2012 Breakthrough Conference A Smash Success

Is the glass ceiling a myth? What are unique challenges that women face in business? Girls from five area high schools got a good glimpse into those questions and others during Breakthrough 2012: The Sky is NOT the Limit, an annual conference with successful businesswomen on January 25 at the NDSU Alumni Center.

Fifty-one attendees from Davies, North, South, West Fargo, and Moorhead attended the third annual Breakthrough event, organized and coordinated by South DECA students Abbey Benson, Ashley VanderBush, and Ellie Marvel. The conference is a tool of personal empowerment, encouraging young girls to break through the glass ceiling, and think about future career choices that align with their individual passions, including small business ownership.

Professional organizer Melissa Schmalenberger was the featured speaker for the event, which also featured round-table sessions with business owners Maria Bosak (Eco Chic), Glenda Haugen (My Best Friend’s Closet), Alicia Weigel (Bliss Events & Weddings), Peggy Kilbane (Lake Girl), Dr. Stephanie Roers (Summit Chiropractic), and Laura Caroon (Frozen Music Studios).

In the afternoon, participants took part in the Entrepreneurship Team Challenge, a small-group planning and presentation exercise, to create a restaurant for the West Acres Mall Food Court that featured healthy cuisine; one that catered to the young adult female target market.

Participants also toured the NDSU Technology Incubator, where they attended a presentation by Youth Entrepreneurship Consultant Paul Tefft, and Nikki Lamb, owner of FormulaNow.