Conference for working women set in February

Conference for working women set in February

Participants attending the 13th annual Conference for Working Women will learn how to be a working woman while creating a legacy, how office ergonomics work, the difference between depressed and depression, how Google can increase workplace productivity and receive wardrobe and makeup advice.

The conference is set for 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Feb. 11, at the University of Tennessee at Martin Boling University Center Duncan Ballroom. UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and Charley Deal, WestStar executive director, will welcome participants following continental breakfast and registration, which are scheduled for 8:30-9 a.m.

Sponsored by the WestStar Leadership Program and Tom E. Hendrix Chair of Excellence in Free Enterprise at UT?Martin, the conference is designed to appeal to all working women in West Tennessee. Whether you are an assistant, an executive, a manager, an elected official or the chief executive officer of a company, this conference is for you. 

Mary Kate Ridgeway, UT extension director, UT Extension Services and WestStar class of 2001, will lead the conference. The opening speaker will be Dr. Danny Nicholson, of Jefferson City, Carson Newman College vice president of advancement.  

His presentation, “Running Out of Time: Creating Your Own Legacy,” is set for 9:15-10 a.m. His career in higher education fundraising spans 26 years including six different institutions and raising more than $100 million to meet the needs of the students he has served. He is a frequent speaker in a variety of venues such as: CASE International conferences, Planned Giving Councils across the Southeast, colleges, high schools and churches. He has been published in CASE Currents magazine, International Journal of Philanthropy (Vanderbilt) and the Alumni and Development Report. 

Recently, he initiated a project that brought his friends and family together to produce an original album, “Legacy Road,” which featured 20 songs recorded in Nashville. 

The album has raised more than $20,000 toward the needs of children in Nicaragua. He speaks about how we all can leave a legacy in the lives of those around us by living a life of meaning and purpose. 

At 10 a.m., Dr. Todd Sherman, UT Martin health and human performance professor, will present “Desk Time.” 

Sherman received his Bachelor of Arts in physical education from Kentucky Wesleyan College, Master of Science in physical education: sports administration from Eastern Kentucky University and his Doctorate of Arts in Exercise Science from Middle Tennessee State University. 

Prior to his 10 years of teaching in higher education, Sherman managed a hospital-based rehabilitation/wellness facility. 

During his five years of clinical experience, Sherman has worked with patients with cardiac, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord, diabetes, obesity and orthopedic issues. 

As an educator, Sherman has taught at North Carolina A&T State University, Oxford College of Emory University and is now in his first year at UT Martin. 

His teaching responsibilities include exercise physiology, exercise testing and prescription, and special populations. 

His research interests include pediatric exercise science/wellness, testing and exercise prescription. 

Dr. Laura Melaro will present “Depression: Seconds Count – Be Knowledgeable” at 11 a.m. Melaro has resided all of her life and has practiced for 22 years in the West Tennessee area. 

She graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s in nursing science and a doctorate in nursing practice in 1985, 1989 and 2008, respectively.  

Her doctoral focus was in family psychiatric practice, with an emphasis on the severely and persistently mentally ill and telemental health. 

Melaro began her career in 1985 as a registered nurse in emergency and critical care venues and advanced to establish a private practice from 1989 to 1999 as a family nurse practitioner in Henderson. While juggling family and career, opportunities arose that led to a pursuit of employment in the community mental health setting from 1999 to the present. 

As an American Nurses Credentialing Center board certified Family and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, she divides her time between private psychiatric practice at Melaro Behavioral Consultants, Inc., in Henderson, inpatient psychiatric and alcohol/drug treatment at Pathways in Jackson, and clinical and academic teaching/supervision for numerous Tennessee universities. 

Michelle Weatherford, president of LEARN Consulting in Atoka, will be the speaker before lunch.  Her speech, “Touchdown: Scoring for Yourself-Happiness and Being Less Stressed,” is slated for 11:15 a.m.- noon.

At 12:30 p.m., beauty consultants will present “Before and After,” providing makeup tips. 

This will be  followed at 1 p.m. by “It’s GOOGLE Time,” presented by Steve Holt. 

Holt provides consulting on Web design, e-commerce, social media, leadership and marketing. He also is actively involved in speaking on those topics at conferences around the country. 

During the past 12 years, he has helped numerous local governments, economic and community development agencies, non-profits, banks and small business entities develop media and services to reach their constituents and markets. 

Since 1999, he has been the UT Martin director of the Instructional Technology Center and Web Services, and he has also taught computer science and economics at UT Martin for 11 years. 

Through the UT?Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (REED) Center, he has provided training and consulting throughout West Tennessee to chamber of commerce and economic development professionals. 

He has a Master’s of Business Administration from UT Martin.

Finally, Julie Burke, Milan Chamber of Commerce director and executive vice president, and a CABI Designer clothing independent consultant, will present “Fashion Time.” 

Burke graduated in December of 1993 from UT Martin with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. 

Since graduating from UT Martin, she has lived in all three geographical regions of Tennessee, with the last 11 years being in Knoxville. 

She was appointed earlier this year to the Milan Chamber of Commerce post and moved back to her hometown. 

The deadline to register is Feb. 4. Forms may be mailed to WestStar, UT Martin, 321 Administration Building, faxed to 731-881-7019 or emailed to 

If registering via email, include name, business, complete address and phone number. 

If registering for two people, make sure to include all information on both registrants. 

Credit cards are accepted. Also, participants can register online at 

The fee is $35 per person/$60 for two and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Make checks payable to WestStar. 

For more information, contact Virginia Grimes, WestStar coordinator, at 731-881-7298.

wcp 1/18/11

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