Past Presidents

DSC04585Donna Hirner-Gardner
President 2016-2017
Shoot for the Moon and Land in the Stars

First of all I would like to say thank you for having the confidence in me to be elected as your president of the Sedalia Business Women club. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Lori Haney and all the SBW ladies giving me so much support.

My theme this year is “Shoot for the moon and land in the stars.”  To me you are all stars!

The goals I would like to see our club accomplish for 2016-2017 are the following:

  • To retain our current membership and build onto our membership. I want to invite you to take your time and encourage your friends, and coworkers to become part of our club.
  • To be involved with Domestic Violence Awareness and that is one reason I chose the color purple. We also need to be involved with the Sexual Assault Awareness that is one reason why I chose the color blue.  Teal blue is the Sexual Assault Awareness color.
  • To help women going back to college through the use of our scholarships that Sedalia Business Women award to women who apply for the scholarships and win them. To keep promoting our scholarships on social media and in the newspaper.
  • Support both local and state Foundation. We also need to continue to support our non-for profit organizations in our community through special projects.

Lastly to keep “Pay it forward” ongoing. I selected CASA as the organization to support. This organization exists to house, educate, advocate and give services to those who need them. It does this by developing goals and objectives when the victims first come into the shelter. The residents receiving counseling, case management, crisis care, and are referred to organizations to exist in our community to help those who are less fortunate

Our BWM objectives were defined in 1938 and have remained constant through the years. Our goal should be to achieve equality for all women in the workplace, continue opportunities for women through education and fellowship. We will advocate for educate end information, elevate standards for all women wherever they may be employed, and bring about a spirit of cooperation among all working women in Missouri.

Again let me thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve as your SBW president for the 2016-2017 year. With your support we can shoot for the moon and land in the stars. I chose the colors purple blue and silver because they are the colors of the universe. As we shoot for the moon and land in the stars we are reminded that each of us is a star.

Donna Hirner-Gardner
SBW President 2016-17

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2016– 2017 Sedalia Business Women Officers

2016-17 SBW Officers: Debbie Ulmer, Debra Andresen, Michelle Sparks, Donna Hirner, and Della Schnakenberg. Not pictured: Dena Stockstill

2016-17 SBW Officers: Debbie Ulmer, Debra Andresen, Michelle Sparks, Donna Hirner, and Della Schnakenberg. Not pictured: Dena Stockstill

Click here for Sedalia Business Women Committees 2016-17

 

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Michelle Sparks
President 2015-2016
Embrace Our Past – Empower Our Future

I am honored to serve as your 2015-2016 president. My theme this year is “Embrace Our Past, Empower Our Future.”

Let’s start with the past when I served my first term as president two years ago. My theme was “Building a Strong Foundation… Pay It Forward.” I gained a lot of knowledge during the year I served as your president.

My goals for the upcoming year:

  • Recognize the importance of maintaining a strong membership through retention and to be “empowered” enough to reach out to prospective members for our future growth.
  • Help women who are trying to get their degree through our scholarships. I would like to see us promote our scholarship information on social networking sites and be more accessible in advertising the availability of our local scholarships.
  • Embrace our past and keep our legacy strong through continuing support of our Foundation, both State and Local, and continue supporting our community non-profit organizations through Special Projects.
  • To keep “Pay it Forward” ongoing, I have selected PROP’S. PROP exists to provide assistance to the homeless. It does this by assessing needs, developing a plan of action, providing case management, and referring/coordinating existing community resources and services. We will be collecting monthly supply donations to help those who are less fortunate.

I think now is the time we need to ask ourselves, “What can I do for SBW?” Then, consider what SBW can do for you: Networking, Contacts, Friendships, Mentoring others. Ask yourself, “Why do I stay in this organization?” Many of us have been in this organization thirty-plus years. We are the largest club in the state of Missouri. Five past state presidents came from our club first before going on to state accomplishments.

Our BWM objectives were defined in 1938 and have remained constant through the years. Our goals should be to achieve equality for all women in the workplace. We should advocate for education and information, elevate standards for all women where ever they may be employed, bring about the spirit of cooperation among all working women in Missouri, and continue opportunities for women through education and fellowship.

Again, I thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve another term as your 2015-2016 SBW president. Many ladies before me have served in this position, some even twice. I hope together, with your support, we can “Embrace Our Past and Empower Our Future.”

Michelle Sparks
SBW President 2015-16

2015 16 officers 2 smallSedalia Business Women’s 2015-16 Officers Front: Lori Haney, director; Michelle Sparks, president; Debbie Ulmer, secretary

Back: Amanda Davis (standing in for Donna Hirner-Gardner, president-elect); Kayla Clutter, first vice-president; Debra Andresen, second vice-president; Della Schnakenberg, treasurer.

Click here for Sedalia Business Women Committees 2015-2016

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LoriHaney

Lori Haney

Lori Haney
President 2014-2015
Building on Our Legacy – Keep the Flame Alive

To my fellow SBW sisters – thank you for giving me this privilege. Thank you for entrusting me to be your president this year. My theme, my goal for this year is to continue “Building on our Legacy” and “to keep the flame alive.” As your president, I inherit a strong, rich history that was established by many women before my time. It is my goal to add to and learn from their work so that we can sustain our efforts to empower future generations of women. My goals this year include:

    • Facilitating a cross-generational mentoring program through Individual Growth and Generations Taking Charge. I want our generations of traditionalists and baby boomers to share with our Gen-Xers and Millennials their knowledge and expertise of the professional realm. To teach the tried and true business practices that can only come with years of work or through the guidance of mentoring. I want our Gen-Xers and Millennials to then mentor our Traditionalists and Baby Boomers on how to better incorporate technology into our business practices and into our club, and help us all learn the skills to keep up with a fast changing professional world.
    • From this, I hope to create a social media committee whose focus is to promote who we are and share our mission with our community. I want this entire community to know the great work we are doing in this area so that it will draw new members to invest in this club and themselves.
    • Finally, I want to continue this club’s tradition of supporting the work to rape and abuse of women and children in our community by continuing our support of “Operation Sweatsuit” for our sexual assault survivors and also host another “Panty Raid” to support rape and abuse survivors at CASA. I further want to honor our past president, Michelle Sparks, by continuing to “Pay It Forward.” CASA benefited greatly from all of the wonderful donations we received from this club during her year. As the director of CASA, I thank each of you. And my gesture to “Pay It Forward” is to encourage each of you to contribute monthly to Child Safe, a wonderful agency in our community working to end the abuse and sexual assault of children.

It is my hope that these goals will help to promote the longevity of this organization and continue to empower a community of strong business women to lead us for generations to come. Throughout history, women have changed the cultural and political landscape of our world. Generations before us fought for women’s rights to be landowners and to vote; for the right to work and expect equal pay for our work; for the right to make choices about our own bodies; and for the right to be defined as our own autonomous beings.

With each of these hard fought fights, it took the collaboration of many women to bring about change, and the change they yielded has bettered the circumstances for the next generation of women in this world.

It is my challenge to my fellow SBW sisters to recognize the strengths, capabilities, and accomplishments of the various generations that make up our club and the whole history of the women’s movement.

There is a legacy that was left to every generation that preserved our history and made the next generations’ circumstances better. My overarching goal for this year is to learn from one another, across generational lines, so that we may continue to build on that legacy left by the women before us. May our passion for equality and our passion to leave this world better than we found it, burn bright in each of us. I’m not asking that we pass the torch or flame on to the next generation of women to come, but that we share and help ignite that flame in each of them so that it burns eternally. Please help Keep the Flame Alive. We owe this to ourselves and to our fellow sisters. We’ve proven we can make lasting cultural, professional, and political change in this world. As women, we are fierce! We’re amazing! Just look at Ginger Rogers, “She did everything Fred Astaire could do, but she did backwards and in high heels!”

I am honored to be your President, and look to each of you for your support and guidance to lead this club through my year as your President. I look forward to serving each of you and the legacy of Sedalia Business Women.

Lori Haney
SBW President 2014-15

Sedalia Business Women’s 2014-15 Officers: Debbie Ulmer, secretary; Lori Haney, president; Michelle Sparks, president elect; Donna Hirner-Gardner, 1st vice president. Back row: Linda Fisher, director; Della Schnakenberg, treasurer. Not pictured: Katy Albrecht, 2nd vice president.

Click here for Sedalia Business Women Committees 2014-2015

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michellesparks

Michelle Sparks

Michelle Sparks
President 2013-2014
Building a Strong Foundation: Pay It Forward

I am very honored to serve as your president. I chose my theme “Building a Strong Foundation…Pay it Forward” because it defines who I am.

I have been building my foundation for the past ten years. I joined this organization by way of Nancy Grey, who was my boss at the time at Applebee’s at the time, and is currently Business Women of Missouri state president. Nancy invited me to come check out this organization and see what it had to offer for women who were striving to be their best by doing their best.

Arlene Wischmeier, past president and past woman of the year, took me under her wing and began mentoring me. She encouraged me to apply for the scholarships Sedalia Business Women offers to women who are going back to school to further their education. Arlene also showed me what this club is so gracious about doing—giving back to our community. I became involved in Special Projects Committee and Foundation Committee. At that time in my life, I was a full time student, mother, and wife, but also worked outside the home thirty-plus hours weekly.

I found time for other outside interests and was a supervisor judge at the local election polls. I met another person there who I call my encourager, Anne Hamilton. She is a past local president and active long time member of this club. Anne is one of the club members who encouraged me to take an active interest in this organization, first as a member and now as an officer. She has encouraged me to do my best to “go set the world on fire.”

I want to give special recognition to another woman who was a friend when I needed it the most and meant a lot to me and my family. She was a past president and woman of the year—Doris Tippie. Her enthusiasm was such a delight to my life, and I will always cherish her friendship.

Where I would like to see this organization go this year? I have a few goals I would like to see our group accomplish:

    • To retain our current membership, but also build onto our membership. I encourage you to invite friends and co-workers to come be part of our club. To continue “Building a Strong Foundation.”
    • To be involved with Domestic Violence Awareness. That is why I chose the passionate, vibrant royal color, purple. It stands on its own accord by saying “I am a survivor.” I would like to see our club give support to the local community shelter, whether by volunteering time, donations of needed items, or through monetary donations.
    • Vote to let your voice be heard. Be active in letting our legislators know how you feel about women issues and the Equal Rights Amendment. As the saying goes “Vote early and vote often.” We have a voice; we need to be heard. I have been a supervisor judge for ten-plus years, at voting polls. I feel that it is important to keep ourselves informed on the voting issues at hand.

I have seen many changes over the past decade as this group of women continues to embrace the old and yet remain flexible enough to embrace the name change from BPW to SBW. The women before me who served as president laid the groundwork of a strong foundation that we can continue building on.

When I told past state president, Betty Beason, that I was the next local president for Sedalia, she said, “You have some big shoes to fill.” I hope I am up to the challenge ahead of me, and with your support, I know I can be.

I especially like “Pay it Forward” as the best way to give back what has been given to you. By paying it forward, I have been involved in a woman-to-woman mentoring program. I’ve mentored several different individuals over the past several years. Watching them grow and give back to their community gives me joy to know I had a hand in their growth. They are stronger for participating in this program. To know that someone cares and supports you means a lot. My challenge to you is to become a mentor to someone you may not know very well and give them your support without expecting anything in return. I promise you, you will be rewarded, and it will come back to you in other ways.

Lastly, I would like to thank those that got me here to this point in my life: my family. To my husband Chris—your support means a lot to me. Thank you for allowing me to pursue my dreams. I know it has been a sacrifice on your behalf with me gone a lot, involved in many different organizations. I thank you for putting up with me and always loving me for the past twenty-three years.

To my daughter Ashley, I hope you will always pursue your heart’s desire. Don’t settle for anything less. I hope I have helped you become a strong, independent individual who will always seek to strive the best life has to offer. I want you to know how proud I am of you. You amaze me every day by how much you are growing up from a child to young adult. I know with my determination and your dad’s stubbornness, you are going to go far in life. I hope someday if you get the chance, you will be able to “Pay It Forward.” I love you both. Sometimes I take that for granted and don’t say it often enough.

To my grandma: thank you for being a positive role model in my life. You are always giving from your heart and wanting only the best for others. Love you.

To my friends who support me. I have had a lot of wonderful memories with you. Many of you have been a rock, a steady constant, and always there in my corner during the good times and bad. You have had my back, and I have yours. You are a solid piece of my foundation. I can count on you to be there to encourage me along the way.

To Linda Fisher: Thank you for taking me under your supervision wing. I hope I can “fill those big shoes” you are leaving behind and carry on where you are leaving off. You helped our organization out when we were experiencing some difficult changes. You did it with class, grace and made it look so effortless. Your encouraging words over this past year have meant a lot to me.

I hope this year holds a lot of promise and surprises. Expect the unexpected. I know it will be a challenging and a fun year. With my officers and club support, we can “Build a Strong Foundation by Paying it Forward” together.

Michelle Sparks
SBW President 2013-14

Julia Bowers, 1st Vice President; Donna Hirner, Secretary; Della Schnakenberg, Treasurer; Michelle Sparks, President; Linda Fisher, Director; Lori Haney, President Elect. Brenda Tippie, 2nd Vice President not pictured.

Click here for Sedalia Business Women Committees 2013-2014

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Linda Fisher

Linda Fisher

Linda Fisher
President 2012-2013
Connect the Dots

A short year ago, I talked to you about Brighter Tomorrows, and the symbolism of the feminine sunface. It certainly seems that the past year just flew by, and yet, looking back, it was a year jam-packed with events and accomplishments.

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with many of you, and that allowed me to learn from you. I learned from my board that when I ask for “ayes”, I should ask if anyone is opposed. I learned that sometimes there really are friends at a silent auction, and they are outbidding you because they’ve figured out what you really want and then they surprise you with it.

I am awed by the creativity and resourcefulness of the talented and dedicated SBW members. I was blessed with a board that supported me and pitched in time after time to go above and beyond their job descriptions.

The standing committees planned outstanding programs ranging from personal finance to historical women of Sedalia. We had a successful chicken dinner, and donated the proceeds to CASA, Child Safe, Meals on Wheels, and Open Door “Buddy Packs.” Last year we gave three – $700 scholarships and with another successful Red Purse raffle, we are in good shape to award scholarships again this year.

Now is not the time to stand back and reflect on the past—it is time to connect the dots in order to focus on the future.

My goals, or dots, to connect for 2012-2013 are:

    • Increase our club’s visibility in the community: The time for humility has passed! When we have an excellent program, award scholarships, or support our community—it should be in the newspaper. Our chicken dinner and red purse raffle are newsworthy events. We should throw the spotlight on our members when they win awards or accomplish great things.
    • Encourage networking within our club and on a state level: Locally, we’ve had socials, friendship lunches, and several of us communicate on Facebook. But we need to move outside our little group. We should encourage our friends and co-workers join us when we plan outings, or invite them to a friendship lunch. Post activities on Facebook, keep SBW visible. I would like to see us much more involved in Business Women of Missouri. We are the largest club in the state with 86 members and although we were well represented at the state conference with seven attendees, a club with 25 members had eight. Other conferences you should consider attending are the leadership conference, the legislative conference, the regional meeting, and inspiration breakfast. Most of the dues you pay go to support the programs offered by BWM. These conferences are opportunities to connect the dots between our club and BWM.
    • Support women in transition through scholarships and mentoring: Let’s continue our support of scholarships both locally and on the state level. I would like to see us support women in the military through adopt a female soldier, and help women transitioning out of the military. BWM has ideas to help, all we need to do is ask.
    • Fulfill our mission to advocate for women’s issues through a grassroots movement. We need to have a process in place so that we can mobilize our club to support legislation that affects women. I would like our legislative committee to offer a screening of Iron Jawed Angels to help us connect the dots between the indifference that stalled the ERA amendment to the passion of Alice Paul who wrote the amendment.
    • Build membership and retain current members: We can continue to build membership by offering friendship, support, and recognition to our members. We need to continue with great programs at our monthly meeting. I would like every member to make a personal commitment to invite a friend to at least one meeting this year. Through these invitations, we will naturally build membership. I joined this group after Brenda invited me to one meeting, then another, and yet another. It didn’t take me long to realize this group was made up of women who tirelessly used their talents to make this a better community for women of all circumstances. I’ve come to know your compassion, caring, and friendship.

Our goals are connected to those set forth by BWM President Megan Broemmer who was just installed as state president. Our own Nancy Grey is currently BWM’s president elect. Dianne Simon is committee chair for Individual Growth and I am serving as Regional Director Elect for the Northwest region.

Our club was recognized at the state conference for several awards. We received the Protecting the Legacy Award for Issues Management (Michelle Sparks, Chair), the Traveling Legislative Award (Brenda Tippie, Chair), Embracing the Future Top Recruiter Award, Nancy Grey, for recruiting 6 members, One Step at a Time Recruiting awards went to Brenda Tippie, Denise Jaegers, Sue Parrish, Vera Chrismer, and Marge Lumpe. Congratulations to each of you for winning these awards.

Thank you for choosing me as your president in 2012-13. I look forward to working with Michelle, Lori, Julia, Carolyn, Della, Cindy, committee chairs, presidential appointees, and members toconnect the dots to keep our organization vital and relevant.

I accept the challenge and see this as an opportunity to work with each of you throughout the year ahead. As we connect the dots together, they will lead us in the direction we are meant to take. We will keep moving forward to improve ourselves personally and professionally one dot, one step, at a time.

SBW 2012-2013 Officers – Cindy Goalder (Director),  Carolyn Green (Secretary-not pictured), Della Schnakenberg (Treasurer), Julia Bowers (Second VP), Lori Haney (Vice President), Michelle Sparks (President Elect) and Linda Fisher (President).

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Linda Fisher

Linda Fisher

Linda Fisher
President 2011-2012
Brighter Tomorrows

I am honored to serve as president of Sedalia Business Women for 2011-2012.

I began my apprenticeship toward this office by serving as corresponding secretary for Nancy Grey, Membership Chair (2nd vice president) for Marla Franklin, Issues Management (1st vice president) for Dianne Simon, and Finance Chair (president elect) for Cindy Goalder. Through their dedication and leadership skills, these women, like the presidents before them, shaped brighter tomorrows for our club.

Nancy and Marla served while we were part of BPW/USA. Dianne was president during the transition away from our national organization. Our club united to support this important and necessary change. Cindy was president when we re-chartered as Sedalia Business Women of Missouri.

Now, we have found our footing as an organization with the best of both worlds. We have the passion and history of Business and Professional Women while moving forward with a revitalized organization with stronger ties to our community and to our state.

I have chosen the feminine sunface to represent growth and positive energy. My theme Brighter Tomorrows for Women of All Generations recognizes that our current members, past members, and future members are essential to our success. The women who came before us left a legacy for current members to build on to make brighter tomorrows for the women who will someday assume our roles.

Recently, I met Helen Giokaris who joined our club in 1950 and served as our president in 1966-67. Helen was given a “gift of a day.” She was asked the question, “If you knew you had only one day left to live, what would you like to do?” Helen chose to spend her day visiting with the friends she made in BPW and to meet the new members—the women who currently carry the baton. I didn’t know what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised to meet such an intelligent, likable, and delightful woman. Helen Giokaris was still passionate about belonging to this group.

Joining the Sedalia club was a pivotal moment for me. I met and became friends with women of all generations and stand in awe of their individual talents and skills. SBW membership gives me opportunities to learn from our monthly programs as well as from Business Women of Missouri (BWM) conferences and seminars.

SBW and BWM offer leadership opportunities for women at all stages of their careers. Both groups offer scholarships to women of all ages whether they are just beginning college or are in transition. BWM is working on a Generations Taking Charge program—formerly known as Young Careerist. This year, SBW reinstated the Individual Growth program under the leadership of Dianne Simon and Nancy Grey.

Our committee chairs put together outstanding programs throughout the year. For example, the finance committee has announced the June speaker will be Virgil McDonald with Edward Jones Investments speaking on “A Woman’s Guide to Money Matters.” Programs like this add value to your SBW membership.

At the Conference last weekend, the Business Women of Missouri announced the 2011-12 Issues Management topics. These topics will be our focus throughout the coming year.

  1. Embrace the future with technology at all membership levels. SBW uses technology to communicate with our members. We have an outstanding website, thanks to our web designer and webmaster, Harold Ream. I want to see us kick it up a notch to make the website the go-to resource for our members and prospective members.
  1. Protect the legacy by increasing membership. SBW has more than 70 members and is the largest club in the state. My goal is to increase membership by 10% through member retention and by attracting new members.
  1. Embrace the future by promoting Business Women of Missouri throughout the state.We can wholeheartedly support Business Women of Missouri’s legislative platform, which includes the Alice Paul Equal Rights Amendment, economic equity, health programs, and civil and social programs.

Through our members’ community involvement, we make an impact throughout the state. When we are passionate about a cause, we find time to be involved. In addition to SBW, I’m a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and still find time for involvement in three different writing groups.

How many of you volunteer for other organizations besides SBW? Because you are busy women, I want you to know that I truly appreciate the time you devote to committee work and to fulfill the SBW mission.

SBW promotes the professional growth of women in our community. Beneath the watchful eyes of the feminine sunface, SBW members can use their positive energy to develop personally, professionally, and spiritually. Each member is important to our success, and I look forward to working with each of you to make brighter tomorrows for women of all generations.

On May 5, 2011, Sedalia Business Women officers were installed for 2011-2012 at Best Western. Officers from left to right are Cindy Goalder (Director), Della Schnakenberg (Treasurer), LaSondra Marsch (Secretary), Valerie Dent (2nd Vice President), Michelle Sparks (1st Vice President), Stacy Purvis (President Elect), and Linda Fisher (President).

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Cindy Goalder

Cindy Goalder

Cindy Goalder
President 2010-2011
**Women Emerging**

Over the past couple years our club has experienced many changes. I am sure some people have questioned what direction we would go in by leaving the National Organization; I know we all had many questions and concerns. But not unlike the Butterfly we broke out of our “cocoon” and are “emerging” a renewed and revitalized club in the community and are as of last state conference still the largest in the state.

Over this past year Dianne and the board have lead our club in the direction that I feel we should be going in, and we can feel comfortable with. I know Dianne had some issues as we all did on how quickly some of the transitions went, but I think overall we are on the right tract.

I know most of you have been members of this club for many years, and you know the time and work that goes into sustaining a club such as ours. We have lost several members for various reasons over the past several years, and unfortunately we haven’t had as many new members. It’s not just about attending the friendship lunch or the monthly dinner meeting; it’s about creating something that all women in Sedalia, and the State, can benefit from—either by education, networking or supporting various issues concerning women. All members of this club have something to contribute in some way. We will continue to focus this year on moving forward and continue the process to be a strong group that the community can continue to admire.

Our club has a long history in Sedalia and throughout the State. We have had four Past State Presidents from Sedalia. We have had members who have held director and state board positions. Nancy Grey was elected this past state conference as Secretary. Our accomplishments in the past have been abundant and I know we will continue that tradition as Sedalia Business Women.

Our state president this year, Ellen Hill chose the theme- Believe in the Power of Women. I am sure that all the local clubs in the State will join with her to make sure we support the action items of her platform.

Her issues include: Believe in the Power of Women to Achieve Economic Equality, Believe in the Power of Women to Have an Impact on the Future, and Believe in the Power of Women to End Domestic Violence.

I think my theme “Women Emerging” Past, Present and Future will work well to accomplish both our goals. It will take our past history and experiences to continue working on the new and exciting programs: such as the new Individual Growth and Generations Taking Charge. These programs will both help to educate new and existing members in a way that we need to be able to keep up-to-date on what is going on around us.

I think all of us would like to be a part of history and see a Women’s Equality Amendment passed in Missouri it’s long over due and something I hope everyone will get involved in by contacting their government representatives and getting them to support this important women’s issue. I know our Legislative Committee will keep us informed of all the upcoming issues that concern all women.

The women of today have a tremendous impact on every issue that happens today in their lives. Much more than they did when this club started more than 80 years ago, but those women helped pave the way for what we can accomplish now and for the young women that are to come after us. Our members need to encourage other women to become involved in Sedalia Business Women. We have a lot of new ideas in mind and hope you all will get more involved in the coming year.

Times are changing, technology is changing, and we need to keep up and be an important part of those changes. I look forward to a great year. I encourage all of you to step out of your box, and to emerge a Powerful Sedalia Business Women of the Future.

Cindy Goalder

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