Eight professional development workshops will be offered to the more than 700 attendees anticipated at the 29th annual 2011 Business Women’s Forum (BWF®) to be held October 18 in Hartford, CT from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Renowned as Connecticut’s largest and longest-running full-day annual conference for women, the 2011 Business Women’s Forum (www.2011bwf.com) is being presented under the motivational theme of “Power, Passion, Purpose”. The eight professional development workshops will feature topics on women’s health, public speaking, leadership skills, financial fraud protection, interviewing skills, career reinvention and social media. The workshops will be held after presentations by three highly-dynamic, nationally-recognized motivational speakers. Those speakers will include radio/TV personality and author of “10 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd”, Connie Podesta; TV actress and Special Olympics Advocate, Susan Saint James; and Special Olympics Champion, Loretta Claiborne.

    Celebrating 29 years of success in 2011, The Business Women’s Forum (BWF), is a program of the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Waterbury, CT, and led by 35 female executives dedicated to the professional and personal growth of working women. Sponsored annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the BWF is also supported by numerous Connecticut-based companies. “During the past 28 years,” explained Lynn Ward, president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, and a BFW director, “The BWF has generated in excess of $140,000 in scholarship funds for female Post University students to pursue a business education. For 29 years, the mission of the non-profit BWF has been our continual commitment to equality of opportunity and advancement for women in business.”

   Between 10:30 and 12:00 noon on October 18, BWF participants will be able to choose from four different concurrent workshop presentations. Attorney, author and talk show host, Lisa Wexler will present “Are You Laissez-Faire or a Dictator? Exploring Leadership Styles”. Dr. Elisa Benzoni of Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury will present “You’re All Woman: Keeping Healthy and Vibrant at Any Age”. Life purpose coach, Barbara Scala, will present “Re-invent, Re-brand, Re-design Your Career: Putting Your Authentic Self First”. Attorney Dan A. Schwartz with Pullman & Comley, LLC, will present, “To Friend or Not to Friend: Latest Trends of Social Media in the Workplace.”

    2011 BWF afternoon workshops will include “The Power to Connect: Use the Temperament Quadrant System to Facilitate the Most Productive Interviews” presented by Polly Merritt Maglio, vice president global accounts, SpeedReading People, LLC. Comedienne and professional speaker, Michelle Gotay of Watertown, will present “Losing Your ‘P’ – Power, Passion, Purpose’ – It Happens to the Best of Us”. Susan Lapine, academic program manager for the MBA program at Post University in Waterbury, CT will present “The Engine of Success: Communicating Effectively for the Results You Want”. Rose Gaidos, Webster Bank Senior Vice President Director of Bank Operations and Security, will present “Piloting the Perils of Financial Fraud Today”.

    “More than 700 business people from across Connecticut, New York and the New England states are anticipated to attend our annual mega-business event,” stated Barbara White, Chairperson of the 2011 BWF, and a marketing professional with Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, CT. “In addition to the accomplished workshop leaders and speakers, the 2011 BWF will include breakfast, lunch, and an exciting networking event at the end of the day with raffles and prizes. Experience has shown us that every participant benefits greatly from these very informative and exciting BWF events.”

    Lynn Ward added, “For 28 years the BWF has provided an unprecedented number of attendees with access to phenomenal speakers, networking opportunities and diverse training during the course of one day. Each year, the BWF has featured such prominent, high-profile keynote speakers as Paula Abdul, Robin Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Suze Orman, Jane Seymour, Chris Madden, Ann Curry, Jack Ford, and Faith Popcorn.”                  

    2011 BWF speaker Connie Podesta is a comedienne, TV/radio personality, board certified therapist, and a top-rated professional keynote speaker across the United States. She is an executive career/life coach and one of the industry’s leading experts in sales strategies, leadership development, relationships, and change. Author of “10 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd: How to Out-Think and Out-Perform the Competition”, Ms. Podesta is known to deliver high-energy presentations that creatively combine laugh-out-loud humor with compelling insights.

    Special Olympics Advocate and Emmy Award-winning TV actress Susan Saint James is known for her roles in “Kate & Allie”, “McMillan & Wife”, and “The Name of the Game”. She is a dedicated friend of the Special Olympics, and she will accompany Special Olympics Champion Loretta Claiborne who was born partially blind and intellectually challenged, and unable to walk or talk until the age of 4. Ms. Claiborne eventually began to run, and completed 25 marathons, placing twice among the Top 100 women in the Boston Marathon. She carried the torch in the International Special Olympics, has won dozens of medals, and currently holds the women’s record in her age group for running 5,000 meters in 17 minutes. Claiborne was honored in 1996 with ESPN’s ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, and her notable life of achievement has been recounted in Walt Disney Productions’ “The Loretta Claiborne Story”, and in the biography “In Her Stride”.

    Comcast Business Class and the Hartford Business Journal are the event’s presenting partner. Post University and Webster Bank are star sponsors.

    Tickets for the 2011 BWF are $175/person, which includes continental-style buffet breakfast, lunch, eight workshops, speakers, and the closing wine and cheese reception with raffles and prizes. Tickets can be obtained by visiting www.2011bwf.com, and participants can join in discussions on www.facebook.com/2011bwf, and www.twitter.com/2011bwf.