Chamber’s EMPOWER event inspires connection through local leaders

MORRIS – The Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry in partnership with GLOW Pro Coaching by Jonelle Carter hosted their first EMPOWER: An inspirational Women’s Event Nov. 14. There was about 130 women and men who attended the event at the new Morris Theater which has been transformed into a banquet space.

EMPOWER was all about creating a safe space for women of the community to come together to share their stories and to uplift each other in an inspirational environment.

“This is something our membership has been asking about for a while, it feels good to achieve this and see the success it has had in the chamber community,” Christina Van Yperen, Chamber President & CEO, said.

The afternoon started out with keynote speaker Jonelle Carter of GLOW Pro Coaching speaking to the audience encouraging them to start looking behind the title and to genuinely greet each other instead of going through the mundane motions of everyday life. Carter has been working closely with the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce on EMPOWER.

“The launch of GLOW at the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce EMPOWER Event was a dream come true. I’m grateful for the exceptional women who supported and planned this event. I’m eagerly anticipating the opportunity to continue bringing light to women’s lives,” Carter said.

Following Carter’s keynote, a guest speaker panel called Spark the Conversation started and was led by Carter and Van Yperen. The panel consisted of Morris Police Chief Alicia Steffes, Dresden Plant Manager Carolyne Joseph and Owner of Tunnel Vision Academy and Mary Kay Sales Director Tiffany Wills.

Spark the Conversation was an open-ended conversation guided by questions that would encourage not only the guest speakers but also the audience to share their stories and create connections through shared experiences.

“It was a privilege to attend EMPOWER! My colleague and I were delighted to share the afternoon with strong women in our business community. I was inspired by the strength and stories from our female leaders. This was a fantastic event and a necessary annual tradition for the Grundy County Chamber- I would certainly attend again,” said Rachael McDonald, area sales director for Holiday Inn Express Morris.

The event concluded with a cocktail hour that allowed the audience to connect with each other on a deeper level. The Chamber is thrilled to have had such a great turnout for this event and look forward to what this event can become in the future.