Before I get started, I want to take a moment to congratulate The Sheridan Press and the FAB committee on another successful FAB Women’s Conference. Well done!

I’d also like to take a moment to thank all who reached out to me following my FAB Woman of the Year award. I’m very humbled and extremely honored to have been nominated and recognized. Kudos to my fellow nominees. We really do have a special community, and I’m proud to live and work among all of you.

Not only was this year’s conference fabulous, but next month you can learn several key strategies to ignite your business. The fourth annual Ignite Your Business Conference will take place May 22 at Sheridan College.

This full-day professional development conference is full of incredibly valuable offerings for you and your employees. This year we have a lineup of outstanding trainers and consultants. You’re guaranteed to take away practical tools and techniques to immediately implement to ignite your business….and your life. This unique conference covers topics from customer service to business growth to marketing to leadership development — all in a format that allows you to customize your day your way.

There are four 90-minute sessions throughout the day. Each session has three options from which to choose. Here’s a glimpse into each session’s offerings:

Session 1: Matthew Melinkovich will lead you through “Intense Innovation.” Melinkovich will teach you to identify and develop innovation skills, create new ideas for products and processes and develop an action plan for moving forward. Stacia Skretteberg will present “Hiring for Your Culture” to help you understand the price of poor hiring decisions and identify ways to improve the interview process and establish guidelines to hire the right person for your culture. Dr. Timothy Donahue will teach “Marketing, Starting & Growing a Business,” which will help set you and your business up for success.

Session 2: Ann Perkins and Nadine Gale will deliver the “Five Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Financial Success.” They stated, “You may have a gut feeling about the health of your business, but there is no substitute for concrete numbers when it comes to measuring the financial health of your business.” Laura Lehan will present on “Relationship Marketing.” You’ll learn how to understand your customers’ experience and provide pathways to engaging a long-term customer. Scott Lee will cover “Leadership Gold.” Both emerging and experienced leaders will benefit from this training session.

Lunch will feature a scrumptious meal, plus a bonus lunch panel session. You’ll have a chance to hear from and engage with several well-known business professionals as they explore the business trend of “Investing in Community to Boost your Bottom Line.” I’m telling you, this is something you won’t want to miss.

Session 3: Nanci Loseke will teach “Time Management for Small Business.” Nanci tells us, “The number one benefit of time management is more business, which means more income.” Stacia Skretteberg will show you how to “Create a Culture of Service Excellence.” Learn how to set the tone for a positive customer experience and move the dial from just serving customers to creating a culture focused on attitude, consistency and teamwork. Dawn Sopron will teach on “Creating a Culture of Collaboration and Productivity” and share with you some key strategies to improve your workplace satisfaction and productivity.

Session 4: Susan Jerke will help you “Put First Things First” by exploring the “Habit of Personal Management” and discovering new tools for leadership success. Laura Lehan will walk you through “Crucial Conversations” and help you understand the value of confronting tough issues, recognize when a crucial conversation needs to take place and learn the steps to help you conduct a respectful and productive conversation. Sasha Johnston will present “Do I Really Need a Lawyer?” to help you understand when you really need legal services and how to make the most of legal advice to minimize your business expenses.

So there it is, the full-day lineup of this year’s conference. As an attendee from last year put it, “You won’t find training anywhere else that has the value proposition this conference has.” Plan to attend, sign up your employees, bring your friends. This conference is sure to Ignite Your Business. And the best part is it’s available to you…right here in Sheridan.

See for registration info.


Dixie Johnson is the CEO of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.