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YWCA staff pictured include, Lisa Grills, Dana Russell and Amanda Johnson
(Photo by Cathy Koebke)

An Evening of Inspiration, Motivation and Fun

YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region Presents: Women's Empowerment Symposium

November 10, 2013       Leave a Comment
By: Cathy Koebke

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Strong alone. Fearless together.

Those are the powerful words Lisa Grills, executive director of the YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region, ended the Women's Empowerment Symposium with on November 6 at the Great Hall Banquet & Convention Center in Midland. Women from across the region enjoyed a night of inspiration, motivation and fun.

Attendees had the choice of attending two breakout sessions that focused on women's issues, engagement and empowerment. Topics and presentations this year included: Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum, former House Representatives that were silenced from the floor in Lansing for speaking out on a Reproductive Rights Bill.

Donna Murray-Brown, President and CEO of Michigan Nonprofit Association shared her story of climbing the corporate ladder as the only African American woman on her senior bank executive team. Dr. Tracy Weber, Founder of Kaleidoscope Learning Circle spoke on how we can accomplish economic advancement despite the challenges facing women in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Robby Roberts, Associate Director, CMU, Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship shared stories and strategies for success as an entrepreneur in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Keynote speaker, Jennifer Luzar, had attendees on their feet and literally laughing out loud, during her Laughter Yoga presentation.

Laughter Yoga is a practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter. Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter.

Studies have proven that laughter, improves your physical, mental and emotional health.

During her presentation, forced laughter soon turned into real and contagious laughter as attendees were following Luzar's simple, silly and fun Laughter Yoga exercises.

Attendees also enjoyed a silent auction, a chance to win an Autumn Bounty raffle, strolling appetizers and networking.

All proceeds from the symposium support YWCA programs for the economic advancement of women in the Great Lakes Bay Region. For more information on the YWCA, call 894-9055 or visit their website, .

Lisa Haines, second from left, was this year's event chair.
Photo by Cathy Koebke

Attendees had the chance to win the Autumn Bounty barrel of goodies.
Photo by Cathy Koebke

Attendees had fun participating in Laughter Yoga.
Photo by Cathy Koebke

Jennifer Luzar presented a Pop Quiz at the beginning of her presentation. All answers are TRUE!
Photo by Cathy Koebke

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Cathy Koebke

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