2016 Spirit of Women in Business Conference Keynote Speaker Deborah Kolb presenting on Wednesday, March 9, 2016


The 2016 Spirit of Women in Business Conference took place on March 9. The annual conference is held to enhance professional development of today’s and tomorrow’s businesswoman from the executive to the student. With highly accomplished keynote speakers and multiple workshops, the conference provides networking and instructional opportunities that empower and encourage advancement in the workplace.

2016 Keynote Speaker


Dr. Kolb is an authority on gender issues in negotiation and leadership, especially how women can negotiate the conditions for their own success while contributing to the effectiveness of their organization.

Dr. Kolb is a principal in Negotiating Women, LLC., a company that provides negotiation training and consultation especially designed for women. Dr. Kolb joined the Simmons faculty in 1977. From 1991-1994, she was Executive Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Program where she co-directs The Negotiations in the Workplace Project. For the fall term 2009-2010, Dr. Kolb will be the Faculty Research Fellow at Michelle Clayman Institute for Gender Research Stanford University.

Dr. Kolb has co-authored several books on this subject. Everyday Negotiation: Navigating the Hidden Agendas of Bargaining shows women (and men) how they can become more effective in their everyday negotiations by attending to the dual requirements of the shadow negotiation – advocacy for oneself and connection with others. Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating the Five Challenges of Leadership Success describes how successful women negotiate for what they need to be effective in leadership roles at all levels of an organization. Negotiating at Work was named Best Negotiation Book for 2015 by TIME and offers practical advice for managing your own workplace negotiations: how to get opportunities, promotions, flexibility, buy-in, support, and credit for your work. She was also recently published in the Harvard Business Review with Be Your Own Best Advocate. Dr. Kolb publishes extensively on these topics and regularly presents her work to national and international audiences.

2016 SWIB Award


Kathy McElligott was the recipient of this 2016 Spirit of Women in Business Award. McElligott is executive vice president, chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO) of McKesson Corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Kent State University and a master’s degree in business management from Xavier University.

Prior to McKesson, McElligott served as the CIO of Emerson, a St. Louis-based global manufacturing and technology company. In her 15 years at Emerson, McElligott held a variety of executive positions including vice president of information technology for Emerson Industrial Automation and vice president of information technology for Emerson Power Transmission. Previously, McElligott spent 22 years with General Electric, holding multiple information systems leadership roles, ultimately becoming CIO of supply chain for GE Aircraft Engines.

McElligott was recently appointed to the board of directors at ArcBest, a publicly traded $2.6B freight transportation and logistics company and also serves as board member for Connections to Success, an organization that encourages disadvantaged men and women to achieve economic self-reliance. While in St. Louis, McElligott was a member of the board of trustees for Fontbonne University, the industry advisory council of Washington University and the St. Louis CIO Board. McElligott is also a member of the CIO Strategy Exchange, a small and selective multi-sponsor program for chief information officers from the most forward-looking companies.

2016 Breakout Sessions

The conference featured three breakout sessions throughout the day with two options for each session, which provided valuable insights and lessons that could be transferred into the workplace.  

BREAKOUT SESSION I                                                                      

  • Career Imperfections: How to Brave the Corporate Ladder presented by Penske Panel
  • Discussion with the Keynote presented by Deborah Kolb, Ph.D.

BREAKOUT SESSION II                                                                      

  • Leadership Success Strategies: Second-Generation Gender Bias presented by EMBA Panel
  • Lean In: Tactical Solutions for Success presented by Lisa Waite

BREAKOUT SESSION III                                                                    

  • Networking: Beyond Your Bubble presented by Kim Riley 
  • How Women are Transforming the World: The Socially-Conscious Economy and Feminine Values presented by Nurete Brenner


2016 Sponsors

WKSU       SmartBusiness      Master Printing + Mailing



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