Mastering strategies for success, becoming a motivated negotiator, managing stress at work, recognizing common blind spots that affect professional women, unleashing the power to thrive, and low-tech tactics using LinkedIn are topics of the six professional development workshops that will be offered during the non-profit October 18, 2013 Business Women’s Forum (BWF®). “Be The Change” is the inspiring theme of the day-long 2013 BWF that will feature Kathy Ireland, CEO and chief designer of the design empire Kathy Ireland Worldwide, the 23rd most powerfully licensed brand in the world, and psychologist, author, consultant and motivator, Dr. Janet Lapp, as the BWF’s keynote motivational speakers. Connecticut’s largest and longest-running full-day annual conference for women, the 31st annual BWF ( is anticipated to attract over 700 business professionals from throughout New England. The conference will be held at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.                                                                     

The 2013 Business Women’s Forum will feature the two keynote speakers plus six professional development workshops, all-day networking, breakfast, lunch, and a closing reception. Celebrating 31 years of success, the BWF is a program of the 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 non-profit Business Women’s Forum’s for the past 30 years has been to raise funds for a scholarship fund for female Post University students to pursue business educations. “The BWF’s continual commitment,” explained Ward, “has been to the equality of opportunity and advancement for women in business. During the past 30 years, the BWF has generated in excess of $135,000 toward those scholarships.”

During the morning of October 18, BWF attendees will one of three consecutively running workshops. Business consultant and author of four books, Karen Hinds will lead a workshop titled “Power of Distinction: Master Strategies to Stand Out and Move Up” to help participants excel their career or business through seven strategies outlined in The Power of Distinction™. Hinds insights provide a holistic approach to help emerging leaders prepare for and achieve professional and personal excellence by focusing on three foundational strategies while building four major skill sets to stand out and move up. Participants will gain tips and insights to achieve excellence, increase their influence with others, and boost their earning power.


Executive coach Kathy McAfee will provide a workshop titled, “The Motivated Negotiator: From Peacemaker to Rainmaker-How to Unleash Your Inner Negotiator”. She will provide insights for women into developing the right skill set and mindset for becoming more comfortable and confident when talking all aspects of business (including money), negotiating deals and proposing “an exchange of value” for arriving at mutually-satisfying deals. McAfee will discuss body language and listening skills needed to reach an agreement in any negotiation situation, and how to engage, motivate and collaborate with colleagues and partners in order to land new business.


“Thriving in Chaos: Managing Stress at Work” will be a workshop led by professional High Impact Training coach, Tracy Knofla, on ways to not burn out in a job due to managing multiple responsibilities, operating with fewer resources, and maneuvering through continual periods of change. Her workshop will help participants identify areas that cause chaos and stress, and, most importantly, she will offer concrete strategies to enable the participants to thrive within the organizational chart of their companies.

“Blind Spots for Women” is one of three workshops that will be offered during the afternoon of the 2013 BWF on October 18th. Led by two experienced executive coaches Claudia Shelton and Kathy McAfee, this workshop will provide insights into the most common blind spots of professional women. They will help participants discover what empowers women to be successful early in their careers and what may hold women back from greater achievement later on. Participants will learn about their natural thinking and feeling styles, personal strengths and potential blind spots, and ways to develop strategies to shift and change the patterns of response to bring their most effective selves into their careers every day.

“Unleashing the Power to Change and Thrive” is an afternoon workshop to be led by business consultant Karen Hinds who will help participants examine ten truths about change and obtain tools and techniques to reduce the stress, anxiety and chaos that often accompany personal, professional and even organizational changes. Hinds believes these truths will help participants move towards accepting and embracing the change process and ultimately move towards optimal performance.

“Find the Missing Link with LinkedIn: Drive Leads, Visibility & Sales with Low-Tech Tactics that Work” will be the important topic by LinkedIn/social media strategist Lena West. West will share valuable tactics that help make a difference in an individual’s LinkedIn presence and wallet. She will reveal the number one mistake 60% of LinkedIn users make that cost them business and harms their reputation. She will tell how participants can easily and painlessly increase their LinkedIn network, why it may not be ideal to start their own group and they could do instead, and how Google will lead to LinkedIn victories with minimal effort and high returns.

Admission to the 2013 BWF includes an opening breakfast with Dr. Janet Lapp, and luncheon with Kathy Ireland. The full-day conference promises to be a highly-informative and exciting day of dynamic and accomplished speakers, professional business trainers as workshop leaders, networking opportunities and a high-energy closing reception that features continued networking, a buffet of hors d’oeuvres, beverages, raffle and door prizes.

To learn more, and to register for the October 18 2013 BWF at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Connecticut from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit, or call the Waterbury Regional Chamber at 203-757-0701.