Kathy Ireland, CEO and chief designer of the design empire Kathy Ireland Worldwide, the 23rd most powerfully licensed brand in the world, will be the luncheon keynote speaker at the non-profit 2013 Business Women’s Forum (BWF) Friday, October 18 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. Sponsors are currently being sought for the event, Connecticut’s largest and longest-running full-day conference for business women, celebrating 31 years of success in 2013.

Coordinating members of the 31st Business Women’s Forum (BWF®), renowned as Connecticut’s largest and longest-running full-day annual conference for women, are seeking sponsors for the Friday, October 18, 2013 event. Anticipated to attract over 700 business women from throughout New England, the powerful 2013 Business Women’s Forum  leadership conference will feature a keynote luncheon address by Kathy Ireland, CEO and chief designer of the design empire Kathy Ireland Worldwide, the 23rd most powerfully licensed brand in the world. Psychologist, author, consultant and motivator, Dr. Janet Lapp, with be the BWF’s morning keynote motivational speaker.                                                                     

“Be The Change” is the inspiring theme of the 2013 BWF (www.2013bwf.com) which will be held at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The 2013 BWF will feature the two keynote speakers plus six professional development workshops, all-day networking, breakfast, lunch, and a closing reception with raffle prizes. Celebrating 31 years of notable success, the BWF is a program of the non-profit Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Waterbury, Connecticut. The thriving organization is led by female executives dedicated to the professional and personal growth of working women. In addition to being sponsored annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the BWF is also supported by numerous Connecticut-based companies.

“The mission of the Business Women’s Forum,” stated Lynn Ward, president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, and a BFW director, “has been to raise funds for a scholarship fund for female Post University students to pursue business educations. The BWF’s continual commitment has been to the equality of opportunity and advancement for women in business. Over the past 30 years, the BWF has generated more than $135,000 toward those scholarships.”

Ward emphasized that, “Every year we rely on companies throughout Connecticut to support our ambition to bring a highly-informative, dynamic full day of business development workshops, accomplished motivational speakers, professional business trainers, and powerful networking opportunities to hundreds of career women statewide. We offer six levels of sponsorship opportunities, all of which we strive to promote to attendees before and during the annual BWF.”

“Since its inception,” stated 2013 BWF Chairwoman Robin Sills of Naugatuck Valley Radiology, “the BWF has provided an unprecedented number of attendees with access to phenomenal speakers, networking opportunities, and diverse business skill training during the course of a full day of activities. For the past 30 years, the BWF has featured such prominent, high-profile keynote speakers as Elizabeth Vargas, Paula Abdul, Robin Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Suze Orman, Jane Seymour, Chris Madden, Ann Curry, Jack Ford, and Faith Popcorn.”                        

Ward explained that, “For three decades, we have created BWF events to help business women enhance their small to medium-sized companies, as well as their personal careers. BWF sponsorship provides businesses with opportunities to highlight their products or services to this very powerful marketplace of savvy business women. Experience has proven that businesses prosper from their BWF sponsorships by marketing to this powerful demographic market.”

The seven 2013 BWF sponsorship levels range from Presenting Partner at $20,000, Premier Partner at $15,000, Star Partners at $10,000, Forum Partners at $5,000, Reception Host at $2,500, Workshop Hosts at $1,500/workshop, and Benefactors at $500. “This broad range of sponsorships,” Sills commented, “is attractive to many companies in that they can carefully select which portion of the BWF event would garner positive ROI for their marketing investment dollars. Many companies favor the targeted marketing opportunities of sponsoring one of the six business development workshops. These business skill development workshops cover such topics as how to effectively use social media, understanding your customer, sharpening your communications skills, etc.”

2013 BWF sponsors are assured they will receive access and connections to an educated, and lucrative, demographic of business leaders and managers. Sponsors are offered direct sales and sampling opportunities to a group of professional consumers and household decision-makers. Sponsors receive numerous pre-event, as well as event day, opportunities to raise awareness of their brand with to the anticipated 700 plus BWF attendees, and to network with the attendees during the day-long event.

“Webster Bank supports the Business Women’s Forum because of the unique networking and educational opportunities the conference provides to business women across Connecticut. Webster attendees always come back to work empowered and inspired to put what they’ve learned into action for the benefit of the company,” stated Robert Guenther, Webster Bank Senior Vice President, Public Affairs. 

Companies interested in sponsorships are invited to visit the 2013 BWF website, www.2013BWF.com, and contact Lynn Ward or Courtney Ligi at the Waterbury Regional Chamber at 203-757-0701, or via email to lward@waterburychamber.com or cligi@waterburychamber.com.