She Leads Summit

May 20, 2024

Empowering women’s leadership

Merchants Bonding Company proudly hosted its first-ever She Leads Summit, bringing together a diverse group of Merchants’ female associates for a day of inspiration, networking, and professional development. The event, held at the company's headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa, was designed to empower women in leadership roles and to foster a community of support and collaboration among female professionals.

After years of attending other conferences targeted to women, Merchants’ leaders recognized the opportunity to create an experience tailored specifically to its associates, ensuring the content provided maximum benefit to the attendees.

“The She Leads Summit was a tremendous success,” said Senior Training and Development Consultant Michelle Cole, who planned and executed the event. “It was an honor to bring together such a talented group of women and witness the powerful connections and growth that took place. We are excited to continue this tradition and support the development of future female leaders.”

Merchants’ female Executive Committee members Elisabeth Sandersfeld, Therese Wielage, and Stacey Cale invited notable female leaders in the community, including Merchants Bonding Company’s Board and Advisory Committee members, to participate in engaging panels and speed networking sessions.

The summit concluded with an inspiring keynote address by Beth Shelton, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. Shelton's talk resonated deeply with the audience, as she shared her journey and advice for becoming a resilient leader.

Merchants has a long history of empowering female leaders, including signing on to the Economic Potential for Iowa Companies (EPIC) Challenge which launched in 2015. Designed to encourage Iowa companies and organizations to put more women in leadership positions, the EPIC Challenge continues to inform Merchants’ talent acquisition as well as internal initiatives focused on professional development and mentorship for women. These efforts have significantly contributed to the growth and success of female associates within the company.

Moving forward, the She Leads Summit will be an annual event, continuing to spotlight, support, and uplift women in leadership roles across industries.