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story.lead_photo.caption Jessica Haas
Marlene Creighton

Women in business and other civic endeavors in the region are invited to the Women In Business Conference on Wednesday.

"This event is about gathering, engaging and empowering women in business and other realms of leadership," said Natalie Haywood, director of events and communication for the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce. "Attendees will get to experience speakers, panels, meet local businesses and other organizations in a day of learning and networking."

There will be two main featured speakers, including Marlene Creighton, vice president Food East of The Hershey Company. Creighton will discuss growing up in California, her experiences in corporate America and how she forged her path to get where she is. She will also discuss how Hershey Company seeks to include women in its workforce.

Jessica Haas, America's first female speed painter, will be returning to her home territory, being a Texarkana native and graduate of Pleasant Grove High School. She will be doing a demonstration of her speed painting skills, producing a work during the duration of the conference that will then be put up for auction. She will also give a presentation on branding, entrepreneurship and "making a living doing what you love."

"This is a chamber-organized event, the first of its kind in the area," Haywood said. "Such events are held in other cities and have experienced great success. For some of our locals, it is difficult to find the time and resources to get to those occasions elsewhere, so Mike Malone (chamber president and CEO) thought it would be good to host such an event here in Texarkana, one that focused on women."

Those who wish to attend need to register by Monday. Contact Haywood at [email protected] for event sponsorship or to register. Or go to Eventbrite to purchase a ticket. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with a networking breakfast on Wednesday at the Texarkana, Texas, Convention Center. The conference will continue until 3:15 p.m.

Keynote event sponsor is the Texas Pioneer Foundation.

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