About

Who We Are

WomenInAutomotiveFirstMeeting Women in Automotive was founded by six industry female leaders in partnership with JKR Advertising out of Orlando. The group is particularly interested in empowering and developing women in the auto industry. The philosophy is that this benefits both the women and the dealerships and will help facilitate the training and hiring of more females in dealerships.

Currently, the percentage of female employees remains stagnant at just 17% of all employees (according to NADA 2014 data). A major recruiter mentioned that they have received over 1,000,000 resumes, of which 40%+ were from women – but only 1 out of 4 is actually hired by dealers. Whether that’s a function of the job requirements or dealer preference, Women In Auto is committed to bringing the two sides together. On the dealer side, by training and educating them on how to create a balanced position for women, and for women – by providing them a network and opportunities for skill set development.

Mission

Assisting the Automotive Community in recruiting, retaining, and developing female employees and leaders.

What We Offer

WIA Board Members

Christy Roman

Christy Roman

President
NOW Digital

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Jody DeVere

Jody DeVere

CEO
AskPatty.com

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Joni Stuker

Joni Stuker

President and Founder
Owner Connect

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Subi Ghosh

Subi Ghosh

Senior Director of Dealer Strategy
Stream Companies

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Kathy Gilbert

Kathy Gilbert

Director of Sales and Business Development
CDK Global, Inc

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Lisa Copeland

Lisa Copeland

CCO- Chief Change Officer
Cars Her way

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Nicole Ashe

Nicole Ashe

Senior Vice President Talent, Diversity and Culture
Cox Automotive

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Scotty Reiss

Scotty Reiss

Founder
A Girls Guide To Cars

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Kerri Wise

Kerri Wise

VP, Dealer Education
TrueCar

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Robin Wilson

Robin Wilson

CEO
SCP AGENCY

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Katy Wolda

Katy Wolda

Director of Training & Development, Customer Care
AutoNation

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Joe Webb

Joe Webb

President and Founder
DealerKnows Consulting

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Bobbie Herron

Bobbie Herron

CEO & Founder
The Bees Knees Automotive Agency

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Eliana Raggio

Eliana Raggio

Director of Industry Relations
Digital Air Strike

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Christy Roman

Christy Roman


An entrepreneur with a background in advertising sales, management and a few online start-ups, Christy Roman has a unique perspective on advertising as it pertains to automotive and the Internet. Her claim to fame was developing and monetizing the Partnership Program (now the Premium Program) dealer initiative at AutoTrader.com, which turned them into a classified advertising powerhouse – and now generates hundreds of millions of dollars.  She is also the founder of Women in Automotive, which provides events and training designed to empower women in the industry and help dealers hire and retain women as employees.  Past roles include ad agency owner and business development; sales and management for newspaper and cable advertising; piloting the one-time AOL Time-Warner multi-media cross-selling initiative; Regional Sales Manager for Who’s Calling, and consulting for television stations to help them develop online revenue streams. She sold the automotive division of Now Marketplace, Inc. in 2014 to form a new company with JKR Advertising called Now Digital, Inc. The digital agency continues to be a one-stop shop for dealers and local businesses wanting to maximize the Internet as an effective form of advertising.


Jody DeVere

Jody DeVere


Jody DeVere is a internationally recognized speaker, trainer, often quoted industry pundit and spokesperson for the automotive industry on the women’s market.
She has been featured by the New York Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox Business, Forbes Women, Oprah Magazine and Parenting Magazine to name
a few. As CEO of AskPatty.com, she provides automotive education to women consumers and an interactive online Certified Female Friendly® certification training
program for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women.

In her role as marketing to women expert, automotive journalist, car care expert and safety spokesperson her goal is to educate women car buyers and owners,
the automotive industry at large and promote, mentor and support careers for women in the automotive industry.

Jody DeVere is a founding member of the Women in Automotive Conference, a champion for women in the automotive industry, and her company AskPatty.com, Inc. serves as the first point of contact for many women who are seeking the very best experience to buy a car and service by visiting Certified Female Friendly® automotive retail locations across the United States and Canada.


Joni Stuker

Joni Stuker


With nearly 30 years of industry experience, Joni is recognized as one of the most trusted and relied-upon experts in the automotive business. As the President and Founder of Owner Connect, her team has revolutionized the role and impact Business Development Centers now play among dealerships throughout North America and Europe. In addition to her years as the face of Owner Connect, Joni has gained a wonderful reputation for her corporate speaking experience and workshop series. Focusing on delivering results and improving efficiency, Joni has built an organization and strategy to ensure every client realizes its full potential.


Subi Ghosh

Subi Ghosh


Subi Ghosh spent her first 6 years in Automotive working her way up from Internet Sales Assistant to Sales and E-Commerce Director of Dealer Groups. Her passion for the industry and drive to be an advocate for dealers serves as a perfect match as Senior Director of Dealer Strategy at Stream Companies and Founding Board Member of Women In Automotive. Subi has become a respected speaker at the major Automotive Events including NADA, Digital Dealer, Driving Sales, and more.

Subi keeps actively involved in the automotive community as a conference speaker and blogger on many automotive forums to be an advocate for dealers, share her knowledge, grow within her profession, and improve the way the industry sells and markets cars.

She is driven is to be a small part in helping to move this industry forward one person at a time and prides herself in being approachable to anyone who has a marketing or dealership sales management question, needs overall guidance, or simply the need to vent.

You can follow her on twitter @subi101


Kathy Gilbert

Kathy Gilbert


Kathy has been in the automotive industry for over 20 years in various roles of increased significance at CDK Global, Inc. For the last 3 years as Director of Sales and Business Development, she has national responsibility for the minority dealer business, representing over 1,600 customers across the US, generating over $90M in revenues. Kathy is also responsible for building customer advocates and growing CDK’s brand and market share within the women retail business segment, representing over 1,000 customers across the US, generating over $57M in revenues. CDK Global is the only DMS provider with a program focused solely on our minority and women dealers. This position has given Kathy a very unique view of diversity in our industry and in our company.
For the past 20 years, Kathy has been passionate about growing representation of minority and women dealers in the automotive industry. She has grown the minority dealer business from $60M to $90M over the last 5 years. In addition to her relationships with dealers, she has developed strong relationships with automotive manufacturers and dealer associations. She strives to strengthen CDK’s relationship with minority and women dealers and key segment influencers by being an advocate and liaison for the minority and women dealers.
Kathy was recently awarded the 2016 National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) Woman of the Year Award which recognizes the woman whose heroism, longevity and advancement in the automotive industry serves as a shining example of the contributions women make at the highest levels of business leadership.
Kathy is currently a Founding Board member of the Women in Automotive organization, focused on accelerating the role of women in the automotive industry. She has been associated with WAAI for nearly 10 years. As an early member, she started a WAAI Chapter in Chicago, which she grew to over 100 members before accepting a position that relocated her to the Northeast. During her Presidency, she conducted the 1st Women’s Day Awards Program at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show honoring women in automotive.


Lisa Copeland

Lisa Copeland


With over 25 years of proven success, Lisa is a dedicated pioneer in the field of automotive sales and brand strategy. She has been a trailblazer to revolutionize the automotive industry and has received many awards and recognitions along the way.

Copeland sold her award-winning dealership in 2016 to share her knowledge and expertise as a leading female consumer advocate, brand strategist and Keynote Speaker.

Lisa founded Cars Her Way in 2014. Lisa and her team through technology help dealers and OEMs authentically market to in-market female shoppers as well as help their clients create female-centric strategies and platforms.

She is also the co-author of Crushing Mediocrity: 10 Ways to Rise Above the Status Quo. Her new book “The Art of The Big Sell is set to release in December 2018


Nicole Ashe

Nicole Ashe


Nicole Ashe leads the Talent Organization for Cox Automotive, which includes the Global Learning, Organizational Development, Performance Management, Diversity & Inclusion and Culture teams. Her organization supports over 33,000 team members.
Most recently, Nicole served as Sr. Director of Cox Automotive Global Learning, and led learning for Inventory Solutions, Retail Solutions, Client Success and People Strategies. In 2016 Nicole and her team successfully implemented the Client Experience program, Heads Up, which prepared our auction team members to provide stellar service to our clients. This program resulted in our client engagement scores up by 3 points, which positively impacted revenue.
Before joining the Cox family of companies, Nicole held various executive leadership positions with Fortune 500 companies including Delta Dental Insurance Company, Cbeyond, Wachovia Bank & Bank of America.
Nicole is an award-winning Talent Management leader with more than 23 years of professional experience. Under her direction, teams have won the coveted Association for Talent Development’s (ATD) BEST Award and Training Magazine’s Top 125 award—both sought after, industry specific distinctions.


Scotty Reiss

Scotty Reiss


With a passion for shaping ideas and marketplaces, Scotty co-founded SheBuysCars to change how women discuss and buy cars. This led her to be elected the first woman president of the International Motor Press Association. Prior, she wrote for the New York Times, Town & Country and Entrepreneur, co-authored “Stew Leonard, My Story” and produced the Luxury Summit conferences for American Express.


Kerri Wise

Kerri Wise


Kerri Wise is VP, Dealer Training and Industry at TrueCar. In her role, she leads dealer training initiatives focused on helping dealers maximize their success on TrueCar. Kerri’s automotive career spans nearly 20 years, previously working at Edmunds.com and J.D. Power and Associates in various roles across sales, marketing, training, analytics and consulting.


Robin Wilson

Robin Wilson


Robin Wilson is the co-founder of SCP Agency, located in Joplin, MO. She and her team deliver social media marketing to auto dealerships across the country. Her passion for helping small business owners get noticed spurred the thriving social media marketing agency she runs today. She began working with auto dealerships in 2014 and has now made this complex industry SCP Agency’s niche.


Katy Wolda

Katy Wolda


Don’t let the twinkle in her eye, her non-stop energy or her infectious laugh fool you! Katy Wolda is an accomplished and respected professional with more than 20 years of experience in the Automotive industry.

With sixteen years of experience at AutoNation, the country’s largest automotive retailer, Ms. Wolda currently serves as Director of Training and Development. She is responsible for developing world-class training for thousands of Services, Parts & Collision personnel across a national network of more than 365 franchises. It’s a position Katy is well suited for after honing her skills at Cars.com where she served as Dealer Training Manager. Honored by Cars.com with the Most Valuable Player Award, Katy was instrumental in training a growing sales force about the automotive landscape, digital marketing strategies and dealership best practices. In fact, there’s barely a state in the US that Katy hasn’t visited as a dealership trainer. She’s shared her knowledge and skills with more than 10,000 associates across 45 states, bringing her energetic message to everyone she meets.

Currently recognized as a leader in training and development Katy holds a Bachelors and Master’s Degrees in Special Education from the University of Nebraska. With her strong educational background, her expertise in people development, her keen understanding of the automotive industry, her energy, compassion and drive, she is proud to serve on the Board of Women in Automotive.


Joe Webb

Joe Webb


Joe Webb is the President of DealerKnows, a sales, Internet, BDC and digital marketing consulting firm, focused on maximizing dealerships’ online investments through CRM process strategy, sales management training, and lead management coaching. He has been called “the funniest guy in the car business” and passionately consults nationwide. Joe writes for multiple publications and resource sites, is a top-rated speaker across conferences, films comedic videos about car sales that are almost entertaining, and is viewed as one of the top process improvement experts in the automotive industry industry. With a history of retail success, Joe is best known for blending the lines between entertainment and education.


Bobbie Herron

Bobbie Herron


Bobbie Herron is the CEO & Founder at The Bees Knees Automotive Agency, serving both dealers and vendors, she is also a popular educator at numerous conferences including Digital Dealer, Women in Automotive and Driving Sales, a guest lecturer at Northwood University, and a named winner of the Automotive News “40 Under 40” award. A few short years ago, she transitioned, from her role as an Executive Leader for the Garber Automotive Group; an incredibly successful privately-owned organization that operates 16 franchise dealerships and over 25 Independent Operations into the Director of Dealer Performance role within the Cardinale Group of Companies. The Cardinale Group operates 19 retail locations and is recognized as the #1 Wards e-Dealer in the North America.

www.thebeeskneesagency.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbieherron/


Eliana Raggio

Eliana Raggio


Eliana Raggio, is the Director of Industry Relations at Digital Air Strike, the #1 consumer engagement partner in the industry. Widely known as the “Webinar Goddess”, Eliana is the host and moderator of Digital Air Strike’s free weekly webinars (DigitalAirStrike.com/webinar) where she presents invaluable information by industry leading experts on timely and relevant topics that Dealers need to compete and succeed in the Automotive Industry today. The highly interactive installments of the popular continuing education series are held every Thursday at 9am PST/ 12 noon EST.

She is also an award-winning voice over artist, professional emcee and former Philadelphia morning show radio personality. Additionally, Eliana is a US Navy Veteran having served honorably during the Gulf War and has long been a strong advocate for all issues facing women in male dominated industries. Eliana is a gifted communicator and eloquent writer with a dynamic personality and is blessed with a loving husband, an awesome son, and a cool puppy. She is also a life-long Philly sports fanatic and a karaoke queen and she unabashedly admits to never having met a mac ‘n cheese she didn’t like. You can connect with her on twitter @ElianaRaggio or email her directly at Eliana@DigitalAirStrike.com.


WIA Executive Board of Men

Alex Vetter

Alex Vetter

Chief Executive Officer and President
Cars.com

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Justin Byrd

Justin Byrd

President
Team Velocity

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Brian Benstock

Brian Benstock

General Manager / VP
Paragon Honda

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Dan Flynn

Dan Flynn

President CDK North America
CDK Global

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Chris Saraceno

Chris Saraceno

Business Executive
Chris Saraceno

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Jared Hamilton

Jared Hamilton

Founder & CEO
DrivingSales DP, Walla Walla Valley Honda

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Chip Perry

Chip Perry

President and CEO
TrueCar, Inc.

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Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Managing Partner
JKR Advertising

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David Spisak

David Spisak

President/CEO
ReverseRisk

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Joe Webb

Joe Webb

President and Founder
DealerKnows Consulting

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Alex Vetter

Alex Vetter


As one of the original members of Cars.com, Alex Vetter has helped shape the company from its initial concept into a leading online automotive destination, steering the organization’s growth strategy while serving in a variety of executive roles. Vetter took the reins as Chief Executive Officer and President of Cars.com in November 2014, following the tenure of founding President Mitch Golub.

In his role, Vetter assumes a wide range of responsibilities, including overseeing the company’s strategic direction, business development and financial performance, as well as daily operations and product development. Under Vetter’s leadership, Cars.com has grown to over 1,300 employees that serve every local market in the United States. He has operated in nearly every capacity at Cars.com, spanning product development, customer service, training, operations and sales. Through his work, Vetter has helped establish a vibrant local marketplace for cars, enabling e-commerce activities with more than 20,000 retailers and every manufacturer, all whom connect with site users on a daily basis.

Vetter is also an active technology investor and sits on the boards of several digital technology companies, including RepairPal.com, a leading marketplace for service and repair.


Justin Byrd

Justin Byrd


Justin began his automotive career 18 years ago with Chrysler. He is a strong leader who thrives on high energy and enthusiasm. He is a graduate of Morris Brown College and has an MBA from Michigan State University. Today, he is the President of Team Velocity a technology firm that automates omni-channel communications for the automotive industry.


Brian Benstock

Brian Benstock


Brian Benstock is the General Manager and Vice President of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura. Located just outside of New York City in Woodside, Queens, Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura are the no. 1 Certified Honda and Acura dealers in the world, delivering an average of 950 cars per month and 32 cars per day, every day.


Dan Flynn

Dan Flynn


Dan Flynn is the leader of our North America business. Since joining us in 2016, he has been leading our successful business transformation efforts focused on putting our Customers First. “One of our top priorities is to Always Get Better. This is exciting to me as I am always looking for ways to continuously improve and exceed expectations. Doing more than what is expected is a true differentiator for us in the marketplace and we are making our customers’ businesses more efficient, with increased sales and profitability.” Prior to CDK, Dan spent several years at The Hertz Corporation where he had extensive process and operational management experience and led company-wide Lean Six Sigma-based process improvement initiatives. Most recently he served as senior vice president, North America Rent a Car Operations, where he oversaw more than $6.5 billion in revenue, 23,000 employees and 500,000 cars across 3,000+ locations. Dan earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Connecticut State University and has attained a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. He has also received executive education from IMD located in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Chris Saraceno

Chris Saraceno


Chris Saraceno is a business executive, real estate investor, speaker and leader who has, over the past 35 years, discovered what surrounding yourself with the happy and prosperous people, coupled with hard work, can bring over a lifetime.

A vice president and partner in the Kelly Automotive Group and co-founder of the online community DealerElite.com, Chris has built the skills necessary during his career to motivate individuals and teams to achieve goals they wouldn’t have otherwise thought possible. By having mentors — and being a mentor to others — Chris has learned a secret of most successful individuals: You don’t have to do it alone.

Chris has been a featured speaker at numerous conventions and has published dozens of articles both online and in business magazines. While he speaks on a wide range of topics, the goal of all this activity is the same: to assist people in achieving their potential and live their best life.

Chris lives in Satellite Beach, Florida with his wife, Lisa. He has two daughters, a stepdaughter, a stepson and five grandchildren. He is committed to giving all of them his best energy and guidance, and to providing an example of what will be accomplished when you have support and an exceptional attitude.

For more information, visit www.TheoryOf5.com or www.ChrisSaraceno.com.


Jared Hamilton

Jared Hamilton


Jared Hamilton is an award winning entrepreneur and technology thought leader. He professionally speaks to audiences around the globe about social technologies,
operating businesses in the digital world, and the future of web technology.

Jared is the founder and CEO of DrivingSales and is often described as one part dealer operator and one part tech geek. He grew up working at his father’s
dealerships in the Silicon Valley. He attended NADA’s Dealer Candidate Academy, NADA’s Advanced Education Program at Babson College, and studied Automotive
Marketing and Management at Northwood University. He has over 10 years of dealership management experience in addition to his award-winning entrepreneurial record.

Jared is a highly acclaimed international speaker, educating audiences across the globe about capitalizing on the Internet’s opportunities and how to invest and
implement technology solutions inside businesses.


Chip Perry

Chip Perry


Chip Perry is president and chief executive officer of TrueCar, Inc. In his role, Perry is responsible for TrueCar’s strategic direction, product vision and operations in the company’s Santa Monica headquarters and San Francisco and Austin, Texas, offices.

Perry also manages TrueCar’s relationships with key external stakeholders, including dealers, dealer associations, automakers, consumers, regulators, affinity partners and investors.

Perry joined TrueCar after serving as president and CEO of RentPath LLC, parent company of ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com.

Previously, Perry led AutoTrader.com in 1997, serving as its CEO from the company’s inception until 2013. While there he guided AutoTrader’s evolution from a one-person startup into the world’s largest online automotive marketplace, with $1.5 billion in annual revenue, 20,000 dealer customers, 16 million monthly unique visitors and 3,500 employees. Under his guidance, AutoTrader.com also created an array of transformative digital solutions that have helped thousands of dealers expand their presence online.

Prior to starting AutoTrader.com, Chip was a vice president of new business development at the Los Angeles Times. In the early 1990s he led the team that launched TimesLink, one of the nation’s first major newspaper online services. It was this experience that gave him the insight that digitally powered automotive classified advertising on the Internet presented an enormous growth opportunity.

His extensive career includes working as a management consultant in McKinsey & Co.’s Los Angeles office and business development and civil engineering positions for the Bechtel Group. Chip holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson



David Spisak

David Spisak


David Spisak is currently the President/CEO of ReverseRisk, a web-based analytics program used by dealers to help manage their operations. David founded ReverseRisk in 2008 and sold it to Reynolds and Reynolds in 2016. He has worked with the owners of many leading groups to help them use data to optimize their performance and evaluate acquisition opportunities.

David also has 27 years in retail automotive management where he ran single point stores and large groups. He was the operator at Smythe European, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, that generated $23.7M in net profit in a single year, the record for the most profitable dealership anywhere in the US. This record may still stand today. Smythe European also achieved an industry low 3% employee turnover, #1 rank in fixed ops gross profit and top 10 in used cars and F&I.

Later David joined AutoNation where he was responsible for managing a $2.3 billion, 35 store region with over 3,500 associates. He won AN’s top honor for guiding his market to becoming the highest perming in the entire country.

David’s front line experience and work with groups of varying sizes has given him a unique perspective on what works today in our industry, how conditions are changing, and what leading dealers are doing to prepare for the future.

David has been invited to present to over 100 20 Groups in addition to hundreds of privately owned dealerships and groups.


Joe Webb

Joe Webb


Joe Webb is the President of DealerKnows, a sales, Internet, BDC and digital marketing consulting firm, focused on maximizing dealerships’ online investments through CRM process strategy, sales management training, and lead management coaching. He has been called “the funniest guy in the car business” and passionately consults nationwide. Joe writes for multiple publications and resource sites, is a top-rated speaker across conferences, films comedic videos about car sales that are almost entertaining, and is viewed as one of the top process improvement experts in the automotive industry industry. With a history of retail success, Joe is best known for blending the lines between entertainment and education.



Why a Women’s Conference?

The industry focuses quite about on certain niche segments. There are conferences for any major theme in automotive digital, leadership, finance, marketing, sales, etc. These events serve as great platforms for discussion, debate, networking and most importantly innovation. People who attend these events are pushed and challenged and filled with the information of the changes and progress in those fields. They find themselves growing every year. So, the real question is… why not a women’s conference?

group Women are an under-served population in this industry when it comes to those needs and having those platforms. There is significant growth in the number of women working in automotive and attending conferences and seminars. With women only making up 2.8% of all dealerships and only holding 7% of the managerial, sales, and service advisor positions, the Women in Automotive Group feels passionately about providing a place for women to come together to share and learn.

We want to provide an experience that discusses challenges, changes, opportunities for education, personal branding, and career paths. A first of its kind conference serving women that make up all aspects of the industry, Women in Automotive is a stepping stone to the greater growth of women in this space in leadership roles.

Why should automotive dealers send their employees?

  • Scientific data is proving the effect women have on sales, sales management, and service advisor roles.
  • The value of this conference is OFF THE CHARTS! We have kept costs low with the purpose of making it possible for women to attend. The speakers, topics, breakout sessions, and educational opportunities far exceed the cost of sending their employees.
  • Developing the employees they find potential in can help motivate and drive the momentum of their departments.
  • Reason 4 : Retention statistic?
  • Reason 5: A page of stats?

What makes WIA unique as a conference?

Outside the obvious reason, this conference was designed carefully by passionate women discussing the most important topics for this specific population. Speakers did not apply and speaking roles were not purchased. The agenda consists of important topics for women, how to overcome challenges, and invited guests to speak on chosen topics. This conference is 100% designed to help further the discussions between women, address challenges, continue to educate, and move our industry forward!