Leadership experts to speak at third annual student conference

contact: Alyssa Benson
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University students have the opportunity to learn about leadership, community involvement and personal growth from nationally recognized experts at the third annual DESIGNEDtoLEAD conference Friday, Feb. 26, at WMU’s Bernhard Center.

Designed to lead

Developed and led by WMU business students, the all-day conference includes presentations by high-profile speakers providing motivational, leadership and communication strategies to help students succeed in their academic and post-graduate careers. The event is complimentary for all WMU students and is sponsored by the Haworth College of Business and 1st Source Bank.

"This year's DESIGNEDtoLEAD conference will be packed with great speakers and discussion on leadership and personal growth strategies," says Dr. Kay Palan, dean of the Haworth College of Business. "The event gives students the opportunity to fulfill an important need for intensive professional development that is critical for success in any industry."

“We're bringing in speakers from across the country, from all different walks of life, to engage our students and inspire them to become student leaders at WMU and later in their careers,” says student organizer Robert Nyhuis. “Our goal as a conference committee is to have our students be inspired to start their own success stories.”

Featured Speakers

  • Hannah Brencher is a writer, TED speaker and communications expert. Brencher founded The World Needs More Love Letters, a global community that has grown considerably since its founding in 2011.
  • Bob Goff, best-selling author and speaker, is the author of Love Does. He is also an attorney who founded Restore International, a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda, India and Somalia.
  • Amy Kenny is the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of New Holland Brewing. A WMU accountancy graduate, Kenny has more than 30 years of experience in management.
  • Arel Moodie,best-selling author, entrepreneur and nationally acclaimed public speaker, has been called a “high-energy motivator” by Inc. magazine and often speaks about topics such as likability and innovation.
  • Shani Penn, senior strategy advisor to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, has more than 12 years of corporate experience as well as community service experience in the city of Detroit.
  • Ryan Preisner,co-founder of boldSOCKS and Statement Sockwear and chief executive officer at Bold Endeavors LLC, has grown a successful six-figure accessory business that gives back to charitable causes.
  • Niles Heron is the founder of MichiganFunders.com, an equity crowdsourcing platform that supports Michigan-based startups by helping small business owners raise funds through community-based investing.

For more information or to register, visit wmich.edu/designedtolead or contact Cyntia Dawson at (269) 387-5069 or cyntia.dawson@wmich.edu.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.