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WIFS National Conference In Review~Tara Showalter

Dear WIFS Members & Friends,

I am charged up — I just returned from our annual conference which I think you all are aware was held in Orlando — and, I wanted to share what a great time we had!

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First, I was delighted there were 11 of us from the Chapter who were able to make it. Northeast FL Chapter Attendees included:

  • Rebecca Brothers (Becky)
  • Angela Brown
  • Deanna Brown (pronounced Dina)
  • Cheryl Canzanella*
  • Jessica Dreicer
  • Christina Loddo Epstein*(Chris)
  • Tracey Gess
  • K.C. Padget
  • Lisa K. Pilgrim*
  • Grace Staten
  • Yours Truly* 

Second, one of the best parts of the WIFS National Conference is the group of women who come from all over the U.S. who are eager to discuss the challenges, successes, resources and the support they’ve found in the course of their careers. We had a robust agenda and, in fact, several of our Northeast FL Chapter members hosted discussions or participated on panels during the course of our very exciting 2 ½ days. These included:

  • Becky Brothers who hosted a session titled: Social Media…Your new Rolodex. Becky shared some great tips relative to using social media for prospecting. Indeed, her discussion was so highly rated that I’ve asked her to be a presenter at one of our future breakfasts or lunch. Thus, we can all learn how to maximize LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as tools for building a strong and vibrant referral and prospecting network.
  • C. Padget participated on a panel that discussed WIFS Mentor/Mentee program. In fact, this year a number of us participated in the WIFS Mentorship program; K.C. was a mentee, while Cheryl, Chris, Deanna and I were mentors. So, if you are thinking you could use a ‘career coach’ — or you would like to be one — please don’t hesitate to reach out to any one of us. Also, I know I can speak for all of us who participated; it is a wonderful WIFS benefit — for both the mentor/ee it is an enriched time and so well spent!
  • Deanna Brown sat on the panel titled: Independent Connection. Deanna spoke about the benefits and unique challenges of being independent vs captive. Deanna shared her best practices and how her firm, Ullman Financial, has achieved such great success!
  • Lisa K. Pilgrim moderated a discussion titled: What’s on your Mind.  In this session attendees were able to pose questions to each other and discuss issues they currently are experiencing in their career and troubleshoot solutions.
  • I facilitated a session on Taming Technology. During this educational breakout, attendees brought their iPads and smartphones and learned some tips and tricks to harness the power in our hands — after all, what started as ‘fun to have’ devices have morphed into texting, tweeting, multi-tasking productivity and entertainment gadgets that offer a wide range of possibilities for our professional lives!

Next, I am thrilled to share that several of our members were recognized in the WIFS Circle of Excellence luncheon which celebrates successful business women in terms of compensation realized per year. These included Angela Brown, Lorraine Dorsa*, and Jeanne Peterson*.  In addition, Cheryl Canzanella was a Woman of the Year Nominee; this is the highest level of recognition a WIFS member can receive from her peers.

Between luncheon applause, Lisa K. Pilgrim CPA, who as noted above was a moderator, was also our Northeast FL Chapter Treasurer for the last two years and was recently appointed as the Deputy Treasurer of the National Board said:

“This was my first time attending WIFS’ National Conference – and it was quite an eye opening experience for me.  Not only did I meet a lot of very dynamic, intelligent, driven women, but they were all so encouraging and supportive of each other’s goals and aspirations. They inspired me to work smarter not harder; always be determined to look forward to the future, believe in myself, set my goals higher and support other women in our industry…..not to just reach for my goals but always be focused on exceeding them and helping others do the same. It was not just empty words that we need to reach for the stars it was concrete steps of how we can actually do so!”

Well, I couldn’t agree more. Even though this was my 3rd time attending, I uncovered new tools and ideas as well as met new colleagues that I know will help me grow my business and career — and I am excited to help my new network likewise! So with all of the preceding in mind, I encourage you re-up your WIFS membership for 2015 and consider attending our conference next year.

In the meantime, I thank you all for your continued support and interest in WIFS. I look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Yours truly, 

Tara Showalter JD, CFP ® CRPC ®

President – WIFS of Northeast FL and WIFS National Board Member

Mobile: 407-782-8956

Office: 904-306-9317

* Denotes WIFS Northeast FL Board Member

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