Women & Leadership

Track Leader: Lori Sliwa

Every woman has the ability to be a leader in some capacity, and leadership does not have to mean an “official” position of power.  Leadership can simply be about finding your voice and learning how to express yourself.

Do you see yourself as a leader?  Do others see you as leader?  How can you identify those traits that will help you be an effective leader?  What traits might women possess as leaders that serve them well, and conversely, what traits might be perceived as disadvantages?  Who can you call upon to serve as mentor?  To whom can you serve as a mentor?

This track explores both traditional and non-traditional paths to leadership as well as how new and emerging leaders can identify and employ their distinct leadership skills to effectively find their voice and impact change within their own communities.

Through community conversation, personal story sharing, and reflection activities, participants will identify and explore an issue that they want to address within their own community/organization.  Participants will create a solution that draws upon their developing leadership skills, identify a mentor and other support systems, and identify another emerging leader they can in turn mentor.


Who Should Attend?

  • New and emerging leaders
  • Anyone who is asking themselves, “Am I a leader?”
  • Anyone who aspires to positions of leadership
  • Anyone interested in serving as a mentor or advocate for new and emerging leaders


What Can I Expect to Learn?

  • The many definitions of what it means to be a leader
  • Traditional and non-traditional leadership paths, examples, and strategies for taking on a leadership role
  • Awareness of self and personal communication style, and why this matters
  • Tools and activities to promote confidence
  • The importance and how-to’s of both being mentored and serving as a mentor
  • Insight from women who serve in varying leadership roles and how they came to be seen as leaders, and embrace those roles

Track Capacity: 15

Lori Sliwa has 26 years of experience as a nonprofit and human resources professional working in higher education and private industry.  Lori currently serves as the executive director of the New Opportunity School for Women, Inc. (NOSW) in Berea, Ky., where she has been since April 2011, and also served at the NOSW’s first expansion school in Banner Elk NC from 2007-2009.  Working with a staff of four and a 12-member board, Lori coordinates all fundraising, programming, and business operations.  A native of Western New York, Lori spent many years as an adventurous trailing partner alongside her husband living as far south as Montgomery, Al. and back to the New York City-area, where she had the opportunity to work at The University of TN-Knoxville, Macy’s Herald Square, Syracuse University, and Maryville College, to name just a few.  She believes all life experiences, not titles, help each of us to become leaders in our own right, and we can become our best selves with the support and encouragement of strong mentors.