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You Heard it Here First

It helps to know people. Since you know the Finishing School for Modern Women, you're getting the exclusive on this year's Know Your Worth Women's Leadership Conference! See how smart you are?

If you haven't heard of this conference, you probably have no idea why I'm so excited. It was started four years ago to connect women of diverse backgrounds and career paths to foster opportunities, network, and learn from one another. Sound familiar? Of course, I had to check it out.

I attended the first year and loved it so much I volunteered to be on the planning committee for the 2016 conference. Next thing you know, I'm co-chair of the event, and here we are in our fourth year! (Check out the rest of the story in this When Women Lead article from last year.)

Since I've put out several "save the date" announcements, it's no surprise that this powerful day of women's leadership development is happening on Friday, September 27, from 8:00 AM until 3:30 PM.

For the past two years the conference has sold out so fast, we've outgrown the Kansas Leadership Center. As much as we'll miss being there, his year we've changed the location. We're moving the event across the street to the Ruffin Building, at 100 N. Broadway to give us a little more room.

We're going to need more room this year because our keynote speakers are going to be spectacular! Because you're a Modern Woman, you're the first to know who they'll be and that registration opens on Tuesday, August 6!

Here I am with our keynote speaker, Tiffany Pham, at Watermark Books and Cafe

I had the pleasure of meeting our keynote speaker in April this year. Sarah Bagby, Boss Lady at Watermark Books and Café, asked me to introduce her at an author's event at the store. (See what I mean about how it helps to know people.)

As I researched this phenomenal young woman to write the introduction, I was blown away at everything she's accomplished in her short life. I might have been a little intimidated too. Here's the introduction I wrote:

Congratulations on being here tonight. As Headmistress of the Finishing School for Modern Women, I believe the best investments we can make in ourselves are the commitment to lifelong learning and surrounding ourselves with people who believe we can accomplish anything by working together.

I am honored to introduce to you to a woman who embodies these exact values. She is the author of two books, "You are a Mogul" and" Girl Mogul," the book she's here to share with us tonight. Besides being a bestselling author, she brings together women from across 196 countries and over 30,000 cities through her global platform Mogul. Through this site, she helps women discover how to speak their voices and define, envision, and achieve their goals. Here to help us realize our inner mogul and how to become our own best self, help me welcome Tiffany Pham.

Watching her talk, I was impressed by her humbleness and genuine desire to lift women up and help them achieve. She has impressive credentials and honors, including being named one of Forbes "30 Under 30" in Media, and Business Insider's "30 Most Important Women Under 30" in Technology." Her achievements could have caused her to be arrogant, but she exuded kindness and openness with charming confidence.

After her reading, I told Tiffany about our conference and asked her if she'd consider coming back to Wichita to be our keynote speaker. She gave me the email for her assistant so that I could send more information for her consideration.

In her books, she shares an email template to reach out to people you want to know to ask for what you want. I used that template as my guide to email Tiffany's assistant. You know what? It really works!

She's so inspiring. I'm excited to see what Tiffany has to tell us. Go check out the website for her company, that she learned to code and build in her spare time.

Here I am with my hero, Myrne Roe at last year's conference

Our afternoon keynote will be Myrne Roe. She's one of my longtime heroes. I was so excited last year when she agreed to be on a panel for a discussion about advocating for women. We all loved hearing her stories about the work she's done for women and couldn't get enough of her.

Myrne got rave reviews from everyone on the feedback form, and lots of people begged us to bring her back again this year. What else could we do? Her history and achievements are inspiring. She was a crucial player in the women's rights movement in Wichita and did a lot to make things better in our city. Read more about her here, from receiving the Women Made a Difference award.

The breakout speakers are going to be so good it'll be hard to choose which session to attend! We have:

  • Jenny Dawn, of Jenny Dawn Cellars, who is starting up Wichita's first urban winery opening soon in Union Station.

  • Suzanne Tobias, editorial page writer with the Wichita Eagle.

  • Ret. Col. Brenda Dietzman, recently retired Sedgwick Country Undersheriff

  • Amy Williams, Diversity & Inclusion / Corporate Responsibility Executive at Spirit AeroSystems

  • Portia Portugal, Manager of Donor Services at Wichita Community Foundation and former Executive Director of Dress for Success Wichita

  • Candace Gibson of Resister ICT, a community of women seeking to highlight female unity and empowerment in Wichita, Kansas.

The cost of the conference is $79 and includes a copy of Tiffany Pham's book "Girl Mogul." We'll provide a light breakfast and lunch. Registrants can also attend the mixer the night before at the Monarch, which is always fun.

I love co-chairing this event with Denise Sherman, who has become a good friend. Collaborating with her has helped me grow. We can challenge each other and push back without it feeling personal, even when we feel strongly about the topic.

Working on projects together is a great way to get to know people and learn who they really are. Everyone on our conference committee inspires me: Christina Long, Stacy Ward, Tyrena Judie, Faith Taylor, our administrative assistant Jordan Colcord, our Mistress of Ceremonies Carla Eckels of KMUW, and our advisor Julia McBride of the Kansas Leadership Center.

This small but mighty group of women make it easy to pull off an uplifting and inspiring conference to connect women of diverse backgrounds and career paths to foster opportunities, network, and learn from one another.

I hope you'll join us.

Don't think about it too long though! We sell out fast. Go to on Tuesday, August 6, to register!

Headmistress Jill

Last year's conference was fabulous. This year will be even better!


The Finishing School for Modern Women, located in Wichita, Kansas, offers classes to help women find their authentic selves; not because we need finishing, but because we’re never finished. We bring together women of all ages, to learn from experts and each other, how to claim our power in business, finance, communication, and life. To learn more about our live classes visit or for our online classes and free social membership.

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