The Power Conference 2018


It takes a village of volunteers to put on a great Power Conference – and the 2018 conference held August 9 was a resounding success, bringing together 500+ women and men, 84 exhibitors, 40 workshop sessions. Now in its 8th year, the 2018 Power Conference continues to be a great regional forum for learning, networking and growing.

Fast-paced 30-minute workshops – dubbed lightning sessions – were available to participants in a wide variety of areas from marketing and digital promotions to business development, funding and honing your elevator pitch.

Keynote welcome speaker Sharon Weinstein, CEO of SMW Group, a communications and speaking firm, shared her expertise – including ways to turn collected business cards into opportunities and the power of the follow up. The lunchtime keynote speaker, Cheri Tree (pictured), Founder and CEO of BANKCODE, has a resume that includes best-selling author, trainer and entrepreneur.  She offered her ideas for exponentially growing sales and her secrets for business success.

The event is produced each year by the Women’s Business Consortium – a partnership that demonstrates the support and resources available for women entrepreneurs in Montgomery County, from the state of Maryland, and across the entire region.  

This is the 8th year of the conference, and many people return year after year. This time, so many people told us that the conference was elevated to a whole new level. More professional, a better format and more specific takeaways. It’s energizing to see that people find so much value.

Laura Rhode, Co-Chair

Giving Back to the Community  

The Power Conference is a sum of all its parts – and a strong committee coordinate and co-chair this large-scale event. They include:

Wendy Howard, Owner, WH Consulting

Laura Rhode, Brandmarket, LLC

Jamie Kent Hamelburg, Esquire, Press, Dozier & Hamelburg, LLC

Doris Barber, CEO, The Marketing Cake

Sandra Eberhard, Executive Director, Women President’s Educational Organization – DC

Nancy Regelin, Esquire, Partner, Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.

In Conversation with Nancy Regelin, Co-Chair, Power Conference 2018

Why is it important to you to be a chair and co-coordinator for the conference?

Giving back to the community has been a cornerstone of Shulman Rogers since Larry Shulman started the Firm, 45 years ago.  This is my way – creating opportunities for women in business.  By creating the Power Conference platform with my fellow co-chairs, we create opportunities that showcase business women –speaking, exhibiting, learning, networking, mentoring, leadership, selling their books, self-promotion, connections, collisions, and more.

Any key or unique takeaways from this year’s conference?

We took the pulse of regional business women this year by canvassing our attendees with micro interviews and doing more than 100 extended audio and video interviews.  We plan to analyze those interviews and issue info on what regional business women are thinking at this moment. Overall there was a definite undercurrent of positive enthusiasm about plans to grow their business.

What makes this event important for women in the DMV?

It has a very clear perspective – this is a business conference focusing on business development.  Under that unifying focus, the Conference attracts a very diverse population of business women – regionally, age, experience, company size, industry, ethnicity, color, ownership, employee, start-up, scaling up, and second careers after retirement, among others.  This diverse mix fosters unique collisions between people who might otherwise never have met.  There are so many stories of a meeting that happened at the Power Conference that has changed women's business and professional lives forever.

What changes have you seen over the years as the conference has evolved?

How many attendees never even make it into a workshop because they are spending all day meeting people and making connections!  Because we have never wavered from our focus just on business, we have never had any attendee, company or sponsor question the value of a woman-centric conference because we bring so many other strata of diverse attendees to one place.