The Associated Student Body at Dawson Community College will host its 2nd Annual Women in Leadership panel discussion on Wednesday, March 22 and the students organizing the event look forward to what the seven panelists will share with the community.
In an interview on Thursday, members of the ASB expressed an eagerness to host the event once again, noting how inspired they were after listening to last year’s panelists talk about their experiences as leaders in the Glendive community.
“I’m just excited to do it better this year; more prepared,” ASB President Shelby Schneider said. “I’m excited to see our local women and be able to see what my community is able to accomplish through leadership.”
The panel is made up of local women involved in a wide range of industries, from the regional director of one of Montana’s U.S. Senate representatives to small business owners. This year’s panelists include Olivia Rieger, Penny Zimmerman, Lara Crighton, Teresea Olson, Courtney Wuethrich, Cindy Larsen and Amanda Heimbuch.
“I’m excited to hear from powerful women from the community; to hear their stories and I just want to be inspired by them,” ASB member Zlata Godunova said.
According to Kaitlynn Deering, another member of ASB, she appreciates seeing so many women work together instead of against one another, which she believes is a rarity.
“It was so interesting to have all of those different ladies (last year) that may have interacted before, but not really, and then all of a sudden, they are thrown into a room together and they all have their experiences (to share),” Deering said.
As an example, she noted women news anchors particularly stand out to her as not getting along at times whenever she views them on TV.
“I guess in television and stuff, you see two strong women and they clash, and (last year) we saw seven or eight strong women working together and telling their stories,” Deering said.
In addition to planning the second Women in Leadership Panel event at DCC, its ASB is made up of all women for a second consecutive year as well, which makes their excitement to hear from the panel that much greater.
Although interested in hearing from all seven panelists, Deering noted she is most looking forward to listening to Crighton share her experience as a business owner over the last year after her business faced numerous challenges following the Ponderosa fire in February of 2022.
“I think it’s important to see people that you wouldn’t expect there,” Schneider noted, adding she hopes both men and women of all ages attend the event and either learn more about people in their communities that they may know, or even just meet them for the first time.
“I think it will be really important to hear these women’s stories and get inspired,” Godunova said. “It’s kind of normal for this event to have a lot of women come, but it would be even better if (everyone) will come and inspire each other.”
The members of ASB have a few questions to prompt Wednesday’s discussion, however they hope people that know the panelists will attend and ask questions about more personal and difficult experiences that a lot of other people may not know about.
“Maybe they know a person personally and they know some of the hard moments in their life that they went through ... so they will ask more personal questions,” Godunova said.
The Women in Leadership panel will take the stage in the DCC auditorium on Wednesday, March 22 beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a question and answer segment and refreshments to follow.