Kolleen Edwards Chesley has 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and spent the majority of her career as a financial advisor. In that role, Kolleen was responsible for finding her own clients and quickly learned the value of networking, networking, and even more networking. It was in 2004 and during her sales career that she, along with two other professional business women met for lunch with the purpose of helping to motivate each other after Hurricane Ivan had blown through our area and changed not only the physical landscape of the area, but also impacted the business landscape as well. Out of that lunch was born what is now a thriving not-for-profit organization for business women.
Kolleen currently serves full-time as the Founding Director of what was originally called Women’s Business Lunch and is now known as Powerful Women of the Gulf Coast. The organization advocates a culture of confidence building, lifelong learning, collaboration, empowering others and a spirit of charitable giving.
The mission of Powerful Women of the Gulf Coast is to promote, advance and improve women in business and the organization accomplishes these in a number of different ways.
- Monthly networking meetings in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze. These are open to all women and are free to attend. We run a structured meeting with open networking, an educational segment, a sponsor presentation, an opportunity to hear about the businesses of all attendees, and a whole lot of fun. We frequently hear from attendees that these meeting are chock full of value and a great way to build new relationships to help support their businesses. The Pensacola meetings include lunch paid for by our sponsors.
- Powerful Women of the Gulf Coast Magazine. We have produced 4 editions of this print magazine. Each edition features interviewees of local successful leaders in business who share their honest thoughts on leadership, success, obstacles, and inspiration as it relates to women in business. We also include other articles on leadership, networking, and other skill development. It is geared for anyone in business or looking for business motivation and tips. Our goal is for this to be a quarterly publication, however the magazine is currently on hold as we explore graphic designers. Our latest edition can still be found on our website.
- Annual Pursue Your Passion Women’s conference. To help celebrate National Business Women’s Week, we hold a full day conference during the third week of October along with several other events leading up to the conference. We feature a national keynote speaker, several local successful leaders in business, along with Speed Networking, an Experience Hall, structured and unstructured networking exercises and plenty of laughter, relationship building and excitement. Our attendees are not only motivated by the conference but they leave with tangible tips they can take back and implement in their businesses to lead them to success. For 2018, our conference will be held on Wednesday, October 17th and Thursday, October 18th, 2018 at Sanders Beach.
- Power Up Challenge is a 12 week educational series where we hold classes once a week for two hours. Classes focused around four main areas of business: Networking, Marketing, Business Efficiency, and Sales Skills. Open to men and women and all classmates receive the full audio recording of each class along with class notes, expanded notes, and extra resources. Remote classes also available. Classes are affordable and attendees are elated with the amount and quality of the information that is shared.
Women in Leadership radio podcast show – sponsored by Pensacola Business Radio X. We hold monthly shows featuring local community leaders and other men and women in business. We engage our guests in conversational style in-depth interviews.
Kathy Summerlin/Saenger Pensacola
*Broad experience in booking negotiations and special event planning and management from both a non-profit and for-profit aspects including talent research, sound, lighting, logistics, and catering.
*Extensive experience in event marketing including media placement, media relations, promotional projects, group sales, direct mail, social media, television, cable and radio.
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