INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Conference for Women appointed former Indiana Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman as chair of the Indiana Conference for Women to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Nearly 2,000 women, of all ages and stages of careers, from across the nation are expected to attend the 10th annual Conference to participate in educational and professional development.
Skillman will work with the Conference’s board of directors to develop the Midwest’s largest one-day professional development event for women. Specific goals will focus on selecting leading breakout session speakers that are experts in their respective fields and creating an event conducive to the forging of relationships that will grow into stronger networks of women.
“Former Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman embodies what a true female leader is, making her the perfect chairperson to celebrate our 10th anniversary,” said Billie Dragoo Garcia, co-founder of the Indiana Conference for Women, with Deborah Collins Stephens. “She has spent her entire career exemplifying what it means to have purpose, passion and persistence while breaking down barriers for future generations.”
Becky Skillman has spent her entire career serving Indiana through her roles as an elected official, community leader and advocate for rural communities across the state. After her start as an elected official in Lawrence County, Skillman became the first woman to hold the office of Indiana State Senator, District 44, and went on to serve as the first woman to Chair the Indiana Senate Majority Caucus. During her 12 years in the Senate, she led the charge to include the state’s small towns and rural communities in its economic development agenda.
Skillman holds the historic distinction of being the first woman elected as Lieutenant Governor of the State of Indiana. From 2005 to 2013, she held more legal duties than any other Lieutenant Governor in the country. She managed five state agencies in total and administered more than $1 billion in programs. Additionally, she chaired the state’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Council, the intergovernmental entity responsible for homeland security, and served as President of the Indiana Senate.
One of Becky’s many accomplishments was writing and passing the legislation that created the Indiana Commission for Women with Senator Vi Simpson. “We wanted to ensure that women received all of the information that they needed to fully participate in every aspect of society,” said Skillman.
Since leaving public office, Skillman continues to share her leadership experience by serving on boards and as an advisor. In 2020, Skillman was selected as one of six Hoosiers to serve as an advisor to Governor Holcomb’s Economic Relief and Recovery Task Force in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is an honor to serve as the chair of the 2020 Indiana Conference for Women as we work together to provide educational, inspirational and professional development opportunities for women,” said Skillman. “I look forward to a day dedicated to women empowering and encouraging one another. Attendees will leave the conference with the confidence to excel in their endeavors.”
The Indiana Conference for Women will be held at the Indiana Convention Center. Keynote speakers announced include Taraji P. Henson: businesswoman, Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe winner and Betsey Johnson: business woman and iconic fashion designer. Additional keynote speakers and presenters will continue to be announced. Tickets are $350 each and tables for 10 people are available online. For more information, visit IndianaConferenceForWomen.com.
As part of the 10-year celebration, the Conference created a brand new mobile phone application that features year-round educational content, updates, podcasts from past speaker sessions and other interesting information. The Indiana Conference for Women mobile phone application sponsored by Key Bank can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Major sponsors of the event include Indiana University, Strada Education Network, Ivy Tech Community College and RepuCare.
About the Indiana Conference for Women
The Indiana Conference for Women is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the educational and professional development of women at all ages and stages of careers. Since its inception in 2010, the one-day conference has become the largest gathering of professional and entrepreneurial women in the Midwest. This educational event plays a large role in the overall goal that founders, Deborah Collins Stephens and Billie Dragoo-Garcia envisioned: the building of a strong ecosystem that helps women build careers, create companies and experience lives that are rewarding, healthy and happy. For more information, visit IndianaConferenceForWomen.com.