Build Your Fan Club

by Jan Wright, Publisher

This is the fifth issue of iBi to focus on Women of Influence in Greater Peoria—some of the region’s most prominent leaders who are shaping the future of our community. Some have recently changed careers; others have been working their way up the corporate ladder, educating our youth, and mentoring future nurses and physicians. Each provides valuable insight into that eternal question of work/life balance.

I meet with a few small groups of women on a regular basis. I rely on them for feedback on community issues, and we share our experiences in management and leadership, along with occasional personal, family and household issues. As we vary in age and career, these conversations benefit all of us. They build my confidence, help guide my decisions, and allow me to be me.

This year, we are excited to expand our Women of Influence event from a breakfast panel discussion to a half-day conference. As in the past, the panel discussion is loosely centered on a current business book. This year’s selection was New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace by HGTV cofounder Susan Packard. “Growing a fan base is the work we do to gain team support for company initiatives, as well as the forward motion of our careers,” writes Packard. “Attracting and maintaining team support is critical for any successful business leader, and it’s trickier for women than men. We need the support of our management, our colleagues and our teams to advance to the top.”

All of the women featured in this issue recognize they need a team—a fan base willing to stand beside them. We look to them for insight into how they’ve made it to the top of their careers, while fulfilling their family responsibilities and personal goals. People at every stage of life—men included—can benefit from their stories.

As another year draws to a close, I want to thank my many professional friends who are a tremendous source of encouragement and strength. And through events like Women of Influence, it is our pleasure to introduce you, our readers, to one another. To help facilitate those connections is a rewarding experience for me. Happy holidays to each of you. iBi

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