired by the strong women in the room. The most important thing is to realize that you can overcome adversity because everyone has a story. We all have something that could really cripple us in terms of our future careers and success. Like so many of the women said, we all have an enter passion that says ‘you can do it.’ It’s great that the speakers all provided actionable things that women can do to help them become leaders and grow their careers,” said Greenbaum.”