Colorado is again home to the Women Inspiring Leadership Development (WILD) Summit, now in its third year. The WILD Summit is an annual event of The Women's Council, in partnership with The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. The mission of the conference is to provide a professional forum for women who want to learn and share, to inspire through example, and to increase the visibility and accessibility of successful women in the community to students and each other. Attendees include students, business leaders, and women looking for connections and role models across all sectors of society. The WILD Summit III will take place on April 10, 2015 at the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Westminster, Colorado.
The event is the brainchild of Cindy Carillo, a successful entrepreneur who started her own company, sold it in 2008 for almost $30 million, and wanted to help other women she saw struggling to cut through the noise, red tape and politics to find their way. Carillo formed a group called the CU Women's Council (disclosure: I am a member), a network of successful business leaders who share their expertise and encouragement with students to further women's advancement in leadership, innovation and access to resources.
Keynote speakers this year include Barbara Mowry, CEO and founder of GoreCreek Advisors, a management consulting firm serving CEOs and Boards on strategy and innovation, and Elaine Feeney, President and CEO of Wayin, an industry leading social intelligence company. Other headline speakers include Carla Scanniello of J.P. Morgan, Susan Keith Bleekman, VP of Strategic Relations and Business Development at Rapt Media, and Cindy Carillo, Founder and Former CEO of Work Options Group and WILD Summit Event Chair.
This year's program has a strong bent toward attracting, helping and nurturing students, allowing them to interact with professional women in all industries throughout their career. For WILD III, a full student committee was selected and is influencing everything from the program sessions to the luncheon speaker to student scholarships. In addition to being integrated into sessions and networking, students also receive special discounts for registration. Proceeds received from WILD III will go toward student programming at CU's Leeds School of Business's undergraduate and graduate programs to help support their education and career aspirations.
"The enthusiasm and excitement around this year's event is contagious," said Jane Miller, past CEO of Rudi's Organics Bakery and founder/CEO of JaneKnows.com and chair of this year's underwriting committee for WILD III. "We have such a fantastic community of supporters here in Colorado that really believe in what WILD is all about. We are so proud to have so many stellar companies supporting our cause."
"We have come such a long way toward our goal of helping foster discussion, growth and ideas among women of all ages," said Cindy Carrillo. "We have heard from attendees - especially students - how they have grasped so much from attending each WILD Summit and put it to practical use. We have so many examples of how this conference has impacted the lives of so many professional women. It is so gratifying to be part of this positive change."