Arlington Citizen-Journal

Author Carrie Wilkerson headlines Inspired Women Luncheon

Carrie Wilkerson, left, and Julie Porter
Carrie Wilkerson, left, and Julie Porter Courtesy photo

Bestselling author Carrie Wilkerson will be the keynote speaker at the sixth annual Inspired Women Luncheon set for Nov. 4 at the Arlington Convention Center. Hosted by the Women’s Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the event was established in 2011 and annually honors two outstanding local women with the Hero Award and the Rising Star Award.

The Women’s Alliance is an outreach of the chamber and focuses on empowering and uniting women through business and community endeavors. Members are offered leadership, mentoring and direction to help them become professional and civic leaders.

“This event is an opportunity to connect with other women in the Arlington community,” said alliance Chairwoman Valerie Landry. “It’s a chance to celebrate women in business, women who dedicate their efforts to the nonprofit community and women who are shaping the future for younger generations to build and expand our community even further than we can possibly dream.”

The Hero Award honors a woman with notable leadership capabilities who has made exceptional contributions in her community. Past recipients include Diane Cravens, Joan Bergstrom, Kristin Vandergriff, Mary Lee Hafley and Beth Owens. Finalists for the 2016 award include Mary Helen Bronson, Mary Tom Curnutt, Linda Dipert and Jamie Sullins.

Finalists for the Rising Star Award include Amy Cearnal, Mary Hibbs, LaTesha Watson and Sarah Merrell Young. The award recognizes a professional woman who has been exceptionally successful early in her career by being a strong leader while bringing positive change and having a significant impact on the well-being of the community. Jeannie Deakyne and Andrea Proctor previously were named recipients.

Headline speaker Wilkerson penned the bestseller The Barefoot Executive. She has been featured on CNN and Fox Business News and named by Forbes as a top small-business influencer. “Carrie mostly enjoys helping ordinary people lead extraordinary lives and speaks from the experience of a former corporate clock puncher, high school teacher, direct sales representative, growth consultant and business coach,” said chamber CEO Michael Jacobson.

New this year is a 9 a.m. workshop called “Business in a Box” led by Julie Porter, CEO of Front Porch Marketing. In a session called “Making Your Brand Rock,” Porter will share her experience in marketing strategy, brand development, global communications, corporate social responsibility and other skills in a 90-minute session. Workshop tickets are $20 and space is limited to only 50 attendees.

Samantha Davies, who anchors the NBC 5 Today early morning show on weekdays, will emcee the program. Davies is also a meteorologist and has worked on many NBC news programs over the past several years. Co-chairing the luncheon are Alliance members Amy Wade of Wade Funeral Home and Heidi Allison, owner of Sugar Bee Sweets.

Six $1,500 scholarships— the largest grants to date by the alliance and the chamber foundation — will be presented to undergraduate female students at UT Arlington and Tarrant County College. Medical Center Arlington will also present a $1500 scholarship to a nursing student at the program.

“From the professional development aspect of our Business in a Box, to the fabulous speakers, to the silent auction, which raises funds for the Dr. Judith J. Carrier scholarships —this is truly a chance to celebrate and inspire Arlington women in every way,” said Landry.

Registration for the event is available at Tickets are $85 for nonmembers and $75 for members.

Twitter: @FayeReeder