Photo Recap: 1st Annual Ladyboss Summit

Written by: Ladyboss Lifestyle

Photos by Maddie Malat

“A Ladyboss is an empowered woman, confident in her abilities and instinct, boldly leading with heart and integrity. It’s not just about being a boss at work. It’s about leading like a boss. It’s about being the boss of your own life,” Laura Caroon said to the crowd-filled room of local women at the first ever Ladyboss Summit.

Photos from the first annual Ladyboss Summit

Sixty women gathered for a morning of inspiration, networking and empowerment at Wild Terra Cider House in Fargo. The event was driven by the desire that Co-Founders Danyel Moe and Laura Caroon had to uplift and connect professional women in the area. Throughout the event, women learned from local leaders and built relationships with fellow Ladybosses. The conference gave women actionable takeaways that empowered them in their Ladyboss lifestyle – however they define it.

Photos from the first annual Ladyboss Summit

Six speakers addressed the room, the first of the day being Jessica Thomasson who serves as the CEO of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, a non-profit corporation that helps people and communities across the state of North Dakota. Jessica’s talk begged the question, “Is Diversity Enough?”

The second speaker of the day was Bethlehem Gronneberg, Founder and CEO of uCodeGirl, a non-profit organization that empowers young girls to pursue opportunities in tech. Betty is a seasoned software engineer, public speaker, author, and a social entrepreneur working to expand the inclusion of diverse voices. Betty talked about “Dreaming in Color” – how she went from software engineer to social entrepreneur.

In the spirit of supporting women and girls, part of the event’s proceeds went toward sponsoring a young Ladyboss to attend the uCodeGirl Crack the Code: Summer Tech Camp for Girls. The Ladyboss Scholarship was awarded to Mackenzie, a veteran uCodeGirl who attends Cheney Middle School in West Fargo.

Photos from the first annual Ladyboss Summit

After Betty’s talk, a crowdfund was announced to the audience and two more scholarships were able to be awarded throughout the morning. Jodi Duncan and Flint Group generously supplied a full scholarship on the spot.

“These classes empower girls not only with skills in technology, but a new sense of confidence that they take with them for the rest of their lives. UCodeGirl is equipping the next generation of leaders, and we’re excited to play a small role in supporting these future Ladybosses,” said Caroon.

The last speaker of the first session was Chelsea Thorson, Founder of Make Room Fargo, an art studio for adults and kids alike to take classes and explore their creative side. Chelsea paired her talk with a craft, and encouraged women in the room to create freely and unapologetically. Chelsea’s claim is that everyone is inherently creative, and that there is no “creative bone” that only some are born with.

Wild Terra provided a beautiful customizable toast bar and mimosas. During the mid-morning break, women were able to eat, craft and connect with one another.

Photos from the first annual Ladyboss Summit

The first speaker of the second session was Simone Wai, a Community Builder and Co-Founder of Folkways, which supports culture creators in the area by building unique experiences. Though she is a student of marketing and business, the theme of her career has been working with artists, musicians, makers, and creators of all kinds. Simone talked about “Why Community Matters” and the importance of finding your place within this community. Simone reminded us that the most effective way to make a difference in your life and in your community is to vote.

Anna Lee, Minnesota-based designer and owner of Workerby workshops and coaching, has a heart for the community and a passion for independent fashion and the arts. As a lifelong connector, creator, and learner, Anna talked to the audience about how to create your own budget based on different forms of value. She explained that there is currency beyond monetary: such as cultural and social currency. Each Ladyboss left with a worksheet mapping out what sort of projects they will say yes to, and which ones they will not based on their own personal core values.

The final speaker of the morning, Jodi Duncan, President of Flint Group, talked about being a Good Bwitch or a Bad Bwitch. She believes that we need to rethink how we use the term, and how we can see it as a positive. Jodi has spent over 25 years in marketing and advertising, and In the last few years, Jodi realized she has had experiences that could help women grow in business and leadership.

Caroon closed with: “There’s 60 badass women in this room and we have over a thousand women in our Ladyboss Facebook group. Just think of what 1000 motivated, amazing women are capable of!”

Huge thank you to our sponsors of the first Ladyboss Summit: Dak and Co, KLJ, Office Sign Company, and Spotlight Media Inc.

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