Business & Economy

Sold-out UWF Women in Leadership conference tackles important topics

The University of West Florida College of Business Executive Mentor Program welcomed 450 inspired attendees to its annual Women in Leadership conference at the UWF Conference Center and Auditorium on Friday, March 9.

“I was so pleased that the UWF conference center was filled to capacity for our Women in Leadership conference for the fifth year in a row,” said Dr. Sherry Hartnett, conference chair of the UWF Executive Mentor Program. “It warmed my heart to have attendees rave about our awesome speakers and tell me how much they benefited from what they learned and how inspired they left the conference feeling.”

With a theme of “Designing Your Future,” presentations at the sold-out conference focused on designing a future career, how to advance in the early stages of a career through the challenges women face and how to develop oneself and peers through mentorship and support. Keynote speakers included Susan Story, CEO and president of American Waterworks Company Inc., and Karen Moore, CEO and founder of Moore Communications Group.

“It was an honor to speak at the Women in Leadership conference, which brought together women from across the region to share tips and forge mentoring relationships,” said Moore. “It was the must attend event of the year for the speakers and attendees!”

Amie Remington, general counsel for Landrum Human Resource Companies, Inc., moderated a panel discussing the “Evolving Role of Leading Women – in the Courtroom, Classroom, Boardroom and on the Battlefield”. Panelists included:

  • Alexis Bolin, Broker Associate, KW Keller Williams Realty Gulf Coast
  • Kara Cardona, Vice President, Greater Pensacola Operations, Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Eman El-Sheikh, Director, Center for Cybersecurity, University of West Florida
  • Susan Sowers, Rector, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and Retired Colonel, U.S. Army

Mollye Barrows, media and marketing specialist for Levin Papantonio law firm, moderated the second panel titled, “Emerging Leaders: How to be Successful by Embracing Change”.

The second panel was comprised of the following community leaders:

  • Ashley Hodge Harris, Director of Strategic Outreach & Engagement, Baptist Health Care
  • Jennifer Allen McFarren, Community Development Representative, Gulf Power Company
  • Chuntell Patterson, Listing Specialist, Property Management Division, Realty Masters of FL
  • Alison Westmoreland, Director, Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce, Visitor Information Center

The UWF Women in Leadership Conference is open to the public, including women, men, students and professionals. Each year, attendees gain valuable insights on personal development, career challenges and advancing beyond obstacles in the workforce, while expanding their professional networks.

For more information about the Women in Leadership conference, visit