2013 W.I.S.E. Summit

The 2nd annual W.I.S.E. Summit has taken ISA and the industrial channel by storm! Of our 100 total members, more than half (62 to be exact!) attended this year’s Summit. The majority of the attendees were returning members, with 27 new attendees.

Members in attendance:

  • 56 ISA member companies, from 27 states 
  • 28 Distributors
  • 28 Manufacturers 
  • 3 Industrial Manufacturer's Reps
  • 3 Service Providers

Titles Of Summit Attendees:

W.I.S.E.’s purpose speaks volumes when reviewing the list below of titles of people attending this year’s Summit. Our focus has proven successful as we continue to build and promote our progressive network of women executives wishing to further develop their professional management and leadership skills.

  • 4 CEOs (3 Distributor, 1 Manufacturer)
  • 1 CFO (1 Distributor)
  • 1 COO (1 Distributor)
  • 8 Presidents (2 Distributors, 4 Manufacturers, 2 Service Providerss)
  • 11 Vice President roles (7 Distributors, 2 Manufacturers, 2 Industrial Manufacturer's Reps)
  • 6 Director roles (2 Distributors, 4 Manufacturers)
  • 31 Senior Level Managerial roles (12 Distributors, 17 Manufacturers, 1 Industrial Manufacturer's Rep, 1 Service Provider)

The members attending the summit also had a mixture of different professional backgrounds.

  • 34 in Sales / Marketing roles (11 Distributors, 21 Manufacturers, 1 Industrial Manufacturer's Rep, 1 Service Provider) –  such as: Business Development, Channel Managers, Director of Marketing/Sales, National Account Managers, Territory Managers, Sales Directors, etc.) 
  • 26 Senior Level Management roles (14 Distributors, 8 Manufacturers, 2 Industrial Manufacturer's Reps, and 2 Service Providers) – such as: CEO, COO, President, Vice President, etc.
  • 2 Finance Roles (2 Distributors) – such as CFO, Controller

The 2013 summit offered a robust agenda of community service, educational and networking opportunities.


W.I.S.E. 2013 Summit networking opportunities were invaluable. Continental Breakfasts and a relaxed lunch presented a time of mingling and conversation. However, the highlights were the evening events.

Monday evening started with an attention-grabbing event held at the Marriott Riva Restaurant in a private dining area with a gorgeous view of the ocean. Perfect weather conditions provided the option of stepping out on the terrace to enjoy the evening breeze and sounds of crashing waves on the shore. There was a diverse group of successful women present that took on the temporary identity of another successful woman. Upon arrival, each participant was assigned a famous female identity via a nametag on her back. While participants mingled with the group, sipping their beverages, in the process they could ask two “yes or no” questions to each person regarding their identity until they figured out who they were. It was quite entertaining. The identities included Minnie Mouse, Farrah
Fawcett, Hillary Clinton and Mother Teresa. It made for stimulating conversation with lots of laughter. The evening proceeded with a delicious meal and continued conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.

Tuesday evening’s event began with a short shuttle ride to a beautiful destination known as “Chart House.” The location provided a spectacular view on an Intracoastal Waterway lined with beautiful boats and yachts. The food and beverages were delectable and the networking opportunities via the shuttle ride and the meal were limitless. The Summit in itself offers a great opportunity for networking, camaraderie, and supporting our female peers in the Industry.

Community Service

On Monday, about 35 W.I.S.E. volunteers got together for the first Community Service Project to donate their time to Jack & Jill Children’s Center. The mission of the Jack & Jill Children’s Center is to break the cycle of poverty for children of low-income, working families in Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., area) through family-oriented child care services and family intervention and support.

Jack & Jill Children’s Center provides children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old and their families a safe, engaging place to grow, learn and thrive. Jack & Jill Children’s Center serves families traditionally known as the “working poor” – low wage earners who do not qualify for most government programs.

The service project began with a team building project while the children took their afternoon nap. The volunteers split into nine groups to create trick-or-treat bags and banners for each of the nine classrooms. This allowed for a little extra bonding time for the W.I.S.E. Summit participants before interacting with the children.

When the children awoke from their naps, the W.I.S.E. volunteers assisted with snack time and interacted with classroom activities that consisted of reading books, playing games and running around during recess. W.I.S.E. members also generously gave Halloween candy and clothing to the center. Shannon Jackson, Haggard & Stocking Associates, donated homemade blankets that she and other employees at Haggard & Stocking made.

The survey results showed that the ladies who attended were 100% satisfied and would attend the service project next year. Some comments included:

  • “If we could do something similar, I loved working with kids,”  said Jennifer Murphy, NetPlus Alliance
  • “Anything with helping children and families in need is a worthwhile cause and I'd happily participate next year,” said Stephanie Leister, Affiliated Distributors

It was a very rewarding experience. We hope more W.I.S.E. members will join next year to kick off the 2014 Summit!


The summit provided participants a rich educational offering.

The Tuesday educational sessions started with “Leverage Technology and Spend More Time on Your Business” presented by Steve Turner. Members learned how to be more productive, and organized through the effective use of their computer and mobile devices. Steve provided not only rich content through his presentation, he also provided outstanding written materials for members to take back to their jobs and implement his efficiency recommendations. Ninety percent of participants gave the session a “strongly agree” rating on the relevance of this session to their jobs.

After lunch on Tuesday, Denise Sims, Ford Motor Company, facilitated a panel discussion from female leaders in the industrial market. Panelist included
Lisa Mitchell, president of Hagemeyer North America and World Electric, Sonepar USA Companies; Tracey Capentier, president of PDC and People ID, Brady Corporation Businesses; and Gail Ludewig, president and owner of Total Works.

The key take-a-way members took from the panel discussion included the following:

  • “The strength in women”
  • “The importance in being true to yourself”
  • “Just say Yes – be open to everything”
  • “Confidence is infectious”

Following the panel discussion was a presentation called “Getting your Financial House in Order” by Karen DeRose, managing partner of DeRose Financial Planning Group. This session provided participants with a wealth of information on the importance of personal financial planning, and the key elements that should be included in a solid financial plan.

The day closed with a session called “Maximize your LinkedIn” presented by Maeve Maguire, talent acquisition manager, for Milwaukee Electric Tool. This session educated attendees on the value of LinkedIn and how they can use this tool to increase their personal and business network.

On Wednesday, the last educational offering was “Managing Change” presented by Lisa Harris. Lisa is a W.I.S.E. favorite. She was an integral part of the first W.I.S.E. summit in 2012, and the organization brought her back in 2013 to educate the group on managing change. Lisa was educational and entertaining. Her session received the highest participant feedback ratings. Participants learned what change is, and how to be a leader of change.


We would like to give a big “shout out” of appreciation to our wonderful sponsors of the Summit. With your support, W.I.S.E. continues to make things happen! Click here to see a list of the sponsors.


October 20-22, 2014 for the next W.I.S.E. Summit to be held in Arizona!

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