Tri-Cities Women in Business Conference set for Jan. 23

By Loretto J. Hulse, Herald food writerJanuary 5, 2013 

Exchange marketing tips, enhance your communication skills and network with new and experienced professionals at the Tri-Cities Women in Business Conference on Jan. 23.

The conference is aimed at business women -- those who are just starting out, women working from home, executives at Hanford and private corporations, and everyone in between.

"There will be lots of personal development information, and you'll go away rejuvenated, invigorated and ready to go out and do great things," said Sue Pinard, events director for the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick.

The one-day event, organized by the chamber, is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at TRAC, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Tickets for the conference and the Network Tri-Cities Luncheon are $95. Tickets for just the luncheon are $20 for Regional Chamber members and $30 for non-members. Preregistration is required by Jan. 18.

Pinard is also accepting booth registrations, which are also due by Jan. 18. Cost for a 10-by-10-foot space is $400 and includes one ticket to the conference.

The chamber has also partnered with ATHENA International to give out the ATHENA Awards during the noon luncheon. The awards are presented to a woman or man for professional excellence, community service and actively assisting women to attain professional excellence and leadership skills.

"We'll be giving out two awards, one to a young professional woman, someone who's just starting out in business, and a second leadership award to someone who's been in business for several years, has won other achievement awards and been active in the community," Pinard said.

The award winners already have been selected, but their names won't be released until the luncheon.

Top participants in the chamber's Good Health is Good Business program also will be recognized.

Keynote speaker for the luncheon will be Sharelle Klaus of Seattle, founder of the Dry Soda Company.

A food and wine enthusiast, Klaus created soft drinks with flavors such as blood orange, cucumber and juniper berry using all-natural ingredients about eight years ago, Pinard said.

"She was pregnant and craving something non-alcoholic to pair with foods. They're less sweet than other sodas and have become quite the rage in Seattle, where bartenders like to use them for mixers," Pinard said.

The chamber bought several of the sodas -- which are sold at Safeway and Fred Meyer -- and taste-tested them during a staff meeting.

"They're very different and very good," Pinard said.

The conference will wrap up with a wine and chocolate social from 4:15-5 p.m.

For more information on the conference, or booth information, contact Pinard at 736-0510 or Or go to the chamber website at

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