|Connie Smith sits at her booth during the Women's Conference at Jennifer Leavitt Student Center on the College of Eastern Utah campus.|
The 28th annual women's conference was held at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center on the College of Eastern Utah Campus on April 20. If the Shoe Fits, the theme for the 2007 conference, was displayed throughout the day.
Shonie Christensen, a morning radio show host, opened the conference. Her station, Peak Radio 95.3 focuses on women in not only music, but advertising as well. She said women are a powerful economic force considering 80 percent of the purchases in this country are made by or influenced by women.
"Welcome to the conference. We are presenting women oriented issues, with a focus on mother issues. We hope to present women perspectives on these issues," said Christensen.
There were three sessions, each with four workshop choices, which were available at the conference. Dr. Rex Nielsen gave a presentation explaining many of the next technological advances in women's health care. Troy Christensen demonstrated how color affects feelings in the workplace and living spaces.
Carolyn Hunter of AARP explained how to keep your mind and body well honed. Research has shown the aging brain's potential for continued growth. Carol Walker, Zion's Bank vice president presented an identity theft seminar. She explained how everyone should become educated in the methods by which information is obtained by an identity thief.
Julie Anderson's workshop concerned natural healing. She has studied herbs, vitamins and flower essences and discovered their healing powers. Melissa Combs explained how a woman can start a business, beginning with the business plan and continued through the financing.
Katie Ann Sutton, the training coordinator for the Utah State Domestic Violence Council taught a workshop about technology safety. She raised the awareness of those present as to how the internet, along with the new technologies of cell phones and global positioning satellites, can be used as a weapon in domestic violence.
Darren Hotton hosted a workshop titled Making Sense Of The Medicare Prescription Drug Problem. He explained and answered questions concerning the Medicare Part D program.
Kevin Webb did an introductory workshop to the afternoon workshop with Dr. Stan Block. This workshop introduced Dr. Block's book Come to Your Senses. The focus of the book is how to tune into the five senses to enable a person to overcome many of life's stressors. Dr. Block hosted a bonus two-hour interactive workshop to delve into his theories and their application.
During the luncheon, Rebecca Hardy, 2006 Woman of the Year made the presentation for the 2007 Woman of the Year. She honored Mae Aguayo for her dedicated service and volunteerism.
Holly Mullen was the keynote speaker. She has been a professional journalist for 26 years, and was recently named editor of the Salt Lake City Weekly. "The theme for this conference is If the Shoe Fits. There is something about shoes, they are womens most important accessory," began Mullen. She went on to explain how things have changed since the days of our mothers and grandmothers. Life was much simpler then.
Mullen explained Title 9 and the effects it has had on women and their participation in sports at schools. The rates that women are entering and graduating in the law and medicine field have increased six fold. She said the wage gap is beginning to close also. In 1963, women earned 59 cents as compared to a man's $1. Now, in 2007, that amount has risen to 77 cents to a man's $1.
"Still, there are other challenges for women today with the underlying bigotry and bias. I am tired of hearing about women in the news, and all that can be commented on is their hair. We should be focusing on their ideas and the issues," said Mullen. "There is still a long way to go as women. We need to be each other's best ally, everywhere and anytime."
Mullen concluded by giving a list of don'ts. Don't whine about the circumstance in your lives. Don't give others things to use against you. Don't seek special treatment, equality is taking your failures, and go on courageously. Don't degrade or minimalize successful women. Support each other in every way possible.