Author: Ignite Leadership

January 17, 2019

2020 Women’s Leadership Summit Moves to The Venue

Knoxville, TN — Ignite Succeed is excited to announce that the 2020 Women’s Leadership Summit will be held at The Venue at Lenoir City.  The expanded meeting space at The Venue means even more women can be part of this premier women’s event. It will also allow more women-focused vendors to participate. The 2018 Summit had more vendor requests than the space allowed us to accommodate.

The theme for the Friday, June 14 event is The Power of Us.  A powerful line up of speakers has been slated and will be announced in coming days.  Our speakers will address how women can access the power of:

  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Generations
  • Inclusion

In addition to our four powerful main speakers, the Summit always includes a panel of local women leaders who share their personal leadership challenges and stories. A highlight of the day will be the presentation of The Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award, which recognizes bold, persistent, and forward-thinking women leaders.

For the first time this year, the Summit has partnered with Girls Inc. of the Tennessee Valley, a local non-profit organization that encourages all girls to be “Strong, Smart, and Bold” through direct service and advocacy. A portion of the Summit proceeds will go to support Girls Inc. programs.  In addition, Girls Inc. will have a presence at the Summit.

This full-day experience for women is the only one of its kind in our area. For 13 years, Summit has been the premier event for women leaders in the greater East Tennessee area.

July 19, 2018

Women’s Leadership Boot Camp accepting applications for September session

Knoxville, TN – All too often, women fail to move into leadership positions because they lack self-awareness. They can’t readily identify their individual strengths.  They allow negative self-talk to block their forward momentum. They shy away from conflict and difficult conversations. The Rising Stars Women’s Leadership Boot Camp addresses these challenges so that women can reach their full potential.

During the 32-hours of training, Boot Camp participants learn to lead teams more effectively, grow and develop their employees, and communicate more effectively across the organization. The Camp is broken into four consecutive Fridays, beginning September 7, 2018. The four days of training include:

  • Day 1, Effective Communication: Understand your personal communication style and the driving forces that motivate you. Recognize the styles and motivators of team members and how to adapt to be more effective. These modules include the DISC and Driving Forces assessments.
  • Day 2, Emotional Intelligence: Learn to build self-awareness, self-control, and empathy and to understand how to manage workplace conflicts. These modules include both emotional intelligence and conflict styles assessments.
  • Day 3, Personal Power: Explore key traits and styles of effective leadership and strengthen your understanding of and ability to delegate for growth.
  • Day 4, Employee Management: Learn to build personal and mutual accountability to strengthen your team and to apply a four-step process to engage employees in your team and your organization.

Boot camp participants earn continuing education units through Pellissippi State Community College.

Apply Now

East Tennessee women are encouraged to apply to join the ranks of the 19 program graduates.  Boot camp alumni cross all levels of management, including vice presidents, supervisors, administrative coordinators, non-profit leaders, and entrepreneurs and range in age from their early 20s to their late 50s. The experience and age diversity results in highly valuable peer-to-peer coaching during the sessions.

Applications are being accepted through August 17, 2018 for the 32-hour interactive program that begins September 7, 2018. The full program fee is $1,997, which includes extensive assessment, training materials, breakfast, and lunch. Classes are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on the four Fridays in September (7th, 14th, 21st, & 28th). Susanne Dalton Dupes and Deb Schmitz are the boot camp instructors.

To apply for the workshop:


July 2, 2018

Women’s Leadership Salon launches lunchtime series: “The Women Who …”

July Salon focuses on leading change with two organizers of Knoxville Women’s March Coalition

Knoxville, TN – To enable more women to join in the conversation, the Ignite Women’s Leadership Salon is moving to lunch time. In addition to the new time, the Salon is launching a new series of programs called “The Women Who… .” The Women’s Leadership Salon is a bimonthly opportunity for East Tennessee women who are interested in developing leadership skills for life and work.

Our first lunch time Salon focuses on leading change.  A 2015 Forbes article by Mark Murphy noted that 45% of frontline employees prefer the status quo. In other words, they don’t like change. But change is inevitable and effective leaders must be able to lead through it. That’s why our July 12th Women’s Leadership Salon will feature two Knoxville change leaders. Caroline Mann and Kimberly Peterson are two of the organizers of the Knoxville Women’s March Coalition, an organization directly focused on creating change. During the interview-style program, the two will be asked to share what was involved in organizing events like the 2017 and 2018 marches that had thousands of participants, what they have learned, and what they plan to do moving forward.

Caroline Mann has been involved since the beginning, helping to organize both the inaugural March in 2017 and its successor in 2018. She joined with colleagues and fellow-March organizers to form the Women’s March Coalition of East Tennessee. Mann is a Knoxville native who recently earned her MS in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee. The mother of three works in UT’s Office of Institutional Research.

Kimberly Peterson is the spokesperson for the Women’s March Coalition of East Tennessee. She is a masters-level student in UT’s Cultural Anthropology program and has experience working as a non-profit development director with the United Way, the American Cancer Society, and other organizations. The mother of four grew up in a military household, living throughout the United States and abroad.

The Salon meets from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Rothchild Catering and Conference Center, 8807 Kingston Pike in West Knoxville. Check-in and networking start at 11:30 and the program will begin at noon.  Registration is $30 and includes lunch. To register, go to Email for more information about Salons and other women’s leadership programs.

May 11, 2018

Listening to Your Employees: Future-Proofing Your Company

Much of a company’s growth depends on its employees, yet many employers still make the mistake of focusing solely on customer feedback and neglecting the voices of their own staff. For a business to be successful, everyone from entry-level to top management should feel acknowledged and appreciated.

Part of establishing a healthy relationship with your employees involves communication. Ignite Succeed previously mentioned that more than half of workers feel underappreciated, and the best way to remedy this problem is to spend time with them. It’s important to listen to what people have to say because it gives you ideas on how to manage them better. Each employee is different, and therefore has to be approached in a specific manner. If leaders can help each of their employees grow as individuals, there’s a high chance for the company to achieve its business objectives.

While it’s a must for business leaders to develop communication skills, companies should also consider how employees interact with one another. Forbes columnist Blake Morgan wrote about the importance of communications training, and stated that it can help employees control their emotions and think about other people’s feelings. Communicative workers can effectively connect with each other every day, be it through a simple morning greeting or in meetings. When miscommunication happens even between two employees, it can create a ripple effect in the workplace so it’s just as important for followers to develop their communication skills.

Of course, keeping communication channels open also helps every worker stay on the same page. Employees need to clearly understand the company’s vision so they will know what they can contribute toward its realization. Misguided work performances can cause confusion and tension. It can also create communication silos, which Business News Daily describes as different departments focusing on their own objectives and refusing to collaborate with others. If a frustrated employee vents out their frustration on social media or to a customer, it can be detrimental to the company’s reputation. Hence, all parties should be aligned in terms of the firm’s overall goals for the future.

This inevitably includes initiating change in the company. For a business to grow, it should learn to adapt to trends. For instance, many traditional retailers have shifted to an ecommerce model, because a lot of potential customers can be found online. In fact, many businesses are acknowledging the pros of having a strong digital brand. The digital landscape changes often, and only the most competent companies can keep up and ensure their relevance. Ayima shared a roundup of digital trends for April, showing that tech giants like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are introducing major updates. Because of continuous advancements, digital marketing departments have a lot of studying and adjusting to do. These may seem like trivial changes, but for businesses trying to make it big in the digital world, they might mean the difference between succeeding and tanking. And for companies that need to constantly adapt, it’s vital for everyone to listen to each other, or else the transitions could go horribly wrong.

An open working culture is a sign of a healthy company, and leaders that take the time to listen to their employees are essentially future-proofing the company. This ultimately means that workers who are well cared for and receive plenty of motivation are bound to lead the company to greater heights.

April 27, 2018

A Conversation with Women: Keys to Success

By: Dr. Trish Holliday

Starting a conversation about how women can take charge of their future in this complex and ever-changing world is inspiring to me as I coach many women who have yet to define themselves and their own goals. The BE SAY DO model offers a simple framework of taking charge of your own trajectory. Within each component of the model, there are explorative questions to reflect on how one can BE more authentic, SAY words that communicate with clarity and purpose, and DO actions that drive effectiveness and excellence.

When women come together to dialogue about how to influence their own individual success accompanied by generating energy around the idea that “women championing women” can create an “all boats rise” effect. The BE SAY DO model is a simple way to take ownership of your own journey and career. There is a collective impact for women when we can come together, build, and produce ideas followed by action. By studying the definition of collective impact, we have the opportunity to learn and apply the core principles of success within our own careers and together as professional women.

According to the Collaboration for Impact, collective impact is a framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organizations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change. What if we were to take this definition and overlay it on a discussion about women and keys to success for the professional woman? John Kania and Mark Kramer stated, “We believe that there is no other way society will achieve large-scale progress against the urgent and complex problems of our time, unless a collective impact approach becomes the accepted way of doing business.” The BE SAY DO model supports the idea that with collective impact we can achieve more and with more.

The first component BE, focuses on your authenticity as a professional woman. Some of the deepening questions that assist women in reflecting on this idea of authenticity are: 1) Who am I in my work environment? 2) How do I show up authentically? and 3) Do you feel you are being yourself at work and comfortable being the “authentic” you?

The second component SAY, explores how you communicate in the workplace? Some of the deepening questions that help to reflect on this idea of communication are: 1) What is the story you share about yourself? 2) What is the importance of word choices in describing situations, and experiences? 3) How can communication elevate or deflate your presence within a community/group? 4) In meetings, do you most often contribute to clarify a point, introduce new thinking, or are you reserved? and 5) What are ways you can strengthen your own personal influence through what you say and how you say it?

The third component DO, emphasizes the importance of action. Sheryl Sandberg states, “Careers are a jungle gym not a ladder. There is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.” Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You, asks, “Are you where you want to be professionally?” Both the statement by Sandberg and the question by Clark offer the opportunity to deeply consider whether our actions are helping to promote ourselves or hindering opportunities for growth. How are you actively seeking to sharpen your expertise and gain new information to enhance your role?

It is my hope that this conversation will disrupt our normal way of being, saying and doing, and become an invitation to consider new possibilities as we strive to BE authentic, SAY words of purpose and with clarity, and DO actions that demonstrate intentionality, commitment and excellence. I think if we as women can work together, lift one another up with support and encouragement, and focus on our collective impact, we can rise together and IGNITE WOMEN LEADERS!

April 2, 2018

Titanic Museum Co-Owner To Headline 13th Annual Women’s Leadership Summit

Knoxville, TN— The Ignite Women’s Leadership Council announces that Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, co-owner of the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Branson, Missouri, will be the keynote speaker for the all-day leadership summit.  She joins a powerful slate of speakers for the summit which will be held June 8 at the Airport Hilton.  Kellogg-Joslyn also has an impressive television network career.   She was Senior Executive Vice President of Production and Programming for Walt Disney Company (and ABC) for 20 years.  Prior to joining Disney, Kellogg-Joslyn was with CBS for 10 years producing and marketing major national and international productions, such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

Kellogg-Joslyn’s presentation titled: “How One Letter Changed My Life,” will explore her time as a television executive as well as her knowledge of leadership, managing expectations and how to motivate.   With the announcement of such an impressive headliner, the early bird pricing has been extended until mid-April.

Early bird registration is open through April 15 and the $127 cost includes conference materials, breakfast, lunch and networking breaks.  On April 16, the price jumps to $227.

Registration at  Attendees can also register for the Thursday evening speaker’s reception.

The Summit is sponsored by Denso, Pilot Flying J, WATE, and STAR 102.1. Additional information about the Ignite Women’s Leadership Summit, this year’s slate of speakers, can be found at:

March 22, 2018

Partnership with Farragut West Knox Chamber to Provide ​Manager ​Training

Knoxville, TN – People typically become managers because they have superior technical skills. To manage people, you need a set of special skills – people skills – that most companies overlook.

Ignite Succeed is excited to announce a partnership with the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce to bring our Great Managers Workshop Series to Chamber members. Ignite Succeed’s five-part essential skills series is designed to build on the traits of high-performing managers as identified in Gallup’sState of the American Manager.

The series kicks off May 9th with Communicating Effectively. The workshop helps managers recognize how they and their employees prefer to communicate so that both managers and employees can adapt to each other’s style to be more effective.

These additional workshops complete the series:

June 13, 2018: Understanding What Motivates Employees. Managers explore the six key factors of motivation and the 12 driving forces that will enable you to more effectively motivate each of your employees.

July 11, 2018: Managing Conflict for a Positive Result. Managers look at why conflict arises, what clouds the issue, and how you can create the most value in every conflict situation.

August 8, 2018: Creating Accountability on Your Team. Managers explore what accountability requires, what gets in the way, and how you can do when accountability goes by the wayside.

September 12, 2018: Engaging Employees for High Performance. Managers discover the top three reasons employees disengage and what to do to address each of those issues to re-engage their team.

Susanne Dalton Dupes is the presenter for this workshop series. She is an internationally accredited business communicator and a certified analyst of behaviors, motivators, driving forces, emotional intelligence, and acumen.

The three-hour workshop starts at 9:00 a.m. in the meeting room at the Knox Co. Sheriff’s West Precinct, 11429 Parkside Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934. Register at Individual tickets for each of the three-hour workshops are $99 for Farragut West Knox Chamber members (obtain discount code by contacting the Chamber), $149 for non-members. Registration deadline for the May workshop is April 27th.

To register for the workshop:

February 28, 2018

Call for Nominations for Women’s Leadership Award

Knoxville, TN — Nominations open today for The Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award (The Lizzie). The award, which debuted in 2012 at the Women’s Leadership Summit, was designed to recognize outstanding women leaders in East Tennessee. The award is named for the famed suffragist, educator, and social reform activist born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1851.

This award recognizes women who work consistently to support the advancement of all women through outspoken leadership, unwavering courage in the face of difficulty, and supporting and empowering women around her. The past winners have been, Mayor Madeline Rogero, Justice Sharon Lee, Cynthia Gibson, Wanda Sobieski, Phyllis Nichols, and the 2017 recipient, Karen Carson.

Nominations for the award must be submitted electronically. The deadline to enter is March 31 at 11:59 p.m.

Three finalists will be announced on May 7th, Lizzie French’s birthday. The finalists will be available for networking at our speaker’s reception on Thursday, June 7th. The winner will be announced at the Women’s Leadership Summit on June 8th at the Airport Hilton.

This full-day, one-of-kind experience for women is has been the premier event for women leaders in the greater East Tennessee area.

Early bird registration is open through March 31st. Participants pay $127 during the early bird period. Registration jumps to $227 on April 1st. Read more about the Ignite Women’s Leadership Summit.

February 14, 2018

TN Chief Learning Officer to open Women’s Leadership Summit

State’s Chief Learning Officer to open Women’s Leadership Summit

Knoxville, TN, February 14, 2018– The Ignite Women’s Leadership Summit is excited to announce that Dr. Trish Holliday, Assistant Commissioner and Chief Learning Officer for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, will be the opening speaker for the 2018 Ignite Women’s Leadership Summit. Dr. Holliday kicks off a powerful line-up of speakers for the Friday, June 8th event. This theme for this year’s Summit is Igniting Women Leaders.

Dr. Holliday brings extensive experience in leadership development to her presentation: “It Takes a Village: How You and Your Organization Can Support Your Leadership Journey.” During this session, participants will gain an understanding of the advantages of advancing women leaders, personal responsibility in the workplace and will discuss an organization’s role in supporting women as leaders through culture, development and promotions.

Holliday’s commitment to public service and her passion for helping professionals reach their greatest potential is rooted in her experience as a certified facilitator, adult educator and executive coach.

This full-day experience for women is the only summit of its kind in our area. For 12 years, Summit has been the premier event for women leaders in the greater East Tennessee area.

Early bird registration is open through March 31st. Participants pay $127 during the early bird period. Registration jumps to $227 on April 1st. Learn more information about the Ignite Women’s Leadership Summit.

January 4, 2018

Announcing 2018 Women’s Leadership Summit


Spend an amazing day learning from prominent women leaders!

Knoxville, TN, January 4, 2018– The Ignite Women’s Leadership Summit (formerly the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit) has announced Friday, June 8, 2018 as the date for this year’s annual event at the Hilton Knoxville Airport location. The Summit and its full day of speakers aims to empower the women in our community to Live Consciously, Learn Continuously, and Lead Courageously.

“The Ignite Women’s Leadership Summit was exceptional. The women in the room had a high level of energy as they came together to build their networks, cultivate ideas, and promote each other. It was a great pleasure to be the Summit’s opening speaker and experience the power when women come together for self-improvement. Susanne and Deb lead an amazing team that ensures this event will be engaging, inspirational, and educational. Organizations and events like this have never been more important to women. I look forward to seeing what the Summit offers in 2018 and beyond.” says Joan Cronan, 2017 Summit speaker.

The day’s agenda includes exciting national and local speakers as well as a panel of local professional women who share leadership insights to over 200 attendees. Speaker details will be announced over the next few months. Feel free to email Ignite to join their mailing list so you will have current information sent right to your inbox!

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