KSU hosts 9th annual ‘Spirit of Women in Business’ Conference

Bonnie St. John, keynote speaker at the Spirit of Women in Business Conference, speaks to the audience Thursday, March 7.

Autumn Rietzel

Bonnie St. John, a Paralympic medalist, told women, and a few men, that being normal is overrated.

“Aim higher than normal,” St. John said.

St. John, the keynote speaker at the Spirit of Women in Business event held Thursday, March 7, talked about her work with Shriners Hospital and when a mother asked her if son would ever lead a normal life after being burned in a fire, St. John had an “out of mouth experience”  rather than an out of body experience.

“It was like when you have an out of body experience,” St. John said, “but it was with my mouth.”

St. John went on to talk about the books she has written. Her most recent “Micro-Resilience” talks about how to pick yourself up through difficulties with five frameworks—refocus, reset, reframe, refresh and renew.

“If you can remove something from your life, you can add something to make yourself feel purposeful,” St. John said.

After St. John spoke to the audience, the conference broke into sessions.  Attendees could choose from three sessions designed to increase their understanding of what it’s like being a woman in the business world.

Topics discussed in the sessions included “Connections with Clout—The Importance of a Career Sponsor,” “What Managers Are Thinking About You: The Assertiveness Advantage,” and “Leading Me.”

The College of Business Administration has hosted the Spirit of Women in Business event for they last nine years.

Deborah Spake, the dean of the college, gave out the Spirit of Women in Business Award to Tina Floyd, senior vice president and general manager of The J.M. Smucker Company.

“I make peanut butter and jelly,” Floyd said. “I don’t feel like I deserve this.”

Autumn Rietzel covers women’s and LGBTQ diversity. Contact her at [email protected].