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20th Annual Big Sandy Women’s Business Symposium slated for Feb. 26

Swanson-250-300.jpgThe 20th Annual Big Sandy Women’s Business Symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Paintsville. 

Presented by Morehead State University’s East Kentucky Small Business Development Center, the theme of this year’s event is “She Leads.” All women are invited to attend the symposium.           
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The cost of the event is $30, which includes all workshops, meals, entertainment and keynotes. Registration is available online at:  
The morning will start with registration, continental breakfast, networking and opening remarks at 9:15 a.m. by Emcee Trish Adams. Then attendees will have their choice of two concurrent breakout sessions. Sessions offered will be, “The Digital World” presented by Amanda
Kelly, small business training director for Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) and “Speaking with Purpose” presented by Katina Justice, with The Mountain Movers Toastmasters Club in Pikeville.  
The morning keynote speaker will be Janice Sword Way, president of Leadership Kentucky. She began her career at WPKE radio while still in college. She was also employed at Kentucky Educational Television (KET) and WKYT-TV in Lexington. She was on the original team launching WYMT-TV in Hazard where she served as news anchor, reporter and producer. Way came to Leadership Kentucky from the St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Northern Kentucky, where she was Assistant Vice President of the health system’s Foundation. Before St. Elizabeth and St. Luke hospitals merged, Way served as director of public relations and marketing, supervised community and legislative relations, and led the St. Luke Community Foundation as vice president.  
The afternoon keynote will feature Kelly Swanson, an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, Huffington Post contributor and cast member of “The Fashion Hero” on Amazon Prime. She is also author of “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale,” “The Land of If Only,” “The Story Formula,” and “The Gutsy Girls Pocket Guide to Public Speaking.” She was a featured entertainer for Holland America Cruise Lines, keynote speaker for the International Toastmasters Convention and has keynoted major conferences and corporate events from coast to coast.  
 Lunch time entertainment will be provided by The Local Honeys. The duo is comprised of Linda Jean Stokley (15) and Montana Hobbs (15.) They have dedicated themselves to the preservation of old-time music and the creation of new music. Their debut album, “Little Girls Actin’ Like Men,” includes traditional and original songs. It showcases the duo’s ability to tear into hard driving fiddle tunes, sing the lonesome sound and tell a good story. Stokley and Montana are the first women to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Traditional Music from Morehead State University, have toured Ireland, Jamaica, Europe and the U.S., and were winners of the 2017 Chris Austin Memorial Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, for “Cigarette Trees.” 
Picture Perfect Photo Booth returns for their third year. They will be on hand all day, ready to capture that perfect symposium moment with friends and colleagues. 
Sponsors for this year’s event are: AAA Real Estate, Appalachian Beauty School, Appalachian Wireless, Be You Medical Spa, Community Trust Bank, Daffodils, First Commonwealth Bank, Floyd County Tourism, Foxy Baubles, Hatfield McCoy Heating & Cooling, MACED, Mountain Apothecary, Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center, Picture Perfect Photo Booth, SOAR Innovation, Q95-FM, Toyota, and the Women’s Business Center of Kentucky.  
The event is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least two weeks in advance. 
For more information email Michelle Spriggs at or call 606-783-2681.