“Leading Ladies of Longview” is the theme for this year’s Women in Longview Day, which will take place March 23 at Holiday Inn.
Women in Longview is the nonprofit organization behind Women in Longview Day. The group also gives scholarships to graduating seniors and adult women returning to college.
Longtime member Janis Canion said the event was started as a way to bring women together and celebrate.
“Women in Longview Day was originally established just to celebrate women and give us a chance to get together and network and be inspired and be educated,” she said. “And to shop a little and do all those things women like to do.”
Five women will be honored during the event, including Lori Horn-Wilcox; owner of Fountain of Youth; Breneda Mathis, senior vice president/branch manager Texas Bank and Trust; Julee Rachels, CEO/founder Heartisans Marketplace; Angela Choy, city planner; Michelle Gamboa, Roof Care marketing director and District 5 Longview City Council.
Canion said the event has grown over the years.
“We started off pretty small and at our biggest point we were using Maude Cobb and we would have 300 to 400 people and 40 to 45 exhibitors,” she said. “Some of those were service agencies but many of them provided products women like, such as costume jewelry, those kinds of things.”
And the seminars, Canion said, are always informative and educational.
“They have dealt with issues that are important to women, such as care giving, manners, how to dress and writing resumes,” Canion said. “Just those things that help women achieve personal and professional success.”
This year’s seminar topics are “Trafficking in Longview” and “Protect Yourself and Family.”
Canion said it’s important for her to be an advocate for women.
“I was a classroom teacher and I came up through the ranks to a pretty high administrative level and very few women were able to do that,” she said. “I think the more women know and the more support they have from one another the better chances they have to be successful.”
Women in Longview Day gives them that opportunity, Canion said.
“It gives them a chance to network and meet with other women and establish some relationships but also to learn some things that are helpful to them professionally and personally,” she said.
Overall, Canion said, the day is just about getting together and celebrating women.
“We usually dress up a little bit, buy a little makeup and costume jewelry, learn something in the seminars and be motivated by the speaker,” she said. “That’s about as good as it gets, I think.”