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Hosting Conferences


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Beginning in 2004, the Economic Council partnered with others to offer the Economic Summit for Women in Nashville. The goals of the Summit are primarily to develop a statewide platform for the economic issues of Tennessee women and their families, assess the impact of women’s economic issues on Tennessee’s overall economy, build upon a statewide network and create new partnerships and collaborations, and honor individuals and organizations that have illustrated exemplary support of women in Tennessee. The Summit brings together women from across the State and leaders in business, industry, government, the medical and legal fields and educators to focus their ideas and question about the status of women’s economic autonomy. Information is given in both general and small group sessions about all aspects of career success and financial independence.

Recent keynote speakers include Governor Phil Bredesen, First Lady Andrea Conte, Karenna Gore Schiff, Patricia Schroeder, Dale Smith Thomas, Helen Thomas, and Marie Wilson. Sessions have included presentations on career advancement, networking, political participation and legislative issues, leadership and the economic status of women in Tennessee. The Council also awards “E” Awards (“E” for “Excellence and Equity”) to individuals from across the State who have distinguished themselves in a specific field or life commitment that has contributed to improving the lives of girls and women in Tennessee. We are proud that the annual Summit has become one of the most well-regarded and well-attended events for women in the State and are pleased to have the opportunity to hear from them about the economic issues that continually affect their lives.

To learn more about this year’s summit, visit


The Economic Council on Women is proud to work with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and with numerous local volunteers and organizations to produce regional economic summits for women. In this way, the Council can address with more specificity the issues that regionally affect women’s economic well-being.

In May 2005, the Economic Council on Women, supported by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the Council co-hosted the first Women Business Owner’s Opportunities Conference in Memphis. With the tremendous success of the first event came a commitment to continue this program in Memphis on an annual basis. The WBOOC differs from other conferences in that its only focus is creating business opportunities and providing information about creating, conducting and growing a business. The Conference is also held in conjunction with a business match-making event held by the Department of Economic and Community Development. During these events, business owners are presented with the opportunity to meet, bid and contract with vendors who are seeking their goods or services.

2008 was the third year for the Economic Mini-Summit for Women in Southeast Tennessee, hosted by the Southeast Tennessee Advisory Council. Each year, this mini-summit offers a forum for women to learn, discuss and network with leaders in the professional community and other women. Participants discover new ways of achieving their personal and professional goals, connect with resources in their community and are able, in turn, to help other women and their community prosper.

Beginning in 2007, Moving On, Moving Up! An East Tennessee Regional Economic Summit for Women has provided an educational and networking opportunity to women in its development district. The 2008 summit, held at Maryville College, covered topics such as financial literacy, cyber security, and growing and funding a business.

May 2008 saw the first Tri Cities Regional Women’s Business Summit in the First Tennessee Development District. The summit, held at Northeast State Technical Community College and produced in partnership with the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship, included sessions addressing the fundamentals of funding and building a business, professional development, and electronic media.


Tennessee currently ranks 49th nationally in women’s political involvement. In order for Tennessee’s women to fully participate in the economic decisions affecting their daily lives, they must take part in the political process. In May 2005, the Council hosted its first campaign school for women called, “When Women Run…Women Win.” This day-long bipartisan event included nationally recognized speakers as well as some of Tennessee’s best campaign strategists and provided detailed, immediately usable information on topics such as financing a campaign, communications, and grassroots campaigning. Also featured was former State Senator Anna Belle Clement O’Brien who offered insight and encouragement to women from across Tennessee, Texas and Virginia who were in attendance.