Women’s Business Expo Accentuates Challenges

By  //  August 6, 2012

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

Largest Gathering Yet

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – They say a woman’s work is never done and this timeless adage was on display at the Women’s Business Expo at the Melbourne Hilton Rialto on Friday.

WKMG television news anchor Lauren Rowe was the keynote speaker at Friday’s Women’s Business Expo in Melbourne. (Image by Derek Suomi)

The event, now in its fifth year, was presented by the Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Florida Tech and the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). This year’s turnout was the largest to date.

“Our total attendance today is 250 people, made up of all manner of professionals from the legal and medical field to manufacturing and education” said WBC director and expo organizer Beth Gitlin.

The event featured two exhibitor halls, lined with more than 60 service providers and product demonstrations.

The main conference room was emceed by Mindy Levy of Lite Rock 99.3’s “Mike and Mindy in the Morning” show.

The hall featured a series of speakers in the morning, a luncheon and additional speakers in the afternoon.


The morning speaker was Mark Anthony. Known as the “Psychic Lawyer,” Anthony is the author of the best-selling book “Never Letting Go.”

Beth Gitlin is the Women’s Business Center director at Florida Institute of Technology. (Image courtesy Florida Tech)

His presentation focused on harnessing and enhancing your intuition for use in both business dealings and in your personal life.

“A woman’s intuition is a real phenomenon. You have to trust your feelings, learn to understand the facets of the “sixth sense” and allow yourself to make the right decisions” said Anthony. “Decisions that lead to profit, both financially and spiritually.”

The day’s keynote speaker was WKMG Orlando news anchor Lauren Rowe.

Rowe delivered engaging and insightful remarks that seemed to resonate well with the professional women in attendance.

She said that the unique challenges that women face in balancing their family life with their professional life are the very experiences that give women business owners an advantage in the marketplace.

“These days, the number one sales demographic is women aged 25 to 54. What we can do, as women, is turn our experiences into better products, better services,” said Rowe.

Women’s Business Expo participants listen to speakers at the event Friday at the Melbourne Rialto Hilton. (Image by Derek Suomi)

Group sessions

Additionally, the day featured a number of smaller group sessions covering topics like financial planning, marketing and creating strong business relationships.

Tailored to women in business, the event encouraged an open environment of networking and cooperation. Something that keynote speaker, Rowe said was especially important for women.

“When women birth a new business, it’s a lot like birthing a baby. When we start something new, or struggle to keep something alive we tend to go to other women who are doing it,” said Rowe. “Not just for insight or advice but to bolster our confidence and let us know we’re not alone.”

The sense of support and community is also what drives WBC director Gitlin to organize and participate in events like the Women’s Business Expo.

Gitlin, recently diagnosed with breast cancer, said the women she has met both professionally and personally have been vital to her recovery.

“Through the WBC and events like this, I have met so many wonderful women that have come to me to show their love and support” said Gitlin. “For me,personally, prior to becoming the director, it really fulfilled my needs to have a trusting network of friends and colleagues that I can, not only do business with, but share my life with as well.”